Middle East contract awards: November 2023

19 December 2023

 

In November, there were $13.1bn of contract awards in the Middle East and North Africa region, in an almost two-thirds reduction on the record $39bn signed the previous month, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects. The award value total was also below average when compared to the $20bn average monthly awards over the preceding 12 months and the $15bn long-term average for monthly contract awards.

The strong overall project award activity in 2023, particularly in October, nevertheless leaves the region still potentially on track to match, if not exceed, the record value for annual contract awards set in 2014.

As in previous months, November’s contract awards tally was led by multibillion-dollar awards by regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with Qatar. 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia recorded $5.5bn of contract awards in November, the biggest of which were a pair of $1.2bn awards by Saudi Power Procurement Company for the 1.2GW Rabigh combined-cycle power plant and the 1.1GW Al-Hinakiyah solar independent power producer plant. 

A $1.2bn, 1.1GW solar project at Al-Hinakiyah was awarded under round four of the kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) along with the $440m, 400MW solar project at Tubarjal. The projects form part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to install 27.3GW of renewable energy capacity by 2024 and 58.7GW by 2030 through the NREP.

Saudi Arabia’s projects market is set for a further boost following the kingdom’s successful bid to host Expo 2030, with Riyadh stating that it plans to invest $7.8bn into related infrastructure. Activity on the kingdom'a gigaprojects also continues, with MEED estimating in late November that $60.6bn of deals had been inked from 2018 to date.

Qatar

Qatar saw $2.6bn of deals inked in November, with the largest a $1.2bn contract signed by North Oil Company with India’s Larsen & Toubro for the Al-Shaheen oil field development Ruya batch one project, which is part of the estimated $6bn project to increase the production potential of the field. The scope of work involves the installation of a large offshore platform and integration with existing facilities.

Download the Middle East contracts awarded for November 2023
UAE

The UAE recorded the third-largest value of deals signed in November, at $2.4bn. The biggest was a $1.2bn contract let by local developer Wasl to China State Construction Engineering Corporation for the MGM resort and the Bellagio and Aria hotels on The Island development in Dubai. According to MEED Projects, it is the largest construction deal to be signed in the emirate since local contractor Alec secured the $1.36bn contract to build One Zabeel from local developer Ithra in 2017. 

The UAE has also seen movement on other big-ticket projects, with Dubai approving the $4.9bn Blue Line extension to the Dubai Metro network on 24 November. Dubai’s construction market is set to make a pivotal shift next year as the emirate’s focus switches from real estate to public infrastructure projects.

North Africa

In North Africa, Algeria and Morocco both contributed to the November contract awards total, with $960m and $955m of deals signed, respectively. Algeria’s value came from a single award by state-owned Anesrif for a new mining railway between Tindouf and Bechar. The project is part of multibillion-dollar rail building programme by Anesrif that involves the development of a total 12,000 kilometres of railway lines.

In Morocco, the largest contract award was an $875m signing by the National Office of Electricity & Drinking Water (Onee) with a consortium led by Spain's Acciona to deliver the first phase of a major seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in Grand Casablanca.

Egypt recorded $148m of deals signed in November, down from $776m in October. The biggest deal was signed by the National Authority for Tunnels for the signalling system on phase three of the 10th of Ramadan light rail transit project. 

Other GCC

Back in the GCC, several contracts were also signed in Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain in November, with work worth $200m, $117m and $63m being awarded, respectively.

Oman’s projects market is set for growth, with the sultanate reinitiating plans to build the long-stalled Blue City project. The design works are ongoing and are expected to be completed by mid-2024.

Iraq

Iraq rounded out the deals recorded in November, with a $139m contract for a cement plant awarded by the Northern Region Cement Company to Germany's KHD Humboldt Wedag and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

Related reads:

 

For more up-to-date information on the region’s largest projects, go to MEED Projects, which tracks trillions of dollars-worth of schemes.

MEED Projects is a subscriber-only service that provides comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate project information. It monitors industry and business development opportunities through market data tailored to your needs.

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Sneha Abraham
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