Competitiveness to rise in GCC construction market

05 December 2011

Investors may prefer to wait until stability returns to the region and global markets, meaning less awards

With limited contract opportunities, there is not enough work to go around in 2012.

Some contractors have been more successful than others when it comes to winning work and with two major contract awards in one week, the UK’s Carillion is currently the envy of its competitors. In Qatar, the firm has won a $651m contract in joint venture with a local partner for the Msheireb Downtown Doha project and in Dubai, its local operation Al-Futtaim Carillion secured the first phase of The Avenue project for local developer Meraas. The two awards add to the estimated $183m Jalila hospital project it won in Dubai.

Carillion’s success follows the example set by Belgium’s Six Construct in September this year, when the firm won the estimated $544m contract for Aldar Properties’ Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi and an estimated $533m order for Saudi Aramco’s 60,000-seat stadium near Jeddah.

As the global economy heads into an uncertain 2012, the outlook for the region’s construction sector is mixed. While there is optimism about increased government spending in the Gulf in response to the popular protests, there is also concern that investors may wait for the political turmoil to pass and the market conditions to improve, meaning less contract awards.

Successful firms like Six Construct and Carillion can now focus on delivery. Their less successful peers will have to compete for work in a market that could be even more competitive next year.

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