But with the Gulf’s construction boom putting the industry under enormous strain, overstretching resources and driving up costs, partnering agreements are increasing in popularity. So they should.

Such deals are born of necessity – the need to better understand and control costs. With rises in construction materials and labour prices, it has become almost impossible for contractors and clients to accurately estimate the cost of multi-billion-dollar projects.

By entering into long-term agreements with suppliers, developers can give certainty to producers, who can then plan accordingly – rather than having to wait for a contractor’s order several months later.

Many contractors are attempting to mitigate the risks inherent in the region’s overheating market by buying or launching their own supply divisions.

It is a strategy that works well currently. But it leaves them open to risk should the market stall in the future.

Leadership must come from the top, from the clients, governments and private sector alike, who must work with the supply chain to manage long-term supply and demand.

Special Report: Construction – The move to partnership -Index of all stories