Qatar was the second largest projects market in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) during 2021, thanks to a better-than-usual $19.4bn contract awards in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, according to Kamco Invest, a regional financial powerhouse.
Overall, the country recorded a more than 93% year-on-year surge in contract awards to $25.1bn during the fiscal year 2021, Kamco Invest said in a report.
In terms of sectors, Qatar’s gas sector took the lion’s share of projects in 2021 recording a total of $19.3bn worth of contracts and representing more than 77% of total projects awarded in the country during the year.
During Q1-2021 Qatargas, a subsidiary of state-owned QatarEnergy has awarded a $13bn liquefied natural gas contract to a group of French and Japanese energy companies (Chiyoda and Technip) for the first phase expansion of the North Field.
On the other hand, Qatar’s total projects awards reached $272mn during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021, down from $2.8bn the comparable period of 2020, Kamco said in its latest update on the GCC projects.
"Qatar is set to host the FIFA World Cup during the summer of 2022. Qatar’s government has stated that the country expects the four-week football event would add about $20bn to Qatar’s economy," the report said.
"Combined with the easing of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and the normalisation of ties with the Gulf sister countries, Qatar is expected to record solid economic growth," it said.
Reflecting higher oil prices and a renewed confidence that the Covid-19 recovery would likely continue unabated, the GCC projects market reached heights that were last seen in 2019.
The GCC yearly projects market awards passed the $100bn mark after witnessing a late surge in project awards during Q4-2021 primarily from Saudi Arabia.
Total value of GCC contracts awarded in 2021 increased by 50.8% year-on-year to $103.2bn, underscoring the region’s economic recovery is going well from the pandemic disruption.
The recovery was led by the quick and well-co-ordinated strategic response of the GCC countries which curbed the regions initial virus spread and later allowed quick access of vaccines.
Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar represented 88.7% of the GCC contract awards in 2021 witnessing a 6.3% rise from 2020.
Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s largest projects market, recorded the biggest y-o-y increase in value of contracts awarded that reached $42.4bn in 2021 compared to $22.2bn in 2020.
Comparatively, the UAE recorded a 13.7% rise in y-o-y projects awarded in 2021 which reached $24.1bn. The value of contracts awarded by Bahrain during 2021 rose 49.3% to $2.6bn compared to $1.8bn during 2020.