Saudi Arabia continues to decline

26 October 2015

Iran and Qatar only projects markets to record growth in value

The Gulf Projects Index showed no change in the week ending 23 October, with the majority of projects markets posting minor contractions.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market, contracted by 0.2 per cent week-on-week. This was due to the completion of the billion-dollar Oman border road scheme, as well as the cancellation of education projects. New real estate schemes and industrial area projects were not enough to push the kingdom into growth.

The Saudi projects market is now down 0.9 per cent year-on-year as Riyadh looks for savings and cancels any non-essential spending.

Project updates this week
 Project nameProject status
IranTehran residential town projectExecution
KuwaitAl-Zour North IWPP: phase 1 – power plantComplete
OmanSohar Refinery: bitumen facilityExecution
Saudi ArabiaRiyadh Land: Kingdom OasisDesign
UAEResidential development at Nad al-Sheba Third Execution
For further information visit

Iran was the only country to make major gains, growing by 1 per cent. The $2.4bn in new schemes includes two international airports in Ahvaz and Bushehr, and a €900m ($991m) Kharazmi new town near Tehran developed by South Korea’s Daelim Industrial. Iran’s parliament and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have both approved the nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of world powers, and investors expect sanctions to be lifted from early 2016.

Qatar’s projects market expanded by 0.2 per cent on the back of $500m of new real estate and infrastructure schemes. The market is down by 1.2 per cent year-on-year, however, as Doha focuses on projects needed for the Fifa World Cup in 2022.

In numbers this week

0.9 per cent Year-on-year fall in the value of Saudi Arabia’s projects market

$991m Cost of Kharazmi new town project in Iran

$2.4bn Value of new projects in Iran

Kuwait recorded the largest week-on-week fall in the value of its projects market, at 0.5 per cent. The decline was mainly due to the completion of the $2bn Al-Zour North 1 independent water and power project (IWPP), the first in the country.

Kuwait remains the fastest-growing projects market in the region. It is 20.2 per cent up on the same period last year, thanks to the revival of public-private partnership (PPP) projects after the success of the Al-Zour IWPP.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
KuwaitMinistry of Electricity & WaterConversion of Subiya power plant to a combined-cycle facility03-Nov
UAEDubai MunicipalityJebel Ali sewage treatment plant expansion22-Nov
Saudi ArabiaSaudi AramcoHasbah gas fieldLate Nov
Saudi ArabiaSaline Water Conversion CorporationJeddah 4 reverse osmosis desalination plant01-Dec
UAERoads & Transport AuthorityRoute 2020 metro extension06-Dec
For further information visit

The UAE saw no change in the value of its projects market, despite high turnover in the real estate market, with more than 20 new schemes and 15 completions.

Oman saw a 0.1 per cent contraction in its projects market, as infrastructure schemes slowed and $170m of real estate projects were completed.


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