Stakeholders’ Insight on the Delay of Constructions Projects in the Makkah Region- KSA

Kehlan Salman1, *, Abdulrazak Abdulghafour1
1 Department of Civil Engineering, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Salman and Abdulghafour

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Civil Engineering, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Tel: 00966545998704; E-mails:;



This study aims to identify the major causes of delays in construction projects in the Makkah region of Saudi Arabia. It investigates the opinions of different stakeholders separately to ensure partiality and objectivity.


Saudi Arabia's construction industry is experiencing rapid expansion, with no shortage of contracts in any sector, either from housing or utilities to transport infrastructure. Public spending is driving the contracting industry forward [Oxford]. The construction industry contributed between 30% to 40% of the non-oil productive sectors at the end of each National Development Plan from 1980 to 2000. Makkah receives around two million pilgrims during the annual Hajj and more than 20 million visitors for performing Umrah (Al-Emad). Substantial public funds have been spent on construction projects to develop Makkah during recent years. Real estate, infrastructure, hospitals, and retail sectors are among those most likely to benefit. Most of these projects suffered delays and their consequences. The Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA) and the Ministry of Transportation acknowledged public construction project delays. They reported that approximately 75% of them exceeded their scheduled time. This is one of the main reasons to conduct this study.


In this study, a comprehensive questionnaire has been developed, consisting of seventy-three causes of delay. The questionnaire was organized in the form of an importance scale. Respondents were asked to indicate their responses by ticking a column of the impact and frequency of each of the causes and construction delay in terms of 5 = very important, 4 = important, 3 = somewhat important, 2 = less important, and 1 = not important. A hundred fifty questionnaires were distributed by hand to the contractor, the consultant, and the owner in the Makkah region of Saudi Arabia. Ninety-seven forms were filled, received, and processed. The survey data were grouped into eight significant categories: owner, consultant designer, supervisor, contractor, material, labor, site, and external factors. A ninth group is left for the participants to add whatever they think of furtherer causes of delay.


The evaluation of the three separate surveys conducted on the responses of the owner, the contractors, and the consultant supervisor, show that the contractor is mainly responsible for the delay. Around 47% of the top ten delay factors fall in the contractor delay factors followed by laborers and owners. Three categories have not been mentioned in the top ten as delay category, including supervisors, materials, and external factors. Only one delay factor was found to be shared among the three-survey group, which is related to the labor category, that is, low productivity of labor.


Three separate surveys have been conducted to investigate the delay in the construction industry in the Makkah region of Saudi Arabia. The surveys contain a questionnaire of seventy-three possible delay factors investigating the opinions of the three main stakeholders in the construction industry: the owners, the contractors, and the consultants. The evaluation of the survey impacts shows that the contractor is mainly responsible for the delay, followed by laborers and then the owners. One common delay factor was found among the three surveyed groups related to the labor category; that is, low productivity of labor. In frequency, the contractor category also occupied the highest percentage of the total delay contributors. Another common delay factor was found among the three surveyed groups, also related to the contractor category, that being the lack of risk evaluation by the contractor.

Keywords: Makkah, Construction projects, Delay factors, Delay frequency, Delay impact, Relative importance index, Task duration.