Turnaround in UAE’s construction sector seen
Dubai, August 24, 2010
The UAE construction sector is witnessing a gradual turnaround, a fact that is evidenced by the steady improvement in the time taken by developers to settle outstanding contractor dues, said an expert.
The improving contractor-payment scenario is best reflected in Dubai where several major developers have started to pay contractors the amounts, which have been outstanding ever since the ramifications of the global economic downturn were felt in the UAE, according to Shaikhani Contracting, a part of the Shaikhani Group, a diversified business conglomerate.
Accordingly, Shaikhani Contracting has announced plans to roll out a strategic region-wide plan targeting growth and expansion across the UAE.
Recent market projections show that 26,650 apartments and villas will be handed over in Dubai this year as the region enters a recovery phase.
This is a major positive development given that the Gulf’s construction industry had significantly contracted sharply during 2009, with some $500 billion worth of projects being cancelled or shelved following the real estate slump that started in 2008.
Dubai was the hardest-hit market and many large construction companies in the emirate had to let go a substantial percentage of their staff.
However, officials from Shaikhani Contracting point out though that with the start of the new decade things are certainly looking up for the construction sector and opportunities for contractors still exist. The company attributes the strong support offered by the Dubai Government as the main reason for the steady resurgence of the sector.
“This welcome development regarding the faster interval of payment for dues owed to contractors bodes well for our plans to grow our operations in the UAE, and we are very excited to witness the resumption of construction activities and become one of the most active contractors working on projects across the country,” said Rizwan Shaikhani, managing director, Shaikhani Contracting.
“We consider discerning clients who capitalize on their investments irrespective of the current market conditions as our primary target market, and our strategy to connect with them is to ensure that the services we offer are up to par with their stringent standards,” he added.
Underlining its confidence in the rising consumer confidence within the construction industry, the contractor announced earlier this year its aims to secure domestic contracts worth Dh60 million ($16.33 million) this year, the first two of which included contracts to undertake the construction of private villas in the Al Khawaneej area in Dubai, UAE.
Identifying the excellent opportunities in the region, particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE and in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Shaikhani Contracting is currently planning to hire more engineers, technical and non-technical staff, with a view to offer regional customers a broader portfolio of high quality services.
“Amidst the turbulent transition from unrealistic market prices to healthier, more realistic levels, we have succeeded in weathering the challenges and remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers. We are positive that this year will mark a significant milestone for our operations,” concluded Shaikhani. – TradeArabia News Service