The total value of active infrastructural projects in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) has reached to $1.14tn with roads, highways, and bridges with the highest number of projects, according to the latest report released by Orient Planet Research, an Orient Planet Group venture.
The report titled ‘Fast Tracking Development: Road Infrastructure in GCC’ cited a total of 1,069 road projects in the region, which are the highest number among all infrastructural projects, with a combined value of $122.6bn.
“Despite the financial challenges that hit the global economy in 2008/09, as well as the fluctuation of oil and gas revenues, the Gulf’s infrastructure development continues at a robust pace. Data shows that Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead the infrastructural spending in the region,” the report read.
The report highlighted some of the major projects across the region such as Dubai’s allocation of AED 15bn ($4.8bn) to complete key projects eyed to serve the upcoming Expo 2020, including the upgrade of roads, ramps and flyovers. In Saudi Arabia, over $400m are invested in nine major road projects, including the King Hamad Causeway. In Kuwait, the government is set to implement the construction of the Seventh Ring Road Project, a 93-kilometre road network development.
Apart from individual projects within each GCC country, there are numerous planned and existing roads, bridges, and tunnels across the region. Some of these projects include the Saudi-Oman Highway, a 680-kilometre road which links Oman and Saudi Arabia, paving the way for a much shorter distance, and thereby shorter travel time between the two countries. Another cross-country project is the Mafraq-Ghuwaifat International Highway (UAE-Saudi), a $5.3bn project that links Abu Dhabi to the Saudi border. Meanwhile, King Fahd Causeway is a strategic artery that is undergoing expansion in order to accommodate growing economic activities between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.