GCC awards record $205bn in projects in 2023

09 January 2024
Project award activity rises by 88 per cent across key Gulf markets year-on-year


Register for MEED's guest programme 

Contractors in the GCC won more than $205bn in contract awards in 2023, in a record-breaking year for project activity in the energy-rich region, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

The project awards tally for the past year was 88 per cent higher than in 2022, when $109bn-worth of projects were awarded, and 18 per cent higher than the previous record in 2014, when $173bn-worth of projects were awarded.

The spree of awards over the past 12 months is all the more impressive considering that the activity in 2014 was driven by a Brent crude oil price of $100 a barrel – well above the $80 mark today.

From 2014 to 2023, the average annual project awards total has been about $130bn – an average that was likewise exceeded by 58 per cent by the record 2023 awards total.

The heightened activity was driven in particular by extraordinary levels of contract awards in both the Saudi Arabian and UAE projects markets, which saw $92bn and $78bn in awards, respectively.

There has been a surge in project work in Saudi Arabia, with its Vision 2030 gigaprojects and continued investment in energy infrastructure. In the UAE, a similar revival in construction activity alongside renewed investment in hydrocarbons exploitation has spiked awards.

Qatar was the next most active market with $19bn in awards, led by major gas contracts, followed by Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, with $8.2bn,  $6.6bn and $1.2bn-worth of awards, respectively.

The past 12 months were also a record year for project activity in the Middle East and North Africa region as a whole, driven by the activity within the GCC.

Across the entire region, contractors secured $254bn-worth of project awards in 2023, as compared to the previous record performance, also seen in 2014, of $240bn.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.