As the company is leading its international expansion, Dar Al Arkan is currently weighting on possible projects either in Morocco or Europe. “We have a good opportunity now to grow outside of Saudi Arabia because we have the cash and the capability,” Shelash told Reuters.
With a cash position of over USD 800 million, Dar Al Arkan is starting its international conquest with a USD 218 million development project in Dubai. The construction will kick-off early 2018 with a 34-storey waterfront skyscraper with luxury apartments.
The company is also looking for possible projects in Morocco, and is studying the acquisition of fixed income assets such as hotels or residential or business towers in London, Frankfurt or Berlin.
The real estate sector takes the largest part of Saudi direct investments in Morocco with 92 percent, followed by industry and holding with 3 percent each, and tourism and trade with 0.6 percent each.
Overall, the volume of Saudi investments reached over USD 3.7 billion by the end of 2016, while the 2017 estimates reached more than USD 2.5 billion. These investments were mainly in the energy, real estate and hotel sectors.
In terms of trade between the two countries, Morocco is Saudi Arabia’s leading partner in the Arab world with a total estimated value of MAD 10.88 billion, its first goods supplier with an amount of MAD 9.69 billion, as well as its its fourth client, with a budget of about MAD 1.9 billion in 2015.
Morocco is, for its part, a loyal ally of Riyadh. The Kingdom was one of the first Arab countries to send military contingents, including aviation, as part of the Saudi-led coalition against Houthis in Yemen. The Saudi rulers, namely King Salman, regularly stays in Morocco, where the Arabian royalty have sumptuous palaces.