Nov. 26, 2006 – Jeddah – Nov 2006 – Statistics show that the Kingdom’s population could reach 35 million by 2020, which will certainly reflect upon the construction industry and labor market. According to Ayman Jamal, CEO of Arabian Mullak company, future studies indicate that, in the next fifteen years, the number of Saudi employees will see a quantitative leap from three million to 8.5 million employees, an increase of 170%. Meanwhile, current estimates indicate that only 22% of Saudi citizens own their homes, while the majority of them are living in rented houses.
“The above figures show that the market needs 95 to 125 billion Saudi Riyals annually to provide 145,000 to 165,000 housing units,” said Jamal. “Studies estimate that the Kingdom needs approximately 4.5 million housing units for the next five years. However, the market urgently needs to secure 870 thousand housing units to fill the gap that has existed for many years.”
Jamal added, “Anticipating the future, Mullak realizes the importance of meeting upcoming needs through ambitious financing programs. The company is planning to improve its financing programs through gradually raising its capital during the next 10 years, and increasing its portfolio to 8 – 12 billion Saudi Riyals.” Jamal went on to say, “Mullak is targeting five main locations, which are Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and the Eastern Region. However, we will not be confined to those areas alone. While operating in the Saudi market, we are exploring other markets, such as the UAE, specifically Abu Dhabi, Egypt and Morocco, through strategic partners, real estate developers and competent organizations capable of providing 400,000 to 500,000 quality housing units each year. Mullak aspires to 2000 to 2500 housing units every year.
Jamal explained that Mullak is not itself interested in real estate development, but in providing Islamic financing mechanisms. “The company is proud of adopting this strategy, and is planning to strengthen it through assisting individuals to own their own homes,” he said. “Among our objectives, we are seeking to cooperate with real estate companies capable of carrying out giant real estate projects. For example, we are on the way to allying with two companies, one from China and the other from Singapore. And for the record, these two companies have constructed 35 thousand to 45 thousand housing units during the last seven years.” Stressing the point, he added that “While allying with real estate developers who adopt international specifications and standards, Mullak grants its clients the freedom to choose the home they prefer, provided that approved quality specifications are applicable”.
Ayman Jamal explained that the targeted categories are those clients capable of owning a house at a cost of SR 850,000 to SR 1.500,000, payable in installments spread over 20 years. The maximum financing that Mullak provides is SR 2.500,000. “Traditional houses are not part of Mullak’s vision. Instead, we are focusing on housing that provides an integrated residential environment, including facilities and services such as children playgrounds and green areas.”
Through this clarity of approach, the founders of Arabian Mullak formed a team to study the experiences and expertise of international and Gulf companies specialized in financing of individual houses. “We then adopted and utilized the findings in accordance with Sharia principles, especially those related to the lease business, which is one of the formulas similar to mortgage in the Islamic economy. The company commitment towards Islamic principles is fully supported by clients, shareholders, individuals and financial institutions investing in this sector.”
Ayman Jamal is expecting that Mullak will succeed in increasing the demand for houses through the methodology it applies and by offering high quality and integrated housing products. In addition, the company will fill the gap for housing units within the framework of the Saudi economy, which is now seeing a comprehensive and sustainable rise.
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