Global giants eyeing 'phenomenal ME market'
Dubai, November 23, 2010
The global construction market is seeing the Middle East as the place to boost business and start new ventures, according to The Big 5 2010’s technical conference chairman, Stephen Oehme, consultant and regional director of Hyder Consulting.
His opening statement, which discussed the ‘phenomenal market’ in the region with 1,300 projects worth $418 billion in the UAE alone, highlighted the fact that the Middle East is ‘very attractive’ to the global industry as the market moves out of the recession.
This was further supported in the conference’s first session with Husein Odeh, general manager of Turner International, which focussed on the ‘Outlook for the construction market coming out of a recession.’
Odeh pointed out that the cost of construction was back to where it should be and this was a good indicator for the recovery of the industry.
'You have to go back to fundamentals; you have to have a solid business plan, which many developers did not have during the boom period. If you invest in the quality of the building it will pay off in the long term,' the expert said.
Odeh highlighted the important lessons that the industry has learnt as a result of the recent recession, most importantly that planning is key.
“Anyone with money thought he could be a developer, so did not think to put a team together. Buildings were created out of nothing and the developers did not have the credibility. Market demands were not addressed, long term goals were not clear,” he stated.
His presentation showed that the GCC’s economy was now looking strong, with an expected GDP increase of between two and five per cent in the coming year, with markets such as the UAE and Kuwait, which dropped into negative GDP during the recession, increase to around four per cent.
The Big 5 2010 conference will continue tomorrow, with the event running until Thursday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.-TradeArabia News Service