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Fri 22 Mar 2019 01:06 AM

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Gulf countries said to have $1.1trn active infrastructure projects

Report says road development projects continue to be among the largest infrastructure investments across the GCC

Gulf countries said to have $1.1trn active infrastructure projects
Data showed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead in infrastructure spending in the region.

Road development projects continue to be among the largest infrastructure investments across the GCC region and remains a top priority for governments, according to new research.

A report released by Orient Planet Research highlighted the massive investments in road, tunnels and bridges across the GCC amid oil prices fluctuation in recent years.

It said the GCC countries are among the world’s most ambitious when it comes to developing mega infrastructures, driven by the vision to become a regional powerhouse that will attract investments and further diversify from oil, the Gulf’s major source of income.

Worldwide, the UAE and Saudi Arabia rank among the top 12 global markets for infrastructure investment, the report noted.

The report said that total value of active infrastructure projects in the GCC has reached $1.14 trillion with roads, highways and bridges among the highest number of projects.

It further noted that there was a total of 1,069 road projects in the region, the highest number among all infrastructure projects, with a combined value of $122.6 billion.

Data showed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead in infrastructure spending in the region.

The report highlighted some of the major projects across the region such as Dubai’s allocation of AED15 billion ($4.8 billion) to complete key projects to serve the upcoming Expo 2020, including the upgrade of roads, ramps and flyovers.

In Saudi Arabia, over $400 million is invested in nine major road projects including the King Hamad Causeway while in Kuwait, the government is set to implement the construction of the Seventh Ring Road Project, a 93-kilometre road network development.

Other projects include the Saudi-Oman Highway, a 680km road which links Oman and Saudi Arabia and the Mafraq-Ghuwaifat International Highway, a $5.3 billion project that links Abu Dhabi to the Saudi border.

Nidal Abou Zaki, managing director of Orient Planet Group, said: “One of the important findings of the report points to the level of priority given to road projects by GCC governments, even when low oil prices impacted the regional economy in 2014 and 2015.

"Governments have maintained a positive approach to infrastructure development, including exploring new ways of financing important initiatives such as public-private partnerships.”

He added: “Investment in road projects across the region remain buoyant which is indicative of the governments’ commitment to expand social and economic activities in many parts of the region through the construction as well as renovation of bridges, intersections, tunnels, and inter-country causeways.”

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