Kuwait ranked last in the Gulf and regionally in the projects market, after it awarded only $28 million in contracts last August, according to the regional project tracker Med Projects.

In total, the Middle East recorded $5.7 billion in deals signed in August, with Egypt topping the list, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar ranked second and third respectively, according to a local Arabic daily.

MEED reported that Saudi Arabia remains a force to be reckoned with in the regional project market, as the kingdom progresses in achieving Vision 2030 goals. A total of $1.5 billion of deals were signed in the kingdom in August, with the largest contract valued at $250 million by local Umm Al-Qura Development and Construction Company with the local Arab Diar Company to build 10 residential towers in Makkah. The Kingdom also witnessed four deals with a total value of $405 million, which were signed on mega projects related to tourism in August.

Giant tourism projects are not the only source of project activity in Saudi Arabia, as the state oil company Aramco raised its capital spending by 25% to $9.4 billion in the second quarter of 2022, and by 8% to $16.9 billion in the first half of 2022, compared to the same periods in 2021. In March, Aramco announced plans to spend up to $50 billion on capital spending projects in 2022, with the goal of increasing oil exports.

Meanwhile, Qatar, which saw the highest value of deals signed in July at $1.1 billion, signed only half that value in August. The two largest contracts signed in the GCC cost $200 million, awarded by state-owned Qatar Energy to South Korean Samsung C&T to build solar power plants in various industrial cities.

Egypt topped the regional project market for the second time in 2022, awarding $2.6 billion in contracts in August. The North African country previously topped the regional ranking in May, with contracts worth $10.5 billion signed.

Egypt’s $2.6 billion deals were bolstered in August by a $2.2 billion contract awarded by Russia’s Rosatom to South Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power KHNP, a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation, to build and supply buildings, equipment and materials for the country’s El Dabaa nuclear plant project.

Egypt’s strong performance is not surprising, as the country focuses on keeping its energy sector projects on track in its overarching goal of becoming a regional energy hub.

Between January 2020 and August 2022, the total value of active oil, gas and petrochemical projects in Egypt increased by 10%, from $89.5 billion to $98.4 billion, according to regional project tracker Med Projects.

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