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gtr-news-genericroad-lgeBillions of dollars in investment in road and rail projects is helping to drive economies in the Middle East and Africa, according to a report by Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center.

The Construction and Intelligence Center specialises in data and analysis relating to the global construction industry.

The report showed Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates took the top three positions relating to investment in the transport infrastructure sector.

It said the region had two diverse markets: the resource-rich but relatively undeveloped African countries requiring and attracting huge overseas investment in transport infrastructure; and the oil-rich countries in the Middle East that were forging ahead with rapid metro developments in major cities such as Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh and Mecca.

Timetric estimated that US$791 billion of road and rail-related projects were being planned or underway in the 21 countries studied, with Nigeria accounting for US$108 billion of these projects.

Rail projects dominated overall and accounted for US$490 billion of total projects valued. Large-scale rail and metro developments were driving the second and third placed markets of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to the report.

The top 11 countries of Algeria, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Republic of Guinea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UAE accounted for US$645 billion or 82% of total projects value.

“Investment in railways and metro projects in the Middle East and Africa is outstripping road investment, with governments attracting large investment and participation from overseas, particularly from China in African countries where huge funding has been forthcoming,” says Neil Martin, Manager at Timetric CIC.

“The US, following the efforts of Europe and China, is now promising more funding and participation in the development of infrastructure in African countries, as demonstrated by the August 2014 US summit with African heads of state, when large investment was pledged for the continent.”

The report said major rail projects had been planned for Nigeria, Iraq and Qatar, with Iraq’s planned National Rail Network worth US$70 billion and Nigeria’s West Coast High Speed Rail worth US$59 billion. Qatar was undertaking an Integrated Rail Network worth US$43 billion.

The largest value road developments were found in Algeria and Qatar with examples of many high value projects including the US$11.2 billion East-West Highway Development in Algeria and the US$5 billion Qatar – Bahrain Causeway.

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