RIYADH: Saudi Arabia remained the largest projects market in the GCC during 2022 recording a total of $54.2 billion worth of contracts awarded as compared to $53.9 billion in 2021, according to Kamco Invest.
Other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, however, witnessed a drop in project awards during 2022 due to mounting global economic challenges. The total value of contracts handed out dropped 18.7 percent to $93.6 billion from $115.2 billion the previous year, said the report.
This was the lowest project awards amount since 2005, barring the pandemic-induced decline in 2020, the regional non-banking financial powerhouse based in Kuwait stated.
The decline of GCC contract awards was affected by high inflation and continuing supply chain problems, mainly due to China’s intermittent COVID-19 restrictions which are now lifted, it added.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar accounted for a combined 93.6 percent of the total value of contracts awarded in the GCC during the year.
According to the report, total projects awarded in Kuwait during 2022 reached $2.8 billion against $5.2 billion in 2021.
Similarly, Oman witnessed new project awards drop by 27.1 percent year-on-year to hit $2.2 billion, while the aggregate value of contracts awarded in Bahrain reached $96 million in 2022 as compared to $2.7 billion during 2021.
In terms of sector, the major share of new contract awards went to the construction industry with the value registering a $3.2 billion year-on-year increase to reach a total of $34.3 billion during 2022.
The growth in the GCC construction sector was mainly driven by the jump in total value of contract awards in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector.
Of the total value of projects awarded in the GCC, nearly 59.2 percent was awarded by the Kingdom, stated the report.
The outlook for 2023 remains bright for the GCC projects market with more than $110 billion worth of projects already in the tender stage, according to MEED Projects, that would mostly translate into awards.