UAE and Saudi Arabia lead Gulf’s new project awards as construction activity rebounds: BNC Intelligence

Gulf’s utility majors such as DEWA fuelled new project announcements and awards in the first six months of 2021. Many of these projects have ambitious renewable energy components. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE and Saudi Arabia together made up 85 per cent of the $18 billion in new projects awarded across the Gulf in the second quarter of 2021, signalling a much-needed rebound for construction activity.

Projects in urban construction and those in the oil and gas sector made up the biggest chunk on the awards. The pipeline too looks strong enough – across the GCC, there were $15.8 billion worth of new scheme announcements in the second quarter, with Saudi Arabia making up half of these and the UAE adding a third, according to data from BNC intelligence. Utilities will power most of the new activity, with considerable interest generated through renewable energy focussed development. Urban infrastructure work make up 21 per cent of these announcements.

While project announcements of the first-half of this year surpassed 80 pr cent of the announcements of 2020, project awards in H1 2021 covered 45 per cent of the same of 2020. “Today, Saudi Arabia is vying for the title (construction leader) and pulling out all the stops to achieve its goal.” stated Avin Gidwani, CEO of Industry Networks.

With $29.7 billion worth of project completions beteen April to end June, the first six months of 2021 added up to $77.2 billion, and close to 40 per cent of the total completions in 2020. The UAE witnessed a 44 per cent share in Q2 project completions, whereas the urban construction sector across the region topped the chart with close to 60 per cent share.