Regional Report Middle East
Article Date: 01.10.2018
According to information compiled by design and consultancy engineer, Arcadis , the Middle East had three entries in the top 20 countries experiencing the largest increase in construction activities in 2018. What is more, the Middle East actually took the top two places, with Qatar top, UAE second and Saudi Arabia 15th place.
According to the data Qatar is enjoying year on year growth of 15% and the UAE 10%. Given the fact that Qatar is some what controversially to host the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup, it is no surprise to see construction activity so strong in the country. The government has committed to spending, on average, 10% of its national out-put on infrastructure projects as it gears up to host the event – a figure thought to be approximately $ 103 billion.
One such scheme under construction is the Doha Metro Project, with phase one scheduled to be completed by 2019. The project will have four lines with a length of 300 km, 98 stations and has a price tag of an estimated $36 billion.
While the awarding of the World Cup has led to general infrastructure investment in the country, it has also obviously led to the building of stadia for the event. One of them is being constructed by China International Marine Container Group (CIMC), which has been chosen to help build the Ras Abu Aboud World Cup Stadium in Qatar.
One of the 12 venues being constructed for the event, the new stadium will be built using an unusual method. It was said that the structure would be the world’s first large scale stadium created using modified shipping containers and the first demountable, transportable and re-usable stadium in the history of the world. Located on a waterfront site just southeast of the capital Doha, the seven floor stadium will cover an area of 450,000 m2 and will have the capacity to accommodate 40,000 people.
Despite the vast sums of money being invested into the staging of the World Cup, Qatar is striving to diversify its economy so it is not reliant on oil. This is an ambition it shares with Saudi Arabia, whose new crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, assumed office in 2017. He is a visionary, who has aligned himself closely with “Vision 2030”, a raft of economic reforms to reduce the country’s unsustainable dependence on oil and become a business, travel and tourism centre.
The country has allocated apprioximately $43.8 billions for infrastructure projects and it is estimated that the construction investment accounts for 8% of the country’s total GDP just under 70% of construction investment comes from the government itself, with numerous large scale projects, both planned and underway.
Dubai, arguably the most economically successful of the seven states making up the UAE, will host the Expo 2020, otherwise known as the world’s fair. Consruction projects worth about $33 billion are underway in the country. According to the BNC Network, with Dubai Exhibition City itself costing around $ 6.6 billions.
The six month event the first World Expo to be staged in the Middle East, is expected to attract upto 300,000 visitors per day, half of the them from abroad, when it opens in October 2020. The completed expo site will cover a total area of approximately 4.4 Km2.
Kuwait is expected to spend approximately $ 8.3 billion of its 2018 budget on development of infrastructure, and a large percentage of this is going to transport projects such as Kuwait – International Airport. Earlier in this year five contracts of $60 million were awarded as a part of development. The country is also studying construction of a new airport with a capacity of 25 million passengers a year. It will be located in Northern Kuwait.