Top pending projects in 2024

27 December 2023


This report on 2024 projects also includes: Upcoming regional projects hit $270bn

Neom City Development Programme

Project client: Neom

Since its launch in 2017, Saudi Arabia’s Neom has announced numerous masterplans – among them the 170-kilometre-long The Line, the partly offshore industrial city Oxagon and the Trojena mountain resort. These projects make up a large part of the $17.6bn of work currently under bid within the gigaproject.

As the $500bn gigaproject becomes a busy construction site, the construction industry has started to benefit from a sharp increase in contract awards. In 2023, Neom contract awards hit $10bn, making it a major regional market in its own right – one that is only surpassed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.

The Line

Significant progress has been made on the construction of The Line. Work on The Line’s backbone infrastructure tunnels began in June 2022, when Neom awarded $2.7bn-worth of contracts for lots two and three of the scheme to a joint venture of Shibh al-Jazira Contracting, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and FCC Construction.

Another contract worth about $1.8bn for lots four and five was awarded to a team of Archirodon, Samsung Engineering and Hyundai Engineering.

Neom is prioritising the construction of the railway that forms part of the infrastructure corridor known as the Spine within its phased delivery plan. In August 2023, Neom awarded package A3 for the mountain railway tunnels on The Line to China Construction Third Engineering Bureau. The same month, Neom invited companies to bid for the $500m track works as part of the railway network programme along the spine of The Line. The contract award is expected in the first quarter of 2024.


The Oxagon industrial city, launched in late 2021, is a 48 square-kilometre development that includes onshore elements as well as floating structures offshore. Its port, Duba Port, is being expanded to act as a key conduit for the delivery of materials into Tabuk Province. Construction at the site is now well under way, with a team of Boskalis, Besix and the local Modern Building Leaders delivering the $800m first phase of the Duba Port expansion project. In October 2023, Belgium’s Deme and Greece’s Archirodon were also awarded the $1bn contract to complete the next phase of the port.

Looking ahead, contractors have submitted bids for packages one and two of the Delta Junction tunnel project as part of the Neom Industrial City Connector at Oxagon. The scheme is likely to be awarded in early 2024 and is split into two packages covering 26.5km of tunnelling.


Neom is steadily advancing its plans to deliver several key components of Trojena, with Saudi Arabia set to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at the location in 2022. It recently completed the technical evaluation of the proposals for the Trojena dams, and the client and selected contractors are now negotiating the commercial aspects of the project.

In 2023, Neom engaged three contractors on an early contractor involvement basis: a consortium of the local Al-Ayuni with Turkiye-headquartered Limak; Beijing-based PowerChina; and Italy’s WeBuild. In October, Neom awarded a $1.2bn infrastructure development contract at Trojena to a joint venture of the local Al-Ayuni Investment & Contracting and Turkish Limak Holding. In August 2023, the tender was issued for the contract to construct the shell and core components of the Vault at Trojena. 

In 2023, Neom contract awards hit $10bn, making it a major market in its own right – surpassed only by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar

National Renewable Energy Programme

Project client: SPPC

In November 2023, Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) kicked off the procurement process for the fifth round of Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Programme, issuing the request for qualifications for a new batch of four solar power plant projects.

Saudi Arabia has publicly tendered over 6.6GW of renewable energy capacity since 2017, of which about 4.4GW, or 66 per cent of the total tendered capacity, has been for photovoltaic solar schemes. SPPC is set to procure 30 per cent of the kingdom’s target installed renewable energy capacity of 58.7GW by 2030. 

UZ1000 Upper Zakum Expansion

Project client: Adnoc Offshore

The UZ1000 Upper Zakum expansion will increase the oil production potential of Abu Dhabi’s largest producing oil asset – the Upper Zakum offshore field – to 1.2 million barrels a day (b/d). The $7bn contract for the development of surface facilities on the project is the largest single project package currently under bid in the region. 

Bids for the work have been submitted by the UK’s Petrofac, the local Target Engineering Construction Company and Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas.

Duwaiheen nuclear power plant

Project client: Duwaiheen Nuclear Energy Company

The $6bn first package of Saudi Arabia’s Duwaiheen nuclear power plant entails the construction of two 2,800MW nuclear reactors on behalf of the special purpose vehicle the Duwaiheen Nuclear Energy Company. In November, the deadline for the tendering process was extended to 31 December, two months later than the previous deadline. Expected bidders include China National Nuclear Corporation, France’s EDF, Korea Electric Power Corporation and Russia’s Rosatom.

Dubai Metro Blue Line

Project client: Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority

The Dubai Metro Blue Line is a $4.8bn project that will connect the existing Red and Green lines by means of an additional 30km of track, 15.5km underground and 14.5km above ground, together with 12 additional stations and the expansion of connecting stations. The scope of the contract also includes the supply of 28 driverless trains, the construction of the train depot and all associated works. The project was tendered by the Roads & Transport Authority after the project was greenlit in November 2023. Expressions of interest are being sought from three experienced international consortiums.

Ruwais LNG Terminal

Project client: Adnoc Gas Processing

Adnoc Gas Processing is evaluating bids for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Ruwais, UAE, worth an estimated $4.5bn. This project involves constructing a plant that will add 9.6 million tonnes a year of liquefaction capacity and will be the first electric LNG plant in the Mena region. Bids for the projects have been submitted by South Korea’s Hyundai E&C, Japan’s JGC Corporation, the US’ McDermott, local firm NPCC, Italy’s Saipem and France’s Technip Energies.

Al-Zour North IWPP: Phases 2 and 3

Project client: Kapp

The $4bn phases two and three of Kuwait’s Al-Zour North independent water and power project (IWPP) involve constructing a 2,700MW power plant coupled with a desalination facility with a capacity of 165 million gallons a day. The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (Kapp) is currently reviewing the prequalification documents for five potential bidders.

North Field Production Sustainability: Phase 2

Project client: QatarEnergy LNG

The $4bn phase two, scope D of the North Field Production Sustainability project in Qatar involves the delivery of two large offshore gas compression complexes that will weigh between 25,000 and 35,000 tonnes as part of a total of 100,000 tonnes of fabrication. Bid submissions are due in December 2023, and the expectation is that both US’ McDermott and Italy’s Saipem will make bids.

 Upcoming regional projects hit $270bn
John Bambridge
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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  • Contractors win Oman-Etihad Rail packages

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    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.
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