MEED magazine has reported a robust 88% annual growth in project contract awards in the Gulf countries for 2023, totaling over $205 billion.

According to data from MEED Projects, which monitors regional project activity, 2023 set a new record for project awards in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, surpassing the 2022 total of approximately $109 billion by 88%. This also marked an 18% increase over the previous record in 2014, when project awards reached $173 billion, reports Al-Anba daily.

The magazine highlighted the remarkable nature of this wave of awards over the past 12 months, considering that the activity in 2014 was influenced by the higher price of Brent crude, reaching $100 per barrel, in contrast to the current level of around $80 per barrel.

MEED noted that the average annual project awards from 2014 to 2023 stood at approximately $130 billion. The record total awards in 2023 exceeded this average by 58%.

The increased activity was notably driven by exceptional levels of contract awards in the project markets of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with contracts valued at $92 billion and $78 billion, respectively. Saudi Arabia’s surge in project activity aligns with the goals of Vision 2030, involving substantial investments in energy infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the UAE witnessed a construction activity rebound and renewed investments in hydrocarbon exploration.

Qatar ranked third in terms of project market activity, with significant gas contracts valued at $19 billion. Kuwait followed as the fourth most active market with contracts worth $8.2 billion, while Oman and Bahrain secured awards valued at $6.6 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.

At the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) level, MEED Projects noted that the past 12 months represented a record performance for project activity. This was particularly attributed to the GCC markets, where contractors secured $254 billion in project awards in 2023, surpassing the previous record of $240 billion in 2014.

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