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Building costs in Bahrain highest in Middle East

UAE ranked third most expensive after Qatar

Gulf News

Dubai: Bahrain has been named as the Middle East's most expensive country to build and placed 12th among the top 20 most expensive countries across the globe, experts say.

According to the recently released annual International Construction Cost Report by EC Harris, the price of construction in Bahrain is the same as in the UK, and six per cent greater than in Qatar that has the second highest construction costs in the Middle East.

The survey, which benchmarks the cost of building in each country against the those in the UK, revealed that Qatar finished in the 15th position overall with construction costs more expensive than larger nations including the US, Russia and China.

"Construction costs in Bahrain are typically higher than elsewhere across the Middle East because it's a small and restricted market. Furthermore, there are relatively few competitors which often results in contractors submitting higher bids," said Nick Smith, Regional Head of Cost and Commercial Management in the Middle East.

Saudi the cheapest

The UAE ranked as the third most expensive country in the Middle East in which to build, with construction costs deemed to be nine per cent cheaper than in Bahrain and three per cent lower than in neighbouring Qatar.

Oman finished in fourth place when ranked against other countries in the region, and ranked 20th on the global list with construction costs that were 11 per cent below the baselines figures set by Bahrain and the UK.

Saudi Arabia emerged as the cheapest country in the Middle East when it comes to construction, finishing 37th on the global list. The figures revealed that it was almost half as expensive to build in Saudi Arabia as in Bahrain. Smith noted that the Saudi market has traditionally been the most competitive market for contractors.

Key commodities

"The abundance of available raw materials and steel factories also play a significant role in keeping construction costs lower, with the price of key commodities like steel and concrete typically 10 per cent lower than elsewhere across the region," explained Smith.

"With the 2022 Fifa World Cup now confirmed, Qatar could soon emerge as the most expensive place for construction in the Middle East particularly if there is any misalignment between supply and demand in the short to medium term. This is likely to be a slow burning process though as whilst ambitious programmes of work are being discussed, it will take a while before construction work actually begins," said Smith.

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