MIDDLE EAST (The Middle East countries are forecast to see minimal or negative GDP growth in the 3rd & 4th Q of 2020):
The Middle East construction sector is dealing with the consequence of COVID-19 and is currently trying to alleviate the problem. Some countries continued construction activity and others either completely or partially closed down. Material delays and worker testing was problematic. Construction activities in most Middle-East countries are starting to slowly move forward again as we transition into the 2nd half of 2020.
Hiring new personnel / staff and construction workers from other countries remains a challenge in many countries. Delays in procurement / buy out of materials and equipment from countries such as China, Italy, France and the USA and the associated costs of mitigating these delays continues to be a problem.
Very strict safety measures have been introduced, which will increase costs and negatively impact construction productivity. Many migrant construction workers returned to their home countries and are experiencing difficulties in retuning back to the Middle East.
Large CAPEX dollar new green field upstream projects are just about impossible to fund, many national oil companies are turning their attention to smaller brownfield upgrades and de-bottleneck projects where the ROI can be enhanced. Numerous large Middle-East upstream and downstream Petro-Chemical and Gas megaprojects are currently being delayed due to labor issues and delays to key components, the current oversupply and low pricing levels is adding to this problem.
Oil prices have plummeted by more than a third in the last two months due to the falling demand for oil and the effect of the COVID-19 virus. Look for continuing layoffs, downsizing, project delays / cancellations & major CAPEX reductions across all Middle-East construction sectors.
Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, the UAE & Saudi Arabia are in the same boat as many other countries, these countries are pronouncing new hygiene, travel restrictions, procedures & protocols as the number of Coronavirus infections keeps ramping up.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has the potential for all Middle-East future or current ongoing construction projects to be delayed or worst case postponed. The economic impact and fallout of the Coronavirus still needs TBD.