GCC to spend $90bn on school building
Education sector will become one of the biggest for contractors
Huge investments are being made across the region in the education building sector.
GCC governments have announced plans to spend more than $90bn on schools, colleges and universities by the end of 2014, according to The Big 5 report by Ventures Middle East.
The plans make the education sector one of the biggest for contractors and suppliers.
And plans are unlikely to slow down with the GCC population is set to increase from 50.6mn in 2014 to 55.8mn by 2018.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in education with an expected spend of $56bn.
It will construct 465 new schools and refurbish 1,500, as well as complete 1,544 existing school construction projects.
It is also building eight new colleges and vocational and technical facilities.
Ventures prepared its education sector report in advance of The Big 5 construction exhibition in Dubai in November, where opportunities for developers to meet the region’s demands for schools will be highlighted.
“There are huge business opportunities for suppliers who understand the education sector,” said Andy White, event director for The Big 5.
“The GCC has a young demographic and governments are investing heavily in education.
“The Big 5 workshops during the show will examine the huge refurbishment market in the region and look at the technology expected in 21stcentury school buildings.”
The report reads: “Governments of each GCC nation are investing significantly in construction of new schools and refurbishment of existing schools which is expected to drive the construction opportunities in the education sector in the region.”
The total number of students in the GCC region is expected to grow from 11.1mn in 2014 to 11.6mn by 2016.
GDP per capita income in the GCC is estimated to grow from USD 45,184 in 2011 to USD 51,286 in 2016 and that will benefit education, according to the report.
It states: “The increase in income will have a positive effect on the willingness to spend on education, especially for private sector education."
In the UAE, $2.6 bn (21% of its 2014 budget) is being spent on schools and all new buildings meet the country’s green construction Estidama rating.
Qatar has allocated $7.2 billion to education - up 7.3% on the previous year.
Oman will begin to provide free basic education to all its nationals at a cost of $6.8bn - 18.6% of the total public expenditure.
And Kuwait will spend 14.2% of its annual budget for 2013-2014 -$10.5bn.
Bahrain has allocated $2.2bn to continue to improve the education process for the fiscal years 2013-2014.
The Big 5 runs from 17th–20th November at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 11am to 7pm daily.