Gulf projects market growth remains depressed

04 April 2011

Market continues to be depressed as political unrest in the Middle East shows no signs of abating

Contract awards

Biggest contract: $108.9m

The local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton wins contract to build Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank new headquarters in the UAE capital

$110m: Value of major contract awards

2: Number of contracts awarded

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The political uncertainty caused by the region’s democracy protests continues to have a dampening influence on the Gulf’s major projects market. The total value of projects planned or under way is down 10.4 per cent on the same period last year. For the GCC projects market, the index recorded a 17.7 per cent year-on-year fall, with the crash of Dubai’s real-estate sector being the biggest single contributing factor.

In the short term, the Gulf projects index remained flat for the week up until 6 April compared to the previous week, with the total value of projects planned or under way in the region remaining at $2.5 trillion. Only Saudi Arabia and Qatar achieved noticeable growth, with new schemes launched in both markets. In Saudi Arabia, nine new projects worth a total of $3.6bn were added this week to the MEED Projects database, which powers the Gulf Projects Index.

Project updates
 Project NameProject Status
KuwaitKuwait Soil Remediation ServicesTender
OmanMusandam Oil / Gas Processing PlantConstruction
QatarQatar Islamic Bank Headquarters BuildingDesign
Saudi ArabiaMadinah Knowledge Economic City: District CoolingOn Hold
UAEAbu Dhabi Islamic Bank HeadquartersConstruction
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This includes five new petrochemical projects worth a total of $2.5bn and a $700m steel billet plant in Dammam. The kingdom also announced $175m of new schemes to its projects market.

In Qatar, the projects market grew by 0.1 per cent as a new $150m development in Education City was announced. The UAE was the only GCC market to record a drop this week, with the total value of projects planned or under way falling by 0.1 per cent.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
Saudi ArabiaSaudi AramcoKing Adbullah Sports City Stadium14-Apr
Kuwait                  Kuwait UniversityCollege of Science and Faculty Club 26-Apr
Saudi ArabiaGeneral Authority of Civil AviationMedina Airport2-May
UAEEtihad Rail CompanyCivil engineering work4-May
UAEAbu Dhabi Airport CompanyMidfield Terminal10-Jul
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Three new projects this week worth a total of $200m were outnumbered by four projects worth a total of $940m that were completed and removed from the index.

Outside the GCC, Iran recorded a drop of 0.1 per cent as three projects worth a total of $350m were put on hold. Iraq maintains its position as the region’s strongest growing market, with a 55.5 per cent year-on-year increase.

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