MENA region sees record-breaking $30.5 billion in contract awards

In the month of January, six countries in the Middle East and North Africa region awarded contracts each exceeding $1 billion, with Saudi Arabia taking the lead at $11 billion

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region marked the beginning of the New Year with an unprecedented surge in contract awards, totaling a staggering $30.5 billion. This figure represents the highest value ever recorded in the first month of the year since MEED Projects commenced tracking regional project activity and contract awards back in January 2014.

On the flip side, Kuwait witnessed a decline in contract awards in January, plummeting by 77.7% to $127 million from $450 million in December 2023. The significant decrease can primarily be attributed to a $442 million agreement inked by the Ministry of Electricity and Water for the rehabilitation of the Al-Zour South power and water desalination plant.

Consequently, Kuwait secured the fifth position among Gulf countries and the tenth regionally in terms of contract awards in January, with only four contracts awarded.

1. A project valued at $42 million for the supply and construction of a 400-kilovolt power station catering to the areas of Al-Khiran, Al-Wafra, and Al-Sulaibiya.

2. A $31 million project initiated by the Public Authority for Housing Welfare for the construction of a girls’ center in the Jaber Al-Ahmad housing district.

3. A project worth $30 million by the Public Authority for Housing Welfare to construct a girls’ center in the Sabah Al-Ahmad housing district.

4. A $24 million project spearheaded by the Public Authority for Housing Welfare to build a youth center in the Sabah Al-Ahmad housing district.

The magazine reported that six countries in the region awarded contracts worth more than $1 billion each, with Saudi Arabia leading the pack at $11 billion. The oil sector accounted for the largest value of deals signed, totaling $8.1 billion, followed by the construction sector at $7.4 billion.

The largest contract awarded by Saudi Arabia in January was a $5 billion deal for the Neom project, entailing the construction of dams to create an artificial lake at the Trojena mountain resort, slated to host the Asian Winter Games in 2029. Following closely, the UAE secured the second position in terms of contract awards in January with $7.9 billion.

Qatar secured the third position with contract awards totaling $5.1 billion, propelled by four contracts valued at a total of $6 billion, aimed at boosting oil production from the Kharg field. Following Qatar, Oman and Kuwait claimed the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, with contracts worth $1.065 billion and $127 million. Bahrain, on the other hand, ranked sixth and last in the Gulf region, with contracts totaling $69 million.

On a broader regional scale, Egypt reported contract awards totaling $1.985 billion, followed by Algeria and Iraq with contracts valued at $1.267 billion and $605 million, respectively. Tunisia, Jordan, and Libya followed with contracts worth $200 million, $137 million, and $64 million, respectively.

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