The Gulf Projects Index rose by 0.6 per cent in the week ending 11 September, thanks to the seventh consecutive week of gains by Iran, to record highs of $3.5 trillion.

Iran recorded a 4.4 per cent, or $10.9bn rise in the value of its projects market, as it begins making deals in expectation of sanctions being lifted in late 2015 and early 2016. It is attracting Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean interest in projects such as Chabahar port, costing $85m, and energy and industry investment areas.

In numbers

4.4 per cent Week-on-week expansion in Iran’s project market

$13.5bn Value of new real estate projects in the UAE

16.1 per cent Year-on-year expansion of Oman’s projects market

It is now 5.5 per cent up year-on-year, with more gains expected as it prepares an investment programme worth hundreds of billions.

The UAE projects market also saw strong gains, of 1.2 per cent, on the Cityscape real estate exhibition. There, 35 new real estate projects across the country worth $13.5bn lifted the overall projects market by $9.8bn, despite concerns over the property market.

Notable projects include $6.8bn of housing schemes in Dubai South, near Al-Maktoum International airport, the $2.5bn Sharjah Waterfront and Nakheel’s 5.5 million-square-foot Jebel Ali Gardens.

Project updates this week
  Project name Project status
Bahrain  Elevated storage tanks) Complete
Qatar Dahab Mountains Water Park Main contract bid
Saudi Arabia Abu Hadria Hafr al-Baten Rafha road repair Complete
UAE Dubai South: The Villages Study
UAE Saadiyat Island: Soho Square Study
For further information visit

Oman’s projects market also expanded by 1.3 per cent, making it the fastest-growing projects market year-on-year, at 16.1 per cent. Social infrastructure projects, including housing and hospitals to cater to Oman’s growing population, added $1.3bn.

Iraq recorded the only major contraction in the projects market, of 1 per cent. It is now down 16.5 per cent year-on-year, as instability and squeezed budgets force projects to be put on hold.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
UAE Dubai Electicity & Water Authority Hassyan 400kV substation 30-Sep
Qatar Kahramaa Phase 13 transmission and distribution programme 01-Oct
UAE Dubai Municipality Jebel Ali sewage treatment plant 18-Oct
Saudi Arabia Saudi Electricity Company/Saudi Aramco Fadhili independent power project 01-Nov
UAE Roads & Transport Authority Route 2020 metro extension 06-Dec
For further information visit

The region’s largest projects market, Saudi Arabia, grew by 0.2 per cent or $2.7bn, on gas sector projects, despite a government warning of cuts. Metro projects are still moving ahead, as are power and industrial schemes.

Bahrain recorded a 0.3 per cent expansion in its projects market on real estate activity, while Kuwait’s projects market contracted by 0.1 per cent on project completions.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices