Arab News –  In the company of Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed and Mario Boffo, Italian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the first day of the Saudi Mega Projects Conference and Exhibition featured inspired keynote addresses outlining the strengths of the construction sector in Saudi Arabia, challenges that must be overcome in the near future, and pathways for continued sustainable development.
The three-day conference is hosted by senior management media brand and news source MEED.
With a construction industry bracing itself for the implications of continued low oil prices in 2016, Saudi Mega Projects Conference Chairman Faisal Al-Fadl and Co-Chairman Edmund O’Sullivan delivered a message of both reality and promise to open the day’s proceedings.
“Every oil-exporting nation on earth will be affected by the fall in oil prices since the summer of 2014,” said O’Sullivan.
“The purpose of the conference is to investigate how projects companies can deal with the change in a sustainable way. There are many uncertainties, but Saudi Arabia has twice in the past 30 years experienced similar challenges and emerged stronger on both occasions.”
Conference Chairman Faisal Al-Fadl added: “The sector is facing challenges and we need government involvement to overcome them. Developing logistics capacity and the capability of incorporating sustainability in the built environment are also key objectives that will be discussed at this conference.”
Jeddah Economic Company also highlighted the ongoing development of the 5.3-million square meter Jeddah Economic City, a walkable urban landscape set to feature the next tallest building in the world: Jeddah Tower, which will top over 1000 meters in height.
“Under the leadership of Chairman Prince Alwaleed Al-Talal, Jeddah Economic Company is proud to reposition the city of Jeddah as a world-class destination with walkability, efficiency, and sustainability at its core,” said Hisham Jomah, chief development officer at Jeddah Economic Company.
“With the construction of Jeddah Tower, which will stand as the world’s tallest building at over 1000 meters, Jeddah will establish itself as a crossroads of innovative engineering and environmental sustainability.”
Focusing on issues including the importance of project management teams, ways to meet the economic bottom-line in the SR4 trillion megaprojects industry, and several project case studies across Saudi Arabia, the conference is an unprecedented opportunity for over 400 delegates in both government and private sectors to network, share best practices, and develop partnerships for sustainable development, which is a vital cog for the industry.
Day One of the conference follows the event’s ‘sustainability day’, which featured announcements of the first LEED Platinum-certified house in the Middle East, a green building pipeline of over 400 projects, and tremendous economic benefits available to consumers and stakeholders in the green
Supporting the Saudi Mega Projects Conference and Exhibition are strategic partners Saab, gold sponsors CONRAC Public Information Systems and Professional Signage Solutions, silver sponsor Autodesk, bronzr sponsor Pace, networking sponsor Viewpoint, and conference sponsors Hill International and Aconex.
National media partners for the event are the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Channel One TV, and AlJazira Newspaper.
International media partners include exclusive partner Sky News and sponsors Eye of Riyadh, UKTI, the German Emirati Council (AHK), the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber, The Business Year, Markets & Markets, the US-Saudi Arabia Business Council, Oil & Gas year, and Arab News.

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