GCC set to invest $968b 
in 1,638 new projects


By Issac John  www.khaleejtimes.com

DUBAI – Over the next decade, the GCC countries, underpinned by record high oil revenues, are planning 1,638 major projects worth more than $968 billion across various sectors, Kuwait Financial Centre, or Markaz, said.

Dubai Metro
Dubai Metro

Over 80 per cent of these projects are construction, infrastructure and petroleum industry related projects, the report said.

“The continued buoyancy of oil prices has allowed the GCC states to maintain their commitment towards continued investment in projects for growth and development,” the report said.

According to Markaz, these projects are significant undertakings that require an integrated, coherent and compatible set of systems and policies that will cater for effective and efficient execution towards a successful outcome. “Many of the GCC states have recognised the need for accelerating and facilitating the execution of these projects though mechanisms such as public private partnerships, or PPP, foreign direct investments, joint venture arrangements amongst others.

Kuwait’s share of these projects stands at 218 projects worth over $133 billion, over the next ten years. However, Kuwait, unlike its sister states, has been reserved in project spending and project award, despite its considerable financial wealth.

For new road and railway projects, the GCC countries will be spending a total of $97 billion between 2011 and 2020.

The total value of railway projects, including rail, metro, tram, and stations, is estimated to be $79 billion. This includes the $30 billion GCC rail network to be shared among the member countries.

For the roads sector, the total value of ongoing projects amount to almost $18 billion, Markaz said.

In the wake of Dubai’s successful metro launch, other countries are also planning or discussing their versions of the metro. Abu Dhabi too has joined the fray with 131km metro rail system, which is expected to partially start in 2015.

They also plan a pan-GCC rail network. The updated value of this project is around $30 billion and will consist of a first rail line connecting all the GCC countries. The GCC network will include one rail line of 1,970km connecting all GCC countries and Qatar via a bridge. The second line of 1,984km will stretch between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and end in Oman. Land acquisition expenditures for the project are estimated at $3.1 billion, while the cost of purchasing trains and locomotives is budgeted at $1.8 billion. Work on the railway would start in 2012 following the completion of engineering studies. More info