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‘All roads lead to NEOM’: Saudi gigaprojects spark construction recruitment drive

A dam, shaped like the prow of a ship, suspended above the valley below. An underground canal leading to a resort built into a 450m-high mountain range. A 170km-long linear city in the desert. These are just some of the projects that illustrate the scale of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious construction programme as the Kingdom aims to affect a transformation at breakneck speed to diversify its economy under its Vision 2030 project.

Saudi Arabia has already announced multiple billion-dollar construction projects – many in the $500 billion NEOM special economic zone but plenty more outside. Many still sit on the drawing board and there’s a question mark as to whether all of them will ultimately get built.

Already, the likes of US contractor Bechtel are sitting up and taking notice. The company, which has had a presence in the Kingdom for 80 years and is already involved in several significant projects, announced late last year that it would open a new regional headquarters in Riyadh. Meanwhile, the number of internet searches in the UK for construction jobs in Saudi Arabia reportedly surged by 293% year on year in summer last year, according to the Rated People website, suggesting more competition for already scarce skilled workers.

Read the full story at Construction Briefing

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