Despite the fluctuations and instability in oil prices, the GCC real estate market has registered growth at a slow pace, as all the GCC countries look to maintain a diversified and balanced economic base. Construction has been the major focus of regional governments as can be seen from a steady stream of investments into this sector over other major sectors. As of mid-2016, the net value of projects planned in the region amounted to about USD 2 trillion and about 50% of these were in the construction sector directly, while indirect involvement from other sectors takes this figure to more than 70%. The construction sector in GCC countries is growing at a rapid pace and is projected to reach USD XX billion by 2021 at a CAGR of X%. Greater exposure to trade, attractive investment environment, competition, and diversification are factors affecting the growth of this market.
As countries look for substitutes for the oil and gas sector in terms of revenue generation, major investments have been made in the construction sector as it shows immense potential. Some countries have focused more on other sectors like transport, tourism etc. as these sectors also have a direct impact on pushing growth in the construction industry.
The mega events that shall take place in the region over the coming years include Dubai Expo 2020 and Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022. These events have a direct impact on the construction industry. Huge government investments and competition amongst GCC countries support the growth of this sector.
Restraints and Challenges
Declining and fluctuating oil prices pose a challenge for the government as they directly impact the budgets allocated for other sectors. Though these countries are diversifying their economies, they are very much dependent on oil and gas as of now. Human resource shortages have led to delays in many projects and heavy demand for materials has led to cost overruns in the GCC region.
The projects also get delayed by the slow payment process in the GCC region as governments cope with reduced oil revenues and sometimes private contractors have to wait for long periods, leading to foreign companies reconsidering investments in the GCC region.
With a series of mega-events like the Dubai Expo 2020 and Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022, GCC will never be short of opportunities. Population in the region is constantly on the rise due to both high birth rates and expatriate arrivals. Analysts in the real estate sector see this as an opportunity and predict that increased number of houses, apartments, and other residential places will be needed in the near future. Moreover, as the competition to excel in non-oil sector heats up amongst the GCC countries, all nations are relaxing their rules and regulations to attract foreign investors through incentives.
Key Deliverables in the Study