An increase in budget for Kuwait’s long-planned project to upgrade the country’s refineries underpinned another week of strong growth for the Gulf Projects Index, which rose by 0.2 per cent to $3.2 trillion in the seven days up to 18 February.

Kuwait recorded the biggest increase in the index, as the value of schemes planned or under way rose by about $4bn or 1.9 per cent.

Project updates this week
  Project Name Project Status
Kuwait Al-Zour South power plant upgrade Complete
Oman Salalah port: bulk liquid storage facility Prequalification
Qatar Mesaieed power plant (Facility D) Main contract bid
Qatar Mesaieed water plant (Facility D) Main contract bid
UAE Emirates Park Towers: JW Marriott Marquis Complete
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The growth was largely driven by a total increase of nearly $8bn in the budgets for Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s Clean Fuels Project and phase 1 of Wafra Joint Operations’ oil project in the Divided Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Oman posted the second-biggest increase in the index, with the value of schemes planned or under way in the sultanate rising by about $400m, a 0.3 per cent hike. This was driven by the launch of a $200m project to build a liquid bulk storage facility at the Port of Salalah. 

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market, was the only other country in the index to see an improvement, as the value of its projects sector rose by 0.1 per cent – about $850m. The kingdom is the GCC’s fastest-growing market, with the value of schemes planned or under way up 36.9 per cent over the past 12 months. 

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Lebanon  Council for Development & Reconstruction Wastewater treatment plant 6 Mar
Oman Transport & Communications Ministry Road dualisation works 10 Mar
Kuwait Higher Council for Planning & Development Operation and maintenance of government building 1 Apr
Lebanon  Council for Development & Reconstruction Restoration works at Saida and Baalbek 15 Apr
Kuwait Public Works Ministry Kuwait airport terminal 24 Apr
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Bahrain’s projects index fell 0.5 per cent as three schemes worth a total of $350m were placed on hold or were cancelled.

Outside the GCC, both Iran and Iraq ended the week unchanged, although both markets are on very different trajectories. Iran’s struggling projects sector has shrunk 19.3 per cent year-on-year. By contrast, Iraq continues to be the fastest-growing country in the index, as the value of schemes planned or under way in the country has risen by 84.2 per cent, compared with the same period last year.

Contract awards this week

Biggest contract $190m

Awarded to the local Al-Qabdah Building Contracting to build a 106-storey residential tower in Dubai Marina

$190m Value of major contract awards

1 Number of contracts awarded