Gulf spends $14bn on healthcare projects

Saudi Arabia alone is funding 83 healthcare construction projects costing a total of $6.6 billion.
Gulf spends $14bn on healthcare projects
By Joanna Hartley
Mon 19 Jan 2009 02:06 PM

Almost $14 billion is being spent across the Gulf on new hospital and healthcare facilities, bucking the current economic trend in the region, according to new research released on Monday.

The study is based on data gathered by Proleads, which maintains the region's most comprehensive database of construciton projects.

It shows that despite the economic downturn in the Gulf, healthcare builds are continuing across Gulf countries with a mixture of public, private and joint-venture initiatives, according to the organisers of Arab Health, who released the findings ahead of next week's conference in Dubai.

Figures show that Saudi Arabia is leading the way with a total spend on healthcare construction projects of more than $6.6 billion, while the UAE and Qatar are closely matched at $2.9 billion and $2.8 billion respectively.

Saudi Arabia has a total of 83 projects ranging from the $400 million King Saud University Medical City in Riyadh to the $5 million Qatif Central Hospital expansion in the Eastern Province.

Qatar has two projects currently underway, but one alone is the region's biggest and most ambitious – the Sidra Medical and Research Centre which forms part of Doha's Education City development and budgeted at $2.3 billion.

In the UAE, the biggest project is the $1.9 billion first phase of the Cleveland Clinic Al Suwwa Island development in Abu Dhabi and the second is the Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre in Dubai Healthcare City budgeted at $572 million.

Kuwait has a one major hospital project under construction - the $1.2 billion Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Hospital. Bahrain, meanwhile, is spending $130 million on the King Hamad General Hospital.

Simon Page, director of the life sciences division at IIR Middle East said: "While real estate projects in the region are suffering, not one hospital related project has yet been cancelled or put on hold as a direct result of the current global economic slowdown."

"The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries are committed to growth in basic infrastructure, of which healthcare is one of the key elements in their long-term strategies," he added.

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