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Exclusive: Amer Kharbush shines the spotlight on ROSHN’s design philosophy

Exclusive: Amer Kharbush shines the spotlight on ROSHN’s design philosophy

The group’s head of programme and project management tells Gulf Business that MARAFY is an example of the company’s approach to integrated community development

Amer Kharbush shines the spotlight on ROSHN’s design philosophy

Tell us more about ROSHN Group and how the company is contributing to Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure development under Vision 2030.

Our approach to development at ROSHN is to put people at the centre of all our projects. This applies not only to the homes that we build but across our entire infrastructure development philosophy. We understand that infrastructure is not simply a case of providing utilities, but it is about providing the necessary social infrastructure to support people-centric communities.

We simultaneously work to ensure that we provide electricity, power, and water in a way that meets the needs of the residents, but we also implement integrated master planning to ensure that the residents of our communities are supported by an evolved social infrastructure including schools, healthcare clinics, retail outlets, mosques, and transport services. In this way, we align with the objectives of Vision 2030. Our most recent project, MARAFY, is an example of our approach to integrated community development, and our commitment to putting people first.

What are ROSHN’s investments and development projects?

As one of the biggest real estate developers in Saudi Arabia, our focus is to develop community developments and mixed-use developments at scale, and we are now known as the leading master community developer in the kingdom.

We have several projects underway across the kingdom, including the western, eastern and central regions. We are also continually investigating new potential projects across Saudi Arabia and have partnered with several exciting companies – the details of which we will disclose soon. We have stepped up our game with our most recent project, MARAFY, which marked the company’s entry into the mixed-use development market and will see us developing brand-new canal access in Jeddah.

What is ROSHN’s design philosophy?

ROSHN’s design philosophy is people-centred while remaining as efficient and sustainable as possible: it’s all about the people, and about the residents. We want to make the lives of the people living in our communities better and easier.  Our group CEO has stated many times that we ensure that our homes are fit for purpose and as energy-efficient as possible.

Every house in the community has a form of solar-powered utility and electric vehicle charger provisions to prepare for a future in which electric vehicles will become dominant. Lucid is playing a big role in this transition. Our design philosophy is also centred on providing mixed-use communities in which residents will be able to combine work and play.

Saudi Arabia’s real estate and infrastructure projects have crossed $1.23tn. How do you envision the future of the industry going forward?

From my background in design and construction, I see a very positive future for the real estate and infrastructure market in Saudi Arabia and believe it will overtake the pace of development in the rest of the world. Future development will focus on how best to industrialise construction and focus less on building on-site and more on building in factories.

We want to ensure that we attain the best quality while reducing the time, waste, and impact on the environment by outsourcing everything to factories. This has not been done in construction in the past. As ROSHN, we are always looking at ways of making this happen and are working with multiple vendors to ensure that we design for the future.

ROSHN is the first PIF-funded giga project to become a member of the UN Global Compact. What does this mean for the company?

We at ROSHN are proud to have been the first Saudi giga-project to have joined the UN Global Compact. ROSHN is strongly committed to the key principles of human rights, labour rights, environmental protection, anti-corruption, trust, integrity and transparency, all of which are included in the UN Global Compact. ROSHN will be reporting on our ongoing performance against these principles annually and will work tirelessly to continue to raise the standards of real estate development in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

What opportunities do you foresee in Saudi Arabia’s real estate market?

Projections have put the Saudi population at 50 million by 2030, and the government has outlined its intentions to ensure there is housing for all the people in the country. This demand provides an opportunity for all big developers in real estate, specifically those focusing on community projects.

ROSHN is supporting the goal of Saudi home ownership of 70 per cent in line with Vision 2030. The future looks promising, and it is exciting that there will always be the latest innovations and products in the market.

Read: Saudi Arabia’s real estate, infrastructure projects hit $1.25tn

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