Dubai’s projects market made a steady start to the year with $7.2bn of contract awards according to data from regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

On a year-on-year basis, the total for the first quarter is down by about 5 per cent on the $7.6bn of awards made in the first quarter of 2016. On a quarterly basis the first quarter total is up by more than 25 per cent on the $5.7bn of awards made during the fourth quarter of last year.

The value of awards also far exceeded the value of project completions. There were $3.5bn of projects completed in the first quarter, which means MEED’s Project Activity Monitor (PAM) for Dubai in the first quarter is positive with strong growth. This is a strong rebound from 2016 which saw the PAM for Dubai experienced negative growth. In 2016 the net gain of projects was negative by $4.45bn, the first negative score for the emirate since 2012 when its projects market was still recovering from the 2008-09 debt crisis.

The $7.2bn total is also above the $6.1bn quarterly average for awards over the past four years. On average projects in Dubai take four years to be completed, so a quarterly total above this average means that the market is sustaining itself – or awarding enough new work to contractors to replace projects that are being completed.

According to MEED Projects, the three largest contract awards made in Dubai during the first quarter of this year were for construction work.

The largest deal, valued at $610m, was awarded by local developer Emaar Properties to the local Alec for a new shopping mall at the Dubai Hills development.

The second largest contract, worth $600m, was won by the local/UK Al-Futtaim Carillion. It involves the construction of the Thematic Districts at the Expo 2020 site.

The third largest contract was awarded to Italy’s Salini Impregilo by local developer Meydan for the construction of another new shopping mall.

There have also been several high profile project launched including an offshore island that will have an MGM Hotel, MGM Residences and a Bellagio Hotel close to the existing Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and another offshore development next to Dubai Marina know as Dubai Harbour.

GCC projects market shows signs of recovery in first quarter

Riyadh

Riyadh

Riyadh

There were signs of a tentative recovery in the GCC projects markets in the first quarter of this year as the total value of contract awards increased by about 20 per cent, according to data from regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

The total value of awards in the first quarter was $27.6bn, up from $22.2bn in the final quarter of 2016. The first-quarter total for this year is down by about 17 per cent when compared with the first quarter of 2016, when there were $33.5bn of contract awards.

The second quarter of this year will be crucial. Read more