Middle East Airport Expansion: Preventing Project Turbulence

Construction & Engineering

Forensic & Litigation Consulting | Construction

October 29, 2019


As Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries work towards economic diversification, they continue to invest heavily in infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports. Middle East countries have channelled billions of dollars into new-build airports to create iconic transport hubs, bringing to life the ambition of becoming a local gateway for global travel.

In this article, FTI Consulting’s Connor Curran takes a closer look at ongoing and future airport construction projects in the region and discusses a strategic approach towards ensuring successful project completion.

Location, Location, Location

Positioned between the major economies of the East and the West, the location of GCC countries have made them obvious international aviation hubs, acting as air travel crossroads for the world. As a result, airports in the Gulf have witnessed surging numbers of business, leisure and transit passengers in recent years. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) 2018 Forecast anticipates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% annually in the Middle East to 2037, fuelling the confirmed key infrastructure investment.

Current Projects

  • Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Arab Peninsula, has 27 airports and has been undertaking an extensive airport upgrade and expansion as a central pillar of its Saudi 2030 Vision for economic diversification.
  • The $7.2bn expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is ongoing with new terminals planned at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, as well as the redevelopment of airports in Abha, Al Asha and Jazan.
  • Construction continues on the $4.3bn Terminal 2 at Kuwait International Airport while Terminal 4 opened in 2018. Once complete, the airport will have the capacity to handle 25 million passengers per year.

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