Olympics will take Egypt construction to new heights
Following the news that Egypt is planning to bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games;
Colin Foreman, Deputy Editor at MEED, part of leading data and analytics company GlobalData, offers his view:
“A successful Cairo bid would be a massive boost for the construction industry in Egypt. Recent experience from Qatar, where tens of billions of dollars were spent on infrastructure in preparation for the 2022 World Cup, shows that hosting major sporting events comes hand-in-hand with a myriad of opportunities for construction work, including sporting venues, transport infrastructure and hotels.
“If it goes ahead, the bid could be strong, especially if the event’s organizers decide to shift away from more traditional host locations such as Europe and Australasia. After all, Africa has never had an Olympics before, and the IOC has stated that it would like the continent to host the games. As well as a first for Africa, an Egyptian Olympics would be a first for the Arab world and the broader Middle East.
“Egypt construction is already booming. It was the best-performing market for contract awards across the Middle East and North Africa in 2021, according to GlobalData’s MEED Projects. The company recorded $14 billion of construction and transport contract awards last year, up from $10 billion the previous year.
“Construction has played a leading role in Egypt’s economy since President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2014. Since then, there has been a steady stream of major projects moving forward, including the new capital city, the Al-Zour gas field, and a wide range of other schemes across various sectors. More awards are expected this year ranging from a civil works package linked to Cairo Metro’s Line 4, to the National Authority for Tunnels’ (NAT) negotiations with Japan’s Taisei Corporation and the local Orascom Construction—with plans to confirm the contract by the end of March.
“Looking further ahead, the market is confident of additional awards as Egypt’s population-driven demand shows little sign of abating. The problem is that the visibility becomes less clear. A 2036 Olympic Games would remove this uncertainty at a stroke, giving the construction sector a clear pipeline of work with a fixed deadline for the next 14 years.”