The Gulf Projects Index fell 0.5 per cent in the period between 6 June and 3 July, as low oil prices and regional instability continue to weigh on the market.

Iraq’s projects market suffered the most, contracting by 3.2 per cent. It is now down 25.8 per cent year-on-year, as the government struggles to push back against the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis). The group still controls Mosul and other areas of Iraq as it marks a year since the city’s capture.

In numbers

25.8 per cent Fall in value of Iraq projects market since Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) captured Mosul

$12.6bn Value of projects put on hold or cancelled in Iraq

$1bn Value of projects revived in Iran

Iraq’s decline was due to several industrial and downstream oil schemes, worth a total of $12.6bn, being put on hold or cancelled.

Bahrain also saw a 1.9 per cent drop in the value of its projects market, as government deficits continue to grow. The planned Economic Industrial City, which was intended to provide nearly 250,000 jobs, is showing no signs of progress.

Qatar’s market recorded a 0.9 per cent contraction as project completions cancelled out the value of new schemes in the real estate sector.

Project updates this week
  Project name Project status
Iraq Economic Industrial City On hold
Iraq Nibras Complex in Basra On hold
Saudi Arabia Ras Tanura Refinery Clean Fuel Project Revived
Saudi Arabia Yanbu Industrial City Power Plant: phase 5 and 6 Complete
UAE Ras Al Khaimah Sulphuric Acid Project (SAP) New Project
For further information visit

Iran was the only country to see its projects market expand, in anticipation of an agreement of a deal with the West on its nuclear programme. About $1bn-worth of schemes were revived, including, most notably, the country’s railway programme.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market, saw a 0.1 per cent rise in value as the government continues to increase spending on infrastructure. Plans for the $13bn Jeddah Metro are taking shape, while major oil schemes have been revived.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Saudi Arabia Metro Jeddah Company Obhur Bridge 26-Jul
UAE Investment Corporation of Dubai Atlantis Resort 28-Jul
Oman Oman Power & Water Procurement Company Sohar 3/Ibri independent power project (IPP) 02-Aug
Saudi Arabia Saudi Electricity Company/Saudi Aramco Fadhili IPP 31-Aug
UAE Roads & Transport Authority Route 2020 metro extension 06-Dec
For further information visit

However, year-on-year growth in the kingdom’s projects market has fallen to 5.9 per cent, from more than 15 per cent at the start of 2015.

The UAE’s projects market lost 0.2 per cent of its value, despite the launch of more than $1bn of new industrial schemes and good progress being made on major real estate projects. Stalled and completed real estate schemes led to an overall contraction.

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