Riyad Ahmed Al Thagafi believes that he has found a method for dealing with Saudi Arabia’s chronic housing shortage, while also helping to diversify its construction industry and develop the next wave of Saudi contractors.
Al Thagafi is CEO of Ewaan, the affordable housing developer formed in 2009. It is building a pair of flagship projects in Jeddah: the $450mn Alfareeda Residential containing over 1,800 villas; and the 1,550-villa Al Mayyar site.
He believes housing can be made cheaper by avoiding big contractors. Instead, he tries to build a supply chain by dealing directly with subcontractors and mentoring young contractors.