Saudi Aramco has inked the contract for the first phase of the huge South Dhahran Home Ownership Program (SDHOP), a project that will witness the initial construction of 955 housing units in a fully serviced community for Saudi Aramco employees. Azmeel Contracting has been entrusted to deliver a large chunk of the first phase, with the contract for the remaining 1,821 housing units of phase one expected to be awarded later this year. SDHOP is planning to construct 8,521 units in total over two phases with schools and many other community facilities on 10 square kilometers of land. The development will be sited just 8 kilometers southwest of Saudi Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters. Motaz A. Al-Mashouk, acting executive director of Community Infrastructure & Public Projects, signed the first contract with Ahmed F. Al-Jabr, managing director of Azmeel Contracting. Al-Mashouk said the signing ceremony marked the culmination of over two years of hard work by all parties. “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. A tremendous effort has allowed us to get where we are. “We are honored to have you here for this historic project — what we have done here is truly exceptional.” Al-Mashouk underlined the importance of the contractor adhering to Saudi Aramco’s strict standards of construction and job and community safety. Abdulrahman I. Al-Warthan, manager of SDHOP Projects Department, said the contract will enable the building of affordable housing units in a modern community that will provide comfort and quality of life for Saudi Aramco employees and their families.