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Image courtesy of Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Aramco reported Wednesday that it has signed a contact for the first phase of its South Dhahran Home Ownership Program (SDHOP) that will eventually include over 8,500 new homes for its employees.

In the company’s publication The Arabian Sun, Saudi Aramco said it has signed a deal with Azmeel Contracting to deliver a large part of the project’s first phase, including the initial construction of 955 housing units in a fully serviced community for Saudi Aramco employees.

The state owned company expects to award a contract for the remaining 1,821 housing units that are part of phase one later this year.

SDHOP will consist of 8,521 units to be built over two phases, along with schools and other community facilities on a 3.2 square mile site.

The project is located about 5 miles southwest of Saudi Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters.

“In some ways we have come to the end of a long journey, and in others, we have reached the start of another very exciting journey. This project is one that is dear to our hearts in Saudi Aramco because it touches the lives of employees and is a model for not just our company but for the Kingdom as a whole,” acting executive
director of Community Infrastructure & Public Projects Motaz A. Al-Mashouk told the Arabian Sun.

According to Arabian Business, Saudi Aramco saw its workforce grow to about 62,000 last year from 57,000 in 2013.