GCC governments will spend more than $90 billion on education-related construction projects by the end of 2014, according to report by Ventures Middle East.
It makes the education sector one of the biggest for contractors and suppliers with the population in the GCC forecast to increase from 50.6 million in 2014 to 55.8 million by 2018.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in education with an expected spend of $56 billion. It will construct 465 new schools and refurbish 1,500, alongside 1,544 existing school construction projects. It is also building eight new colleges and new vocational and technical facilities.
Governments of each GCC nation are investing significantly in construction of new schools and refurbishment of existing schools which is expected to drive the construction opportunities in the education sector in the region.
The total number of students in the GCC region is expected to grow from 11.1 million in 2014 to 11.6 million by 2016.
GDP per capita income in the GCC is estimated to grow from $ 45,184 in 2011 to $ 51,286 in 2016 and that will benefit education. “The increase in income will have a positive effect on the willingness to spend on education, especially for private sector education,” the report noted.
In the UAE, $2.6 billion (21 percent of its 2014 budget) is being spent on schools and all new buildings meet the country’s green construction Estidama rating. Qatar has allocated $7.2 billion to education, which is 7.3 percent up on the previous year. Oman is initiating a process to provide free basic education to all its nationals spending $6.8 billion, which is 18.6 percent of the total public expenditure. Kuwait will spend 14.2 percent of its annual budget for the year (2013-2014) which is $10.5 billion. Bahrain has allocated $2.2 billion to continue to improve the education process for the fiscal years 2013-2014.