The Gulf Projects Index inched up 0.3 per cent in the week ending 12 February, as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain posted significant growth.

In numbers

$7.7bn Value of projects added to the Saudi market

$2.8bn Value of new projects added to the UAE market

30 Completed projects across the region

 Iran’s projects market continued its year-on-year growth of 33.7 per cent, pushed on by the wave of interest in the country since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in January.

Contract awards in Iran included the $2.7bn Tehran-Qom-Isfahan high-speed rail network and a $60m ore complex. No schemes were put on hold or cancelled this week.

Projects planned or under way 12 February 2016
Country 12-Feb-16 05-Feb-16 % change on week 13-Feb-15 % change on year
Bahrain 72,964 72,319 0.9 65,036 11.2
Kuwait 255,342 256,603 -0.5 216,909 18.3
Oman 167,001 168,195 -0.7 158,036 6.4
Qatar 283,696 282,933 0.3 279,367 1.3
Saudi Arabia 1,014,177 1,007,849 0.6 1,170,075 -13.9
UAE 853,307 852,777 0.1 829,132 2.9
GCC 2,646,487 2,640,676 0.2 2,718,555 -2.9
Iran 262,901 259,124 1.5 193,804 33.7
Iraq 358,008 356,800 0.3 412,561 -13.5
Gulf Total 3,267,396 3,256,600 0.3 3,324,920 -2.1
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Saudi Arabia grew by 0.6 per cent, with the addition of $7.7bn-worth of projects. Earlier this month, Dubai-based developer Majid al-Futtaim said it planned to invest $3.7bn to develop two shopping malls in Riyadh. The company plans to build Mall of Saudi in northern Riyadh, which will become the kingdom’s largest shopping mall, with a total land area of more than 866,000 square metres. It will be home to an indoor snow park. One scheme was cancelled and $159m of projects were put on hold in the kingdom this week.

The size of Bahrain’s market grew by 0.9 per cent. The expansion was mainly due to the addition of a $600m liquefied natural gas terminal coupled with no schemes being cancelled or put on hold.

The UAE witnessed a gain of 0.1 per cent, as $2.7bn of projects were added to the index. The UAE’s growth was limited as $789m of schemes were put on hold, including the local Arabtec’s $193m P-17 tower in Dubai.

Project updates this week
Country Project name Status
Iran Resalat Field Development On hold
Iran Tehran-Qom-Isfahan High-Speed Rail Network New project
Oman Yibal Khuff Sour Development Project: Onplot On hold
Saudi Arabia Mall of Saudi New project
UAE Mall of the Emirates Extension Complete
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The projects markets in Kuwait and Oman both witnessed contractions of 0.5 and 0.7 per cent respectively, despite year-on-year growth for both. Kuwait’s projects market has been growing at a rate of 18.3 per cent year-on-year, but the combination of a limited number of new projects entering the market and budget changes to some major schemes has slowed down growth.

Iraq, on the other hand, increased by 0.3 per cent following the recent announcement that authorities want to redevelop the Mosul dam at a cost of up to $2.5bn. The government is also building a $110m, 10-foot-high security wall around Baghdad in an attempt to defend against attacks by the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis).