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GCC region infra spend to boost 2020 non-oil GDP

Country-specific, non-oil GDP could rise from 2.4% in 2019 to 2.8% in 2020, say the organisers of Intersec, quoting industry report

| | Dec 16, 2019 | 3:53 pm
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DUBAI, UAE, 16 December 2019: The GCC region is ready to throw off the shackles of lower GDP growth in 2020, with spending on infrastructure forecast to boost the region’s non-oil expansion. That’s the upbeat forecast in a report by Ventures Onsite, the construction intelligence partner of Intersec, the trade fair for security, safety and fire protection, the organisers, Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said through a Press release. Intersec will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from January 19 to 21 and, according to the release, is expected to feature more than 1,100 exhibitors from 50 countries.

According to the report, while rising oil and gas production will likely help lift GCC region growth to 2.5% in 2020, infrastructure spending, particularly in the UAE and Kuwait, could lift country-specific, non-oil GDP from 2.4% in 2019 to 2.8% in 2020.

The construction sector, the report said, will be in the vanguard of the GCC region’s forecasted non-oil growth. “The region’s large-scale degree of investment in infrastructure and capital projects, and anticipated tourism boom are poised to register growth for the region’s GCC construction sector,” the release quoted the authors of the report as saying. “This, in turn, along with economic diversification plans in the GCC region, is also expected to drive the fire safety systems and equipment market over the coming years.”

According to the report, the GCC region’s total construction contractor awards across the building, infrastructure and energy sectors are expected to increase from USD 134,002 million in 2019 to USD 139,909 million in 2020, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia being the industry’s top two performing markets in 2020. The report predicted the UAE may increase its federal budget by two per cent in 2020 to USD 17 billion. The forecast has led to a bullish prediction from the KPMG Annual Global Construction Survey, which points to an anticipated growth of between six and 10% in the UAE’s construction sector in 2020, the release said.

“Industry leaders surveyed in the UAE are optimistic about growth prospects and are confident that technology and governance will play a significant role in the construction sector in the next five years,” the release quoted the authors of the KPMG Survey as saying.

Dubai, with its bold and ongoing development plans for tourism, hospitality, entertainment and manufacturing sectors, is tipped to remain a construction and development hub and to continue to attract investment, the release said.

Added to the growth mix are massive development plans in Saudi Arabia, including the NEOM, Red Sea Project and Qiddiyah mega projects, and region-wide investment in hospitality, education, healthcare, rail, energy and airport expansion, the release said. The scale of development will transform the region into an infrastructure hotspot, the release quoted the Ventures report as saying. “Given the GCC government’s support for large-scale infrastructure projects, the region is anticipated to become a hub for global infrastructure investment,” the release quoted the authors of the report as saying.

According to the release, a major knock-on effect on the region’s fire safety systems and equipment market is inevitable, with Ventures Onsite predicting the commercial and hospitality sectors will be the key verticals driving growth, egged on by increasing governmental regulation and greater public requirements for efficient fire prevention.

“Continued efforts to implement the ambitious vision initiatives and strengthen public infrastructure over the next decade would spur the demand for fire safety systems and equipment in the future,” the release quoted the authors of the report as saying. “The UAE and KSA are likely to remain the top markets for construction industry investors and developers as well as the fire safety system and equipment market.”

The forecasts bode well for the three-day Intersec. “With the construction industry in a growth spurt, a sharp spotlight will be placed on the fire and security systems required in today’s smart buildings and the expectations of visitors and residents in the smart cities now on GCC government agendas,” said Andreas Rex, Show Director, Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “Across the region, there is heightened awareness of the need to deliver to world-class standards to realise national development visions.”

At the same time, as the region looks to further its footprint on the international events and tourism landscapes, the highest security and safety standards are vital to ensuring national reputations, the release quoted Messe Frankfurt as saying.

“There’s a growing demand within the regional industry now for knowledge on the very latest techniques and technology which will help ring fence risks and reputations,” Rex said.

According to the release, Intersec has stepped into plugging the knowledge-gap with a packed agenda of conferences, workshops, roundtables and live demonstrations. The event will also feature the probing Intersec Arena, Future Security Summit and Intersec Fire Conference, where industry experts will analyse critical security threats and how cutting-edge technologies can be tailored to meet them and the key aspects of today’s integrated fire engineering sector.


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