Middle East Offers Opportunities

While the construction industry languishes in Europe and America, the sector continues to boom in the oil rich Middle East according to a new report by Deloitte.

Major construction opportunities exist in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Iraq in 2012, especially around social and transport infrastructure.

The Deloitte report, GCC Powers of Construction, claims there are more than $1 trillion long-term construction projects up for grabs in energy, transportation, education, healthcare and other sectors throughout the region. Highlights in the report include the huge $100 billion 2022 World Cup project in Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s 10-year long $400 billion capital spend programme.

The economic prospects of the Gulf region remain buoyed by huge oil reserves and government stimulus packages despite the political unrest in the rest of the Middle East region. In addition, many Gulf countries are looking to diversify their economies away from a dependence on oil and gas, which is also driving an increase in infrastructure.

In the first quarter of 2012 construction contracts worth $40 billion were awarded to contractors in the region with the largest number occurring in Saudi Arabia. The government there is planning $400 billion worth of investments over the next ten years in projects that will see the construction of houses, schools, hospitals, universities, airport expansions, roads and new railway infrastructure. According to Deloitte the construction market in Saudi Arabia will be one of the most stable in the world during the coming decade.

The United Arab Emirates also boasted some impressive investments worth $9 billion in the building, infrastructure and energy sectors in the first quarter of 2012. The capital and richest emirate Abu Dhabi has a long-term investment programme that will see an upgrade to its airports, seaports and public transport systems. This is in addition to a $2 billion housing project that will result in homes being built on the outskirts of the capital to cater to the city’s growing population.

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