The Big Projects (Part I)

The most expensive regional projects

The Big Project, in collaboration with Emirates Tenders, lists the most expensive infrastructure projects currently in development in the Middle East.

Sabah Al Ahmad Future City Project

Project budget: $ 27,000,000,000

Description: Development of Sabah Al Ahmad Future City involving construction of a 35 million square metre community comprising universities, schools, hospitals, residential units, commercial buildings, including associated infrastructure such as roads, a ring road, sewage, water, electrical and telecommunications networks.


Project Area: 40km2

Size: more than 110,000 residential units.

General Information:

Some 20 per cent of the township will consist of high-rise towers for employee housing.

There are five separate project sectors: 45 schools, 70 mosques, a football stadium, 15 hospitals and clinics, and an extensive road and sewerage network.

Engineering Consultants & Construction managers: Al-Dowailah  was awarded an estimated $14m contract


Kingdom City Development Project

Project budget: $27,000,000,000
Description: Development of Kingdom City comprising a 1,000-metre-high skyscraper, residential and commercial buildings, hotels, including leisure facilities.


Project area: 23m m2 on the Red Sea coastline in northern Jeddah

Residential area: 1.5m m2

Commercial area: 470,000m2 of land

Education vicinity: 150,000m2

Offices: 800,000m2 of land

Leisure and tourism:  2.38m m2

Land site plan: HOK


GCC Railway Project

Project budget: $25,000,000,000

Description: Construction of 2,117-kilometre-long railway transportation system to connect the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries.

Route: Kuwait to Dammam; Bahrain, via bridge to Qatar; Salwa to UAE; Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain to be connected by bridge. Future plans to link Jordan, Syria and Turkey

Basic preliminary study: Parsons Brinckerhoff


Masdar Carbon-Free City Development Project 

Project budget: $22,000,000,000

Description: Development of Masdar Carbon-Free Cityon a six-square-kilometre area comprising a university, commercial, residential and eco-friendly industrial areas.


20-MW wind farm will support photovoltaic power supply

Water provided from solar-powered desalination plant.

Master plan consultant: Foster & Partners


Jubail Petrochemicals Complex Project

Project budget: $ 20,000,000,000

Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build a petrochemicals complex in Jubail with capacity of 1.3 million tonnes a year (t/y) and a host of downstream units, including ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, polyethylene and polypropylene.


The complex will comprise 13 separate downstream units

The region’s first production of polycarbonates

Speciality products to include dimethyl formamide


Petrochemicals Complex Project

Project budget: $20,000,000,000

Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build an integrated petrochemicals complex for producing 1.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene, 400,000 t/y of propylene, an aromatics complex to produce 400,000 t/y of benzene and 460,000 t/y of paraxylene, including a mix of speciality products.


One of the largest industrial projects ever undertaken

To be implemented as JV Dow Chemical


Al Khiran Residential City Project

Project budget: $20,000,000,000

Description: 32,000 residential units, including a commercial complex, a ministerial complex, a private and a state university, a general hospital and fuel stations.


Project area: 40m m2

The city will be built in 5 stages, each adding between 4500 to 8500 units.

Main consultant: First Investment Company



Pearl GTL Project

Project budget:  $19,000,000,000

Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the implementation of Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) scheme involving conversion of 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas a day into 120,000 barrels a day of condensate, liquid petroleum gas and ethane as well as 140,000 barrels a day of fuels, including gas-oil, naphtha and base oil.


One of the six GTL projects planned by QP.

Onshore construction: GTL plant with two trains, onshore gas processing plant, air separation units, and off-sites and utilities.

Offshore construction: Two wellhead platforms in the North field.

Study: Marathon Oil Company


Clean Fuels Project

Project budget: $18,000,000,000

Description: Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for implementation of Clean Fuels scheme involving upgrading and increase in capacity at three refineries.


Work will be split into three main EPC packages: Process units at Mina Abdullah refinery; revamping of Mina Abdullah and Shuaiba plants together with off-sites and utilities; and revamping and installation of units and interfaces at Mina Al-Ahmadi refinery.

Six companies have submitted bids for a contract to supply reactors for this scheme.

India’s  Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is the lowest bidder at $609m, followed by Italy’s  Belleli at $734m.


Marassi Beach Resort Project

Project budget: $17,400,000,000

Description: Construction of Marassi beach resort comprising six districts, amphitheatres, resort villas, spas, retail, hospitality and entertainment components, including an 18-hole golf course, network of lagoons line townhouses and luxury resorts with up to 3,000 guest rooms.


Project area: 1,544 acres of waterfront.

Six districts: amphitheatres, resort villas, spas and retail, hospitality and entertainment components.

Centrepoint: Kavala Centre with 900,000m2 lands that will envelop a circular marina, the primary sea-gate to the resort


Flare Gas Recovery Unit Project

Project budget:  $ 17,000,000,000

Description: Construction of a flare gas recovery unit


This project will be located in Basrah. It aims at capturing and using gas from southern oilfields of Rumaila, Zubair, West Qurna 1 and Majnoon fields. Iraq’s Ministry of Oil and Shell  signed the heads of agreement (HoA) to develop the project.


Khazzan & Makarem Gas Fields Development Project 

Project budget: $15,000,000,000

Description: Development of the two onshore Khazzan and Makarem gas fields covering 2,800 square kilometres involving exploration of at least 7 wells for full reserve determination and production facilities.


Both fields are estimated to contain a total of at least 20 trillion-cubic-feet (tcf), or nearly 55 per cent of Oman’s total proven gas reserves. The client plans to sign a combined exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) and general services agreement (GSA) to develop, process and supply gas.


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