The Gulf Projects Index dipped by 0.6 per cent as schemes continued to slow down amid lower oil prices. The only markets to record growth were Iraq, Bahrain and the UAE.

Iraq’s projects market increased by 3 per cent due to the announcement of the $11bn Nibras petrochemicals complex. However, the ongoing fighting with the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria over oil fields continues to affect hydrocarbons schemes.

The UAE also had a strong week after Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas was awarded a $700m contract on the Integrated Gas Development expansion in Abu Dhabi. A planned oil storage facility in Fujairah also contributed to the market’s 1.9 per cent rise.

Project updates 
  Project name Project status
Iraq Nibras petrochemicals complex Study
Kuwait Special needs school complex On hold
Oman Omagine project Design
Saudi Arabia Rabigh cement plant expansion Main contract bid
UAE Bluewaters Island Execution
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Combined with an active real estate market and infrastructure investments, the UAE projects market has surged ahead of Saudi Arabia, showing the biggest year-on-year increase, at 15 per cent.

Saudi Arabia posted a drop of 3.6 per cent, mainly due to budget changes. Aside from a desalination plant in Jeddah, few major schemes have been announced. Authorities are still deciding how to spend an extra $5.3bn of investment that King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has allocated to the power and water sector.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
UAE Dubai Electricity & Water Authority Solar innovation centre 19-Feb
Qatar Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) Ras Laffan independent water project 23-Feb
UAE Nakheel Palm Gateway 01-Mar
Oman Public Authority for Water & Electricity Wadi Dayqah treatment plant 16-Mar
UAE Dubai Electricity & Water Authority Hassyan power plant 26-Mar
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Oman saw a 1.4 per cent dip in its projects market as unconventional oil and gas schemes begin to look less feasible. However, the launch of major infrastructure projects mitigated the contraction.

Kuwait recorded a 0.5 per cent fall as public spending dips in response to low oil prices. But with $11.6bn of hydrocarbons schemes planned to come through in the first half of 2015, it is likely to be a busy year in the country.

Qatar’s projects market contracted by 0.3 per cent as it limits fresh investment before the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

In numbers

$11bn Value of Iraq’s Nibras petrochemicals plant

$5.3bn Value of Saudi Arabia’s extra allocation to power and water sector

$700m Value of Tecnicas Reunidas’ Integrated Gas Development contract in Abu Dhabi