Research shows nearly 80 projects cancelled or delayed in the past year, but 350 still under construction

Saudi Arabian projects totalling $20bn have been cancelled or put on hold, a new report has revealed. The kingdom has stopped almost 80 projects over the past 12 months, according to the findings from research firm Proleads.

The report said that while this showed the global slowdown has affected the Saudi construction market, it was still one of the healthiest in the world, with 350 major projects under construction. The report said: “Saudi Arabia is one of the most active construction markets in the world as it grows its infrastructure to meet domestic demands.”

Proleads expects Saudi to maintain its present levels of construction activity into 2010. However, it predicted a slight drop in education and health sectors, although it believes this will be offset by slight growth in commercial and residential projects.

Emil Rademeyer, director of Proleads Global, said: “The economic crisis has not had a great effect on the rate at which projects have been cancelled in Saudi Arabia. Our cash-flow projections show the Saudi Arabian industry will continue building from a position of strength well into 2010, whereas other Arabian Gulf markets continue to seek stability.”

Proleads recently found that in the UAE some 400 projects totalling over $300bn had been cancelled or put on hold.

The report, called “Insights Saudi Arabia: An Investigation into the Current and Future State of the Civil Building Construction Industry”. examined more than 720 projects with a total budget of more than $430bn across commercial and retail, education and healthcare, leisure and entertainment and residential sectors.