Kuwait Construction

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Kuwait accounts for approximately 6.1% of the world’s proven oil reserves, with hydrocarbons revenues comprising more than 65% of the country’s GDP and 95% of total exports in 2013. Cautious budgetary decisions have resulted in large surpluses, creating a solid base for public expenditure programmes such as the National Development Plan, which is set to diversify the economy and boost employment.

Kuwait is seeing significant activity in its construction sector this year, with contracts worth $17.5bn already signed or on offer. There are also a number of large-scale projects already underway and at the stage of moving from the drawing-board to the development stage, adding further momentum. However, raw material supplies, including cement, are in short supply and could cause delays and cost increases.
With the government planning a series of big-ticket infrastructure investments and demand for private sector real estate developments heating up, Kuwait’s construction sector could be a strong performer over the next few years. However, concerns regarding project delays may have a dampener effect on investor interest.

As only Islamic lenders are permitted to offer home financing packages, Kuwait’s mortgage market differs significantly from others in the region. Unsurprisingly, this is a state of affairs that conventional banks would like to see changed. “Mortgage loans are a big problem here in Kuwait,” Aly Mahmoud Shalaby, the head of consumer banking at Gulf...

Two of Kuwait’s largest developments are being built on islands – one with a history of habitation that stretched back to 2000 BC and the other on a challenging landscape that has long been viewed as unsuitable for settlement. While both are significant in scale, the approach of the government to the development of each is quite distinct.

While Kuwait’s economy showed a high degree of resilience in the face of the global economic crisis, its real estate sector – particularly the more vulnerable commercial segment – did not escape unscathed. However, the market by 2012 proved itself to be in the early stages of a sustained recovery, while legislation has helped the sector regain much...