UAE leads the Gulf in construction development

The United Arab Emirates is leading the way in development in the Gulf region with almost $930 billion worth of projects currently underway, according to a new report.

A study from the Kuwait National Bank says that this amounts to 45% of all projects planned in the Gulf area which amounts to some $2.1 trillion.

The report shows the extent of the boom in development in the region. The value of property construction is four times higher than had been estimated in June 2005 and represents an annual growth rate of nearly 50%.

'The UAE accounts for by far the biggest share of project activity, totalling around $929 billion and affirming its position as the leading GCC country in attracting capital investment. Some 81% of the UAE projects are in the construction sector,' the report says.

The report shows that the construction sector dominates in every GCC country while the total value of projects in the UAE is far higher than anywhere else. Although Saudi Arabia has a much larger base of non-construction related projects, some $224 billion which is 28% more than in the UAE. 'This probably reflects the larger size of the Saudi economy in absolute terms, necessitating a greater degree of industrial diversification,' the report says.

Also the higher value of non-construction related projects in Saudi Arabia stems largely from the petrochemical, power and utilities sectors. At a combined $127 billion, the value of the Kingdom's projects in those sectors is about 35% larger than in the UAE.

The overwhelming balance of non-construction-related projects in other GCC countries comes in the oil and gas, power and utilities sectors, with the latter reflecting the region's growing domestic power needs, the report adds.