Enhancing the performance of infrastructure programmes in the Middle East

David Smith


Middle East


Performance outlook

Infrastructure investment has been a key enabler for the Middle East’s growth over recent times, supporting the construction boom and providing solid foundations for the region’s young and growing population. Despite steadily rising oil prices and increased demand for projects, the region’s infrastructure industry is under significant pressure to reduce costs and increase productivity.

  • 93% percent of respondents agree that political indecision and populist intervention threaten long-term infrastructure planning
  • 66% percent state that short-term thinking is a major cause of underperformance

Challenges and opportunities

Last minute decisions – Robust planning and longer-term thinking are natural precursors to better programme performance, and this was clearly recognised in our research, with 77 percent of respondents from the Middle East believing that late decisions are the key people reason programmes failure.

Keep up confidence – There is a perception in the region that all major programmes are running behind schedule. If projects appear to be failing, the knee-jerk reaction is often to revert to a different model, often bringing control back to the client.

Political inertia – A lack of political decision-making has been cited by nearly all respondents as a threat to long term planning and this could also prove to be a serious risk to the market’s ability to secure future investment.

In a nutshell

The Middle East market is developing at a fast pace – better performance can be unlocked with longer-term planning and clearer communication of the business case for infrastructure.

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David Smith