Abu Dhabi contractor classifications overhauled

Modifications to contractor classifications expected to increase project opportunities for firms

Abu Dhabi?s Department of Economic Development, contractor classifications

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has modified the contractor classification regulation of 1980 to enable contractors for buildings, roads, sewage facilities and engineering consultancy offices to participate in government and non-governmental tenders.
The move is expected to increase transparency by making information on the financial capability of the consultant/ contractor available. The objective is to support the construction industry, one of the “main pillars” of the emirate’s economy, according to the organisation.
“The new classification regulations and instruction for contractor’s, engineering consulting offices and engineer’s registry is considered as an integrated and distinct criterion serving the emirate’s economy in particular and the UAE’s economy in a broader context,” DED undersecretary, HE Mohamed Omar Abdullah said.
The new regulations will come into effect by the end of October 2010.
“This has increased the value of contracts that the contractor can participate in,” added Abdullah.
It is the first of a number of changes to the code. A workshop was held last month held between DED, DED stake holders, finance professionals and the Contractors Classification and Consultants Registration Division, to discuss the amendments.

The code in full, according to Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Activity:
Regulation No. (1) 2009
concerning the classification of consulting offices in the emirate, the consulting office is classified based on its technical, financial and previous project design abilities. The regulation will also allow individuals to own more than one consulting office, a contracting company, and it will allow local investors whom are non-engineers by profession to own an engineering consulting office based on certain requirements. Moreover, the regulation will also allow engineering experts to establish an engineering peer review office which will be giving advisory opinions in a specific engineering discipline to an engineering consulting office, or any interested party.

Regulation No. (2) 2009 concerning contractor classification has taken into consideration the development of the construction industry since 1980 when the old classification regulations were issued by the government of Abu Dhabi. The new regulations had focused on establishing thresholds for projects in which the contractor can participate in and allowed the contractor to sum up his previous executed projects. Ultimately, after the launching date of the new regulations, the classification of contractors will be mandatory for practicing the activities listed in the department’s commercial license and the regulations will also classify design-build contractors in the emirate.

Regulation No.(3) 2009 concerning engineer’s registration in the emirate will examine practicing engineers working within the jurisdiction of the emirate according to their qualifications. Upon implementation, all contracting companies and engineering consulting offices must employ a certain number of engineers, registered at the department’s Engineer’s Registry, to be able to obtain the classification. The Engineer’s Registry at the department of economic development is anticipated to start functioning in the first half of the year 2011.


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