GCC construction pipeline worth over $2tn
Construction projects across the Middle East are worth more than than $2tn, according to Deloitte's GCC Powers of Construction 2017 report.
GCC nations boast a pipeline of construction, transport and energy projects worth $2.4tn, according to figures referenced in Deloitte's GCC Powers of Construction 2017 report.
And the raft of infrastructure works planned across countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, is strong, according to Deloitte's report, published this month.
Construction is the largest sector, boasting more than $1tn of big and small projects. Transport is second, with $447bn. Power and energy rank third, with around $224bn worth of projects under development across the GCC. These figures come from MEED Projects and were referenced in Deloitte's report.
The report's author, Cynthia Corby, partner and construction leader at Deloitte Middle East, said: “The regional projects pipeline is forecast to be over $2tn of projects currently in the planning stage according to MEED Projects, indicating there is still a strong need and demand for the core capital expenditure with a focus on transport, housing and social infrastructure."
"Dubai, will continue to be an event-driven market focused on the core infrastructure required to make Expo 2020 a success, whilst there are a number of large-scale mixed-use developments to be delivered in Saudi Arabia in the foreseeable future. The key to these projects coming to fruition is that the funding for each should be clearly earmarked and the projects should be assessed for their feasibility and whole life cost to ensure these investments can produce the desired Return on Investment and will be built at a sensible capital cost."
Investment in infrastructure is led by an events-driven UAE market, which is rapidly developing real estate in time for Expo 2020. In Saudi Arabia, for example, a collection of large mixed-use developments are under development.
Among building contractors, Dubai will remain the “bright spot” of the GCC’s construction sector, thanks to the sheer number of project opportunities relative to other regional markets. The emirate’s 2018 budget reflects this, with 21% of the capital set aside for infrastructure investment as Dubai gears up for Expo 2020.
In the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, two transport projects – the Abu Dhabi Metro and Etihad Rail Network - should come back online after both were put on hold in 2016, according to Deloitte.
As Saudi aims to increase the private sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to 65%, there is a plan to privatise projects and have more delivered via public-private partnerships (PPP). More mixed-use projects are being planned for the Kingdom too. The Ministry of Housing is also reportedly exploring a government-funded project to build 100,000 homes in the next seven years, Deloitte claim.
Kuwait, blessed with vast oil riches, is set to focus PPP when it comes to future construction projects, according to Deloitte. Major projects include a $7bn metro system within Kuwait City and a $14bn residential city boasting 35,000 housing units.
Oman and Bahrain have relatively small project pipelines in comparison to some of the other Middle Eastern giants. The former, Deloitte claim, has been “substantially affected” by the oil price drop, but does boast a key project of note: a $10bn industrial economic zone.
In Bahrain, a key construction project is the government-led plan to build a 115km cross-country rail network. The project is expected to be awarded toward the end of the year. In addition to this, two mixed-use schemes are set to be awarded too: Marsa Al Seef ($2.5bn) and Bander Al Seef ($2.7bn).
While infrastructure projects under developments are plentiful across the region, this healthy pipeline is set against a backdrop of business conditions that are “tougher today” than they were in the past, according to Deloitte.
However, the good news is this: the Middle East will sustain its flow of infrastructure projects moving forwards, with markets driven by economic need and a raft of initiatives, including Saudi Vision 2030, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Dubai Plan 2021, and Qatar National Vision 2030.