Saudi Aramco plans to build 8,521 homes for its employees, as well as schools and community facilities, on 10-square km of land in Dhahran, the State-owned oil company said in its weekly magazine (The Arabian Sun). The development is 8 km (6.25 miles) southwest of Saudi Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters, it said, without giving a value or a timeframe for completion.
Aramco said it signed a contract with Saudi-based Azmeel Contracting to build the first 955 housing units. The contract for the remaining 1,821 dwellings in the first phase of the South Dhahran Home Ownership Program (SDHOP) is expected to be awarded later this year, it said. Aramco’s workforce grew to almost 62,000 last year from just over 57,000 the year before as the company, which has both the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves and largest daily production, expands its activities. It already has many gated communities. The largest is at its Dhahran headquarters with a population of 10,000 people. On Aug. 30, a fire swept through an oil workers’ residential compound in Khobar, leased by Aramco, killing 10 people and injuring 83 people. Aramco said it had lost one employee and nine dependents.