$122bn road projects in GCC
A recent report on infrastructure investments across the GCC showed that the UAE and Saudi Arabia lead the region in road development projects, according to Orient Planet Research.
Dubai has allocated AED 15 billion ($4.8 billion) to complete major projects, including the upgrade of roads, ramps, and flyovers, that aim at serving the goal of the upcoming Expo 2020, according to ‘Fast Tracking Development: Road Infrastructure in GCC’ report by Orient Planet Research, an Orient Planet Group venture.
In Saudi Arabia, more than $400 million is invested in nine major road projects including the King Hamad Causeway.
Infrastructure development in the GCC include a total of 1,069 road projects at a combined value of $122.6 billion, according to Orient Planet’s report.
“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,” managing director of Orient Planet Group Nidal Abou Zaki said.
The Kuwaiti government plans to implement the construction of the Seventh Ring Road Project, a 93-kilometre road network development.
Abou Zaki added that, “Governments have maintained a positive approach to infrastructure development, including exploring new ways of financing important initiatives such as public-private partnerships.”
Orient Planet said that active infrastructure projects across the Gulf area have reached $1.14 trillion with numerous planned and existing roads, bridges, and tunnels across the region being apart from individual efforts.
Some of these projects include the Saudi-Oman Highway, a 680-kilometre road linking the two countries for a much shorter distance, and therefore, shorter travel time between the kingdom and the sultanate.
UAE and Saudi Arabia have a joint project, Mafraq-Ghuwaifat International Highway, at a total value of $5.3 billion to connect Abu Dhabi to the Saudi border.
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have a strategic artery, King Fahd Causeway, that is undergoing expansion to accommodate growing economic activities.
“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,” Orient Planet’s report said.