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Gulf project awards slumped in H1 but will pick up, says MEED

Staff Writer |
Contracts awarded to build economic projects in the Gulf's states slumped in the first half of this year but are expected to pick up in the second half.

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Awards in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council dropped to $56.1 billion in the January-June period from $69.3 billion a year earlier, according to MEED Projects.

Low oil prices have forced governments in the region into tough austerity policies.

With the exception of Saudi Arabia, where contract awards rose 12 percent from a year ago to $15.8 billion as the government showed signs of spending a little more freely with a modest improvement in its budget position, awards fell in every GCC state.

Kuwait saw a 46 percent drop to $6.9 billion and awards in Bahrain plunged 84 percent to $917 million.

Even Dubai experienced a slight fall, MEED said; awards in the United Arab Emirates dropped 13 percent to $21.3 billion.

However, MEED forecast $61 billion of project awards in the GCC during the second half of this year, bringing the total for 2017 to about $117 billion, roughly the same as in 2016.

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