14/11/2017 06:12 AST

The GCC has one of the biggest construction pipelines in the world with $3.1 trillion worth of projects planned or under way in the region.

The high value of projects planned and under way is a clear indication of how the projects industry has become a key driver for the economic success of the GCC, laying the foundations for the long-term, sustainable development of the region that will support future generations. MEED supports this development by recognising and celebrating the best achievements of the region’s projects industry through its annual MEED Projects Awards, in association with Mashreq.

The awards programme has a two-stage judging process that recognises the best projects at the national level and then selects an overall GCC winner for each category. Since launching the projects awards programme in 2011, MEED has recognised 92 of the highest quality projects across the GCC that were completed between 2009 and 2017. Regionally, the UAE has enjoyed the most success with 28 GCC winners, followed by Saudi Arabia with 17 and Qatar 16. Bahrain and Oman have 12 and 11 regional winners, respectively, while Kuwait has 8.

At the country level, the UAE has had 154 national winners, followed by Saudi Arabia with 46 and Qatar 43. Oman is next with 38, followed by Bahrain with 26 and Kuwait with 25 national winners. A total of 332 national winners have been recognised since 2011.

“This is not just about having the tallest building or the largest infrastructure project, although these are impressive accomplishments, it is more about how the projects contribute to the economic and social success and sustainability of the community where they are based. Other critical factors reviewed by the judges are innovations and achievements in design, engineering and construction. These are the benchmarks that invariably have an impact on the successful completion of any project,” said Becky Crayman, Programme Director, Awards & Managed Events, MEED.

The awards programme’s most coveted prize, the MEED Quality Project of the Year, in association with Mashreq, has so far been given to just four countries.

The UAE has won twice with the Burj Khalifa Project in 2011 and the Dubai International Airport — Concourse A Project in 2013. Qatar is another two-time winner, with Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Shell’s Pearl GTL Project in 2012, and the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies Building Project in 2015.

Saudi Arabia is another double winner, receiving the top award two years in a row with the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies & Research Centre Project in 2016 and the Sadara Project last year. Bahrain has won once, with Bahrain Petroleum Company’s (BAPCO) Install Refinery Wastewater Treatment Plant Project in 2014.

For the past seven years, the MEED Projects Awards has been recognising completed schemes in a broad range of categories, including Oil & Gas Project of the Year, Industrial Project of the Year, Power & Water Project of the Year, Leisure & Tourism Project of the Year, Transport Project of the Year, Social Infrastructure Project of the Year, Building Project of the Year, Sustainable Project of the Year, Award for Innovation, and Small Project of the Year.

New categories have also been added, opening the door for a broader range of projects to be recognised, reflecting the growing diversity of projects being completed throughout the region. These include Airport Project of the Year, Retail Project of the Year, Mixed-Use Project of the Year, Residential Project of the Year, Rail Project of the Year; Road & Bridge Project of the Year and Mega Project of the Year.

Oman has had multiple winners in the GCC Leisure & Tourism Project of the Year category, with the Salalah Gardens Mall and Residences Project winning in 2014, followed by the Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort Project in 2015.

The sultanate has also won two of the new award categories with the Desi


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