Overall sentiment in the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) construction sector has increased by 7% over the last two years, according to a survey by law firm Pinsent Masons.
The findings, presented to industry professionals at Pinsent Masons’ Annual Construction and Engineering Law Conference, revealed that since 2016 overall sentiment went from 32% to 39%.
The UAE remains the number one market that is expected to deliver growth in 2018. In the survey, 38% of respondents expected the country to provide the most opportunity over the next 12 months.
There was also a sharp rise in positive sentiment towards Saudi Arabia, with 29% of respondents expecting the Kingdom to provide the most opportunities, compared to just 11% in 2016.
However, 20% of those surveyed across the GCC still expect their order books to decline by more than 10% in the coming months. This percentage is down from 16% two years earlier.
“Optimism towards the GCC’s construction sector saw an increase from our 2016 survey, despite ongoing challenges with lower oil pricing and headwinds facing the private non-oil sector,” said Sachin Kerur, head of Middle East region at Pinsent Masons.
“The UAE is set to see an increase in the number of projects during 2018 and we expect the country to remain in top position, particularly in the lead-up to Expo 2020.”