Gulf Capital has signed a 10-year, SR450m ($120m) loan deal with Saudi-based National Commercial Bank (NCB), which will help finance the construction of a residential compound in Riyadh.

The project will be developed by Gulf Related, a joint venture of investment firm Gulf Capital, and Related Companies, a US private real estate development and investment company.

Gulf Related is currently developing The Galleria, an upmarket retail district in Abu Dhabi, and recently unveiled plans for a $1bn project on Abu Dhabi’s Al-Maryah Island, featuring a 2.3-million-square-foot. shopping centre and adjoining luxury hotel and residential towers.

Total cost of the development in Riyadh, which will include 525 villas, townhouses, duplexes and apartment units, is estimated at more than SR650m.

“Saudi Arabia is a high-growth economy with a young and fast-growing population, and large residential developments are needed to meet the pent-up demand for housing,” said Karim el-Solh, chief executive officer (CEO) of Gulf Capital.

The company said Saudi Arabia will need an additional 1.3 million residential units over the next seven years to keep up with housing demand, which is largely driven by domestic demand as Saudi nationals make up more than two-thirds of the population. In addition, Riyadh’s expatriate community is forecast to grow by 6 per cent a year, and is expected to reach 2.8 million by 2015.