The major regional construction markets of Doha, Dubai and Jeddah are still some of the least expensive cities in the world in which to build, according to the International Construction Costs Index published by Netherlands-based Arcadis.

Doha is the most expensive regional city for construction, followed by Jeddah and then Dubai. The index analyses the relative cost of construction across 44 global cities.

The consultancy says local labour markets and resource availability positively benefited cities in the GCC in 2015, adding that the impact of a strong US dollar and the fall in the price of oil contributed to the lower cost environment.

Competitive pricing provides an opportunity for project owners to move ahead with schemes and capitalise on the lower costs.

“As we enter 2016, it is fair to say we have another challenging year in prospect for the construction industry,” says Ian Williamson, buildings global business leader at the regional office of Arcadis. ”With the steep fall in the price of oil, the timing of investment programmes across the Middle East has become uncertain.

“Declining commodity prices, low labour rates and a highly competitive Middle East construction market have given rise to more potential opportunities across newly affordable markets. It is a good time for governments, [financiers] and developers to capitalise on their investment ambitions.”