Backed by the royal family, a Saudi businesswoman is significantly influencing the trajectory of the real estate sector in the Kingdom. Mashael bin Saedan, CEO of Al-Saedan for Development, was personally chosen by King Salman to be among the three private companies involved in the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program. Being the sole woman present at the launch event, she had the honor of meeting the king.
Saedan’s real estate development company has achieved significant advancements in the sector through a focus on digital and technical innovations. In a collaboration with Japan’s Aizawa High-Pressure Concrete Co., Ltd., they successfully produced and utilized pre-stressed concrete structural components in Riyadh. The testing of a component model resulted in positive outcomes.
Saedan clarified that the tested model was not a novel technology but rather commonly employed in bridge construction. Nonetheless, their goal was to apply this technology to housing. While the United States’ attempts were unsuccessful, Saedan and her Japanese collaborators effectively adapted the technology using Saudi resources. They maintained quality standards while lowering production costs, and Saedan expressed gratitude for the Japanese government’s support in this partnership.
At the age of 12, Saedan began questioning the absence of women in the sector in Saudi Arabia. Persistently raising the issue at family gatherings, she caught the attention of her father. At 18, he entrusted her with creating a business strategy to promote women’s involvement and investment in real estate. Saedan’s strategy involved targeting Saudi teachers during school break, educating them about the Kingdom’s real estate market and facilitating their investment.
During the real estate boom from 2007 to 2009, Saedan faced a dilemma of whether to seize the opportunity or pursue further education. She opted to pursue a master’s degree in English out of a desire to broaden her thoughts internationally and establish herself as a leading person in the sector. She believed that English language proficiency was crucial for entering the international real estate market. After completing her master’s degree in business finance and economics from the University of Sheffield in England, she decided to returned to Saudi Arabia to contribute to transforming the country’s real estate sector.
Two of Saedan’s goals were education and involvement of Saudi youth in the sector. She taught finance courses at Dar Al-Uloom University, emphasizing to her students that they represented not only their families but also the Kingdom, Arabs, and Muslims worldwide. Recognizing the impact of role models, she resigned from her teaching position after two and a half months and established her own company to be the change she aspired to see in others.
Source: Cosmo Politian