GCC completes $196bn projects in 2020

The GCC construction market witnessed steady project completions in 2020 despite the  drop in announcements and contract awards, with the second half delivering 68 per cent of the projects worth nearly $196.4 billion, almost the same as in 2019, said a report. 

The UAE led the urban project completions with a 50% share, while Saudi Arabia drove  the energy project completions with 33% contribution, as per the 26th edition of the BNC Projects Journal.

Qatar emerged the top contributor in the transport sector with 39% share, followed by the  UAE with 23% share.   

The GCC construction market is estimated at $2.4 trillion, with around 21,000 active

projects as of December 2020, stated the Journal titled “21 Reasons Why Construction Will Rebound in the Middle East.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic impact, new scheme announcements and project awards during 2020 saw a disproportionate drop. 

In 2019, GCC registered a 4% YoY growth in project announcements, however, the construction market witnessed a trend reversal with the figures dropping as much as 67% YoY in 2020. GCC project awards also declined, falling by as much as 35% in 2020.

December surfaced as top performer in 2020 in terms of project completions in the GCC as it posted $33.8 billion figure, said the report.

The project announcements, project awards and project completions for that month were driven by Saudi Arabia. A similar trend was noticed in the last quarter of 2020 as the kingdom contributed 45%, 40% and 38% towards announcements, awards and completions respectively for Q4, it added.

“Identifying 21 reasons to be optimistic about 2021 was a challenge we set out for ourselves

and as we worked on the list we realized that there are many powerful positives that businesses should consider in their mid to long term plans for construction in the Middle East,” remarked Avin Gidwani, CEO, Industry Networks.

“We are cautiously optimistic about construction in 2021 as the pandemic continues to cause

economic upheaval even as vaccines and treatments are rolled out to return the region and the world to normalcy,” he added


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