The total value of active infrastructure projects in the GCC region reached USD 1.14 trn, with roads, highways, and bridges among the most implemented projects, amidst oil price fluctuation in recent years, Invest-Gate reports.
With a gross sum of USD 122.6 bn, a total of 1,069 road projects has been implemented in the region, the highest number among all infrastructure projects, according to “Fast Tracking Development: Road Infrastructure in GCC” report released by Orient Planet Research’s (OPR) research unit.
“Despite financial challenges that hit the global economy in 2008-2009, as well as the fluctuation of oil and gas revenues, Gulf’s infrastructure development continues at a robust pace. Data shows that Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead in infrastructure spending in the region,” read the report.
Commenting on the findings, 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.”
“Investment in road projects across the region remain buoyant which is indicative of the governments’ commitment to expanding 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,” Abou Zaki noted.
Dubai has allocated USD 4.8 bn to finalize major projects aimed at serving the upcoming Expo 2020, including the upgrade of roads, ramps, and flyovers. While in Saudi Arabia, over USD 400 mn was invested in nine key road projects such as King Hamad Causeway. In Kuwait, the government is set to complete the construction of its 93-kilometer road network development, Seventh Ring Road.
In its report, OPR referred to the numerous planned and existing roads, bridges, and tunnels across the region, including the Saudi-Oman Highway, a 680-kilometer road project linking Oman and Saudi Arabia, aimed at shortening travel distance between both countries. Another cross-country project is Mafraq-Ghuwaifat International Highway, a USD 5.3 bn project connecting Abu Dhabi to the Saudi border.
In addition, King Fahd Causeway is a strategic artery that is undergoing expansion to accommodate growing economic activities between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, OPR added.