The Iraq project market saw the biggest drop on the Gulf Projects Index falling 1.6 per cent amid concerns about Baghdad’s ability to fend off the expansion of the Sunni militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), which has declared a new Islamic caliphate that bridges Iraq and Syria.

The contraction in Iraq’s projects market weighed on the regional index for the Gulf as a whole, which finished the week ending on 12 August on $3.34 trillion, rising just 0.1 per cent.

As the crisis in Iraq has escalated, the US has sent increased numbers of military advisers, as well as carrying out air strikes on Isis positions and reportedly sending weapons to Kurdish fighters in the north.

Project update this week
Country Project Name Status
Iraq Bazian Refinery expansio: phase 3 On Hold
Iraq Siba Field Early Production Execution
Oman Batinah Expressway Execution
Saudi Arabia Yanbu Export Refinery: Gasoline Block  Complete
UAE Nasr Full Field Development: phase 2 – package 3 Execution
For further information visit

The chaos has seen billions of dollars-worth of projects put on hold, including projects in the oil regions that border Iraqi Kurdistan in the north of the country, and around the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

A total of $8.1bn was wiped off Iraq’s project index over the week that ended on 12 August. It has now seen declines for a total of five consecutive weeks, losing $28.4bn in value since 8 July.

Among the projects put on hold during the past week due to the fighting was the $500m planned expansion of the Bazian Refinery, 25km from the Kurdistan border. Front-end engineering and design (feed) for the project was completed in June and the tender for the main contract was due to be issued in January 2015.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Oman Oman Power & Water Procurement Company Qurrayat water project 08-Sep
Saudi Arabia Mecca Municipality Mecca Metro: phase 1 08-Sep
Dubai Dubai Electricity and Water Authority M station expansion 15-Sep
Kuwait Ministry of Electicity and Water Overhead lines – various locations 16-Sep
Oman Transport & Communications Ministry Batinah Expressway: package 8 22-Sep
For further information visit

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran both saw growth over the week, helping to offset the declines in Iraq.

The projects market in Saudi Arabia expanded by 0.3 per cent, buoyed by several new schemes including a $250m electricity substation.

The UAE projects market grew by 0.7 per cent as a series of new projects were announced, including a $2.1bn plan to develop the offshore Umm al-Lulu oil field, located 30km northwest of Abu Dhabi in the Arabian Gulf.

Iran’s project market jumped by 1.8 per cent, with renewed interest in a long-delayed pipeline project helping it to see a second consecutive week of gains.

Contract awards

Number of projects awarded: 7

Total value of projects: $588m

Biggest project: Hyundai wins $250m Saudi substation contract