The Gulf Projects Index rose by 0.6 per cent in the week ending 26 February, with Iraq in particular growing by an impressive 4.9 per cent.

The total value of schemes in the GCC stands at $2.7 trillion, an increase of $900bn on the same period five years ago, when the total value was $1.8 trillion. Despite the gains, the GCC projects market is down 2.5 per cent year-on-year.

In numbers

$2.7 trillion Total value of projects on the Gulf index

4.9% Growth in value of Iraq’s projects market

2.5% Decline in value of GCC projects index

The UAE and Kuwait all saw contractions in value. The UAE’s $2bn Dubai South Commercial City scheme remains inactive. The on-hold Satah al-Razboot (Sarb) package 3, valued at $600m, and the inactive extension of the College of Medicine & Health Science in Al-Ain, valued at $50m, both contributed to the UAE’s decline. 

Projects planned or under way, 26 February 2016
Country 26-Feb-16 19-Feb-16 % change on week 27-Feb-15 % change on year
Bahrain 72,969 73,005 0.0 65,538 11.4
Kuwait 255,084 255,258 -0.1 230,071 10.9
Oman 169,834 169,282 0.3 159,265 6.3
Qatar 284,107 283,472 0.2 281,906 0.6
Saudi Arabia 1,015,870 1,012,644 0.3 1,179,277 -14.1
UAE 850,786 852,738 -0.2 797,272 7.0
GCC 2,648,650 2,646,399 0.1 2,713,329 -2.5
Iran 263,661 263,341 0.1 189,609 38.9
Iraq 375,315 357,918 4.9 413,864 -13.5
Gulf Total 3,287,626 3,267,658 0.6 3,316,802 -1.5
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Bahrain’s decrease was a result of the inactivity of Manama’s $100m Dragon City Mall development, as well as a $20m water desalination plant.

A total of $258m-worth of projects was cancelled in Saudi Arabia, with the shelving of the $200m Mecca Area Crisis & Disaster Management Centre contributing a large part of this sum. The cancellation of a $58m interchange improvement programme in Jubail contributed the rest.

In Qatar, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) cancelled a $35m university scheme in Doha.

Project updates this week
Country Project name Status
Bahrain Diyar al-Muharraq: urban development Budget change
Iraq Iraq strategic crude oil export pipeline: Haditha-Aqaba pipeline Revived
Oman Dibba-Lima-Khasab road New project
Saudi Arabia Mecca Area Crisis & Disaster Management Centre Cancelled
UAE Dubai South: commercial city Inactive
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There are a total of $6.6bn of projects on hold across the region, with Iraq contributing the most to that number. The war-torn country has $4.5bn of schemes on hold.

Despite that, Iraq was also responsible for the greatest number of revived projects last week, with $22.1bn of schemes brought back online.  The largest of these were the Haditha-Aqaba pipeline, valued at $10bn, the Basra-Haditha pipeline, valued at $8bn, and the Imam Hussein International airport in Karbala, valued at $2.5bn.