In the week ending 26 August, Iraq’s projects market saw its biggest decline since 14 February 2012, dropping 5.6 per cent as concerns about fighting in the country wiped $26.6bn off its value.

Iraqi armed forces are struggling to push back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), which has seized roughly a third of the country’s territoriy, including the second-largest city Mosul. Isis remains entrenched despite bombing raids carried out by the US air force and shipments of arms to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.

Project updates this week
  Project name Project status
Iraq Iraq strategic crude oil export pipeline: Haditha-Aqaba On hold
Kuwait Kuwait national rail road Study
Kuwait Olefins 3 project On hold
Oman Reverse osmosis plant at Sohar industrial port Main contract bid
UAE Abu Dhabi polymer park Complete
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The ongoing conflict has led to a raft of projects being put on hold, one of the largest of which is the crude pipeline from Haditha in Iraq to Aqaba in Jordan.

Design engineering for the scheme was due to be completed by September, but the project is now on hold due to large areas of the proposed route being held by Isis forces.

The contraction in Iraq’s projects market pushed down the Gulf Projects Index, which finishned the week 0.7 per cent lower.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Oman Oman Power & Water Procurement Company Qurrayat water project 08-Sep
Saudi Arabia Mecca Municipality Mecca Metro: phase 1 08-Sep
Oman Transport & Communications Ministry Batinah Expressway: package 8 22-Sep
Kuwait Ministry of Electricity & Water Overhead lines – various locations 30-Sep
Dubai Dubai Electricity & Water Authority M station expansion 15-Oct
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Elsewhere in the Gulf, most markets performed fairly strongly. Aside from the UAE, which saw a 0.4 per cent decrease, all other countries avoided declines. Kuwait led the gains, climbing 1.9 per cent, as projects were announced across the oil, transport and water sectors.

Oman also saw significant growth, increasing by 1 per cent with the announcement of $1.8bn-worth of new projects, including new water desalination plants in the Sohar industrial area.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar had slight expansions, increasing by 0.1 per cent. Bahrain, the Gulf’s smallest projects market, saw growth of 1.4 per cent.

The UAE’s decline came as several schemes were completed and others were put on hold.

In numbers this week