Saudi Arabia and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build 100,000 residential units in Al-Ahsa.
The MoU was signed by Saudi’s Minister of Housing, Majed Al-Huqail, and Chinese Deputy Minister of Trade, Qian Keming, after the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.
Al-Huqail also signed a memorandum of cooperation between the ministry and China’s Ningxia region to develop Al-Asfar outskirts in Al-Ahsa province in Saudi Arabia, reports the Saudi Press Agency.
Al-Huqail said that the agreements were intended to stimulate real estate supply and raise productivity.
During his visit, Prince Muhammad also met officials of Chinese banks, including Bank of China, Bank of China for Telecommunications, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
After the Arab Spring uprisings in the region in 2011, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced a $66.6bn scheme to build 500,000 low-cost housing units over several years to help address an acute shortage among the kingdom’s young, growing population, but the scheme has been slow to get off the ground.
In December last year the kingdom’s housing ministry said more than 3 million new housing units were needed by 2025 as the population is set to cross 37 million in 10 years.
Earlier this year a consortium of South Korean contractors won a $20bn project to build 100,000 homes in Saudi Arabia’s Dahiyat Al Fursan new city.
Photograph: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salmanand, left, and Zhang Gaoli, China’s Vice Premier, at a recent Saudi-Chinese Joint Committee meeting (SPA)