The total value of major projects planned or under way in the Gulf on the 28 December was $2.82 trillion, a fall of 0.7 per cent on the previous week, according to the latest Gulf projects index. The main reason for the slide is that the value of projects put on hold or completed was lower than the value of new projects launched.

Despite the launch of five new projects worth a total of $2.6bn being launched in the region, 26 projects worth a total $16bn were put on hold, and 22 projects totalling $5.2bn were completed.

The project index showed that the bulk of the region’s decrease was due to a 0.9 per cent fall in the total value of projects planned or under way in the GCC, which accounts for about 76 per cent of the Gulf projects market. Kuwait was the only GCC state to not witness a fall in its projects index.

Qatar’s projects market witnessed the largest fall in the GCC. The total value of projects planned or under way in the state dropped by 2.1 per cent. This can largely be attributed to a $5bn water recycling plant being put on hold.

The UAE’s project market saw a decline of 1.2 per cent as 19 projects worth a total of $8.3bn were put on hold. Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest construction projects market, saw its index slide by 0.7 per cent as 10 projects were completed.

The overall projects index is still positive when compared with the previous year, with the Gulf market achieving a 1.8 per cent year-on-year increase.

Iraq retains its position as the region’s fastest growing market by recording a 73.6 per cent year-on-year increase.