Gulf index stalls on Saudi Arabia decline

23 March 2015

Kingdom cancels out gains made by Bahrain and Qatar

The Gulf Projects Index showed little change in the week ending 20 March, falling 0.1 per cent as all eyes focused on Egypt.

Saudi Arabia’s projects market slumped by 0.9 per cent, its lead as the region’s largest market driving the Gulf index down slightly. The completion of schemes including the $20bn Sadara petrochemicals project in Jubail was the main cause. A total of $550m of new infrastructure schemes was not enough to compensate.

Project updates
 Project nameProject status
IranSouth Pars gas field development: phase 12 – offshoreComplete
IraqBasra to Imam Khomeini rail link: phase 2Revived
KuwaitShuaiba lube oil re-refining plantNew project
Saudi ArabiaJubail petrochemicals complex: aromatics packageComplete
Saudi ArabiaRawabi Rumah in RiyadhOn hold
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Bahrain’s projects market made the largest gain, 1.9 per cent, as Manama laid out its plans for billions of dollars worth of public-private partnership housing in Muharraq and other areas, and GCC-funded infrastructure development such as the airport expansion. An 11.3 per cent year-on-year gain suggests the Bahraini market is, not for the first time, promising a possible recovery from years of political instability.

Qatar recorded a 1.4 per cent expansion as it received news that it could hold the Fifa World Cup in December 2022. Doha can now move forward in earnest with World Cup schemes, which go well beyond stadium construction. Transport and infrastructure works such as water reservoirs contributed more than $800m of the $4bn increase. Real estate projects contributed another $260m.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Electricity Company Duba power plant2 Apr
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Electricity Company Waad al-Shamal power plant 5 Apr
UAENakheelAl-Furjan community centre5 Apr
OmanRaecoHarweel wind farm12 Apr
QatarQatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa)Ras Laffan independent water project10 May
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Kuwait’s projects market grew by 0.2 per cent, on $850m in new schemes. This makes the country the largest growth area year-on-year, with an 11.7 per cent rise.

The UAE’s projects market also grew by 0.2 per cent, despite predictions of a slowdown. This was based on real estate activities, as well as the $133m award to build Dubai’s Union Museum.

Iran stabilised, with a 0.1 per cent increase in the value of its projects market, as the oil sector prepares for a hoped-for nuclear deal.

In numbers

$550m Value of new infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia

$4bn Growth in Qatar’s projects market

11.7% Year-on-year growth in Kuwait’s projects market

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