Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) has entered a contract with Saudi Contractors Authority to raise and enhance standards in the kingdom’s construction industry, the second largest non-oil economic sector in Saudi Arabia.

Contracting standards are the highlight of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Sabic and Saudi Contractors Authority. As part of the deal, Sabic will share its expertise with the contracting body to improve practices and contribute to the successful and safe implementation of local construction projects. This is expected to, in turn, boost the kingdom’s Vision 2030 agenda, which is aimed at long-term economic diversification.

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Sabic’s executive vice president for engineering and project management, Eng Omar Al-Amoudi, inked the MoU with Saudi Contractors Authority’s secretary general, Eng Thabet bin Mubarak Al Swaid.

Commenting on the MoU, Sabic vice president, Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Bunyan, said the agreement would “support and guide” the local construction sector, which would benefit from Sabic’s “extensive experience in construction, project management, contracting, sustainability, and the qualification and selection of contractors”. According to an Arabic-language report by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned news outlet, SPA, Al-Bunyan said the MoU reiterates the importance of exchanging best practices developed in Saudi’s contracting sector.

The MoU, he added, would stimulate the national economy and local output in contracting, as well as enhance the sector’s performance and technological prowess.

Construction contracting is a significant business activity in Saudi Arabia, where more than 5,000 projects worth trillions of riyals are in the pipeline. This October, the organisers of The Big 5 Saudi show, citing market research, said that Saudi Arabia’s pipeline of 5,200 projects makes up 35% of the Gulf’s total active project volume, with the kingdom’s plans also including gigaprojects such as Neom, and other schemes focused on the long-term goals of Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia’s major urban construction schemes include Phase 5 of King Abdullah Security Compounds; the expansion of the Grand Mosque; The Avenues – Al Malqa; Mall of Saudi – An’Narjis; Darb Al Harmain; and Jeddah Downtown.