Ottawa, Friday, March 5, 1976
gift boon for Ottawa developer
An Ottawa developer has signed a $130-million contract to build
10 apartment buildings in Saudi Arabia for a prince to give as presents
to his 10 sons.
Fred Farha, president of Fundmore Corporation (Canada) Ltd., who
returned to Ottawa this week froin Riyadh, the Saudi capital, described
the contract as a breakthrough for Canada's construction industry
in the oil-wealthy Arab states.
Over the next 28 months up to 400 Canadians will be employed on
the project, most of them from Ottawa and other Ontario centres.
Canadians will do the actual construction work because Saudi Arabia
is critically short of skilled labor, Mr. Farha explained.
Nearly all of the material will have to be imported as well, some
from Europe but the bulk of it from Canada. "There's nothing
available here," said Mr. Farha. "We'll have to import
everything from nails to steel."
While this will drive up the cost of the project to almost four
times what it would be in Canada, money is not the problem with
the Saudis, the builder noted.
The prince has agreed to place 22 per cent of the total cost at
the disposal of the builder for interim financing. The current shortage
of housing in Riyadh means that the builder will have to provide
accommodation for the workers.
Mr. Farha was first contacted last November by an emissary of Prince
Bandar Bin Muhammed Bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Saud about tackling the
He first met Prince Bandar later that month on a trip to Riyadh.
The prince, first cousin of Saudi Arabian King Khaled Ibn Abdel
Aziz, was described as a "handsome man in his early 50s, very
wise and sociable with a dynamic personality."
Mr. Farha said he was chosen, for the job as someone known to the
From Our Archives:
GAZETTE Montreal, Mon., Mar. 8.1976
Daily Commercial News,
and Construction Record Thursday, March 11,1976
September 19, 1988