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One third of region's megaprojects lack contractor

A new study has found Saudi Arabia's KA CARE to be the most expensive project in the Middle East, where up to 30 megaprojects are in the pipeline, driven by government investments in infrastructure

KA CARE is the most expensive megaproject in the region.
KA CARE is the most expensive megaproject in the region.

At least a third of the top 30 megaprojects planned for construction in the Middle East over the next two decades are yet to appoint a main contractor.  

A report titled GCC Major Build Projects, by Ventures Onsite, said megaprojects in the region are, however, creating numerous opportunities for contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers in the region. 

"Most projects without contractors are scheduled to start either at the end of the year or the start of next year," Andy White, vice president of DMG Events, said. 

"So the nature of construction means they are likely to be close to making a decision. 

"Two of the projects in Oman will not begin until 2017, but the demand being generated for building materials and equipment from other projects means the next few months represent an ideal window of opportunity for contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers to secure contracts and source products," he added.

King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA CARE) in Saudi Arabia is the most expensive project in the region, with a projected cost of over SAR375bn ($100bn). 

The sustainable city development will install 7GW of nuclear power and 41 GW of solar capacity by 2040.

It is also expected to develop 20 gigwatts worth of geothermal and wind power, and has established plans to construct 16 nuclear power plants with 17 gigawatts of capacity over the next 20 years, according to the World Nuclear Association, a trade group.

Construction of the city is scheduled to start early next year once a main contractor has been appointed, the report said.

The complexity and size of construction projects in the Middle East suggest contractors may need to adapt their business models as the market shifts aggressively towards government-sponsored infrastructure projects.

"The GCC has established a reputation for creating some of the most iconic skylines in the world," White continued.

"The projects of the future are likely to be equally impressive, but a change is taking place in the region and the next wave of construction will be infrastructure.

"This process has already begun and promises to transform the region," he said, as per Saudi Gazette.

White added the fact that the region's top megaprojects are scheduled for completion between 2016 and the mid-2030's reflects a long-term perspective towards the built environment that is being guided by governments' desire to improve quality of life in the region.

Mohammed Bin Rashid City, a 10-year multibillion dollar project in Dubai, is one of the most expensive projects under construction, as per the report.

The mixed-use project is set to become home to Mall of the World, the world's largest retail destination, and a family leisure entertainment complex that is being built in partnership with Universal Studios.

Plans for a 16ha (40 acres) large swimming pool, the world's largest, are also in the pipeline. 

 

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019