The Gulf Projects Index rose 0.6 per cent in the week ending 24 April. The rise was led by a 1.7 per cent expansion in Saudi Arabia, while other countries performed less well.

Saudi Arabia’s projects market increased by $20.4bn, ending a month of declines. The growth was driven by power and water projects as the kingdom plans to invest nearly $19.9bn in 20 new schemes to keep up with rapidly growing demand in both sectors.

Iran recorded a rise of 0.9 per cent as schemes in the oil and industrial sectors prepare for the possible lifting of sanctions in June. However, Iran is still down by 13.7 per cent, or $28bn, year-on-year, and has had an uneven month since the initial nuclear agreement.

Project updates
  Project Name Project Status
Oman Revamp of Sohar Refinery Budget Change
Saudi Arabia South Madinah combined-cycle power plant: phase 1 New Project
Bahrain Manama Municipality: central market Revival
Iraq West Qurna-2 oil field development: Yamama reservoir On Hold
Qatar Qatar Foundation headquarters/strategic studies centre Complete
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Bahrain’s projects market also grew by 0.9 per cent as it continues to invest in water infrastructure. Real estate schemes also contributed to the growth, making Bahrain the largest year-on-year growth market at 16.8 per cent. However, it remains the region’s smallest market, worth $65.9bn.

Iraq saw a rare rise in its projects market, of 0.6 per cent, as multibillion-dollar housing contracts were awarded. Several major oil and gas schemes remain on hold.

Kuwait saw only a 0.2 per cent growth, in public sector projects, as delays continue on megaprojects.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Qatar Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) Ras Laffan independent water project (IPP) 10-May
UAE Investment Corporation of Dubai Atlantis Resort 21-Jun
Saudi Arabia Metro Jeddah Company Obhur Bridge 26-Jul
Oman Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP) Sohar 3/Ibri IPP 02-Aug
Saudi Arabia Saudi Electricity Company/Saudi Aramco Fadhili IPP 31-Aug
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Oman recorded the largest fall, of 1.8 per cent, in the value of its project market, due to completed projects and budget changes.

The UAE lost 0.3 per cent, or more than $2bn from the value of its projects market as real estate markets slow down and developers reconsider their future investments. The value of Qatar’s projects market fell by 0.2 per cent as the country prioritises 2022 World Cup infrastructure and delays other projects.

In numbers

$19.9bn The value of new power and water projects in Saudi Arabia

16.8 per cent Year-on-year rise in value of Bahrain projects market

$2bn Fall in UAE projects market