The projects market in Saudi Arabia fell by 0.5 per cent in the week ending 16 October, dragging with it the GCC index by -0.2 per cent and the overall index by -0.07 per cent.

The positive performance of the projects markets in Iran and Iraq, which gained 1.08 per cent and 0.11 per cent respectively, cushioned the entire index from a more significant fall.

$8.6bn Value of cancelled North al-Haram project in Saudi Arabia

25 New projects announced in the UAE

$2bn Total value of Tehran-North highway project in Iran

This also marks a major recovery for Iran as its projects market suffered a 7.3 per cent fall two weeks earlier.

Project updates this week
  Project name Project status
Iran Tehran-North Highway: sections 2 and 3 Execution
Iraq Liwan housing complex in Nasiriyah Execution
Qatar Lusail Development: Commercial Boulevard Execution
Saudi Arabia Ras Tanura gas plant Prequalification
UAE Dar Wasl residential development Complete
For further information visit

The revival of a $600m urea and ammonia plant by the local Lordegan Petrochemical Company as well as the addition of the estimated $2bn Tehran-North highway scheme into the Iranian projects market triggered its positive performance during the week. The highway, which connects the capital to the provinces lying along the Caspian Sea, has been under planning and construction for the past 20 years.

The slight improvement in Iraq’s market is underpinned by the resumption of the Liwan housing complex in Nasiriyah as well as the local South Oil Company’s new seawater pumping stations.

The fall in Saudi Arabia’s market is mainly attributed to the cancellation of the $8.6bn Shamiya North al-Haram mixed-use scheme in Mecca, along with the $350m second phase of the National Water Company’s Al-Hayer wastewater plant in Riyadh.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Kuwait Kuwait Oil Company Jurassic gas project – development of three oil fields 27-Oct
Saudi Arabia Municipal & Rural Affairs Ministry Supply of waste disposal and swamp backfilling equipment 27-Oct
Saudi Arabia Saudi Electricity Company/Saudi Aramco Fadhili independent power project 01-Nov
Kuwait Ministry of Electricity & Water Conversion of Subiya power plant to a combined-cycle facility 03-Nov
UAE Roads & Transport Authority Route 2020 metro extension 06-Dec
For further information visit

Inclusion of new projects such as the $4bn Ras Tanura gas plant in the Eastern Province failed to compensate for the sheer size of the cancelled Shamiya scheme.

Next to Iran, Bahrain made the strongest gain during the week. The growth was made on the back of the $510m Riffa Views project being brought back to the market by the local Arcapita Bank.

The UAE projects market increased marginally compared with the previous week. Some 25 new schemes worth an estimated total of $2.5bn were nearly offset by a huge number of projects whose budgets were revised downward, resulting in a $947m adjustment; the completion of some $350m-worth of schemes; as well as some $482m-worth of projects turning inactive.

Oman’s projects market fell nearly a quarter of a per cent primarily due to three schemes with a combined net value of $450m – the largest being the $250m Sohar Sugar refinery – being put on hold.

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