Contract awards this week

Biggest contract: $1.2bn

Contract awarded to the local/Belgian Dredging International and Middle East Dredging Company (Medco) to build phase 2 of the New Doha Port project in Qatar

Value of major contract awards: $1.7bn

Number of contracts awarded: 5

For the third consecutive week, strong growth in Kuwait’s projects market has contributed to a rise in the Gulf Projects Index. The index climbed 0.3 per cent in the week up to 13 March.

The value of projects planned or under way in Kuwait increased by 1.8 per cent to $198.6bn. The addition of five new projects worth a total of $9.5bn contributed to the growth of its market.

The largest new project added to its index was a $6bn expansion scheme planned at the new airport. Kuwait retains its position as the region’s fastest growing market for 2012, recording a year-on-year increase of 31 per cent.

The UAE’s projects sector also recorded strong growth, with the value of its market growing by 1.2 per cent. The increase was the result of the launch of seven new projects worth a total of $6.3bn and the revival of a $1bn real estate project in Abu Dhabi. The biggest new project is a $5bn oil field scheme in Abu Dhabi.

The picture was not quite as positive for the rest of the GCC, with Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia all recording losses in the value of their projects indexes.

Oman recorded the biggest fall, with the value of its projects sector dropping by 3.2 per cent to $113.5bn. The drop was caused by three projects worth a total of $4bn being put on hold.

Qatar’s projects market declined by 0.5 per cent as a $1bn petrochemical project was cancelled and a $500m petrochemical scheme was put on hold.

Outside the GCC, Iraq and Iran both recorded growth in their projects sectors.

Iraq saw the biggest rise, with the value of its projects market increasing by 1.2 per cent to $309bn. The launch of 20 new projects worth $3.8bn contributed to the increase.