Dubai firms win $2.7bn housing work

18 April 2008
Nearly AED10bn ($2.7bn) worth of contracts were awarded to build large-scale housing projects in Dubai over the past week, demonstrating that local contractors now have the resources to take on major, billion-dollar construction packages on their own.

The size of the individual contracts are substantial. At Remraam in Dubailand, local developer Mizin awarded two AED3bn contracts for packages of 100 buildings. The local Dubai Civil Engineering was awarded the first contract, while Abu Dhabi-based Al-Ghafly won the second.

A few days earlier, the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment awarded another AED3bn contract to the local Arabtec Construction to design and build 2,290 villas in Al-Barsha, Al-Warqaa and Oud al-Muteena.

Previously, deals of this size have involved setting new world records. In late 2004, Arabtec was part of a three-way joint venture that won a AED3.2bn contract to build the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest tower.

The contracts now being signed also offer opportunities for a wider range of contractors. High-rise towers can only be built by a limited pool of firms, but a large housing project requires far less specialist experience.

The recent expansion of local firms means that many more have the pool of resources needed for such projects.

Many Dubai-based contractors have more than doubled in size over the past two years and now have enough resources to take on projects of AED3bn or more.

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