The UAE is planning to carry out projects in construction and other sectors worth around $494 billion, accounting for nearly a third of the total projects planned in the region, according to a Gulf business chief.


Despite tightened bank lending in the region, he construction market in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which controls more than a third of the world's proven oil deposits, remains one of the most active sectors in the world, with its value standing at nearly $1.5 trillion, said Abdul Rahim Al-Naqi, Secretary General of the Dammam-based Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FGCCI).

Naqi said he saw a boom in the GCC contracting sector, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE alone planning to carry out projects worth $629 and $494 billion respectively.

"The GCC residential and commercial construction market is highly competitive and fragmented, marked by the presence of several small and big players across the value chain. The increased competition within the sector is likely to result in competitive bidding by the players and this is expected to drive down the profit margins of construction companies further... Many of them already suffer from high prices," he said.

Naqi said a trend by foreign firms to enter the GCC construction market in partnership with local companies would help reduce risks by both sides.

He said foreign companies, seeking to tap what he described as massive investment opportunities in the region, have the capabilities of handling large and complex projects. "They are entering the GCC construction sector either in partnership or joint venture with established local players. The partnership or the joint venture model mitigates the business risk of both the partners significantly," he said.

"In pursuit of expanding their top line and geographical presence, the established construction and real estate companies are looking to grow both organically as well as inorganically through M&A route."

Emirates 24|7

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10 new malls coming up in Qatar

At least 10 new malls, four-five shopping centers and three-four hyper markets are planned within Doha and the neighboring areas within the next four years, a report by Al Asmakh Real Estate Development Company (Aredc) indicates.

The highest demand for existing and new outlets has been coming from the garment segment and luxury brand stores. Restaurants and coffee shops come next, says the report.

Doha Metro to have 48 stations

The 131-km Doha Metro Railway will have at least 48 stations and half of the entire facility would be built underground at depths up to 50 meters. In a presentation, Qatar Rail commercial manager Stephen Lines disclosed that the elevated portion of the Metro railway is 48km long. Construction has started this year and it is expected to be completed in 2019.

 

Qatar and UAE among world top infrastructure markets

Qatar and UAE among world top infrastructure markets - EC Harris General ME

 

According to a new consultancy EC Harris, Qatar and the UAE have been named in the world's top four markets for investing projects.

GCC food import bill to touch $53.1 billion by 2020

The restrictions imposed by agriculture producing countries on the export of food grains have caused an estimated over $50bn over the last four to five years.

 

Due to the controls on food exports, the wheat importing countries must have caused an extra payment of $21.5bn and rice importing countries must have paid at least an additional $19bn after the producing countries imposed restrictions on the exports.

 

Dubai's Bid for Expo 2020 in numbers

20 million visitors are expected to make 33 million trips to the site

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