Here is a selection of a few of the most notable business happenings of the last 3 weeks of 2015 in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia only.
- In Dubai, the latest bits of news are a main contractor was awarded the Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah luxury resort and residences contract with a completion date sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018.
- A new shopping mall at Al Khail Avenue main contract tender has been released by Nakheel, a leading developer in Dubai.
- The Saudi government informed that the $26 million College in Hail, Saudi Arabia will be completed by 2017.
- A new construction of two mixed use development that will consist of apartments and retail space project was recently launched in Dubai.
- In Qatar, the bid submission process for its first Economic Zone that comprises petrochemicals, building materials, maritime, metals, logistics, food processing and others (auto, tools and machinery) facilities, production plants and storage ancillaries is in progress.
- Bidders are waiting for the main contract awards for Paramount projects in Dubai; meanwhile bids are going through an evaluation process that is anticipated to end by the first quarter of 2016.
- A new 3 floors shopping mall with 620,000 m² of retail, restaurants and entertainment floor space in Deira Island is under construction and expected to be completed by 2018.
- Award of the main contract of 2 multi-storey residential towers in Dubai centre is expected to require completion by 2020.
- A $131 million mega-road in Dubai project that includes also two-level civil engineering linking Jumeirah and Al Khail roads was finally awarded last week.
- However some delay in releasing the main tender for a 120 bed hospital in Abu Dhabi is nevertheless expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Despite all of the above, Gulf Business published on 7 January 2016 an article of Mary Sophia that said :
The growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector dipped to a 40-month low in December 2015 after being weighed down by a muted growth in new work, a survey showed.
The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Manager’s Index, which helps gauge the operating conditions in the private sector, fell from 54.5 in November 2015 to 53.3 in December.
“The PMI data points to weaker domestic and external demand in Q4 2015 which is reflected in lower readings for new orders, employment, output and the backlogs of work,” said Emirates NBD’s head of MENA research Khatija Haque.
Although new orders for businesses grew in December, the index noted that the growth was the slowest in the last four and a half years.
A muted rate of job creation also pulled down the overall performance of the private sector, the PMI showed.
“Indeed for 2015 as a whole, the average PMI was lower than for 2014, signalling slower – but positive – growth in the non-oil private sector. However, softer non-oil growth in the UAE last year is likely to have been partially offset by robust oil sector expansion, and we remain comfortable with our estimate of 4 per cent real gross domestic product growth in 2015 down from 4.6 per cent in 2014.”
Meanwhile non-oil business growth in Saudi Arabia was at the weakest pace in the survey’s history. The seasonally adjusted index fell to 54.4 points in December from 56.3 points in November. The growth in the kingdom was weighed down by a slower expansion of output, new orders and employment.