Saudi Arabia is the region’s leader in built asset wealth according to the according to the latest Global Built Asset Wealth Index published by Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets.
The index, which was compiled for Arcadis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), calculates the value of all the buildings and infrastructure that contribute to economic productivity in 32 countries, which collectively make up 87% of global GDP.
Total built asset wealth globally now stands at an estimated US$ 218 trillion, which is the equivalent to US$ 30,700 per person alive today. The stock of built assets is closely correlated with a nation’s economic output.
On average, countries analyzed have a built asset stock worth 2.9 times GDP. China now has a built asset wealth of US$ 47.6 trillion, overtaking the USA which comes in second place with a wealth of US$ 36.8 trillion. On a regional basis, Saudi Arabia has a built asset wealth of US$ 3.15 trillion, while the UAE and Qatar rank respectively at US$ 1.33 trillion and US$ 0.45 trillion.
“The health and wealth of a nation can be measured in many different ways and while factors such as GDP or employment have great value, a prosperous society is underpinned by a well-developed built environment that meets the needs of its people and economy,” said Alan Richell, Head of Business Advisory in the Middle East at Arcadis. “Saudi Arabia has achieved phenomenal progress in its built asset stock in recent years, recording a 200% growth rate between 2000 and 2014. From a global perspective, Saudi Arabia has the third highest rate of built asset growth in the world,” he added.
Qatar and Singapore stand comfortably ahead of the pack on built assets per capita, at US$198,000 and US$192,000 respectively. The countries near the top of this ranking are disproportionately made up of smaller nations, either by population or area, so the density of the built asset stock is much greater per resident. Saudi Arabia, by comparison, has a smaller built asset stock per capita where its built asset wealth is spread amongst its large and growing population.
Richell commented: “The Global Built Asset Wealth Index shows a dramatic shift of wealth to emerging economies. Despite some challenges in the short term, Saudi Arabia is clearly emerging as a major player in the built asset sector.”