Editor's Letter: A "rollercoaster ride" of a year draws to a fruitful end

As the curtain closes on 2019, we reflect on the biggest construction milestones of the year and what to expect for 2020

Construction Week Middle East editor Ashley Williams
Copyright of ITP Media Group
Construction Week Middle East editor Ashley Williams

What a year it has been. I say that meaning it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride for me personally and the region’s construction industry.

Despite a challenging 12 months for the sector, we’ve witnessed some incredible achievements from the region including the Expo 2020 Dubai site coming to life and key projects from across the GCC coming into fruition.  

As part of our end-of-year wrap up, we can now reveal our top three most-read construction news stories for 2019, which unsurprisingly were all contract wins from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Topping the bill of stories for this year was Aldar Properties appointing Trojan, Arabian Construction Company (ACC), Ghantoot, Gulf Contracting Co, and NBHH to develop the $1.4bn (AED5bn) Al Falah homes, Two Four 54’s new campus, and Saadiyat Island infrastructure projects in July 2019.

This is an impressive development, and work is set to be completed in phases between 2021 and 2022.

Falling into second place, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting Company (GTGC) were approved construction contracts worth $1.2bn for civil and track works on Packages B and C within Stage 2 of the 1,200km Etihad Rail network connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai and Khalifa Port, Khalifa Industrial City, and Jebel Ali Port in June 2019.

The Etihad Rail is among the UAE’s largest projects and is expected to sustain the growth of the transport industry.

Finally, India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction (Hyundai E&C), Norway’s Subsea 7, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) were among the firms that won contracts from Saudi Aramco in July 2019.

These contract wins were part of the 34 contracts valued at $18bn (SAR67.5bn) for the Marjan and Berri oil field increment programmes.

Despite the unfortunate drone strikes earlier this year that led to half its operations being affected, Saudi Aramco has had an impressive 2019 for developments across its oil fields and we can only expect this to continue into 2020.

Looking ahead for next year, Construction Week is in a very good place. We received some of the best feedback that we’ve ever had for the CW Awards, and, as I write this, a 57% increase in yearly page views for the website compared to 2018.

All these factors make me eager to achieve even better things for 2020 and to continue distributing the best possible coverage for our audience. 

Well, that’s a wrap, I hope you have a great end to the year, and we will be back in January.

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Construction Week - Issue 765
Jun 29, 2020