12/09/2017 06:00 AST

Total value of 21,893 active construction projects in the GCC reached $2.4 trillion (Dh8.8 billion) at the beginning of September 2017, according to according to BNC Network, the largest and most comprehensive project research and intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Of these, the total value of urban construction projects reached $1.18 trillion (Dh4.34 trillion) in September 2017, BNC Construction Intelligence report shows – reflecting the buoyancy of the project market and the fact that the governments of the six Gulf countries are determined to carry out the important infrastructure projects.

The urban construction contracts constitute 80 per cent of the contracts awarded for all sectors in GCC and in dollar terms this translates to 49 per cent of the total contracts awarded.

“The governments and the private sector developers of the GCC region appears to be unmoved by the slowdown in the global economy and the lower oil price environment. Our latest GCC Construction Intelligence report shows that the projects are going ahead despite the challenging global economic situation," Avin Gidwani, Chief Executive Officer of BNC Network, said. “This is very good news for the businesses considering the overall global economy where countries are trying to push the economic growth rate to a slightly higher level.

“The continuation of these projects, worth Dh8.8 trillion, will keep many businesses, especially the sub-contractors, suppliers remain in business and help save millions of jobs across the region. If these projects continues as planned, the region will not only be saved from a possible recession and job losses, but also these will ensure stronger economic growth across the region,” he added.

The GCC constitutes 85 per cent of all active projects in the MENA and in dollar terms, these projects account for 68 per cent of the total estimated value. The report, released on the eve of the Cityscape Global exhibition that takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre on September 11-13, is expected to see a flurry of new project announcements.

“Over the last few days, we have seen a number of new projects being announced, including a Dh24 billion mixed-use master-planned project in Sharjah, in addition to a Dh3 billion new neighborhood near the University City at Juraina in Sharjah as well as a Dh1.5 billion tower to be managed by Shuaa Capital,” Avin Gidwani said.

“Earlier, Wasl Asset Management Group has announced Wasl 1 – a new mixed-use freehold community next to Dubai World Trade Centre – that expands the freehold areas into the traditional downtown of Dubai.

“These are exciting times for all those living in the GCC and the UAE – where most of the economic development activities are happening and we are passing through an exciting time.”

Value of the oil and gas projects in the oil-rich Gulf region has reached $331 billion (Dh1.21 trillion), while the total value of utility project in the Gulf reached $302 billion (Dh1.1 trillion) in September 2017, the report shows.

Total value of industrial projects reach $181 billion (Dh666.47 billion), according to BNC Network, which will help the region to become self-reliant and less dependent on imported products – as the completion of the industrial projects mean they will produce value-added products.

“Events like Dubai Expo 2020 along with stabilization of the oil price and the drive of the various GCC countries to achieve economic diversification and increase in the living standards will play a vital role in the construction industry contract awards,” Gidwani says.

“As the economic growth is expected to pick up pace next year, we expect an increased construction activity across the board in 2018. New project announcements by major developers that have taken place from 2016 till now – will go into tender next year and trig

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