saudi fire hospital
Firefighters extinguish the fire at a building under construction in Riyadh on August 17, 2023. Image Credit: The Saudi Civil Defence

Dubai: The Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing (MOMRA) has mandated the covering of buildings under construction situated on commercial streets.

The decision was announced alongside the issuance of MOMRA’s new guide titled “Covering Buildings Under Construction”.

Aimed at minimising visual distortion, the regulation will also heighten awareness about construction norms and municipal requirements in urban areas.

MOMRA believes that such measures will boost safety standards, streamline construction sites and their licensing procedures, and elevate the quality of urban vistas while promoting sustainable practices.

The initiative’s broader scope also seeks to safeguard workers, pedestrians, and neighbouring infrastructure from potential hazards and debris arising from ongoing construction.

The announcement further outlines various implementation procedures contingent on a building’s construction phase. It provides a grace period of six months for extant buildings to adhere to the stipulated guidelines from the guide’s approval date.

For structures lacking the requisite building permits, MOMRA demands adherence to certain standards that should be met by the affiliated engineering bureau.

These stipulations encompass the inclusion of building cover details and the materials employed for such covers during the architectural planning stage.

Additionally, there are mandates to ensure the covering is duly executed, periodically maintained, and any non-compliance by contractors should be reported to the pertinent authorities.

From July 2024, contractors are obligated to implement these coverings. Non-adherence will incur penalties, reiterating MOMRA’s commitment to upholding these standards.