Iraq records biggest increase in Middle East

02 August 2011

Growth in the Iraq and Saudi projects markets lifts Gulf projects index by 0.3 per cent

Biggest contract

$1.2bn: Contract awarded to Saudi Binladin Group to build a 1 kilometre-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah

$1.2bn: Value of major contract awards

1: Number of contracts awarded
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Growth in the Iraq and Saudi projects markets resulted in the Gulf projects index rising by 0.3 per cent to $2.4 trillion for the week up until 2 August.

Iraq’s projects market recorded the biggest increase in the region, climbing by 1.2 per cent to $340.3bn. The rise can be attributed to the launch of three new projects worth $725m and the revival of two projects on the planned Baghdad metro scheme, worth a combined total of $3.3bn. The largest new project to be added to the index was Iraq’s $625m Nineveh power plant.

Project updates
 Project NameProject Status
Saudi ArabiaQassim to Mecca RoadTender
QatarAmphibious ResortDesign
UAEJafza Convention Centre ComplexOn Hold
BahrainEquestrian and Horse Racing ClubCancelled
IraqBaghdad Metro – First LineDesign
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The GCC market, which accounts for about 74 per cent of the total Gulf index, increased by 0.1 per cent for the last week in July. This was mainly due to growth of 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent in Saudi Arabia and Qatar respectively. The increase in Saudi Arabia’s market was the result of 30 new schemes worth $2.9bn being added to the projects index. The largest of these is the estimated $980m Qassim to Mecca road project for the Transport Ministry. The new schemes also included a $180m construction project for a student accommodation building at the King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia.

The rise in the value of Qatar’s index is due to the launch of the new $500m amphibious real-estate development, which includes a semi-submerged hotel.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
OmanMinistry of Transport & Communications  Batinah Expressway (package 2)22 August
IraqLukoilTwo central processing facilities31 August 
QatarQatar Rail CompanyDoha Metro 11 September
KuwaitHealth MinistryAl-Amiri hospital11 September
UAEAbu Dhabi Airports CompanyMidfield Terminal11 September
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The political uncertainty in Bahrain continues to have a negative impact on its projects market, with the index dropping by a further 0.1 per cent. The total value of projects planned or under way in Bahrain has now fallen from $80.6bn in early March to $59.8bn.

Overall, the Gulf projects index is 14 per cent down on the same period last year. Iraq maintains its position as the region’s fastest growing market, recording a 50 per cent year-on-year increase.

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