Inside the GCC's booming construction industry
More than $40 billion worth of new contracts were awarded in the GCC during the first quarter of 2014 alone (File Archive)
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The projects markets of the Middle East are set to enjoy a record-breaking year in 2014 with more than $40 billion worth of new contracts awarded in the GCC alone in the first quarter, a report said.
New contract awards in the GCC will approach $150 billion in the year ending 2014 compared with about $135 billion in the previous 12 months. The project boom encompasses all six GCC markets and extends across all sectors, said the Meed report.
Figures compiled by Meed Projects show that a total of almost $2.5 trillion worth of contracts are planned or under way in the GCC. A further $500 billion worth of projects are at a similar stage in Iraq. For the Mena region as a whole, more than $4 trillion worth of projects are planned or under way, it said.
So far, among the high profile projects that have been awarded include the $12 billion Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s Clean Fuels Project; Qatar’s Ashgal has so far awarded over $3 billion worth of projects for the Expressway and LRDP schemes; Abu Dhabi’s Musanada has awarded over $1 billion worth of contracts for the Mafraq-Ghuweifat Road Development project; Qrail has awarded $700 million contract for the Elevated Section of the Doha Metro’s Red Line South project; and Al Reem Island in the UAE has awarded the main contract with a value of $705 million.
Confidence is being further lifted by the irresistible rise in project spending in Iraq where oil production last year reached an all-time high of more than 3m bpd. At least $20 billion of new contracts are expected to be placed in Iraq by the end of 2014 in a capital investment programme that will establish the country as one of the most exciting prospects in the world for the local, regional and global construction industry.
This vast, varied and challenging opportunity will be comprehensively reviewed in Meed’s annual Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) which opens in the Sofitel Hotel on Palm Jumeirah on May 12.
More than 60 speakers representing all high-growth Middle East construction markets and the largest region’s project sectors will address the event.
Among the highlights of the summit includes a keynote session on developing “Solution-based Delivery Strategies for the Region’s Complex Construction Projects".
Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest project market which is expected to witness more than $70 billion of projects awarded in 2014, will once again be at the heart of the conference.
Speakers will review the trends in the kingdom’s construction industry and evaluate the opportunities in energy, water, rail, port and real estate markets. Special attention will be paid to the remarkable King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Rabigh where one of the world’s largest new ports started operations earlier this year, and progress on the Jeddah Kingdom Tower, the world’s tallest high-building, and the supporting development.
A special presentation will be delivered by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the largest new airport client in the Middle East.
The UAE will get special attention as investment in the federation starts in the run up to the opening of the World Expo in Dubai in October 2014. More than $100 billion worth of new projects is on the agenda for the emirate which expects 25 million people to visit the six-month expo.
The conference will review some of the largest real estate developments in Dubai including exciting projects being developed by Meraas Holdings.
Other markets to be reviewed will include Oman, Bahrain, Iraq and Egypt where 40 megaprojects worth more than $500 million are planned or under way.
The challenge of delivery complex, multi-component megaprojects will be one of the key themes of AWCS 2014. Regional and global experts in megaproject delivery and the role high-level programme management can play in bringing megaprojects in on time and budget will be among the key participants in the event.
“The AWCS was launched in 2007 and is established as the premier annual event for major clients and senior construction industry executives working in the Middle East megaproject market,” says Meed Events chairman Edmund O’Sullivan. “This year, the delegates will learn about the widest range of new projects and construction opportunities since the first AWCS opened seven years ago. I’m confident they will leave inspired to intensify their efforts across the region.”