Navigating the Comings and Goings of Riyadh's Construction Boom Part 1

Navigating the Comings and Goings of Riyadh's Construction Boom Part 1

March 25, 2024

In the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh stands as a testament to the ambition and dynamism of Saudi Arabia. The landscape of this bustling metropolis is constantly evolving, with skyscrapers piercing the sky and futuristic developments transforming the city into a modern, otherworldly marvel.

But behind the eye-catching architecture lies a story of unprecedented construction speed, wars for global talent and a palpable shift in the way business is conducted in the Kingdom. Towering structures materialise overnight, courtesy of a construction frenzy fuelled by well-resourced Saudi institutions. Yet, as the scale and complexity of projects soar, the involvement of international contractors becomes increasingly apparent. These global players bring with them expertise and resources at a time when their services are needed to supplement local talent. Traditionally, when construction issues began to present themselves in the region, disputes were resolved in a way that reflected the interdependent financials of those at various levels of the project. A little Peter and Paul – but it worked.

Now, as Riyadh races towards its future, handshake deals alone struggle to cut the mustard. Enter a new era where those who control the purse strings demand a higher standard. The money is there, but it won't flow freely based on relationships alone. Stakeholders must now present a compelling case, supported by solid evidence. Robust contracts, early legal advice and, most crucially, an arsenal of documents, data and ‘evidence’ that substantiate contractors’ position are critical. Without these, the resounding answer to any plea for extensions, funding or negotiation may well be a resolute ‘no’.

For those unaccustomed to keeping their disparate paperwork in order during the whirlwind of multifaceted projects– help is at hand. Experts and their toolkits can build out solutions to securely retain, organise, tag and analyse data from multiple sources – which can then be accessed at any time. Secure repositories harness the power of analytics, machine learning and language technology to organise, analyse and present data in both Arabic and English. Legal experts can then strategize how to deploy the data offensively or defensively.

The hurdle, as always, is change. Embracing the need for a more structured approach to documentation and disputes is imperative. In a city where tradition meets innovation, the construction game is no longer just about building; it's about the ability to sustain the speed of development amongst a much wider financial, political and technological ecosystem. The giga-projects demand nothing less than a new level of sophistication, where the currency that holds weight will often be information.

Blog Info
By: Al-Karim Makhani, Vice President & Michael Deeker, Director