What is real estate?

Consultant Headshot ImageBy Michelle DSouza - Managing Consultant, Property & Construction (Saudi Arabia)


After the introduction of Vision2030, a series of mega and giga real estate projects as well as numerous large-scale community development initiatives were announced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of the ongoing transformation efforts.

The main reason for this endeavour was to enhance and simplify the real estate offerings throughout the entire Kingdom, rather than just in the commercial centres of Jeddah and Riyadh. This meant developing across brownfield and greenfield areas through both regenerative methods and ground-breaking initiatives, not just with regards to civil infrastructure but creating communities, tourism, and entertainment hubs with residential, commercial, hospitality and retails assets to elevate the region's economic and historic importance.

Being a fairly recent initiative and considering the ambitious vision of the Kingdom, the scale, value and dynamics of these projects are unmatched and unprecedented by any other projects globally and require subject matter experts that have led large new developments or regenerative schemes from inception through to completion. The task of master planning in either a completely new or an established urban setting may seem intimidating, but it is, nonetheless, an opportunity to incorporate best practices right from the start. Identifying true real estate development leaders with a proven track record in skilfully determining the feasibility and constructability of mixed-use schemes, orchestrating the concept and detailed designs for an all-encompassing masterplan is crucial in ensuring the long-term viability of such projects.

Development job titles in high demand:

  • Chief Development Officer
  • Head of Real Estate Development
  • Director of Real Estate Development
  • Director Development - Hospitality / Residential / Infrastructure / Commercial / Retail / Mixed Use
  • Real Estate Development Manager

Experienced from global organisations with below functions:

  • Large Scale Housebuilding and Residential Developers
  • Retail and Community / Lifestyle Centre Developers
  • Hospitality and Resort Developers
  • Real Estate Investment Companies with a Development Arm

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • Build and lead Master Planning Teams to ensure the overall masterplan is line with strategic objectives and ensure the designs (concept, schematic, and detailed) developed by the master planners and architects are in line with the development program.
  • Ability to lead across project positioning, asset mix and product mix, project schedule, and market assessment.
  • Maintain the project development schedule - align and coordinate with the feasibility, project phasing strategy, and development strategy.
  • Liaise with internal and third-party construction team and external contractors to execute the design and development strategy in the Detailed Design, Tender, and Construction phases in accordance with the project vision.

Qualifications and technical skills required:

  • Minimum of 15 years in real estate development, particularly in international mega projects, with a broad range of experience in feasibility, due diligence design and development management, investment, real estate market analysis and real estate product positioning.
  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Management, Real Estate Development, Architecture, Civil Engineering or Construction

Career development:

As seen in the market, after proving themselves in successfully running the most important aspect in a real estate business across P&L, budget, forecasting, programme management and delivery of a concrete masterplan, a CDO / Head of Development can look at moving into a Chief Strategy Officer or Chief Operations Officer or ultimately the CEO of the business in the long run.

Salary and remuneration:

Competitive tax-free salary packages with attractive benefits such as bonus, schooling, medical insurance, and annual tickets. Some clients also provide vacation allowances, lifestyle allowances and per diems for business travel.

What's Next?

Are you looking for a new professional opportunity in Real Estate Development? Look at our current vacancies in Saudi Arabia.

Our specialized Property and Construction consultants advise and support you in your job search. Submit your CV today or get in touch with us here. 

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