Saudi gigaprojects to cross $50bn of awards

11 December 2023
There has been a sharp ramp up in tendering activity by the five official gigaprojects over the past two years


Register for MEED's guest programme 

Saudi Arabia’s five official gigaprojects are expected to award more than $50bn of construction contracts by the end of 2023, according to MEED’s Saudi Gigaprojects Tracker, compiled using data from regional projects tracker MEED Projects. 

As of 6 December, the five official gigaprojects had awarded $49.8bn of contracts, just $200m short of the $50bn mark.  

The $49.8bn total for the five schemes represents about 16 per cent of the $310bn of contract awards made across all clients and sectors in Saudi Arabia since the initial gigaproject contracts were awarded in May 2017.

Speaking in January, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud confirmed there are five official gigaprojects in the kingdom: the Diriyah, Neom, Qiddiya, Red Sea and Roshn projects.

Contract activity has exponentially increased over the past two years as key elements move out of the design phase and into construction. In September 2021, there had been $9bn of contracts awarded on gigaprojects, then in 2022, the total more than doubled to $26bn, and has nearly doubled again in September this year.

September was the best month for contract awards in Saudi Arabia this year with $14.5bn of deals reported. The best-performing month this year for gigaprojects was October, when there were $3.3bn of contracts awarded. In November, there was a sharp decline in the value of contracts awarded by the gigaprojects, with a total of $64m of contracts recorded by MEED Projects.

Looking ahead, contract activity is set to continue for the gigaprojects and broader Saudi market. Major construction contracts are in the final negotiation stage for all five of the gigaprojects. This includes $6.4bn of construction work at the port at Oxagon in Neom.

Contractors also expect a steady stream of major deals from other masterplanned projects in the kingdom, and from the oil and gas sector, which is typically led by Saudi Aramco’s capital expenditure.

The market will also be supported by the recent announcement that Saudi Arabia will host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, and the kingdom has emerged as the sole bidder to host Fifa’s World Cup 2034. This is in addition to the AFC Asian Cup in 2027, the Asian Winter Games in 2029 and the Asian Games in 2034.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia prepares for World Cup 2034

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.