The Briman Strategic Water Reservoir in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is currently the world’s largest drinking water storage facility, says Simon White, Atkins’ technical director and the project’s design manager.
Youssef Ouchagour, construction industry analyst at Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center, looks at the current state of the healthcare construction market and presents five of the largest healthcare projects currently under construction in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.Building adequate and effective healthcare facilities has become an urgent priority in the GCC region as the pressure continues to grow on the existing healthcare infrastructure due to a number of regional factors, including rapid population growth, higher life expectancy, a higher per capita income and a rise in lifestyle related diseases. GCC healthcare construction market outlookAccording to Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC) project database, there are 119 active healthcare projects in the GCC countries with a combined value of $46bn. As expected, the majority of these projects are located in Saudi Arabia, the country with the largest population in the GCC, followed in order by the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. 40% of active projects in the GCC region, with a combined value of $21bn) are under execution, with the remaining 60% of projects at various pre-execution stages, with a combined value of $25bn. This shows that there is a wealth of future opportunities within the healthcare sector for the GCC construction industry.The expected growth of the Healthcare Sector in the GCC region over the next few years will be mainly driven by the GCC governments’ efforts to strengthen and modernise their healthcare system — 68% of the active Healthcare projects in GCC countries are publicly funded projects; these have a combined value of $39bn. Privately funded projects represent 25% of the total number of active healthcare projects in the region and have a combined value of $4.5bn. The total investment in healthcare projects through public/private partnership is around $2.2bn. The number of projects funded by the private sector is set to grow over the next few years due to the high demand for high quality healthcare facilities and services and the rise of the medical tourism trend in the region. The same is expected for projects funded through public/private partnerships as the GCC governments are looking for alternative ways to fund healthcare projects due to budget restraints.