Construction

Infinite development is not financially viable

Expert warns that ambitious projects in the region may not be viable without external funding

Atkins’ UAE director of infrastructure has warned that ambitious projects in the region may not be financially viable without external funding.

Dr Ghassan Ziadat, who is also regional head of bridges for the firm, has said “infinite development” was no longer viable in terms of what the region can absorb.

“The key to making the developments happen is having the financial structure,” he said.

“I don’t think the region can finance all its projects internally and it has to look to finding capital from world markets. It’s a paradigm shift and more legislation will be needed to make the market more open and attractive for foreign investment,” he continued.

Urging investment from both public sector, local and regional banks, international monetary institutions and private sector firms, Ziadat added that individual country’s high levels of wealth did not guarantee they would be able to execute a string of mega projects in tandem.

“If you look at the current income of the countries where these projects are underway, and the value of the projects; if you do the maths, you will find that even though some of the countries are fairly well endowed, the amount of investment is quite phenomenal” Zaidat added.

“You will need somebody to bridge the financial gap over time and to attract foreign investment, private investors and local and regional banks. All these considerations bring in a very strong reality check; is the investment viable, sound and transparent?”

Dr Ghassan Ziadat’s comments can be read in full in May issue of The Big Project

Infinite development is not financially viable

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