The highlight of the projects market in 2013 has been the transport sector with the value of schemes in the Top 100 projects in construction rising 18.3 per cent, to $51.2bn.

The biggest transport project to join the Top 100 this year is the Doha metro scheme, as the Qatari capital and other cities across the region seek to emulate Dubai, Cairo and Tehran that already have operating metro systems.

In late May and early June, Qatar Railway Company (QRail) awarded $5.4bn of contracts for work on the underground sections of the Red and Green lines and the two major stations. These awards have offset what has otherwise been a disappointing 2013 for the projects market. The value of the Top 100 projects in construction stage in the Middle East has fallen for the second quarter in a row, down from $272.7bn in the first quarter to $263.7bn in the second, a drop of 3.3 per cent. This is despite almost $36bn-worth of projects entering the list in the past three months. 

Looking forward to the rest of this year, work on regional metro projects should boost the projects market as construction companies await the award of several major contracts.

By the end of this year, Saudi Arabia should also have awarded the contracts for the construction of six lines on the Riyadh metro, and QRail should have awarded the main contract for tunnelling works on the Gold line and other elevated sections packages.

Looking further forward, metro projects will continue to be a key part of the Top 100. In Saudi Arabia, Mecca, Medina and Jeddah are all appointing consultants for their proposed metro networks.

In Abu Dhabi, contractors have attended an industry briefing and have begun to form consortiums to tender for work on both metro and light rail networks that are planned for the UAE capital.