A Bechtel-led consortium has the design-and-build contract for the two metro lines.

Saudi Arabia is likely to remain the dominant construction market in the GCC for the foreseeable future, with an estimated $200 billion spend in construction planned over the next two years and much more in the pipeline, according to a report.

There are currently more than $2 trillion worth projects in GCC countries, with 60 per cent of which are taking place in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, said the Saudi Gazette report.

In terms of country spend, Saudi Arabia leads the way with $784 billion worth of projects, followed by the UAE with $669 million, it said.

Construction is a key economic driver in Saudi Arabia, providing a platform for almost every industry and strongly contributing towards the employment of Saudi nationals while providing growth potential to local businesses, Nathan Waugh, portfolio director, DMG events, the organiser of the recently concluded Big 5 Saudi 2015, was quoted as saying.

The construction sector showed the highest non-oil GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate at 6.7 per cent last year, and the 2015 budget demonstrates the continuation of the previous year’s diversification plan, which provides major construction  spending in key government segments, he added.