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Sun 20 May 2012 05:53 PM

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$2bn GCC airport deals awarded so far in 2012

New research says airports capture bulk of GCC transport contracts in first five months

$2bn GCC airport deals awarded so far in 2012
An artists impression of the new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Airports captured the bulk of transportation contracts awarded in the first five months of 2012 with $2bn worth of projects throughout the GCC, it was announced on Sunday.

Road construction came in second with $1.6bn worth of contracts followed by port projects valued at $1.2bn while rail contracts awarded reached $424m, new research said.

The data was released by MEED ahead of the Arabian World Construction Summit 2012, which will present a comprehensive overview of construction and infrastructure projects across key sectors and markets in the Arab world.

With almost $300bn worth of projects to be awarded until 2016, construction costs will play a key role in both project conceptualisation and execution, the report said.

Earlier this month, it was reported that oil-rich Saudi Arabia plans to invest SR200bn ($53.33bn) in its aviation sector over the next five years.

The spending is in order to meet the demands of increasing air traffic in the kingdom due to a fast-growing population and economic development.

"Governments across the GCC will continue to invest in the infrastructure sector to support economic growth, and one of the busiest will be the transportation sector," said Edmund O'Sullivan, chairman, MEED Events, organisers of the event.

"Airports are currently leading the boost, as tourism continues to be a major growth driver in the region," he added.

The summit will gather the construction industry's leading stakeholders to discuss the prospects and challenges confronting the sector across the Arab world, he said.

"The GCC will continue to be a beehive of activity from ongoing projects and future investments. However, we will also hold special sessions on Iraq and Egypt and the massive opportunities at stake for contractors, financers and project owners," added Sullivan.

On Saturday, it was announced that Dubai plans to spend about AED1bn ($272m) over five years to improve roads.

The initial phase of the plan, which runs through to 2016, covers five residential communities including Hatta and Al Qusais 3 in addition to Al Quoz 2, 3 and 4, said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority.

Arabtec Holding, the UAE's largest construction firm by market value, more than tripled its first-quarter net profits.

The company made a net profit of AED84.1m ($22.90m) in the quarter, compared with AED26.6m in the corresponding period last year.

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