Two major tenders for government infrastructure projects that are not directly related to Expo 2020 is good news for Dubai’s construction industry.

Ever since the emirate secured the rights to host the Expo in late 2013, there have been concerns about construction work slowing down once the event has been held.

Two major contracts for the construction of the Infinity Bridge crossing Dubai Creek and the elevation of Al-Khail Road show there is much more to Dubai’s projects market than just the Expo, and that should allay fears about the sustainability of the market post 2020.

The problem is that good news often comes with a caveat, and the potential bad news with these schemes is that although they are being procured by a government agency – the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) – they are dependent on real estate developers for funding.

The Infinity Bridge and the Shindagha Corridor scheme provide access to several major new real estate schemes including Nakheel’s Deira Islands and the redevelopment of the Deira Corniche, which is being led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

Similarly, elevating Al-Khail Road will allow for a waterway connecting the Meydan development with Business Bay and the newly extended Dubai Creek and Dubai Water Canal.

Because the value of these developments is enhanced by better transport links, the developers have to provide the RTA with funding for the construction.

For now, the model works and that does not appear to be a problem.

Dubai’s property developers have overcome the economic downturn that has affected the rest of the region as a result of lower oil prices. The concern is that should the real estate market slow down and developers find themselves in a position where they cannot fund major construction schemes anymore, then it will not be just building projects that will be affected, infrastructure will be too.

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