UAE Construction Sector's Pace Set to Rapidly Accelerate with USD 46 Billion in Projects for 2014
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” remarks 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% to reach USD 404 billion, up from 390 billion in 2014, fuelled by the construction sector upturn and support from the oil & gas sector.
Midfield Terminal Complex - Credit to Abu Dhabi Airport
The report sets the value of the country’s building construction sector at almost 60% of the total projects in the construction industry, followed by infrastructure, oil & gas and power & water, with total construction projects awarded in the UAE totalling USD 38 billion in 2013. 2014 is expected to reach USD 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% 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 USD7.8 billion (AED28.8 billion) airport and airspace expansion programme 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% of total employment and 32% of the emirate’s GDP by 2020.
Similarly in Abu Dhabi, the AED10.8 billion Midfield Terminal Building project - a 700,000 square metre 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% 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.
PMV LIVE AND MIDDLE EAST CONCRETE - 360 DEGREE PLATFORM FOR BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION
Running alongside The Big 5, two co-located events, PMV Live and Middle East Concrete (MEC), offer a 360 degree platform to the building and construction industry, with the three shows providing the largest international building construction, concrete and heavy machinery gathering place in the region. Last year both shows attracted a record breaking 32% increase in attendance over 2012, with another outstanding year expected for 2014 as companies in the PMV and concrete sectors take advantage of the region’s burgeoning infrastructure projects.
The UAE is expected to spend over USD 300 billion on infrastructure by 2030, according to a report by hospitality consultancy HVS, to include the expansion of the Dubai Metro Red line, new concourses at the recently opened Maktoum International Airport, interchanges on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed road, and the construction of the main Expo 2020 centre.
Regionally, Qatar forges on with its National Development Strategy 2011-2015 through a pipeline of major infrastructure projects, including the USD 45 billion Lusail City project, the newly opened USD 17.5 billion New Doha International Airport and a high number of road, rail and associated World Cup 2022 construction projects, while Saudi Arabia is undertaking infrastructure improvement projects in roads, bridges and rail to the tune of USD 77 billion.
Throughout last year’s third edition of the focused shows, PMV Live and MEC welcomed more than 355 exhibitors from over 32 countries, with more than 20,000 international participants descending on the events. PMV Live provides visitors and decision makers a platform to source and preview plant equipment, construction machinery and vehicles, with multi-million dollar equipment deals signed at the event over the past three years, while MEC has already established itself as the largest dedicated concrete event in the Middle East.
GROWING INTERNATIONAL FOOTPRINT
The Big 5 has cemented its international footprint, as the show welcomed 2,700 international exhibitors from nearly 60 countries, and attracted more than 74,000 international and local participants from 124 countries last year. More than a third of the previous edition’s participants hailed from countries outside of the GCC, with some of the highest numbers coming from Europe (Italy) and Asia (South Korea). The 35th edition of the show has already seen an increase in international exhibitors, driven by renewed confidence in the region’s construction sector.
DEDICATED SECTORS AND ACCREDITED EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
The Big 5 returns in 2014 with eight dedicated product sectors: steel; building interiors; coating, adhesives & sealants; general construction; kitchens & bathrooms; water technology; windows, doors and cladding; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
Following last year’s record attendance across more than 130 educational seminars, 30 live product demonstrations, and five workshops, organisers are preparing an even larger and more interactive suite of educational activities at The Big 5, with more than 40 certified workshops plus a two-day conference on Sustainable Design and Construction taking place in 2014.
The Big 5, PMV Live and Middle East Concrete run from 17 - 20 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre, and are open from 11:00am to 7:00pm daily.