GACA President to Asharq Al-Awsat: We are Moving towards Automating Saudi Airports

The Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulaziz Al-Duailej (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulaziz Al-Duailej (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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GACA President to Asharq Al-Awsat: We are Moving towards Automating Saudi Airports

The Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulaziz Al-Duailej (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulaziz Al-Duailej (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, said that Saudi Arabia is one of the advanced countries in digital government, technical connectivity, and access to information, revealing the Kingdom’s efforts to benefit from the latest technologies in the field of automating airport operations with the aim of facilitating the traveler’s experience.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Duailej explained that the authority has recently automated many processes at airports, including obtaining a boarding pass electronically and dropping luggage without human intervention.
The chairman of GACA was speaking at the conclusion of the Future Aviation Forum 2024, on Wednesday.
The three-day event was held in Riyadh with the participation of more than 30 ministers, 77 leaders of civil aviation authorities and heads of air transport companies, as well as 7,000 industry experts from more than 120 countries.
Al-Duailej noted that the electronic gates service was activated at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh during the month of Ramadan, adding that GACA was working to introduce other automated services.
He also highlighted progress towards achieving the country’s goals of doubling the number of passengers, to exceed 330 million in 2030.
The Saudi official stated that the Kingdom enjoys a strategic geographical location and aims to be a hub connecting the East to the West, especially in the field of aviation and logistics services. From this standpoint, he stressed that the country seeks to double air freight from less than one million tons in 2019 to more than 4.5 million tons by 2030.
He continued that Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of direct air stations from 148 stations in 2023 to 250 global destinations in 2030.
The Saudi strategy for the civil aviation sector focuses on creating a global investment environment and shaping the future of the aviation industry in Saudi Arabia, with the aim to transform the country into a leader in the region and the world.



Saudi Real Estate Activities Record Deals Worth $170Bn Since Beginning of 2024

The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)
The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)
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Saudi Real Estate Activities Record Deals Worth $170Bn Since Beginning of 2024

The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)
The Al-Qasr project, one of the projects of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company in Riyadh (Reuters)

Real estate activities in Saudi Arabia continued to grow since the beginning of 2024, recording more than 280,000 transactions worth more than $170 billion (SAR 636 billion), and extending over a total area of more than two billion square meters.

The sector’s contribution to the Saudi GDP reached 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.

During the last week ending June 22, the real estate stock exchange witnessed 518 deals, with a transaction value exceeding SAR 331.7 million, and a trading area of about 900,000 square meters. The highest recorded price per square meter reached about SAR 15,000, while the average price was SAR 371 riyals.

Al-Wisam area in Jeddah topped the list of the most traded neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia on the real estate stock exchange during a week, with a value of transactions exceeding SAR 89.3 million, followed by the Arid district in Riyadh, with a value reached SAR 6.35 million.

The list included Al-Rimal neighborhood in Riyadh, with a value of SAR 5.59 million, followed by Jawharat Al-Arous in Jeddah, with a value of SAR 3.98 million, and the northwestern Al-Bukayriyah district, with transactions reaching SAR 700,000.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, real estate expert Eng. Ahmed Al-Faqih said the sector is seen as the safest option in light of the changes and fluctuations of the stock and gold markets and their impact on rising interest rates.

He added that the real estate market has shown stable and steady growth in all its sectors, thanks to the investors’ confidence in the government’s policies and the injection of large capital by launching huge real estate projects such as Qiddiya, NEOM, the Red Sea, and others.

In addition, the market has witnessed in recent years a package of legislation and regulations that have increased confidence and further attracted capital and real estate investments, he underlined.

He added that since the third quarter of 2023, the Saudi market has seen a remarkable increase in the number and value of real estate deals compared to the previous quarter, which indicates a change in the general mood of investors and their shift from a state of anticipation to seizing real estate opportunities.

Another real estate expert, Saqr Al-Zahrani, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the performance of the Saudi market reflected the remarkable growth and sustainability of demand for real estate, adding that the numbers and sizes of transactions registered through the real estate stock exchange highlighted the confidence of investors, thanks to government efforts and the economic reforms implemented within Vision 2030.

Al-Zahrani stressed that the real estate sector represents one of the basic pillars of the Saudi economy and contributes significantly to supporting the gross domestic product through huge investments and large development projects.

He also noted that government initiatives to regulate and promote investments in the real estate sector have revitalized the economy and created broad job opportunities for citizens and a variety of new skills in the real estate sector, thus reducing unemployment rates and achieving sustainable development.

He identified several reasons that supported the continued growth and sustainability of the Saudi real estate sector, including economic reforms and policies for investment, in addition to the government’s efforts to improve the business environment by facilitating procedures.

Al-Zahrani pointed to the mega projects taking place in the Kingdom and their role in attracting investments, as well as the increasing demand for housing and associated services as a result of urbanization.

In addition, political and economic stability played a vital role in enhancing investor confidence and encouraging long-term investment in real estate, he stated.