UAE takes lion's share of $1t projects in GCC

By Abdul Basit
The UAE ranked top among GCC countries with its lion's share of $636 billion construction projects while the region has more than $1 trillion worth of major projects

Qatar ranked second with more than $106 billion worth of projects with significant investment in oil and gas, heavy industry, electricity generation and water desalination, social infrastructure and transportation links.
The huge amount shows the region has recorded the largest construction work per capita in the world and industry stakeholders are setting up initiatives to ensure these new projects are completed to the highest standards of quality.
"The projects completed and now under way in the six countries that make up the GCC have special significance. To an extent unmatched anywhere else on earth, the projects industry is placing its future in the hands of the regional and global projects industry," said Edmund O'Sullivan, chairman of the judging panel of the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, an independent award recognition programme established in 2011 to recognise project excellence across several categories.

According to a comprehensive and up-to-date tracking system of projects that are either under way or planned throughout the region, the UAE's projects industry was valued $581 billion as at January 2012. However, new projects in February are expected to boost the total value of projects to $636 billion, according to MEED Projects.

However, another report by the business research and intelligence firm CPH World Media revealed that the UAE has the largest number of active projects in the Middle East, whose over 1,200 projects valued at around $931 billion could be under way for 2012. The report further said that the UAE figures globally at the top in terms of per-capita expenditure on construction and is relatively free of entry barriers.

With the massive size and complexity of projects in the UAE, and the impact that they have on diversifying its economy, effective and efficient execution of both planned and ongoing projects will be critical to the country's success.
The MEED Quality Awards for Projects is the only awards programme in the GCC to recognise completed projects and it evaluates the outcome of the construction process, rather than the process itself. Now in its second year, the MEED Quality Awards for Projects is judged by an independent judging panel consisting of respected representatives from the projects industry who will determine the winners at the national and regional level of the competition.
The 2011 award winners included the UAE's Burj Khalifa; Kuwait's National Library; and Qatar's Mesaieed A, an independent power project.

O'Sullivan said the projects will be evaluated not just in terms of their size and aesthetics. "This is not about being the biggest or tallest. We review the projects on the basis of economic, social and environmental impact; as well as innovations and achievements in design, engineering and construction. These are benchmarks that will have an impact of the long-term success of not just the projects industry, but the GCC as a whole," he added.

© Khaleej Times 2012

The UAE ranked top among GCC countries with its lion's share of $636 billion construction projects while the region has more than $1 trillion worth of major projects to be completed by 2020.