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UAE tops US$ 1.3 trillion GCC construction market with growth expected in 2011

By Steve Skinner  www.khl.com

A new Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry study has shown that more than US$ 714.8 billion of construction projects are currently at the design stage or under construction in the UAE, to make the Emirate the most active market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

The second most active construction market in the region, with US$ 283.8 billion worth of projects, is Saudi Arabia followed by Kuwait with US$ 184.4 billion of projects. Qatar has construction projects being planned or underway to the value of US$ 92.6 billion with Oman (US$ 48.3 billion) and Bahrain (US$ 44.1 billion) also figuring.

A spokesperson from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “Following a challenging period in 2009 and this year, construction developers in the UAE are expecting a more promising 2011 and beyond.”

The study showed that in recent months contractors have entered new markets, switching focus from private to public sector schemes and forming new alliances in an effort to win work in an increasingly competitive environment.

The spokesperson said, “This trend is expected to continue in the short term with the UAE government’s drive to stimulate the economy by spending heavily on infrastructure projects, particularly in Abu Dhabi.”

The study showed that five of the ten largest construction and infrastructure projects by value in the GCC region are planned or already under construction in Abu Dhabi.

The five are the US$ 40 billion development of the Capital District situated between Abu Dhabi International airport and Mohammed bin Zayed City, the US$ 37 billion Yas Island development, the US$ 27.5 billion development of Sadiyat Island, the US$ 22 billion creation of the Masdar sustainable city, the US$ 15 billion development of Al Raha Beach and the US$ 12 billion Road Transport Authority project to construct 500 km of roads.

The UAE also plans to expand its rail network and invest in hospitals, schools and museums.

The spokesperson said, “Prices of construction materials have been falling since the beginning of 2009 on the back of the negative economic climate and the reduced cost of both materials and labour now favour developers as cost savings can be found.”

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