Annual report on Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Iraq points to $500bn of work


The construction industry can still take advantage of huge opportunities in the Middle East despite its economic problems, a new report from Deloitte suggests.

Key findings indicate that large infrastructure projects, particularly around social and transport infrastructure in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) area, offer “tremendous opportunities” for contractors.

The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Iraq and the report pointed to Qatar’s plan to spend US$100bn in preparation for hosting the 2022 World Cup and achieving its 2030 vision, and Saudi Arabia’s capital spend program approaching US$400bn over the next decade.

It said there is “at least” a US$500bn investment opportunity overall in energy, transportation, education, healthcare and other sectors.

“What primarily differentiates participants in the GCC’s construction industry from their Western counterparts is that grand opportunities continue to be capitalized upon across the region, despite being forced to deal with continuing negative financial circumstances – simultaneously - in specific locales,” said Rizwan Shah, leader of Deloitte’s Capital Projects Advisory services practice for the Middle East.

The report noted that oil and gas exporting countries, such as Saudi Arabia Qatar and Abu Dhabi, wish to diversify their economies away from the traditional petrochemical and hydrocarbon industries.

This is also driving infrastructure spending with the focus shifting to construction, according to the report, ‘GCC Powers of Construction: Five Lessons to Learn From’.