The total value of major projects planned or under way in the Gulf on 18 November was $2.96 trillion, an increase of 0.7 per cent on the previous week, according to the latest Gulf Projects Index.

According to the tracker, the bulk of the increase was due to a rise in the value of projects planned or under way in Iraq, which recorded 7.7 per cent growth on the previous week.

The GCC market, which accounts for about 78 per cent of the Gulf projects market, saw a marginal decrease of 0.1 per cent. This can partly be attributed to the fact that several projects were completed ahead of the Eid break. This was particularly the case in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where there were no new projects, causing the GCC index to fall by 0.1 per cent to $2.9 trillion.

In the UAE, projects worth $5bn were completed. Three of these projects were part of the Borouge 2 expansion works project. The olefins conversion unit, offsites and utilities, and polyolefins plant projects had a combined value of $3.5bn. The project markets in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain both fell by 0.1 per cent. The project markets in Oman and Qatar recorded no change from the previous week’s index.

Bucking the downward trend in the GCC was Kuwait. It recorded a growth of 1.3 per cent in the value of projects planned or under way. The main reason for this increase is the announcement of the first phase of the Al-Zour North Power and Desalination Plant, estimated to be worth $3.1bn.

The overall projects index is still positive when compared with the previous year, with the Gulf achieving an 11.7 per cent year-on-year increase.

Iraq maintains its position as the region’s fastest growing market by recording a 115.6 per cent year-on-year increase.