The GCC projects market index rose by 0.2 percent to $2.49 trillion as of the third quarter of 2012. According to MEED’s Gulf Projects Index, a comprehensive and up-to-date tracking system of projects that are either underway or planned throughout the region, the continuing growth in the GCC’s projects industry was driven by strong growth in the UAE and Kuwait projects market; while Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia remained relatively steady. “The growth of the projects industry in the GCC continues to have an impact on the overall development of the region. It is within this context that we established the awards to recognise quality projects and acknowledge their merits - to create a standard of projects that needs to be lived up to. Once you recognise quality projects, others are motivated to live up to that standard and in the process push the boundaries for the projects industry as a whole,” said Edmund O’Sullivan, chairman of the judging panel of the 2013 MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Ernst & Young, an independent awards recognition scheme established to recognise project excellence across several categories. The MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Ernst & Young, is the only awards programme in the GCC to recognise completed projects and evaluates the outcome of the construction process, rather than the process itself. Now in its third year, the awards programme is judged by an independent jury panel consisting of respected authorities in the projects industry who will determine the winners at the national and regional level of the competition. The index further shows that Kuwait recorded the region’s biggest rise in the value of its projects sector, increasing 1.4 per cent to $185.9 billion. Oman continues its growth trend, with the value of its projects sector rising 12 per cent compared with the same period in 2011. Overall, the Gulf Projects Index is up five per cent compared to the same period in 2011. Saudi Arabia remains the region’s fastest growing projects market, reporting a 27.7 per cent year-on-year growth. According to Abraham Akkawi, Partner and Head of Infrastructure and PPP Advisory Services, MENA, Ernst & Young, recognising quality achievements in the projects industry is important because of the tremendous economic, social and environmental impact that they have on the GCC as a whole. “It celebrates the achievements of the GCC’s projects industry in delivering the infrastructure and building projects that are laying the foundations for the future of the Gulf region,” Akkawi added. The $314 million Bahrain Bapco Lube Base Oil Plant (nominated by Samsung Engineering) was declared the national winner in Bahrain of the 2012 edition of the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Ernst & Young. Projects completed between January 2011 and December 2012 are eligible to compete in the awards programme. Submissions for the 2013 awards programme are now being sought in the following categories: Oil & Gas Project of the Year, Industrial Project of the Year, Power and Water Desalination Project of the Year, Water Reuse Project of the Year, Leisure and Tourism Project of the Year, Transport Project of the Year, Social Project of the Year, Building Project of the Year and Sustainable Project of the Year. The deadline for submission of projects has been set on January 31, 2013. Winners will be announced in May 2013. For more information on entry requirements and procedures, please visit www.meedawards.com.