The Gulf Projects Index rose by 0.7 per cent in the week ending 28 August 2015, to reach its highest ever level, at $3.43 trillion. This follows a month of uninterrupted growth in August.

Once again, Iran was the main driver of growth, as its projects market grew 6.9 per cent, or $15.7bn, week-on-week. Its value is now only 2.9 per cent down year-on-year, as the market prepares for the prospect of lifting sanctions in 2016. Iran is hoping for billions in investment in its oil and gas industry.

In numbers this week:

$2.5bn The cost of phase one of the Sharjah Waterfront project

$6.4bn Growth in the UAE’s project market in the week ending 28 August

6.9 per cent Growth in Iran’s project market in the week ending 28 August

Bahrain saw the largest relative expansion in its projects market, by 0.9 per cent. New housing and real estate projects were an important component, as well as oil infrastructure investment.

Project updates this week
  Project name Project status
Iran Golshan gas and Ferdowsi oil and gas fields  Revived
Saudi Arabia Hasbah sour gas field expansion Main contract bid
Saudi Arabia Security forces housing project Main contract bid
UAE Jebel Ali drainage tunnel: package 1 & 2 Design
UAE Sharjah Waterfront City Revived
For further information visit

The UAE recorded 0.8 per cent growth, or $6.4bn, in its projects market over the week, the largest increase in real terms. The revival of Sharjah Oasis Development Company’s multibillion-dollar Sharjah Waterfront project was a huge boost. The first phase will cost about $2.5bn.

Other real estate schemes, such as the $273m Langham Place Downtown Dubai hotel, also kept the market moving.

Qatar’s projects market experienced the biggest contraction of the week, down 0.5 per cent equating to $1.4bn, despite progress on the $45bn Lusail Development.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Saudi Arabia Metro Jeddah Company Obhur Bridge 10-Sep
UAE Dubai Electicity & Water Authority Hassyan 400kV substation 30-Sep
Qatar Kahramaa Phase 13 transmission and distribution programme 01-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 value of Kuwait’s project market also fell, by 0.2 per cent, despite a steady stream of awards and tender news. The country is working through a backlog of announced projects, and is still up 8.4 per cent year-on-year.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest market, recorded a 0.1 per cent expansion as the kingdom prepares to develop its offshore oil and gas fields. Numerous real estate, transport and utilities projects supported the rise, as Riyadh continues to invest in development projects. For example, Saudi Aramco’s $1.8bn Ajyal residential development in South Dhahran saw a major contract award.

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