MEED Views on the Impact of COVID-19 on business in the Middle East Pioneer IPMC Review

By: Bisher Hammash

In the wake of the new pandemic, Covid-19 has rapidly escalated as the greatest risk to international and local economy. Lately, we have been witnessing a colossal economic impact of Covid-19 on financial markets and helpless trades like tourism, travel, manufacturing, and many others. The fall of several trades due to Covid-19 has a domino effect on the others, therefore PIPMC has devoted its efforts to study the economic, contractual, and successive impacts of Covid-19 on the Engineering & Construction sector.

PIPMC participated in MEED’s webinar on the effect of Covid-19 on Engineering & Construction in the Middle East. The webinar discussed the aftermath of the recent drop in oil prices on the oil & gas sector in region, noting that the crude oil price has plunged into an unprecedented low in April-2020 due to Covid-19. MEED predicted that the oil & gas industry will take a very long time to recover from the recent complications even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over. PIPMC forecasts that the industry’s practices, supply chain, and approaches will be completely restructured in order to accommodate the ongoing losses and to be prepared should another worldwide force majeure or pandemic like Covid-19 strike again.

MEED also discussed the surge of healthcare development projects due to the spike in demand caused by the accelerating number of Covid-19 patients. With the plummeting activity of the hospitality and trading sectors, GCC governments converted several hotels and hotel apartments as well as exhibition centers and large halls into quarantine or treatment hubs for Covid-19 patients. According to MEED, these adaptive actions took by the governments will not necessitate the urge to build more hospitals to accommodate patients of Covid-19 or; should god forbid, future pandemics. PIPMC agrees with MEED’s analysis on the subject on one hand and focuses on the change in market share of the healthcare sector on the other. To battle the Covid-19 pandemic, an unexpected deployment of national capital and resources to the healthcare sector is taking place on the expense of other sectors and is triggering a severe blow on these sectors, causing a very probable series of disruptions, reexamination, and even cancellation of planned projects.

Both PIPMC and MEED agree that the future of the Engineering & Construction business after the Covid-19 cloud dissipation will be unclear and unpredictable, and companies, trades, and businesses will not operate the same anymore. The only definitive matter is that the public health is and will be our greatest wealth.

Stay Safe!

May 6th, 2020

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