Saudi Businessman donating 200,000 sq. meters land
By Rizwan Khatik - Mon Nov 14, 7:09 am
Abdullah Al-Faris offered to give 200,000 square meters of agricultural land after seeing a post by Abdullah Al-Ghadami on his Twitter account. “I have responded to the proposal after being convinced that it is the best solution for the country’s housing problem,” he said.
A lack of land is one of the major problems faced by Saudi youth who dream of having their own homes. A group of Saudi youths have produced a documentary named “Monopoly,” highlighting the issue of real estate monopoly and how it has contributed to rising real estate prices.
As a result of price hikes it has become difficult for those earning a monthly salary of not less than SR15,000 to think about buying a small land and building a house.
Writer Essam Al-Zamil, who appears in the film, called for imposing Zakat or tax on vacant lands to bring their prices down to normal levels. The film showed a young Saudi living in his car while another goes to Brazil in search of a house. A group of Saudi graduates from prominent universities were shown sharing a flat.
A large number of people supported Al-Ghadami’s proposal through social media and called for giving the idea greater publicity in order for the message to reach owners of vacant lands in various parts of the Kingdom. “This is the best solution to solve the housing problem especially at a time when Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has allocated SR250 billion to construct 500,000 new homes for people with medium and low incomes,” one respondent said.
A 2,000-member team will conduct a survey of those Saudis who do not possess a house or land in order to give them priority in the new project. The team is expected to start its work by the end of this month. The project aims to provide Saudis with furnished homes through the Housing Ministry. According to one report, only 55 percent of Saudis own homes.
In his post on Twitter, Al-Ghadami told property owners to donate part of their lands to the Housing Ministry. He pointed out that there is a lot of vacant land in the middle of the city. “It is a big treasure and if their owners donate part of their property it would solve a big problem,” he pointed out. A large number of people have supported Al-Ghadami’s campaign named “Maskani” (my house) by sending messages of support through the social media including Facebook and Twitter. Al-Zamil had said that the donation of land would prevent the wrath of the general public against big real estate owners.