Saudi and UAE lead Middle East construction market
Pair make up 60% of current project pipeline spending of $2.5tn
Some 60% of the $2.5tn worth of projects in the Middle East and North Africa region are taking place in the twin gulf powerhouses of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a new report.
The MENA Projects Tracker published by Citi states that GCC countries are responsible for almost 90% of the projects being built by value, with 60% of those in KSA and the UAE.
It added that major construction and infrastructure projects made up a relatively smaller share of work in other countries, except in Jordan where a spate of building is underway that cost 130% of its current gross domestic product (GDP).
The report classes $1.4tn of this $2.5tn as currently being built, while a further $600bn is at a "relatively advanced" stage of development and the remaining $500bn being early-stage projects.
The bulk of projects under development (just over $1tn) is being spent on real estate projects - be they office, residential or leisure. Infrastructure ($812bn), oil & gas ($376bn) and Power & Water ($298bn) make up the other major spending areas, although priorities vary from country to country, according to the report's author, Farek Soussa.
"For example, there is a heavy bias in the UAE towards real estate projects, while infrastructure projects dominate in Qatar. The oil & gas sector is of greatest significance in Algeria, while Jordan is spending most on power & water," he said.
In terms of country spend, Saudi Arabia leads the way with $784bn worth of projects, followed by the UAE with $669mn.
Qatar is third with $273bn, Kuwait fourth with $249bn and Egypt fifth with $143bn of projects under development. It is also the only non-GCC country with more than $100bn of active projects.