Airports clinch bulk of GCC transport contracts worth $2bn

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Airports throughout the Gulf region managed to clinch the bulk of transportation contracts worth $2bn awarded during the first five months of 2012, a report said on Sunday.

The new research suggested road construction stood second with contracts worth $1.6bn followed by port projects valued at $1.2bn. Rail contracts awarded reached $424m.

The data, released by MEED ahead of the Arabian World Construction Summit 2012, presents a comprehensive overview of construction and infrastructure projects across key sectors and markets in the Arab world.

The report underlined that construction costs will play a key role in both project conceptualisation and execution with almost $300bn worth of projects to be awarded until 2016.

Saudi Arabia announced earlier this month it plans to invest SR200bn ($53.33bn) in its aviation sector over the next five years.

The spending will be made to meet future demands of the Kingdom’s ever-increasing air traffic thanks to a rapidly-growing population and economic development.

“Governments across the GCC will continue to invest in the infrastructure sector to support economic growth, and one of the busiest will be the transportation sector,” said Edmund O’Sullivan, chairman, MEED Events, organisers of the event.

“Airports are currently leading the boost, as tourism continues to be a major growth driver in the region,” he added.

The MEED Events chairman said construction industry’s leading stakeholders will attend the summit to discuss the prospects and challenges confronting the sector across the Arab world.

“The GCC will continue to be a beehive of activity from ongoing projects and future investments. However, we will also hold special sessions on Iraq and Egypt and the massive opportunities at stake for contractors, financiers and project owners,” O’Sullivan added.

Dubai announced on Saturday its plans to spend about AED1bn ($272m) over five years to improve roads.

Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority, said the initial phase of the plan 4 year plan covers five residential communities including Hatta and Al Qusais 3 in addition to Al Quoz 2, 3 and 4.

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