Gulf projects market still flat despite Bahrain boost

03 October 2011

The island kingdom’s projects market rises for the first time in 18 weeks, climbing almost 7 per cent

Contract awards

Biggest contract: $518m

Awarded to Australia’s Leighton Offshore for the final stage of an oil export terminal expansion near the southern city of Basra in Iraq

$1.2bn: Value of major contract awards

5: Number of contracts awarded

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A 6.7 per cent rise in the value of Bahrain’s projects market was unable to prevent the Gulf Projects Index falling by 0.6 per cent to $2.42 trillion for the week up to 4 October.

The first growth for Bahrain’s projects market in 18 weeks came as five out of the Gulf’s eight states recorded a drop in the value of their projects.

The reason for the growth in Bahrain was an increase in the budget for the planned Bapco refinery expansion project, which is now expected to cost about $6bn. The plans for the refinery project are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

Project updates 
 Project NameProject Status
BahrainFibreglass PlantStudy
QatarMeltshop UpgradeDesign
IranZanjan Power PlantComplete
UAEDubai Coal Fired Power PlantStudy
KuwaitSpecial Needs School ComplexDesign
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The UAE was the only other Gulf state to record any significant growth in its projects market, which grew by 0.1 per cent as five real-estate projects worth a total of $2bn were revived. Oman’s projects sector recorded the biggest drop in the GCC, with the value of projects planned or under way in the sultanate falling by about 1.4 per cent. The main contributor to the fall was the completion of a $600m steam driven project.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market, recorded a 0.3 per cent decrease in the value of its projects index as three projects worth a total of $631m were put on hold. About five projects worth a total of $446m were completed.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
Saudi ArabiaHealth MinistryKing Faisal hospital expansion15-Oct
UAEAbu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) Al-Ain hospital15-Oct
UAE Abu Dhabi Airports Company Midfield Terminal   13-Nov
KuwaitDirectorate General of Civil AviationNew Runway13-Nov
Oman Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran)Muscat convention centre infrastructure28-Nov
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Outside the GCC, Iran and Iraq both recorded sharp falls in projects market value. Iran’s projects index fell by 3.1 per cent as a $352m polystyrene plant project was completed and three projects worth a total of $5bn were put on hold.

The total value of projects planned or under way in Iraq fell by 1.7 per cent. Despite the drop, Iraq maintains its position as the only projects market registering significant growth over the past 12 months, recording a 46 per cent year-on-year increase.

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