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Saudi’s $500bn Neom taps up Belhasa Interior Design

Dubai’s restructured Belhasa Interior Design has been approached to participate in Saudi Arabia’s $500bn Neom gigaproject, the company’s managing director said.

Ayman El Nashar, who became managing director in January 2019, said the boutique practice has been approached by a consultancy working on the biggest project in Saudi Arabia.

“A consultancy working on Neom contacted us, which came through our relationship with a consultancy here in the UAE,” he told Commercial Interior Design.

“They want some proposals for public libraries and hotel lobbies, but they will all be conceptual designs because they don’t have the hotel operators locked in yet. Still, it’s very exciting to participate in that megaproject,” he added.

Neom is the largest ongoing gigaproject in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a key driver of the country’s Vision 2030 strategy, designed to diversify economic growth and move away from oil and gas.

Backed by the Crown Prince HRH Mohammed Bin Salman and funded largely by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, Neom has been described as one of the most ambitious projects in the world today.

It is one of several so-called gigaprojects in the early stages of development that will lead to the creation of jobs, in turn provide opportunities for dozens of industries, including art and design.

Eddy Abou Khalil, general manager, Cosentino Middle East, has already said the architectural surfaces supplier is expanding to Saudi Arabia because of the opportunities created by gigaprojects like Neom and the Red Sea Project.

In a column for Commercial Interior Design this month, Khalil said the increased spending on construction will have a “significant impact on the demand for exterior and interior surfaces” as the projects move into the fit-out and design stage.