Saudi Arabia saw the biggest gain in the Gulf Projects Index in the week ending 15 May, after a disappointing previous week. Not a single market declined as oil prices stayed above $60 a barrel, with the GCC climbing by 0.8 per cent and the Gulf growing by 0.7 per cent.

The 1.5 per cent expansion in Saudi Arabia’s projects market, the largest in the region, was driven by progress on the $20bn Heart of Jeddah mixed-use development. However, project completions and inactive schemes tempered the rise.

Project updates
  Project name Project status
Iraq Najebia gas turbine power plant Complete
Oman National railway  Main contract bid
Saudi Arabia Mecca Metro: phase 1 (lines B, C) – civil package 2 Main contract bid
UAE Al-Warsan waste-to-energy plant Revived
UAE Expo 2020: utilities and infrastructure development Design
For further information visit

Qatar’s projects market was the next biggest gainer, with 0.5 per cent growth, as the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) awarded $1.8bn of contracts for roads and the Inner Doha Resewerage Implementation Strategy. These and other infrastructure schemes necessary for the 2022 World Cup are also progressing, although future investment has been scaled back.

Iraq recorded a 0.4 per cent rise as the government pushes forward with housing schemes despite the ongoing conflict with the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Investment in the energy sector is likely to fall as Baghdad struggles to pay international firms.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
UAE Emaar Properties Vida Residence May-15
UAE Investment Corporation of Dubai Atlantis Resort Jun-15
Saudi Arabia Metro Jeddah Company Obhur Bridge Jul-15
Oman Oman Power & Water Procurement Company Sohar 3/Ibri independent power project (IPP) Aug-15
Saudi Arabia Saudi Electricity Company/Saudi Aramco Fadhili IPP 31-Aug
For further information visit

Oman’s projects market grew by 0.2 per cent, after Oman Rail started the prequalification process for the next section of its $15.6bn national railway. Power and water infrastructure schemes also contributed to the rise.

Kuwait also saw a rise of 0.2 per cent as investment programmes finally get under way, although further delays on the New Refinery Project are expected.

The UAE showed the smallest relative expansion in its projects market, of 0.1 per cent. The revival of the Al-Warsan waste-to-energy plant boosted the market, but a slowdown in real estate schemes meant this had a minor effect.

In numbers

1.5% Expansion in Saudi Arabia’s projects market

$15.6bn Estimated value of Oman’s national railway project

$1.8bn Value of contracts awarded by Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal)