Saudi Arabia and Iran drive index growth

28 July 2015

Iran’s projects market begins long climb after striking nuclear deal

The value of projects planned or under way in Saudi Arabia rose 1.4 per cent in the week ending 24 July, driving a 0.7 per cent expansion in the Gulf Projects Index.

The growth came from the addition to the MEED Projects database of several major schemes, such as the $700m Jeddah Bus Rapid Transit project, the King Abdullah Road scheme and work at the Ras Tanura refinery.

In numbers this week

7 New projects announced in Saudi Arabia

2 Cancelled projects in the UAE

5 Projects on hold across all markets covered in the Gulf Projects Index

Iran’s projects market also saw growth this week, expanding 1.9 per cent. The gain follows continued optimism in the market after Tehran announced it had reached an agreement on 14 July with world powers over its nuclear programme. The index was boosted by the revival of a $3bn aluminium smelter complex planned by India’s National Aluminium Company.

Bahrain’s projects market remained unchanged due to the completion of several real estate developments coupled with the fact that no new major projects were announced.

Project updates this week
 Project nameProject status
IranIran aluminium smelter complexRevived
OmanAuris HotelOn hold
QatarHamad PortBudget change
Saudi ArabiaJeddah Public Transportation ProgrammeNew project
UAEDubai Healthcare City: Azizi HotelInactive
For further information visit

For the UAE, the revival of several private real estate schemes has meant its projects market improved slightly, following a 0.1 per cent contraction last week.

Kuwait’s projects market stayed flat following a 0.3 per cent expansion the previous week, despite the announcement of a $200m housing scheme for 10,000 hotel staff. That project was offset by the completion of a $140m substation.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
UAEEmaar PropertiesCreek Harbour Towers17-Aug
UAEModern EleganceThe Scene Tower by Paramount23-Aug
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Electricity Company/Saudi AramcoFadhili independent power project31-Aug
Saudi ArabiaMetro Jeddah CompanyObhur Bridge10-Sep
UAERoads & Transport AuthorityRoute 2020 metro extension06-Dec
For further information visit

Qatar’s projects market was also broadly static, in spite of a number of schemes being announced, including a $1bn logistics hub in the Al-Wakrah area and major road projects totalling almost $500m.

Overall the Gulf index witnessed a 0.7 per cent increase, which is being fuelled by Iran’s resurgence and Saudi Arabia’s post-Ramadan pick-up.

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