A drop in the value of Saudi Arabia’s projects market contributed to the Gulf Projects Index recording a 0.1 per cent fall for the final week of 2013. As a result, the Gulf index finished the year at $3.2 trillion, up about 23 per cent on the same period in 2012.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market, recorded a 0.2 per cent drop in value, as an inactive $3bn real estate scheme was removed from the index and the budgets on a number of major projects were reduced. Despite the decline, the kingdom’s projects market has enjoyed a positive 2013, with its value up 36.1 per cent year-on-year.

Bahrain’s projects market recorded the largest drop of the countries in the Gulf index, with the value of schemes planned or under way in the country falling by 0.8 per cent to about $61.7bn.

Oman and Qatar were the only two countries in the index to record growth for the final week of the year, with the value of their projects sectors rising by 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

The increase in Oman’s projects market was due to the launch of a $500m real estate scheme and a $60m industrial project.

The launch of a $250m new water transmission scheme in Qatar contributed to the growth of its projects market, which ended the year about 24 per cent up on 2012.

Outside the GCC, Iran’s projects market remained flat, while the value of Iraq’s projects sector fell by 0.1 per cent.

Despite the drop, Iraq’s projects market recorded by far the biggest growth in the Gulf in 2013, with the value of its index up by almost 82 per cent. However, much of the increase is due to the sharp rise in planned megaprojects. Whether these schemes will be delivered depends on the ability of the Iraqi government to improve the security situation in the country.

Contract awards this week

Biggest contract: $410m

Awarded to the US’ Fluor Corporation to carry out design and project management consultancy services for Kuwait Oil Company

$410m: Value of major contract awards

1: Number of contracts awarded

For further information visit www.meed.com/contracts