Bahrain has historically had the smallest projects market in the GCC, which is not surprising given it has the smallest economy and population of all the GCC states. However, with only limited oil and gas reserves of its own, its projects market has grown to be less dependent on the crude price, and therefore more capable of withstanding the bearish market.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to disrupt the Bahraini economy more than any other GCC state. Without and major oil output to fall back on, and with tourism – particularly from Saudi Arabia – collapsing, the economy will not survive without government intervention. In late March, the government did just that by announcing a $11.3bn stimulus, equivalent to almost 30% of the kingdom’s total GDP. It also told departments to cut capital costs by 30% and to reschedule some projects.
At the same time, the projects funding that Bahrain has been dependent on from its neighbours is less secure as they face their own financing challenges. As a result, it is difficult to see how the kingdom can meet the same kind of spending totals as the last couple of years. This is reflected by the muted revised forecast for total awards this year.
Bahrain Projects H2 2020 is the update to this year’s popular H1 report. Focused on data, it is aimed at helping companies create strategies for targeting and growing the market.