Bahrain violence causes market dip

15 March 2011

The kingdom’s projects market falls by 10 per cent as political situation worsens

Contract awards

Biggest contract: $3bn

Value of four packages awarded to Samsung Engineering on the Shaybah natural gas liquids scheme

$5.3bn: Value of major contract awards

9: Number of contracts awarded

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The political unrest in Bahrain has resulted in the value of the kingdom’s projects market falling by 10 per cent in the seven days up to 16 March.

In a week that saw Saudi troops crossing the border into Bahrain, the country’s projects market came to a standstill. No new schemes were announced and $7.8bn of projects were put on hold, including the $6.6bn Water Garden City, $1bn Al-Nurana and the Downtown Al-Areen real-estate projects.

The increasing unrest in the small island state has contributed to the Gulf projects market dipping by 0.8 per cent to $2.5 trillion for the week. The GCC market, which accounts for about 76 per cent of the Gulf’s projects index, recorded a 1 per cent drop.

Project updates 
 Project NameProject Status
Saudi ArabiaAluminium project: Ras al-Zour alumina refineryDesign
Saudi ArabiaCalcined petroleum coke plantDesign
UAEShamkha South: Infrastructure worksConstruction
KuwaitMina Al Ahmadi North LPG Tank FarmConstruction
Saudi ArabiaWasea Water Project: Package IITender
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Despite the failure of planned protests in Saudi Arabia to materialise on 11 March, the Gulf’s biggest projects market recorded a 1.6 per cent drop for the week. The main reason for this was $8.1bn of projects at the Prince Abdulaziz bin Mosaed Economic City development being put on hold.

Oman, which has had several protests over the past few weeks, recorded a 0.1 per cent fall in its projects market as no new projects were announced and a $100m hotel in Muscat was completed.

And although the UAE has avoided any political disruption, its projects market recorded a drop of 0.2 per cent as four projects worth a total $1.3bn were put on hold, and three others worth $874m combined were completed.

The project markets in Qatar and Kuwait remained flat.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
UAEAbu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco)Habshan carbon recovery and reinjection and nitrogen injection29 Mar
UAEAldar PropertiesYas Mall7 Apr
Saudi ArabiaSaudi AramcoKing Abdullah Sports City stadium14 Apr
UAEAbu Dhabi Airport CompanyMidfield Terminal10 Jul
UAEEtihad Rail CompanyCivil Engineering Work4 May
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Outside the GCC, Iran, a strong performer the week before, remained flat, while Iraq’s projects market declined by 0.4 per cent. This was mainly due to the completion of four projects totalling $1.5bn. Iraq remains the region’s fastest-growing market, recording a 58 per cent year-on-year increase.

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