Increases in the estimated budgeted value of projects planned or under way in Saudi Arabia and Iran drove up the Gulf Projects Index by 0.4 per cent in the week up to 27 May.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market, was the biggest gainer of the week, as the value of schemes planned or under way grew by 1.9 per cent as a result of an upward revision of $5.7bn in the budget of the King Abdullah Economic City project.

Also giving a major boost to the project sector in the kingdom was a $4.3bn increase in the budget of Saudi Electricity Company’s scheme to build a power plant at Ras Abu Qamis, located in the Eastern Province.

Saudi Arabia’s projects market has enjoyed a strong year to date and is now the fastest-growing market in the Gulf region, with the value of its projects index up 18.3 per cent year-on-year.

Iran’s project index rose 1.1 per cent due mainly to the resumption of a $2.5bn project by Persian Gulf Star Oil Company to set up a refinery in Bandar Abbas to process the condensates obtained from the South Pars field’s phases 6, 7 and 8.

Qatar’s projects market posted the biggest drop in the index, as the value of schemes planned or under way fell by 0.8 per cent. The decline was largely due to a $2bn drop in the estimated budget of Qatar Petroleum’s project to boost development at the Bul Hanine oil field.

Iraq recorded the second-
largest decline in the index, with the value of its schemes planned or under way decreasing by 0.5 per cent. The main
reason for the decline was a decision made by the Kurdistan Regional Government to put on hold a $2bn scheme to build a series of independent power projects.

Contract awards

Biggest contract $453m

Awarded to a joint venture of the local Gulf Contracting Company and Alec Qatar to build the second phase of Doha Festival City’s shopping mall

$1.3bn Value of major contract awards

5 Number of contracts awarded