Middle East Construction Potential
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Middle East Construction Unleashes $2trn and 4.3m jobs a year If Embracing Sustainable Tech

Middle East Construction Unleashes $2trn and 4.3m jobs a year If Embracing Sustainable Tech

Published 4 Dec 2023
Strategy& Middle East, a management consulting firm, reported on the Middle East's great construction surge and its positive perspectives in the region's sector.

The Middle East has the potential to unleash a $2 trillion construction surge and generate over 4 million jobs annually by embracing sustainable construction technologies, according to a report by Strategy& Middle East and Dar. The study highlights the region's capacity to lead globally in innovative and sustainability-focused construction methods, potentially reducing lifecycle emissions by 50-60%. 

Major projects like NEOM in Saudi Arabia and Lusail in Qatar could propel the Middle East toward its net-zero emissions goals, making sustainability a key driver for the anticipated $2 trillion investment in "built environments" by 2035.

Middle East Construction Potential

Embracing sustainable technologies could propel the Middle East halfway toward its net-zero emissions goals. The report envisions a significant economic impact, contributing over 10% to the region's GDP annually and creating 4.3 million jobs per year from the construction surge, emphasizing the unique opportunity for the GCC region to lead in sustainable technologies.

Dr. Yahya Anouti, Partner with Strategy& Middle East and the leader of the sustainability platform at PwC Middle East, said: 

— The GCC region's planned scale of investments uniquely positions it to pioneer a range of sustainable technologies and processes <...> Our estimates show that reducing these [CO2] emissions for urban development could take the region more than halfway to realizing its net-zero emissions goals. 

According to Dr. Yahya Anouti, the built environment is responsible for a high emissions footprint of around 37% of energy use, 39% of CO2 emissions, and 40% of material use globally.

Key technologies for reimagining the built environment, like solar photovoltaics, eco-friendly construction materials, and building AI systems, are readily available for near-term implementation. Nevertheless, the report highlights that other innovations are in the early stages, necessitating additional investment and time for development, testing, and integration.

Balsam Nehme, Head of Sustainability at Dar Al-Handasah, said: 

— If GCC stakeholders, including policymakers, innovators, and developers, embrace a truly innovative and sustainable approach to urban development, they face a golden opportunity to set a new global standard.From urban planning to architecture, civil engineering, mechanical systems, and construction materials, sustainable development can unlock widespread better quality of life, incremental economic growth, and develop local skills and jobs.

Effective collaboration among all stakeholders is essential for success, relying on shared lessons from pilots and trials to drive the adoption of sustainable practices and innovations. To cut emissions, consider the following five methods:

  • Wastewater treatment. On-site wastewater treatment can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 90% and reduce energy consumption for water pumping.

  • Sustainable Pathways. Recycled roads and sidewalks can reduce carbon emissions by more than 90%, while being half the cost of traditional asphalt roads and requiring less energy to produce.

  • Living roofs. Green roofs, also known as "vegetated" or "living" roofs, can cool the roof surface by 30-40% and also retain stormwater, which is very important in the MENA region.

  • Modular assembly. Modular prefabrication designs can reduce carbon emissions by more than 19% over the lifetime of the built structure.

  • Active facades. In hot countries, dynamic façades that respond to the environment can increase useful daylighting in buildings while providing energy savings of up to 55%.

Innovation in building systems to reduce operational carbon emissions

Source: Strategy&

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Editor-in-Chief at First Bit
Alina is a journalist and editor with over five years of experience in content marketing. Staying mosly behing the scenes, she sometimes reports First Bit events and comes up with expert publications.
Content Writer
Anna has a background in IT companies and has written numerous articles on technology topics. Now, building up her expertise in construction and legal regulations, Anna expands the horizons of our blog and delights her readers with insightful articles.
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