Driven by the launch of 10 new projects worth a total of $25.9bn, Saudi Arabia’s projects market has seen its biggest expansion of 2014, increasing by 2.1 per cent over the week ending on 17 September.

The schemes include the planned $5bn King Hamad Causeway, which will provide a rail link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and will form part of the larger GCC-wide rail network, which is targeted to be operational by 2018.

Plans to build a 480-kilometre rail line between Riyadh and Dammam are also among the raft of new projects. The scheme has an estimated budget of $14bn and aims to cut journey times between the two cities from four and a half hours to less than three hours.

Project updates 
  Project name Project status
Iraq High-speed railway network: Baghdad to Mosul Study
Iraq Khormala 640MW open-cycle power plant Complete
Saudi Arabia  King Hamad Causeway Study
Saudi Arabia  Riyadh to Dammam high-speed rail Study
UAE Shuweihat 3 independent power project Complete
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Saudi Arabia’s expansion helped to push up the Gulf Projects Index by 1 per cent for the week.

Iraq’s projects sector grew 1.3 per cent, after suffering months of steep decline. More than $66.4bn has been wiped off the market since the extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) swept through the country in June.

The latest expansion in Iraq’s projects market comes after 24 countries met in Paris and pledged to use “whatever means necessary” to defeat the jihadist group, and the US escalated its campaign against Isis.

Upcoming tender deadlines
  Client Contract Submission date
Oman Transport & Communications Ministry Batinah Expressway: package 8 Sep-14
Kuwait Ministry of Electricity & Water Overhead lines – various locations Sep-14
Saudi Arabia Mecca Municipality Mecca Metro: phase 1 Oct-14
Dubai Dubai Electricity & Water Authority M station expansion Oct-14
Oman Oman Power & Water Procurement Company Salalah 2 24-Oct
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Iran and Oman also saw growth, with their projects markets expanding by 1.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

The Gulf’s smallest projects market, Bahrain, remained little changed for the week, declining by just 0.1 per cent. Qatar saw a similar trend, with its projects market staying flat at about $280.5bn.

The UAE saw the biggest decline of the week, falling by 0.3 per cent as schemes worth a total of $2.6bn were completed.

In numbers

$25.9bn The value of new projects launched in Saudi Arabia

10 Number of new projects  in Saudi Arabia

72 Total number of  new Gulf projects

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