The city's expansion is tied to an anticipated rise in population to 9.2 million Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Riyadh is projected to be one of the top 15 fastest-growing cities by 2033.

This growth is driven by a 26 per cent increase in population and ongoing government investments in infrastructure. Riyadh stands out as the only non-Asian city on the list, according to the Savills Growth Hubs Index.

Savills is a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange. With a presence in the Middle East for over 40 years, Savills offers an extensive range of specialist advisory, management and transactional services across the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

The city's expansion is tied to an anticipated rise in population from 5.9 million to 9.2 million over the next decade, necessitating expanded services and amenities.This growth aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme, which aims to transform Riyadh into a vibrant residential and business center while diversifying the economy away from oil dependency.

Savills' report emphasised that Riyadh's office market is buoyed by demand from regional headquarters, while tourism growth is boosting demand in the retail sector near popular tourist sites.

The city saw a 477 per cent year-on-year increase in international firms relocating their regional headquarters to Saudi Arabia in the first quarter alone.The government's introduction of incentives, such as a 30-year corporate tax exemption for regional headquarters, has attracted major multinational companies to establish their bases in Riyadh.

Foreign direct investment into the country surged by 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, underlining Riyadh's growing appeal as a global business destination.

Riyadh's successful bid to host EXPO 2030 further underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment to sustainable economic and social development, enhancing its global stature as a hub for business, tourism, and innovation.

A forecast by Henley and Partners, an integrated residence and citizenship advisory firm, predicts that Riyadh, along with Jeddah, will attract over 300 millionaires in 2024, reflecting increasing appeal among high net worth individuals.

Savills' research also highlights the broader trend of economic growth shifting towards Asian cities, driven by technology-driven innovation and rising personal wealth. The transformation in these cities is expected to drive demand across various real estate sectors, supported by expanding middle-class populations and ongoing industrial competitiveness.