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Oman construction hits $260bn, but $44bn infra schemes on hold

EXCLUSIVE: Oil and gas projects worth $84bn are currently under construction in the sultanate, ProTenders data shows

Oman's construction sector is noting slow growth.
Oman's construction sector is noting slow growth.

Despite stringent government expenditure on the back of low oil prices, Oman’s pipeline of construction projects is worth $259.6bn (OMR99.8bn) as of March 2019.

The figure includes developments under construction or put on hold, as well as schemes at the planning, design, or tender stage.

Data passed to Construction Week by intelligence platform ProTenders reveals there are 1,547 projects in Oman’s “opportunity matrix”.

Infrastructure, which includes energy, transport, and aviation projects, has the most valuable pipeline at $101.6bn (OMR39bn).

There are $44bn (OMR16.9bn) of infrastructure projects currently on hold – more than any other building category.

The oil and gas industry – historically the engine of growth for the sultanate – has the second-most valuable pipeline, according to ProTenders. There are more than $83.8bn (OMR32.2bn) of projects in the category, the vast majority of which are under construction, with just $3.4bn (OMR1.3bn) of oil and gas developments on hold.

Urban buildings, which ProTenders terms as residential, commercial, hospitality, educational, healthcare, governmental, military, and religious schemes, have displayed a slightly mixed performance. Projects under construction here are worth $21.6bn (OMR8.3bn), while work at tender stage is valued at $7.8bn (OMR2.9bn).

Initiatives in the planning and design phase are collectively worth $15.9bn (OMR6.1bn), and there are more than $64bn (OMR24.6) worth of urban building projects currently on hold, according to ProTenders.

Dr Deva Palanisamy, vice president of project intelligence at ProTenders, told Construction Week the number of infrastructure projects pointed to Oman’s efforts to move the economy away from oil.

“Oman is focusing on developing its aviation sector to diversify the economy away from oil and grow its tourism industry,” she said, adding: “The scale of the projects to build and open new airports also seems unprecedented in Oman.”

Palanisamy added that an emerging trend in the sultanate toward building masterplanned cities was proving to be a “good development” for contractors.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019