Saudi Arabia retakes top position in Gulf projects market

15 August 2011

The kingdom’s projects market had been overtaken by UAE at the end of June

Contracts awarded

Biggest contract: $177.4m

Awarded to US-based Schlumberger to provide electrical submersible pumping systems in Kuwait

$1bn: Value of major contract awards

9: Number of contracts awarded

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Saudi Arabia has overtaken the UAE as the Gulf’s biggest projects market after the total value of projects planned or under way in the kingdom grew by 1.3 per cent for the week up until 16 August.

The UAE overtook Saudi Arabia as the Gulf’s largest projects market at the end of June and retained its position at the top until this week, when its $621.7bn market was surpassed by the kingdom’s $623bn.

Strong growth from Saudi Arabia and Iraq resulted in the total value of the Gulf projects market rising by 0.5 per cent.

Project updates
 Project NameProject Status
IraqExtension of Sadr CityTender
QatarAerospace CityDesign
KuwaitAl-Zour refinery acid gas removal plantPlanned
IranBakhtiyari hydropower plantConstruction
Saudi ArabiaPP10 steam turbines power plantConstruction
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The main driver for the growth in the Saudi market was the addition of five new projects worth a total of $1.1bn to the index.

The largest addition was Saudi Aramco’s proposed expansion of three independent power projects worth a total of $800m. Kuwait was the only other GCC state to record significant growth in its projects index, with the value of its projects sector increasing by 0.3 per cent.

The increase was caused by the addition of a $650m infrastructure package for the airport expansion programme and the launch of an estimated $400m refinery acid gas removal plant for Kuwait’s National Petroleum Company.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
IraqLukoilTwo central processing facilities31 August 
QatarQatar Rail CompanyDoha Metro 11 September
KuwaitHealth MinistryAl-Amiri hospital11 September
OmanMinistry of Transport & Communications  Batinah Expressway (package 2)26 September
UAEAbu Dhabi Airports CompanyMidfield Terminal13 November
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Iraq’s projects market recorded the biggest increase in the Gulf, with the total value of projects planned or under way increasing by 2.9 per cent to $351bn. The addition of a $10bn project to regenerate and expand Sadr City in Baghdad resulted in the sharp rise. Iraq maintains its position as the region’s fastest growing projects market, recording a 53.3 per cent year-on-year increase.

Qatar’s market recorded the biggest drop as a $1bn meltshop upgrade project was put on hold. This caused the total value of its projects index to fall by 1.5 per cent to $228.3bn.

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