The GCC construction market bounced back strongly in the first quarter of 2021 following a massive drop last year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
GCC disclosed $35.6 billion worth of new schemes in Q1 2021, which cover 55 per cent of the total announcements in 2020, according to BNC Projects Journal.
Saudi Arabia topped the chart, contributing $19 billion or 54 per cent of the newly-announced projects, followed by Qatar with a 21 per cent portfolio. The utilities sector topped amongst sectors with $14.5 billion, while the oil gas sector added $10 billion in newly-announced projects.
“Saudi Arabia would like to draw a fine line in the sand that leads the country into the future. This isn’t just another line that the Red Sea can gently wash away. This is a bold, daring and ambitious line,” said Avin Gidwani, CEO of Industry Networks, which produces BNC Projects Journal.
The GCC construction market is estimated at $2.2 trillion, with over 22,000 active projects as of first quarter of 2021, it said.
Saudi Arabia currently holds $823.5 billion of active projects, of which 28 per cent are in early stages.
“Saudi giga-construction can be a lifeline and as business advice goes, the best that you can do at present is to get in line to serve an upcoming market in Saudi Arabia,” added Gidwani.
Qatar shared two-third of total project awards in the GCC, with the oil and gas sector sharing 70 per cent of the load.
Project awards totalled $32.3 billion in the first quarter and much of it was attributed to the $18.5 billion four liquefaction trains in Qatar and $2.5 billion LNG storage and loading facilities to be built as part of North Field Expansion Scheme in Qatar.
Project completions in first quarter 2021 recorded a 20 per cent quarter-on-quarter drop as projects worth $47.5 billion were delivered in the GCC. The urban construction sector shared half the load as UAE and Saudi Arabia took top positions with a 42 per cent and 33 per cent contribution, respectively.