Construction awards should silence sceptics

18 July 2008
In 2006, it appeared the construction market had peaked, but Dubai was merely planning its next move.

The award of more than AED25bn ($6.8bn) worth of work by just one company so far this year demonstrates that Dubai’s building boom is far from over.

In 2006, it appeared that the construction market had reached a peak. After three years
of project launches, it seemed the emirate was content to concentrate on the work already
in hand.

What was actually happening was that Dubai was busy designing the megaprojects it had just launched. Those schemes are only now producing contract awards.

Nakheel’s Trump International Hotel & Tower is probably the best example. It has been part of the Palm Jumeirah masterplan since day one, and in that time it has gone through a series of major changes. But it is only now that the contract to build the tower has been awarded.

It is not an exception. All of the contracts Nakheel has awarded this year are on schemes the market has known about for years. It is only now that work is beginning on site.

Critics might gripe that it has taken a long time to start moving on these projects, but for the construction industry as a whole it is reassuring news.

If contractors are only now starting to benefit from projects launched in 2003 and 2004, then it bodes well for all the projects announced since 2005 that are still in the pipeline. Building work has hardly begun on Palm Deira, and has just started on Dubai Waterfront.

Add these to more recently announced schemes, such as Nakheel’s Universe, as well as schemes planned by other developers such as Dubailand by Tatweer and the land around the Arabian Canal planned by Limitless, and it is clear that there is plenty of work still to come for Dubai’s construction industry.

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