Saudi Arabia projects market growth flatlines

28 September 2015

Gulf projects index remains unchanged despite Qatar growth

The projects market in Saudi Arabia is now the second-worst performing market in the Gulf region, ahead of only Iraq, and down 0.4 per cent on the end of 2014.

The bellwether Middle East projects market contracted 0.2 per cent, or $2.4bn, on the Gulf projects index between 18 and 24 September, as the government’s spending review begins to take effect.

In numbers

$8bn Budget for Hamad International airport expansion

0.4 per cent Year to date decline in Saudi Arabia’s projects market

$2.4bn Contraction of Saudi Arabia projects market between 18 and 24 September

Major industrial projects were completed and several utilities schemes postponed, while no new projects were announced.

Year-on-year, it is just 0.5 per cent up on the same period in 2014.

The Gulf Projects Index showed no change overall in the past week, as the Eid al-Adha break caused a lull in projects market activity.

Project updates this week
 Project nameProject status
IranTabas coal-fired power plantOn hold
IraqIraq housing programmeBudget change
KuwaitIbn Sina hospital expansionRevived
QatarHamad International expansion: Doha Metro connectionNew project
Saudi ArabiaShaybah Arabian extra light crude increment projectComplete
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The Qatari projects market recorded the biggest change, expanding by 0.9 per cent, or $2.7bn.

The transport sector drove the growth, thanks to the $8bn expansion at Hamad International airport, the expansion of Hamad Port and other new transport and logistics projects revealed at MEED’s Qatar Transport conference.

Construction and free zone projects also contributed to the rise.

Iraq’s project market rebounded slightly, by 0.5 per cent, as the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq begins to stabilise and project spending resumes there. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has publicised plans for three new oil refineries.

Project delays continue in other regions of Iraq.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
UAEDubai MunicipalityJebel Ali sewage treatment plant18-Oct
KuwaitKuwait Oil CompanyJurassic gas project development of three oil fields27-Oct
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Electricity Company/Saudi AramcoFadhili independent power project01-Nov
KuwaitMinistry of Electricity & WaterConversion of Subiya power plant to a combined cycle facility03-Nov
UAERoads & Transport AuthorityRoute 2020 metro extension06-Dec
For further information visit

Bahrain’s projects market grew 0.4 per cent, thanks to new gas investment and real estate projects.

Kuwait recorded a 0.3 per cent contraction in its projects market as completions outweigh new project announcements.

Iran’s projects market expanded by 0.2 per cent as projects abandoned due to US sanctions are gradually revived.

Oman companies are early movers, with news of the Sarooj Pars mall investment, as well as potential joint gas projects.

The UAE recorded a 0.1 per cent contraction in its projects market, as new real estate schemes lag completions. Weakening figures on the Dubai real estate market are yet to cause major cancellations.

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