The UAE construction sector’s pace is set to rapidly accelerate in 2014, with the government announcing a number of major development projects and stepping up spending on social infrastructure development.
An April 2014 report by consultancy Ventures Middle East, “Exploring UAE’s Strong Investment Environment” noted that the new projects, combined with many previously stalled projects now forging ahead, will continue to bolster the 2013 upswing into 2014. The same report remarks that the UAE’s GDP for 2014 is set to grow at 4 percent to reach $404 billion, up from 390 billion in 2014, fuelled by the construction sector upturn and support from the oil & gas sector.
The report set the value of the country’s building construction sector at almost 60 percent of the total projects in the construction industry, followed by infrastructure, oil & gas and power & water, with total construction projects awarded in the UAE totaling $38 billion in 2013. 2014 is expected to reach $46 billion in awarded projects in the country.
DAMAC Properties, one of the largest luxury real estate companies in the Middle East, whose recent developments include the 42 million sq ft master development, AKOYA by DAMAC and the four-tower DAMAC Towers by Paramount project in the Burj Area, is bullish about the upswing in the market:
“The outlook for the real estate sector in the UAE and Dubai is positive, and this is mainly due to the strong economic growth experienced since 2012. Dubai in particular has continued to witness solid economic recovery and this is reflected on the real estate sector. Strong predicted growth of 4.5 percent this year will sustain demand for residential property; this explains the continuous solid levels of demand in the market, which is reflected in the growth in rental levels and residential values on the short and medium terms,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director of DAMAC Properties.
In line with the continued growth, the country’s infrastructure sector has seen significant investment and development particularly in roads and airports. Dubai Airports this year announced a $7.8 billion (AED28.8 billion) airport and airspace expansion program which will boost capacity at Dubai International from 60 million to 90 million passengers per year by 2018.
The investment is designed to deliver aviation infrastructure which will support the continuation of the sector’s impressive growth, facilitate Dubai’s economic expansion and generate an estimated 22 percent of total employment and 32 percent of the emirate’s GDP by 2020.
Similarly in Abu Dhabi, the AED10.8 billion Midfield Terminal Building project - a 700,000 square meter site with what is set to be the world’s largest baggage system - remains on schedule to open by July 2017.
The region’s leading international building and construction show, The Big 5, will demonstrate this renewed industry confidence with its largest edition yet.
The Big 5 2013 attracted more visitors than ever and with 98 percent planning to return this year plus a host of new exhibitors from across the world, Andy White, Group Event Director of The Big 5 believes this year’s event will be the largest and best attended in its illustrious 35 year history.
“The Big 5 has become the region’s leading hub for construction professionals to source new products, discover the latest innovations, engage in educational workshops and conferences, and network with thousands of key players and potential customers. The buzz surrounding the industry is growing and I am confident that this year will be the biggest yet for The Big 5, as the region’s construction sector continues to make a strong comeback,” White said.© Copyright - Saudi Gazette