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.

Related reads:


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.

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.

Be the first to know about new projects; we provide the data so you can win the business. If you would like to see a demo of MEED Projects, or just want to find out more, register your details online or call +971 (0) 4 818 0200.
Sneha Abraham
Related Articles
  • Bahrain mall to install solar carport

    24 April 2024

    The Avenues-Bahrain has signed a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with UAE-headquartered solar company Yellow Door Energy (YDE) for a 3.5MW solar carport system encompassing the mall’s entire outdoor parking facility.

    According to the shopping mall operator, YDE will build, operate and maintain the solar carport, which will comprise over 6,000 bi-facial solar panels providing shade for 1,025 parking spots while generating over 5.8 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy in its first year.

    The Avenues-Bahrain expects construction of the solar carport to begin soon and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024.

    The solar carport, covering an area of 23,500 square metres (sqm), will complement the mall’s four-year-old rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system, which has a capacity of 250KW and offsets 300 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

    The Avenues-Bahrain win marks YDE’s sixth secured solar project in Bahrain, bringing its total portfolio in the country to over 30MW of awarded solar projects.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • No extension for Dubai sewer tunnel prequalification

    24 April 2024


    Register for MEED's guest programme 

    Dubai Municipality expects interested engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies to submit their statements of qualifications (SOQs) by the end of April for the contracts to develop the Dubai Strategic Sewerage Tunnels (DSST) project.

    “No further extension has been granted,” a source close to the project tells MEED.

    International, regional and local EPC contractors are keen to prequalify to bid for the contracts for the $22bn DSST scheme, which Dubai Municipality is implementing on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.

    In addition to its size, the project is gaining significant interest due to its unique procurement approach, whereby EPC contractors’ prequalification precedes developers’ prequalification.

    Dubai Municipality is undertaking the prequalification process for EPC contractors ahead of prequalifying companies that can bid for the contracts to develop and operate various packages of the project.

    According to industry sources, the floods resulting from last week’s storm that hit Dubai and other emirates have also made implementing the project more urgent. 

    The bidders for each of the PPP requests for proposals (RFPs) will be prequalified consortiums comprised of sponsors, EPC contractors and operation and management (O&M) contractors.

    MEED previously reported that the overall project will require a capital expenditure of roughly AED30bn ($8bn), while the whole life cost over the full concession terms of the entire project is estimated to reach AED80bn.

    The project aims to convert Dubai’s existing sewerage system from a pumped system to a gravity system by decommissioning the existing pump stations and providing “a sustainable, innovative, reliable service for future generations”.

    Dubai currently has two major sewerage catchments. The first in Deira is Warsan, where the Warsan sewage treatment plant (STP) treats the flow.

    The second catchment, called Jebel Ali, is in Bur Dubai, where the wastewater is treated at the Jebel Ali STP.

    DSST-DLT packages

    Under the current plan, the $22bn DSST project is broken down into six packages, which will be tendered separately as PPP packages with concession periods lasting between 25 and 35 years.

    The first package, J1, comprises Jebel Ali tunnels (North) and terminal pump stations (TPS). The tunnels will extend approximately 42 kilometres, and the links will extend 10km. 

    The second package, J2, covers the southern section of the Jebel Ali tunnels, which will extend 16km and have a link stretching 46km.

    W for Warsan, the third package, comprises 16km of tunnels, TPS and 46km of links.

    J3, the fourth package, comprises 129km of links. Once completed, Dubai Municipality will operate them, unlike the first three packages, which are envisaged to be operated and maintained by the winning PPP contractors.  

    J1, J2 and W will be procured under a design-build-finance-operate-maintain model with a concession period of 25-35 years.

    J3 will be procured under a design-build-finance model with a concession period of 25-35 years.

    J1, J2, W and J3 will comprise the deep sewerage tunnels, links and TPS (DLT) components of the overall project.

    MEED understands the project’s remaining two packages, the expansion and upgrade of the Jebel Ali and Warsan STPs, will be procured in a process separate from the four DSST-DLT components.

    The RFPs for the four DSST-DLT packages will likely be issued sequentially, staggered around six to 12 months apart.

    Dubai Municipality has appointed Abu Dhabi-headquartered Tribe Infrastructure Group as lead and financial adviser, UK-based Ashurst as legal adviser and the US’ Parsons as technical adviser for the DSST project.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • UAE and Oman firms sign $32bn energy deal

    24 April 2024

    Register for MEED's guest programme 

    An industrial and energy project valued at an estimated AED117bn ($31.8bn) topped the recent investment agreements reached between the UAE and Oman following Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq’s visit to the UAE capital earlier this week.

    The package encompasses renewable energy initiatives, including wind and solar projects, alongside green metals production facilities.

    The agreement’s signatories included Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), Emirates Global Aluminium, Emirates Steel Arkan, OQ Alternative Energy and Oman Electricity Transmission Company.

    Details of the planned projects have not yet been disclosed, although the production of green steel and green aluminium in either jurisdiction is implied.

    The companies signed the agreements on 22 April in the presence of Sheikh Theyab Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Office of Development and Martyrs’ Families Affairs at the Presidential Court, and Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

    Along with other technology and infrastructure-related partnerships and projects, an agreement for the UAE-Oman rail connectivity project, valued at AED11bn, was also signed.

    Photo: WAM

    MEED’s latest special report on Oman includes: 

    > COMMENT: Muscat needs to stimulate growth
    > GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY: Muscat performs tricky budget balancing act

    > BANKING: Oman banks look to projects for growth
    > OIL & GAS: Oman diversifies hydrocarbons value chain
    > POWER & WATER: Oman expands grid connectivity
    > HYDROGEN: Oman seeks early hydrogen success

    > CONSTRUCTION: Oman construction is back on track
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Abu Dhabi and Oman launch $180m tech fund

    24 April 2024

    Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, ADQ, and Oman Investment Authority (OIA) have launched a $180m technology focused vehicle called Jasoor Fund.

    Jasoor Fund aims to bolster Oman’s digital economy as well as the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region by supporting high-growth technology companies in sectors such as finance, education, health care, clean energy, food, agriculture and logistics.

    OIA is represented by Ithca Group, formerly known as Oman Information and Communication Technologies Group, in the fund.

    According to ADQ, the fund’s core focus will be on innovative technology companies established in the sultanate, in addition to technology startups in other countries in the region.

    It will undertake investments in high-growth technology companies at various stages of development that have established business models.

    Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, ADQ managing director and chief executive, said the launch of Jasoor Fund “reinforces our commitment to make investments that unlock the potential of key sectors of the economy, while creating lasting value for stakeholders”.

    Jasoor Fund is part of broader framework agreement signed between both parties in 2022, when they identified investment opportunities worth over $8bn across key sectors of Oman’s economy.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Contractors win Oman-Etihad Rail packages

    23 April 2024

    Register for MEED's guest programme 

    Oman-Etihad Rail Company (OERC) has announced that it has awarded contracts for three civil works packages for the railway project linking Oman and the UAE, which is now officially called Hafeet Rail.

    The estimated AED5.5bn ($1.5bn) design-and-build contract was awarded to a consortium of Abu Dhabi-based National Projects Construction (NPC), National Infrastructure Construction Company (NICC), Tristar Engineering & Construction and Oman’s Galfar Engineering & Contracting.

    NPC is the infrastructure development arm of the Abu Dhabi-based Trojan Construction Group, which is a subsidiary of local investment firm Alpha Dhabi.

    According to sources close to the project, the clients are expected to appoint an engineering design firm for the project imminently.

    NICC is the project management consultant for the Hafeet Rail scheme.

    OERC also awarded a separate contract for the rolling stock systems and integration contracts to German firm Siemens and Egyptian contractor Hassan Allam Construction.

    Several high-ranking officials from both sides attended the agreement signing ceremony.

    They included Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; Suhail Bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure; Abdul Salam Bin Mohammed Al Murshidi, chairman of the Omani Investment Authority; Qais Bin Mohammed Al Yousef, minister of commerce, industry and investment promotion; and Ahmed Bin Hilal Al Busaidi, Oman’s ambassador to the UAE.

    In January, MEED reported that OERC had received bids for three civil works packages for the railway project linking the two countries.

    According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, the firms submitted their bids on 4 December for packages A and B. The bid for package C was submitted on 11 December.

    OERC qualified companies that could bid for the three civil works packages for the railway project in August last year.

    Network development

    Oman-Etihad Rail Company was established in September 2022 to implement the railway network between the two countries.

    The project subsequently received a push after Oman-Etihad Rail Company inked a strategic agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company to support its development.

    The UAE-Oman Rail Network is set to improve the two countries’ competitiveness in global trade and help establish their positions as logistics hubs that serve as gateways to regional markets.

    The scheme supports both countries’ sustainable development goals by improving their transport and infrastructure sectors.

    The line’s increased efficiency compared to other modes of transport is expected to reduce the overall cost of supply chains. The network will also provide trade and investment opportunities for the private sector and new job opportunities.

    Passenger trains will run up to 200 kilometres (km) an hour on the line, reducing the journey time between Sohar and Abu Dhabi to 100 minutes and between Sohar and Al Ain to 47 minutes.

    Freight trains will reach a top speed of 120km/hour.
    Yasir Iqbal