Uncertainty takes toll on Gulf projects index

22 March 2011

Gulf projects index remains flat as schemes are completed in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Contract awards

Biggest contract: $3.2m

Awarded to US-based Aecom for supervision and quantity surveying services on Qatar’s Barwa City road network

$3.2m: Value of major contract awards

1: Number of major contracts

For further information visit www.meed.com/contracts

The Gulf projects index remained largely flat in the week leading up to 23 March, with a slight decline of 0.11 per cent.

There are now $2.54 trillion of projects planned or under way in the Gulf. The lack of growth is the result of two trends that threaten to stunt the expansion of the projects market for the rest of this year.

The first is that there are now more projects being completed and leaving the index than launched. Last week, 18 projects worth $4.6bn were completed. Most of these are in the Gulf’s two largest markets where 11 projects were completed. This meant the Saudi Arabia market fell by 0.13 per cent to $668bn and the UAE by 0.32 per cent to $639bn.

Project updates 
 Project NameProject Status
Saudi ArabiaShaybah NGL Recovery Programme – Phase IConstruction
QatarMusheireb: Phase 1bTender
KuwaitShuqaiq-II IWPPComplete
IranPersian Gulf BridgeConstruction
UAEJebel Ali Port Expansion: Terminal 3On Hold
For further information visit www.meed.com/meedprojects

At the same time, the value of new projects launched does not make up the shortfall. Last week there were only nine new projects worth $2.5bn launched.

The ongoing political unrest that has swept the region is also affecting the projects market. As civil war rages in Libya and demonstrations continue in Bahrain, governments and investors across the region are nervous about launching new projects and contract awards have stopped being made. Last week, the index fell by almost 1 per cent due to a 10 per cent drop in Bahrain’s index after troops from Saudi Arabia were called in to suppress protests.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
UAEAbu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco)Habshan carbon recovery and nitrogen injection29 Mar
UAEAldar PropertiesYas Mall7 Apr
Saudi ArabiaSaudi AramcoKing Abdullah Sports City stadium14 Apr
UAEAbu Dhabi Airport CompanyMidfield Terminal10 Jul
UAEEtihad Rail CompanyCivil engineering work4 May
For further information visit www.meed.com/tenders

On a year-on-year basis, the Gulf index is down by almost 11 per cent. The index for the GCC is down further by 19 per cent, driven by a 46 per cent drop in Kuwait and a 34 per cent fall in the UAE. These declines have been partially offset by modest year-on-year gains in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Outside the GCC, Iran’s project market is down 6 per cent, while the Iraq market is up 58 per cent, making it the region’s best performing country.

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