Kier targets Middle East building sector

03 June 2014

UK-based contractor Kier looks to build on recent Dubai University construction deal

UK-based contract Kier is targeting work in the region’s building sector as it aims to expand its presence in the Middle East.

Traditionally the firm’s focus in the region has been infrastructure projects in the region, but as the building market, driven by resurgent property prices and government-backed social infrastructure projects, continues to show signs of improvement, Kier expects to win more building work in the future.

The move will mean Kier’s work in the Middle East will be more representative of its global activities where the building sector accounts for a significant portion of the contractor’s turnover.

“Much of our current workload [in the region] is in the infrastructure sector, such as the contracts we are undertaking for Meraas in Jebel Ali, but around $2bn of Kier’s $5bn annual turnover is in the building sector, with over $600m coming from education,” says Paul Woodman, executive director of Kier.

The new strategy is already producing results. Most recently Kier was awarded an estimated AED150m ($41m) contract by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce for the construction of a new campus for the University of Dubai in the Academic City area.

“We are particularly pleased to have been given the opportunity to demonstrate our considerable building expertise [on the university project],” says Woodman. “This award is very much in-line with our strategy to bring the full range of Kier’s recognised construction capabilities to the region and deliver world-class facilities to our customers.”

Kier is bidding for other building projects in the region. In joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s Ali & Sons Group, it is one of the bidders for the Saadiyat Rotana resort development in Abu Dhabi that involves the construction of a five-star hotel with 354 rooms and 13 beach villas. The company has also been awarded a construction management role on the new Shaza Kempinski hotel in Qatar that comprises 171 rooms over 15 storeys in the heart of Doha.

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