Growth in the value of projects in Bahrain and Iraq boosted the Gulf project’s index by 0.22 per cent, with the index standing at $2.49 trillion for the week up to 6 December.

Bahrain’s project index rose by 2.34 per cent with the announced relaunch of the estimated $1.3bn Durrat Marina real estate project. Iraq also announced $680m worth of new schemes, largely in the construction and real estate markets.

Despite this, GCC projects, slid by 0.21 per cent. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman all dropped more than 0.34 per cent, and account for more than half the total market.

Some 37 new projects worth $11.8bn were announced in the week. The majority were in Saudi Arabia which added 19 new schemes, including the King Abdullah City for Atomic & Renewable Energy’s Nuclear Power Reactor in Riyadh which will be built at an estimated cost of $7bn. The kingdom plans to eventually build 16 reactors over the next two decades.

Saudi Arabia was also home to the largest of the regions 15 completed projects which are worth a combined $10.2bn. The second phase of the Northern Border Security Fence was completed at a cost of $2.6bn.

However, another 9 projects worth $8.9bn were placed on hold. This includes Iraq’s planned Bonyan Suleimaniya City, which was to be built by a consortium of the local Bonyan International Investment Group (BIIG) and Al-Handal International Group was put on hold. The project was to see more than 2,300 housing units built along with 60 residential buildings, in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq at an estimated cost of $3bn.

The Gulf index has dipped 9 per cent, year on year, with the GCC bloc dropping more than 16 per cent compared to this time in 2010 particularly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. However, Iraq’s project continues to grow at a healthy rate of 41 per cent and Oman at 14.6 per cent.