The achievements of the Gulf construction industry over the past three years have been breathtaking. The GCC in particular has seen the completion of some of the most ambitious and complex projects ever built. From the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to the Bahrain World Trade Centre in Manama, with its in-built wind turbine technology, and the incredible education facilities of King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (Kaust) in Saudi Arabia, and Education City in Qatar.

The challenge now emerging for the Gulf projects market is the need to raise even further the standards of construction in the region. Investment in the time and resources needed to deliver quality in construction is essential for delivering sustainable growth in the region’s economies. And there is a growing need for a GCC-wide quality in construction initiative to show government and business that good buildings are not only possible, but vital for the future success of the region.

Key strands of this initiative are already coming together. Contracting firms are placing greater focus on health and safety, and injecting resources into training, one of the most important elements for preventing and protecting workers from accidents.

Governments, meanwhile, are focusing on the environmental impact of construction. And legislation and ratings systems are being introduced to encourage green building.

This supplement, which has been produced to coincide with MEED’s Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS), looks at the GCC’s construction industry from the perspective of quality. It also introduces MEED’s Quality Awards for Projects 2011, for which entry submissions are now being accepted.

The aim of these pioneering awards is to encourage and reward bestpractice in all branches of the Gulf construction industry.

The awards will go to the project teams – clients together with their service providers – that have delivered major projects in the GCC in the past two years. The winners of the national-level awards will then compete for the prestigious GCC awards, which will be presented at the gala ceremony being held in Bahrain in March.

The awards are an opportunity to highlight the importance of quality in construction, and will bring together the GCC’s community of project professionals to celebrate the world’s best projects industry.