A roundtable consisting of the Council of Saudi Chambers’ National Committee for Real Estate and the Committee to Improve Performance in the Private Sector discussed challenges and solutions to improve the real estate sector in the Kingdom.
The roundtable, which was chaired by Hamad Al Shuwaier, included a presentation by SAGIA Undersecretary Dr. Ayed Al Otaiby on the committee’s goals, which include increasing efficiency of governmental services, improving the Kingdom’s ranking worldwide in ease of doing business, improving the business environment, and increasing the efficiency and involvement of the private sector in developing policies and legislations. To achieve these goals, he stated that the committee will conduct workshops, studies, and questionnaires, and will work in coordination with related government bodies in the Kingdom.
The presentation touched on reforms in cross-border trade, integrated services centers, commercial disputes settlement, judicial and educational systems, doing businesses, financial protection, legislation transparency, visa processing, and combating fraud. Per Al Otaiby, there are other reforms currently underway, including: issuing new bankruptcy and mortgage laws, amending competitiveness and government procurement laws, automating procedures, developing integrated electronic platforms to start businesses and shorten the process, activating electronic authentication, expanding the initiative on container clearance in 24 hours to include all sea and air ports, expanding comprehensive service centers “Meras” to all regions of the Kingdom, introducing electronic platforms to transfer ownership, lessening the licensing process for constructions, disseminating legal sentences in commercial disputes, and developing a new mechanism and electronic system to classify contractors.
Dr. Al Otaiby stated that he looks forward to the private sector’s involvement in the regular workshops to listen to their views on current reforms and identify new challenges in the field.
The meeting reviewed the current challenges facing real estate investors, namely the lack of standards in certain government initiations, such as municipalities, the Electricity Company, the Civil Defense, the National Water Company, among others. In addition to the lack of coordination with these bodies, the lack of implementation of penalties in cases of violations, and the numerous procedures and bodies, which made the General Authority for Real Estate a necessity.