Region records record monthly contract awards

22 November 2023


In October, the Middle East and North Africa recorded the largest-ever monthly value of contract awards since MEED began analysing regional contract awards in January 2014.

The $37bn of deals signed were driven by multibillion-dollar awards by regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and followed on from the $25bn of awards in September – the second-largest monthly awards value so far in 2023.


The UAE recorded $21bn of deals signed, spurred by two contract awards by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) worth a total of $16.9bn in the gas sector. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts were awarded for work on the Hail and Ghasha offshore sour gas field development project. 

An $8.2bn deal was signed with a consortium of Abu Dhabi’s NMDC Energy, formerly National Petroleum Construction Company, and Italian contractor Saipem for the offshore EPC package. The scope of work broadly involves EPC of offshore facilities, including facilities on artificial islands and subsea pipelines.

Meanwhile, Italy-headquartered Tecnimont was awarded the $8.7bn onshore EPC contract. This involves the EPC of onshore facilities including carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur recovery and handling.

Other sectors are also poised for project activity in the coming years. MEED reports that the prospects for the rest of this year are promising for the UAE’s construction sector, with nearly $8bn of contracts at the bid evaluation stage and another $2bn at the main contract bid and prequalification stages. 

The UAE’s aviation sector is also set for growth, with plans being considered to restart the AED120bn ($33bn) expansion of Dubai’s Al-Maktoum International airport.

An expansion of Sharjah International airport is planned to increase its capacity from eight to 20 million passengers a year. Sharjah Civil Aviation Authority is expected to award the estimated AED2.5bn main construction works package by the end of this year.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia awarded the second-largest value of deals in October, with $13bn of awards. Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) signed four deals, each worth $1.56bn, for the Qassim and Taiba independent power producer (IPP) projects. 

China’s Sepco 3 will undertake the EPC contract for the 1,800MW Qassim 1 IPP and 1,800MW Taiba 1 IPP projects. The firm partnered with a team of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and Acwa Power, which won the contracts to develop the two IPP contracts.

A team comprising the local Al-Jomaih Energy & Water, France’s EDF and the local Buhur for Investment won the contract to develop the 1,800MW Taiba 2 IPP and 1,800MW Qassim 2 IPP schemes.

Each project will be developed on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis and will be 100 per cent owned by the successful bidders.

Download the Middle East contracts awarded for October 2023

It is also confirmed that the kingdom is the sole bidder to host football’s 2034 World Cup, which will give the projects market a long-term pipeline of work. 

In addition, more firms have approached Jeddah Economic Company to take part in the tender for the contract to complete the world’s tallest tower, the 1,000-metre-plus-tall Jeddah Tower project in Saudi Arabia.


In October, Egypt recorded $776m of deals signed, the biggest being a $640m contract awarded by the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) to the local Orascom Construction for the civil works for the Cairo Metro line four package CP402.  


Kuwait awarded $714m of deals in October, led by a $540m contract awarded by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) for constructing crude debottlenecking facilities for the SGC Metering 2 project for East Kuwait area two. 

Meanwhile, MEED reports that Kuwait’s Central Agency for Public Tenders (Capt) is preparing to tender five projects for KOC, which could have a total value of $3.5bn, according to industry sources.


Oman recorded $513m of deals signed in October, with the largest a $310m contract let by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Youth to a joint venture of the local Saif Salim Issa al-Harrasi and Turkish Sembol Construction for the design-and-build of its cultural complex. The complex comprises three buildings located next to the Ministry of Labour to the south of the Sultan Qaboos Highway and opposite the Muscat International airport development.


Iraq awarded $494m of contracts in October, with the biggest a $448m deal signed by the Ministry of Energy with the local Socar for the second phase of the 750MW Nassiriyah gas-fired power plant.

Meanwhile, MEED reports that the procurement process is understood to be under way for projects to convert solid waste to energy in Baghdad. According to local media reports, some 42 companies have expressed an interest or have been prequalified to bid for the contracts.

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Qatar recorded two awards worth a total of $154m in October, both let by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to the local Generic Engineering Technologies & Contracting for work at the Lusail Formula 1 and MotoGP race circuit.

Several companies are preparing to bid for the contract to develop Qatar’s Facility E independent water and power producer (IWPP) project. General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) expects to receive proposals for the contract by 14 December.


Bahrain saw $98m of deals signed in October, the biggest of which was a $60m contract awarded by the Electricity & Water Authority (EWA) to South Korea’s Taihan Electric Wire Company for cable works at the 400kV Jasra Grid substation. 


Tunisia awarded $97m of deals in October. The largest was a $72m contract that Tunisia National Water Distribution Utility (Sonede) awarded to India’s Wabag for the Bejaoua water treatment plant.

Tunisia is also moving ahead with green hydrogen plans, with Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) awarding a contract for a detailed pre-feasibility study of the country’s green hydrogen and derivatives initiative. 


Jordan rounds off the list of countries to record contract awards in October, with $64m of deals signed. The biggest was a $40m contract signed by the Jordan Valley Authority and the Ministry of Water & Irrigation to expand pumped capacity from the King Abdullah Canal to the Wadi al-Arab dam.

Green hydrogen plans are also progressing in the country. MEED reports that a consortium of Ireland’s Amarenco and Switzerland-based H2 Global Energy has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources (MEMR) to develop a green hydrogen and ammonia production facility.

Jordan has also secured a $53m grant for the Aqaba-Amman water desalination and conveyance (AAWDC) project, the tender closing date for which has been extended to 4 December. 

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

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Sneha Abraham
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