Construction and transport project contract awards in the GCC totalled about $63 billion in 2017, a 21 percent fall from the $76.5 billion awarded in 2016, Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) has said in its latest report.
Construction was the most active segment of the GCC projects market in 2017, accounting for about 41 percent of the $117.6 billion of contract awards in the GCC.
Oil and gas followed with 26 percent, while transport projects accounted for 12 percent. Power represented 11 percent of the value of awards.
In terms of project contract awards, the report said, 2017 was the worst year for the GCC construction industry since 2012.
But the market has been changing since the start of 2018 and the outlook was improving rapidly for the GCC construction industry, the report said.
The catalyst for change has been the pickup in oil prices since the middle of 2017 as a result of the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing countries to place a cap on oil production until the end of 2018, the report said.
Construction and transport project activity has increased significantly across the GCC in 2018, the report said.
"But many things are changing. We are seeing the emergence of major new construction clients in the region. And also new forms of project procurement and finance such as public-private partnerships," the report said.
According to another report by Al Asmakh Real Estate Development Company, the Qatari government has invested QR12 billion to execute infrastructure projects on 17,600 land plots allocated for housing.
The new projects are planned to be completed in 2021, the report said.
These projects will contribute to the development of the Qatari real estate sector, which will attract more investments, Al Asmakh said.