Muscat: With an estimated US$2.4 trillion of projects planned across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the region still offers abundant opportunities as governments seek to develop infrastructure to meet the needs of rapidly expanding populations, and to deliver economic diversification.
But while the need for infrastructure has never diminished, the crash in oil prices from 2014 to 2016 has seen major changes to the market. The value of contract awards has fallen by about US$180 billion a year in 2016 and 2017. This reduced level of awards is set to continue in 2018 and 2019.
Despite this, the region still offers some of the best project opportunities in the world. The need for infrastructure and economic diversification is greater than ever. And, as home to some of the world’s wealthiest countries, the financial muscle is available to meet these needs and the recovery in oil prices and economic growth in 2018 has seen the conditions for projects improving.
To honour stakeholders in the projects market for their outstanding contributions to the growth of the region, leading business intelligence provider MEED has shortlisted 80 companies and individuals to qualify for its prestigious MEED Awards programme.
Oman has two finalists competing not just for honours in various categories, but also for a stake in some $134bn worth of projects in the pipeline across the sultanate.
“In putting the spotlight on the achievements of various stakeholders in the projects market in the GCC, we hope to highlight their invaluable inputs to the current growth and future sustainability of the region,” said John Emmerson, Director of Events, MEED, the leading business intelligence provider in the Middle East.
Among the finalists include Hoehler + alSalmyfor Architect of the Year and Design Group Engineering Consultants for Consultant of the Year.
“Anyone seeking to do business in the region must be both flexible and patient. The biggest projects will take time to come to the market, and contract awards may never recover to pre-2016 levels. A new approach to project delivery is required. Governments want greater economic sustainability and are seeking innovation improve efficiency and reduce the need for capacity expansions. Private developers are expected to take a larger share of the capital burden through public private partnerships (PPP), as well as through the privatisation of state utilities. And future projects are expected to deliver more ‘in-country’ value in terms of job and supply chain opportunities for local companies,” said Richard Thompson, Editorial Director, MEED.