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Saudi women in real estate: Taking the leap of faith

Saudi women in real estate: Taking the leap of faith

The real estate industry has long been recognized as a male-dominated domain, with women historically facing numerous barriers when trying to make their mark in this sector.

However, over the years, Saudi women have not only shattered these barriers, but have also emerged as a force to reckon with in the realty realm.

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The narrative in the rest of the Arab world is no different. The region is witnessing an impressive surge in the number of women leading real estate conglomerates, executing multi-billion-dollar projects, and reshaping the urban landscape with their vision and expertise.

According to FIABCI Saudi Arabia, Arab women’s participation in the real estate industry is rising, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Women comprise 34.8 percent of registered real estate brokers, with 4,519 women brokers actively participating in 8,606 transactions valued at $189 million, Dubai Land Department data shows. These women constitute 42 percent of the total workforce within the organization.

Other research by Wamda reveals that female-founded MENA startups received $34.6 million in funding in 2021.

As for the Kingdom, the Saudi Arabia Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) has helped about 73,000 Saudi women become first-time homeowners through mortgage loans.

Sarah AlSuhaimi and Lama AlSulaiman are among the leading examples of women who have made their mark in the Saudi real estate sector.

Sarah AlSuhaimi, the first Saudi woman to chair the Saudi Tadawul Group, the largest Middle Eastern stock market, is spearheading efforts to connect Saudi capital markets globally, aligning with Vision 2030.

Her leadership has significantly influenced real estate development and investment in Saudi Arabia, boosting investor confidence. Her ranking at number 7 on Forbes Middle East’s 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen 2023 underscores her impactful role.

Similarly, Lama AlSulaiman, one of the first Saudi women to be elected to the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce (JCC) board in 2005, became the first woman Vice-Chairwoman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in 2009.

Her leadership at JCCI, a significant player in Jeddah’s commercial and real estate sectors, earned her recognition as a Young Arab Leader by The World Economic Forum, highlighting her key contributions to the business world.


In a dynamic blend of expertise, empowerment, and enthusiasm, the CityScapeWIRE (Cityscape Women in Real Estate) Riyadh event served as a groundbreaking platform that resonated with women’s role in the real estate sector and their contributions toward it.

On the sidelines of CityScapeWIRE, Al Arabiya English spoke to member of the Advisory Board for CityscapeWIRE and Managing Director of ‘eXp Dubai’, Dounia Fadi, who shared her thoughts on the growing importance of women in the Saudi real estate sector.


Gulf Estate Gazette

Gulf Estate Gazette is a leading source for comprehensive insights into the dynamic real estate landscape of the GCC and MENA region. Our platform is dedicated to providing valuable information and perspectives for individuals, investors, and industry professionals. With a passionate team and an unwavering commitment to excellence, we aim to empower our audience with the knowledge and opportunities needed to thrive in the ever-evolving world of real estate in the Gulf and beyond.

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