Investments in Gulf projects run over $2 trillion

March 30th, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, March 30 (IANS) Total investments in projects across various sectors in the Gulf region have crossed the $2-trillion mark, according to a report. The MEED Projects index, which monitors investment within the construction, oil and gas, petrochemicals, power, water and waste sectors across the Gulf region, has risen in value by 40 percent over the past 12 months, despite fears that rising construction costs would lead to significant slowdown in the number of new projects being launched.

“Despite fears that the bubble might burst at any moment, business in the Gulf is still booming,” MEED general manager Simon Howard said in a statement.

“The last 12 months have seen huge investments pour into the region, with such developments as Masdar City and Saadiyat Island, allowing Abu Dhabi to emerge as a market packed with the potential to one day rival Dubai as the bustling tourism centre of the UAE (United Arab Emirates),” he said.

According to latest indications, the UAE remains the biggest projects market in the Gulf, accounting for 37 percent of the total project value.

It has also registered the highest growth, with total project values in the federation rising by 46 percent over the past 12 months.

“…Such stand out success in the UAE indicates that there is still a room for more investment in the surrounding GCC countries,” said Howard.

Kuwait has the highest proportion of un-awarded contracts, representing over 90 percent of all projects planned.

Only a quarter of all projects tracked by MEED Projects are actually under construction, implying that there is another three to five years of further intensive construction activity to come, according to the MEED statement.

There have been a series of major real estate projects announced in recent months, reinforcing the sector’s dominance of the projects market and pushing the overall value beyond $2 trillion.

Major new real estate projects include the Sudair Industrial City in Saudi Arabia worth $40 billion, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi worth $22 billion, Dilmunia mixed use development in Bahrain worth $4.2 billion and Limitless’s Al-Wasl development in Riyadh worth $12 billion.

According to MEED, the construction sector accounted for $1,207 billion worth of investments, followed by oil and gas with $430 billion, petrochemicals with $135 billion, power with $134 billion, industry with $70 billion and water and waste management at $40 billion.

“The $2 trillion worth of projects now registered on the MEED Projects database signifies a momentous landmark in the region’s development,” said Howard.

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