Paul Wallett, Regional Director of Trimble Solutions Middle East

By Paul Wallett, Regional Director of Trimble Solutions Middle East
Construction trends and technologies: GCC’s evolving construction space prior to Saudi Expo 2030

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has long been a hub for construction and infrastructure development, and the upcoming Saudi Expo 2030 further promises to bring about major advancements for the sector. According to reports, the GCC Construction Equipment Market is expected to grow at a 3.8 per cent CAGR between 2024 and 2030. 

One of the primary forces behind the GCC region's notable growth is the developing construction market. Large investments in infrastructure and real estate projects have significantly driven up demand for construction equipment. Moreover, mega-projects like energy facilities, entertainment centres, and metro systems are also resulting in an upsurge in demand for specialised heavy equipment. 

As evidenced by the 2024 budget, the government's commitment to strengthening the non-oil economy will likely lead to increased investments in infrastructure, local industry, and services. The major beneficiaries during the pre-expo phase would be the building and construction industry, banks, and the insurance sector, while during the Expo, the hotel and tourism, aviation, car rental, advertising, and insurance sectors would benefit the most.

As a result, hosting Expo 2030 is expected to have a major positive economic impact on KSA. With a goal of making the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – and more especially Riyadh – a major worldwide investment hub, the government has embarked on a number of enormous projects worth over USD 1 trillion. These projects combine residential, commercial, recreational, and entertainment spaces to accommodate the anticipated population growth and host more than 150 million visitors by 2030.

The construction technology industry is further bolstered by advancements in cloud technology. According to 77 per cent of UAE CIOs, SMEs in the GCC are expected to double the market size by 2024 as a result of their adoption of cloud computing. Expo 2020 Dubai is a notable example of this, as it was the largest event in the Arab world to use a multi-cloud infrastructure that included both Etisalat 1C and AWS. It is safe to assume that Saudi Arabia's cloud computing market is steadily expanding, with annual spending on public cloud services expected to reach USD 2.5 billion by 2026.

Governments across the region are also launching a number of initiatives to boost the construction equipment market. Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 initiative focuses on developing infrastructure and creating a favourable business environment. Additionally, governments are making substantial investments in building ports, industrial zones, and smart cities, which will only drive demand for construction equipment. Urbanisation efforts and the development of smart cities are also emerging trends that have led to a greater demand for technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), which is propelling the construction equipment market.

More importantly, sustainability is at the forefront of global construction trends, including the GCC. Sustainable architecture and green building practices are receiving increased attention as we approach the Expo 2030. The adoption of eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient designs, and the integration of renewable energy sources are quickly becoming standard practices in construction projects across the region. 

With 119 votes, Saudi Arabia surpassed several major nations to host the Expo 2030 in Riyadh. The event is anticipated to generate significant economic growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, drawing major investments from the public and private sectors, and generating a large number of job opportunities. This is all the more important as Saudi Arabia is at the centre of a major national transformation brought about by the Vision 2030 strategy, especially with regard to the expansion of its urban environment.

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