Dubai will become a multi-billion dollar magnet for stone trade suppliers from around the globe next month as massive urban growth and infrastructure development continues to make the Middle East one of the world’s highest spending construction markets, analysts say.
According to market analysts BNC, a raft of new mega projects valued at US$29.19 billion were launched in the Middle East and North Africa’s residential, hospitality, retail, healthcare and commercial sectors over the last 12 months.
“Over the next two years, demand for natural stone materials will continue to be driven by projects surrounding Expo 2020. Following this, we see mega projects such as Saudi Arabia’s Neom as well as a slew of other social infrastructure developments in the Kingdom as major drivers,” said Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC.
Leading the way was the UAE with projects worth US$11.57 billion followed by Iraq (US$10 billion), Saudi Arabia US$3.66 billion), Jordan (US$3 billion), Kuwait (US$1.3 billion), Oman (US$100 million) and Qatar (US$50 million).
These added to an estimated total of more than 20,800 other projects which were already active in the region, underlining the growing importance of Dubai’s annual platform for the natural stone, marble and ceramics industry. Taking place from 4-6 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the fourth edition of Middle East Stone will connect more than 400 suppliers, manufacturers and distributors with thousands of decision-makers from the region’s US$5 billion-a-year stone procurement market.
Urban construction, which is at the heart of residential, commercial, hospitality and infrastructural developments, accounts for 80% of all stone usage across the Middle East.
Among the new mega projects announced over the last 12 months highlighting the region’s insatiable appetite for natural stone, marble and ceramics were the US$6.8 billion mixed use development, District Seven, at Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, Jordan’s US$3 billion new Amman capital city, and the US$2 billion first phase of the New Jeddah Downtown project to regenerate Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.
Also published on Medium.