The number of GCC construction contracts fell 39 per cent in value terms to $13 billion (Dh47.7 billion) in January 2019, according to BNC Projects Journal’s monthly data.

Data revealed that $20.8 billion worth of projects were completed and $2.7 billion worth of work was put on hold across the Gulf region. As per Gulf project value distribution, 35 per cent of contracts were in Saudi Arabia, 33 per cent in the UAE, 9 per cent each in Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, and 5 per cent in Bahrain.

Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC Network, said the UAE urban construction sector is maturing for the short-to-medium term while Saudi Arabia is accelerating the realisation of its modernisation plans through privatisation and changing its global brand perception.

According to BNC’s journal, urban construction contracts released for execution fell 69 per cent to $3 billion. Urban projects worth $2.3 billion were put on hold, resulting in a 7 per cent increase in the value of projects on hold compared to January 2018.

GCC hospitality construction began the year with projects worth $1.1 billion moving to construction and projects worth $1 billion were put on hold, including Anantara Sharjah Resort that would have added 233 rooms to the inventory, it said. Design work has started on new hotels worth an estimated $370 billion, including the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jeddah and construction awards for the fifth phase of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel Expansion.

In the healthcare sector, four projects valued at $63 million resumed construction and projects estimated at $282.4 million were completed. “We currently have on record 674 planned or upcoming projects estimated at $51.6 billion in the GCC healthcare industry, compared to $57.8 billion in January 2018. Oman bucked the trend with a 3 per cent increase in healthcare projects,” it said in its monthly note.

With planned or ongoing projects currently estimated at $31 billion across the region, the total estimated value of the GCC’s education industry declined by 7 per cent versus January 2018, even though the education projects market in the UAE grew by seven per cent.

A total of eight education projects with a combined estimated value of $89 million were awarded and two education projects valued at $29 million resumed construction during the month. Eleven education projects worth $264.4 million were completed.


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