Protests weigh on Gulf projects market

28 March 2011

Political uncertainty across the Middle East is taking its toll on growth of Gulf countries’ indexes

Contract awards

Biggest contract: $18m

Awarded to Riviera Boat Industrial Investment to supply tug and pilot boats for the first phase of the new Khalifa Port

$18m:Value of major contract awards

2: Number of contracts awarded

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Political unrest continues to cause uncertainty in the region’s projects market, leading the total value of projects planned or under way in the region to fall by 0.6 per cent for the week to 30 March.

With the exception of UAE and Iran, every market in the region suffered a drop in the value of their projects market as the value of new projects announced was outnumbered by the value of projects put on hold or cancelled.

A total of 18 projects worth $2.9bn were completed, and 15 projects worth $8.8bn were put on hold or cancelled. Eight new projects worth $1.4bn were added to the index.

Project updates
 Project NameProject Status
KuwaitKhiran Power & Desalination PlantStudy
Saudi ArabiaAl-Hayer Wastewater Conveyor (Tunnel)Tender
KuwaitAl Zour North PipelinesConstruction
UAEMarfa Security Search Department (K9)Design
QatarDoha Convention TowerOn Hold
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The GCC projects market, which accounts for about 73 per cent of the Gulf projects market, fell by 0.6 per cent. Despite so far being immune to the protests, Qatar’s index recorded the biggest drop with the value of projects falling by 1.9 per cent. This can be explained by four real-estate projects worth a total of $3.4bn being put on hold.

Saudi Arabia, the Gulf’s largest projects market, recorded a 0.7 per cent drop in its index, which fell as oil and gas schemes worth $3.4bn were cancelled. The kingdom’s market was further lowered by the completion of the $1.2bn Saudi Kayan Jubail Phenolics Plant.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
UAEAldar PropertiesYas Mall7 Apr
Saudi ArabiaSaudi AramcoKing Adbullah Sports City Stadium14 Apr
Kuwait                  Kuwait UniversityCollege of Science and Faculty Club26 Apr
UAEEtihad Rail CompanyCivil engineering work4 May
UAEAbu Dhabi Airport CompanyMidfield terminal 10 Jul
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Outside the GCC, Iraq’s projects market recorded a fall of 1.2 per cent due to a substantial budget change on the Shell Basra crude oil export terminal project. Iraq maintains its position as the region’s strongest-growing market, with a 55.5 per cent year-on-year increase.

The current political unrest continues to affect the growth opportunities for the region’s projects market, with the index 10.8 per cent down on the same period last year. The GCC projects market recorded an 18.2 per cent year-on-year fall.

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