Contruent Blog

Mega-Projects in the Middle East

Many billion-dollar projects are set to come online this year in the Middle East and even more in the next few years. Some of these projects include those in alignment with Vision 2030 plans that Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia have in place, which aim to help create a thriving post-hydrocarbon economy for the area. Did you know that ARES PRISM project controls software is used globally and has a proven presence in the Middle East on mega-projects?

As of early 2020, there are about 30 mega-projects in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which according to Strategy& (a PwC network), represent as much as $1 trillion USD in investment. Over the next 10 years, these projects will help revitalize GCC economies as they open. 

Overall, these massive projects will create significantly improved tourist attractions, entertainment venues, financial and health centers, and residential areas in the Middle East. 

ARES PRISM project controls software is used by several large mega-projects throughout the Middle East. Our project management software is utilized to help ensure projects like these are delivered on-time and on budget. While this list of five forward-thinking mega-projects is focused on the real estate or infrastructure industries, ARES PRISM also has a presence in oil and gas, mining and minerals, and nuclear energy projects in parts of the GCC, and was even shortlisted for the Big Project Middle East Awards 2020’s “Construction Technology Innovation of the Year”.

5 Forward-Thinking Mega-Projects in The GCC

1. Expo 2020 Dubai – The Middle East’s first World Exposition


Images by Expo 2020 Dubai

The Expo 2020 Dubai is a World Expo that provides a global stage for exhibitors to show off their innovations designed to transform the 21st century. Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to occur in the Middle East. 

It was scheduled to take place for six months beginning in October 2020, but has been postponed to October 2021 due to COVID-19. The destination site sits midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the Dubai Trade Center, and is a massive 438-hectare area featuring exhibition centers, car parks, hotels, transportation, theme parks, restaurants, kiosks, etc. 

2. Red Sea Project – Next-level tourism on 92 islands in a stunning archipelago


Image by The Red Sea Development Company

The Red Sea Project was announced by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 as one of three giga-projects to come. It will be a huge hospitality and tourism project that will create a luxury travel destination along the western Red Sea coast. 

In regards to sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives, the massive project will mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, waste production, and light and noise pollution, maintaining the destination at a level equivalent to a Marine Protected Area.

3. Qiddiya – A resort city set to be 2.5x larger than Disney World


Image by

The development of Qiddiya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s multi-billion-dollar entertainment resort 45 kilometers southwest of downtown Riyadh, is driven by the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC). This giga-project is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan with the strategy to attract international investment and expand the economy. 

Currently, the Saudi economy relies heavily on hydrocarbons, however, Qiddiya will help diversify by investing in a wide-range portfolio of experiences, programs, facilities, and businesses in sectors outside of petrochemicals                                                                                                               

Qiddiya will have 300 ground-breaking recreational and educational facilities including high-end theme parks, water and snow-based activities; sports arenas built to host international and world-class competitions and events; desert and asphalt tracks; outdoor and adventure activities; and historical, cultural and educational activities. They aim to create record-breaking attractions including the fastest, longest, and tallest roller coaster.  

4. Lusail City – A planned entertainment city in Qatar


Image by Lusail City

Lusail is a planned city in northern Al Daayen in Qatar with award-winning development. Once complete, this mega-project will accommodate 450,000 people. 

This futuristic development is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and will include public parks, entertainment venues, sports facilities, transportation, and public attractions including theme parks, water parks, and theaters.

5. Abu Dhabi International Airport – Accommodating more passengers 


Courtesy of KPF

Abu Dhabi International Airport Expansion is a $6.8 billion project. Upon completion, the new terminal will increase the airport’s capacity by up to 45 million passengers per year, more than doubling the existing capacity.

The complex will expand to more than 58 gates to cope with anticipated growth, and includes construction of 25,000 square meters of retail and food and beverage area, covered parking, and a transit hotel inside the terminal complex. 

According to Strategy&’s 2020 report, “Too often, the project sponsors make the cardinal errors of either delaying decisions about the institutional setup until a later stage, or they choose models that are incompatible with the overall purpose of the development.” To solve this issue, they conclude that “…it is best to think about the institutional setup early, and coordinate it with other aspects of the project. [This] change in sequencing can make all the difference to the success of the project.”

ARES PRISM project controls software is meant to manage a project from ideation through to completion. While it can be brought on and implemented during any phase of a project, it is most beneficial when brought in at the initial planning phases. ARES PRISM project controls software is thrilled to be involved in projects in the Middle East and looks forward to continuing to support organizations as the region grows and prospers.

To learn more about how ARES PRISM can help deliver your projects on-time and on budget, request a demo.