I strongly disagree with many of the commentators who said the Jeddah Economic Forum's theme, Housing for the Growing Population, did not merit an entire conference complete with international experts because the solutions for the country's housing crisis are simple and crystal clear.
Jan O'Sullivan, Irish minister for housing and planning, along with Dr. Niall Holohan, Irish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Daniel Cunningham, Irish commercial attaché, paid a short visit to Arab News yesterday. Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, editor in chief of Arab News and Sayidaty welcomed the delegation.
The 13th Jeddah Economic Forum, now the world's largest political and economic gathering after the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, has been focusing this year on the pressing international issue of housing.
Session 4 of Jeddah Economic Forum stressed on the need for boosting consumer confidence and strengthening private sector banking role for mortgages. David A. Smith, moderator and Founder of Affordable Housing Institute (AHI), US, introduced the panel consisting of Sheikh Saleh Kamel
Saudi Arabia needs to pass a mortgage law and establish joint private and public funding initiatives to help tackle Saudi Arabia's housing needs, said Jan O' Sullivan, Irish minister of housing and planning on Sunday.
Dedicated to an analysis of housing strategies, the second day of the 2013 Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF) highlighted in one of its sessions the positive impact that governments can have on the housing market thanks to integrated actions at a national, regional and city level and through intelligent and sustainable regulations and monitoring systems over planning, financing and funding methods.
In the last session of Jeddah Economic Forum, Emir of Makkah, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal gave his recommendations to Makkah Youth Community to be in charge of following up with eight projects presented by young men and women.
In opening remarks at the first session of the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF), Abdullah Sadiq Dahlan, member of the JEF's organizing committee and chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Business and Technology, warned of an imminent threat of a housing crisis exploding in the Kingdom over the coming years in the absence of realistic housing plans.
According to an Ernst & Young report released at the Jeddah Economic Forum, the analysis of housing affordability, as measured by "residual income" (household budget available after paying for housing) shows wide variation across the Middle East, with UAE and Qatar achieving higher levels of housing affordability for nationals, while citizens of Saudi Arabia have lower residual incomes.