The region’s contractors are starting to look to emerging markets outside the Middle East and North Africa for opportunities in the construction sector.

Speaking at MEED’s Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) in Abu Dhabi, contractors which have been predominantly based in the Middle East in recent years are starting to tender for work in emerging markets.

‘’You have to stick to core business, and our core business is oil and gas. We continue to work in the GCC, but are also looking at work outside the GCC in countries like Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Australia,’’ said Samer Khoury, executive vice-president – operations, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).

UAE-based Drake & Scull International is another regional contractor looking to diversify into emerging markets.

‘’We were recently awarded a contract to build a wind turbine in India. We see India as a market that has a lot of potential,’’ said Khaldoun al-Tabari, chief executive officer, Drake & Scull International.

Contractors at the conference also spoke of the potential of Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest projects market.

‘’We have now acquired four companies in Saudi Arabia, and it now accounts for more than 50 per cent of our backlog of projects,’’ said Al-Tabari.