The need for affordable housing across the region, but some countries are facing critical shortages:
The kingdom will need an additional 973,000 homes over the next five years, NCB Capital estimates. Builders have focused in recent years on luxury homes, which the majority of the population cannot afford.
Mortgage financing is still rare, making it difficult for families to buy the homes that are available. With 58 per cent of the population under age 25, the demand is expected to increase dramatically in the next 10 years.
The availability of affordable housing turned into a key issue in the social unrest that has rocked the country this year. Eighty-six per cent of households qualify as low-income, according to the property company Jones Lang LaSalle.
More than 50,000 families are on a waiting list for social housing. This year the government announced a US$6.6 billion (Dh24.2bn) construction programme, but progress has been slow.
More than 1 million homes are needed in Baghdad alone, officials estimate. But the needs around the country are certainly far greater.
Iraq has a population of 33 million and there has been little investment in housing for 30 years. Al Maabar and Bloom Properties are among the UAE companies hoping to develop projects in Iraq. But bureaucracy and a lack of infrastructure have slowed developments.
The greatest shortfall in the region is in Egypt, where more than 1.5 million homes are needed, Jones Lang LaSalle reports.
With 80 per cent of country's population being low-income earners, the average home price is 18 times the typical annual salary; in the US it is 2.8.
Described by Jones Lang LaSalle as "one of the most mature affordable housing sectors" in the region, Morocco still has an estimated shortfall of 600,000 homes. The government has been developing public-private partnerships, offering subsidised land and tax breaks to developers.
The Arab Spring may prod the government to speed up its efforts.