As Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with several public and privately funded construction and infrastructure projects, the kingdom remains the region’s largest construction market. While the UAE, in particular Dubai, has witnessed a marked pick-up in activity in the past 12 months, which will be further boosted by preparations for the Expo 2020, Saudi Arabia will continue to be the most active market over the next decade, due to the sheer size of its population and industrial growth.

With the kingdom’s population recording growth rates of more than 3 per cent a year, demand for housing and social infrastructure such as hospitals and schools is rising. The latest tenders from the Health Ministry for two major hospital projects is evidence that opportunities for contractors in social infrastructure projects are abundant.

Although the government remains the dominant client, the private sector is getting involved too. The CEO of Jeddah Economic Company told MEED’s Arabian World Construction Summit that work on Kingdom Tower, which will be the world’s tallest tower, is scheduled to be completed in 2018. It is forecasting investment of up to SR13bn ($3.5bn) on Jeddah’s Kingdom City by 2020, and with billions of dollars of other real estate and industrial schemes planned at various locations throughout the kingdom, work opportunities will arise from both the public and private sectors.