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Big 5

Attendees at the Big 5 convention in Riyadh ranked Saudi Arabia among the top three most enticing construction markets in the world alongside China and India

Foreign expertise vital for Saudi construction

Saudi Arabia’s construction industry needs more foreign involvement if achieving its Vision 2030 goals is to become a reality, according to attendees of the Big 5 conference in Riyadh. In the first half of 2023 alone $44 billion worth of new projects were awarded in the kingdom’s $140 billion construction sector, according to real estate […]

A worker on a construction site in Riyadh. Foreign companies with offices in Saudi Arabia have adapted to supply chain disruptions

Localisation shields Saudi builders from Red Sea crisis

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea may have been disrupting the construction supply chain into Saudi Arabia but companies, in particular larger ones, are adapting to the challenge.  Since November, the Yemeni militia has launched dozens of attacks on commercial vessels on their way to or from the Suez Canal, forcing many global shippers to […]

Contractors cite the $4.9bn expansion of the Dubai Metro as one reason for confidence

Contractors upbeat despite Dubai real estate warning

The mood was decidedly upbeat at the Big 5 construction conference in Dubai this week, despite recent warnings that the emirate’s real estate sector will slacken next year. Dubai residential property prices rose nearly 17 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2023, the fastest pace in nearly a decade. But a senior S&P Global […]

Construction project delays in the Middle East average more than 22 months

Project overruns remain but payment issues improving

Delays in construction project timelines and payments remain a concern in the Gulf. However, things seem to be on the up on the payment side at least, multiple industry professionals said during the Big 5 Global conference in Dubai this week. The larger Middle East region suffers from some of the worst project overruns in […]

A worker looks out at Riyadh from a tower under construction in the city

Big 5 builders seek answers to Saudi’s $1.5trn question

Saudi Arabia’s mammoth pipeline of giga-projects was the focus of the Big 5 Global conference in Dubai this week, as the region’s main construction players discussed how to juggle fast-approaching 2030 deadlines with the kingdom’s push for sustainable development. Saudi Arabia has signed off on $78 billion of construction projects so far this year, up […]

The Arroyo, in Santa Monica, California, is certified 'platinum' by Leed

US Green Building Council to launch new ratings system

The US Green Building Council is launching a new ratings system to measure structures against tough sustainability targets. It is the first time in 10 years that the organisation has updated its policy, with the industry largely relying on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) green building system. According to the US Green […]

low carbon building code

Concrete institute launching low carbon building code

The American Concrete Institute is unveiling what it claims is the first-ever low carbon building code at the Cop28 climate conference. Building codes are a set of rules that standardise the construction process. They have historically focused on safety and serviceability, but must now address sustainability needs, Antonio Nanni, a professor at the University of […]

Since the construction of World Cup projects such as the Khalifa stadium, levels have dropped off in Qatar, while neighour Saudi Arabia is growing at pace

Qatar and Saudi Arabia poles apart on construction growth

Qatar and Saudi Arabia may share an 87km border, but the performances of their construction markets are poles apart. While activity in Saudi Arabia reaches record levels, buoyed by work on giga-projects such as Neom and Diriyah, work in Qatar has dried up after the completion of contracts signed before the 2022 Fifa World Cup. […]

Turkish housing construction Turkey

Turkish housing crisis persists despite construction surge

Activity in the Turkish construction industry is picking up pace, fuelled by the need to rebuild after the February earthquakes — but economic woes mean the road could be long, experts tell AGBI. Even before the February earthquakes, which killed 50,000 people, injured 100,000 more, and made 3 million homeless overnight, the country of 83 […]

Worker on a Riyadh building site. Contractors expect strong growth in Saudi residential, commercial and infrastructure projects over the next year

Giga-projects gobble up building supplies and talent

Saudi Arabia’s enormous building programme is luring workers from other GCC countries and placing a strain on the supply of raw materials, construction executives have warned. Builders in the UAE in particular are concerned about the resources demanded by the Saudi market, which posted record growth in construction activity during the third quarter. The latest […]

Partanna carbon negative concrete, rick fox, green concrete, low carbon concrete

How Mena is moving to sustainable construction

The year is 2065 and humans are living in space, in villas of celestial materials mined from asteroids and equipped with infinity pools.  Far-fetched? Perhaps, but this model was one of dozens featured last month in an exhibition on the past, present and future of sustainable design in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena). […]

Although Kuwait and Dubai have taken different routes with their metro plans, the GCC is pushing ahead with rail links between member cities

After stops and starts, GCC rail is back on 2030 timetable

In the same week that Dubai announced a 30km extension of its metro network, Kuwait revealed that its $20 billion four-line metro project is to be cancelled. If anything sums up the difficulties associated with connecting the GCC countries by rail, then it is this. Kuwait’s metro hit the buffers as a result of “significant […]