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Saudi construction boom continues

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World Cement,


The construction boom in Saudi Arabia is driving up prices of cement and steel. We have previously reported that the shortage in cement supply in Saudi Arabia has been a cause for concern, with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz issuing an order back in April for the import of 10 million t of cement. Since that time, imports have been arriving and plans for the creation of 3 – 4 new plants and the expansion of existing facilities are in their early stages.

Mr Hussain Bin Saeed Bin Mushait, a member of the Saudi Society for Construction Sciences, told the Saudi Gazette that the decision to allow imports has helped, but warned that building materials merchants should be strictly monitored to make sure they do not take advantage of the high demand to disproportionately increase prices or impose a monopoly. He added that there should be a review of recruitment policies, which have reduced the number of recruitment visas and increased annual labour fees and generally increased the cost of foreign labour.

Mr Mushait called for a more open door policy on recruitment to allow access to the market for experienced and qualified manpower able to move among jobs while keeping their legal residence status. He also added that more economic building practices could be employed in the Kingdom to reduce costs and limit the consumption of building materials.

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