Construction Industry Updates Q4 2015

Construction Industry Updates Q4 2015

The construction industry in the GCC is expected to see unprecedented growth in the coming quarter and quarters to come.

With the market stabilising a little, this has continued to provide government with the confidence to invest in its portfolio so it can relieve the economical reliance from the oil and gas industry.

A report from Alpen Capital emphasises this point, “The GCC construction industry foresees growth from 2015-2018, encouraged by factors such as favourable macroeconomics, positive demographics, and rising tourism activities. Higher budget allocation towards the construction sector, as part of the strategic vision of the member nations, lends an added push to the industry.”

As is the case for many emerging markets, to diversify away from one industry and into others typically means constructing the required infrastructure to facilitate such growth. Across the entire region you are seeing a huge development of infrastructure across a diverse range of sectors including, transport, tourism, hospitality, healthcare and education.

This is why, overall, within the next 5 years, the construction sector is looking to secure the highest job creation in the Gulf than any other industry.

Tarun Aggarwal, business head, mentioned, “As with a booming economy, the phenomenon of job creation will be led by the construction and manufacturing sectors” backing up this point.

An additional point that is driving such construction growth in the region is the confirmation of mega events requiring certain transport, hospitality and building demands. With the Dubai Expo 2020 just around the corner and FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, construction for these events are well under way.

Lets take a look at all of the construction projects currently, due or projected to be constructed in the coming months. 

Construction in Dubai, UAE


Approximately 30% of all new jobs in the UAE will be seen in the construction sector with hiring already begun as they prepare for Dubai 2020.

Faced with rising salary expectations and the insufficient talent supply in their own countries, UAE based hiring organisations are looking outside the GCC for a talented pool of candidates, according to Morgan McKinley’s 2015 Salary Report.

Over Dh250 billion is expected to be spent on projects leading up to the Dubai Expo, with some of the main projects beginning construction in the coming months.

Some of these big projects (some are near completion) include:

Museum of the Future

An innovative environment where visitors will experience cutting edge simulations and demonstrations, due to be completed in 2017.

Bluewaters Island

A retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zone, it will boast the worlds tallest Ferris wheel. Construction has already begun n this project, it is estimated to be completed by 2018.

Dubai Creek Harbour

Three times the size of Downtown Dubai, it is located alongside Dubai Creek and adjacent to Ras Al Khor. It will comprise 3,664 office units, eight million square feet of retail space, 39,000 residential units and 22 hotels with 4,400 rooms.

Dubai Theme Parks

An attraction for the families, approximately 30% of it is complete and is anticipating to be open by the middle of 2016.

MBR City – District One

The first and second phase of the villas will be handed over in mid 2016 & 2017. A huge residential and hotels area, it is expected to be completed in 2020, just before the expo begins.

Aladdin City

A masterful piece of architecture that looks like lamps of Aladdin, construction has yet to begin with talks still underway with government institutions but plan to start work by 2016.

Mall Of The World

One of the most anticipated projects in the region, this whopping $6.8 billion project, once completed, will officially be the largest mall in the world set to contain a theme park, the world’s biggest mall, 100 hotels and a theatre district. Beginning construction in 2015, it does not anticipate it to be fully completed for another 10 years.

Find out how the Dubai 2020 expo will impact your job opportunities by reading our article, Are there jobs for you at Dubai 2020?

Construction in Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia

Hospitals, transport system upgrades, schools, retail shops even cities are in the pipeline to be completed within the next decade.

Here are the top 10 projects planned for Saudi Arabia over the next decade anticipated to bring hundreds of thousands of jobs during the construction phases: 

King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh

Located off the Red Sea north of Jeddah across 168 million sq m the project is valued at $27 billion. Master developer is Emaar, The Economic City. It includes a port and logistics, financial centre, light industry, and services and will create an estimated one million jobs and two million people will live there.

The Knowledge Economic City in Madinah

This $7 billion project across 4.8million sq m, will create 20,000 new jobs and be home to around 200,000 people. It will include an education-entertainment Islamic theme park, shopping complex, hotels and public transport. The master developer is Quad International

Jazan Economic City

Focusing on Heavy Industry and Agribusiness in the south west of the Kingdom covering 100 million sq m. The $27 billion city will bring 500,000 new jobs and a population of 250,000. Two-thirds of the city will be industrial park and it will also provide a seaport.

King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, Security Forces Medical Complexes

KSA’s largest medical project, and also the largest medical project in the GCC, is the estimated $6.7bn. Two separate medical cities for security forces that are being developed in Riyadh and Jeddah on behalf of the Kingdom’s Interior Ministry.

King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, KSA

The design phase project will cover an area of 350 hectares and cost an estimated $1.2bn. The capacity of the primary five-story hospital building will be 1,500 beds, of which 500 beds have been allotted for specialist referrals.

King Abdulaziz International Airport , Jeddah

This in the main airport hub for the west of the Kingdom, near Jeddah. The three-stage development began in 2006 with the aim of catering for 30m Muslim pilgrims bound for the Holy Cities. The $1.5 billion Phase 1 in the 400,000 sq m terminal complex, control tower, access roads and utilities. Phase 2 and 3 will take the airport through to 2035 when it will cater for 85m people annually

Saudi Landbridge

The $7bn Red Sea to the Gulf rail line is an integral part of the GCC’s connected rail network. Italferr has been awarded a $37m contract by the Saudi Railways Company (SAR) to design the Landbridge – a 950km line between Riyadh and Jeddah, and a second 115km line between Dammam and Jubail. Transit times for freight between Jeddah and Dammam will be reduced to 18 hours, compared with the current sea voyage of 5-7 days, with capacity for 8m tonnes of freight a year.

Jubail II, Saudi Arabia

A 22-year industrial project that is getting an $80 billion expansion. This project will have the effect of double the population of the area. When completed, it will be composed of 100 industrial plants, 800,000 cubic meter desalination plant, miles and miles of railways, roads and highways, and an oil refinery producing at least 350,000 barrels per day. The entire project is slated to be finished in 2024.

Riyadh Metro

Saudi Arabia’s sprawling and congested capital is in a race against time to complete its SR85 billion ($22.5 billion) metro system within four years. Construction began a year ago taking over the city’s business core, to the frustration of drivers facing detours and lane-closures. With 176km of line and 80 stations this is the biggest project of its type in the world.

The Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

This will be the world’s tallest building at more than 1km high once complete in 2019. The Kingdom Tower, developed by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company. Estimated cost is $1.23 billion to build on foundations 60 metres deep. (source)


With the need to build many stadiums for the FIFA World Cup, an additional 60,000 hotel rooms, upgrade transport and other facilities, Qatar is expected to be a busy country on the construction from this term and coming years.

An estimated 500,000 to 1 million foreign workers are likely to be called upon during the construction process, likely to last all the way until 2022.

With many transport projects nearing completion, one of the main areas that Qatar are yet to finish is the building of the stadiums the games will be played in.

Construction on many of the projects that were part of the World Cup begun last year, with continued progress on many of the stadiums and other infrastructure upgrades.

Although an original number of 12 stadiums were proposed, it is likely Qatar will only use 8 stadiums, which means a total of 5 stadiums will now be built from scratch (down from the original number of 9).

One of those, the Lusail Stadium, the venue where the final of the FIFA World Cup will be held has just begun construction. When finished, it will hold a capacity of around 80,000 spectators and sit on a site of 1 million square meter site in Lusail City.

It is the 6th stadium that has begun its construction or refurbishment with others including venues in Al WakrahAl KhorKhalifa Stadium in Al Waab, Education City and Al Rayyan, to the west of Doha.

A final decision on the number of stadiums left to be built is expected to be known by the end of the year, but if predictions are correct, the two remaining ones would be on the site of Qatar Sports Club in Dafna/West Bay and another near Hamad International Airport with vacancies still available in for such projects.

Are There Jobs Available?

At the time of publication, there were over 4,000 advertised vacancies for construction professionals across the entire Gulf region.

The most in demand position for expat professionals was project managers, followed by construction managers. Such positions required a high amount of experience, asking for a minimum of 6-10 years, but a significant proportion of advertised vacancies only required 2-5 years experience.

The most popular location for vacancies is unsurprisingly the United Arab Emirates, nearly doubling the listed vacancies of the next highest, Qatar and third highest Saudi Arabia.


There are certainly positions available in the coming term it is a matter of getting your CV in the right place.

If you would like assistance doing that, then upload your CV below and be appointed your very own personal job hunt manager who will help ensure your CV gets under the nose of the right recruiters and headhunters who have vacancies they need to fill! 

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