Over half of construction leaders expect 6-10% growth over the next year

UAE’s construction sector remains optimistic, states KPMG’s survey

KPMG’s Global Construction Survey has revealed that the UAE construction sector remains optimistic with over 53 % industry leaders expecting a 6-10 % growth next year, and are confident that technology and governance are likely to play a significant role in the next five years.

According to KPMG’s global findings, the UAE is already seeing technological disruption in the construction sector through 3D printing and automation. Meanwhile, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles and intelligent tools and equipment will continue to automate less complex and high-risks tasks at the job site.

However, industry professionals remain divided over whether companies in the UAE are delivering projects on time and within budget, with time (44 %) and cost (44 %) overruns ranking as the top hurdles facing capital construction projects.

The survey revealed that these concerns are being addressed as the industry adopts methodologies to link governance to project outcomes. UAE industry leaders have also recognised that well-run projects, with good management practices and appropriate controls, are more likely to achieve broad measures of success in the future, KPMG’s survey stated.

Sidharth Mehta, Partner, Head of Building, Construction & Real Estate, KPMG Lower Gulf, said: “The construction sector is the lifeblood of the UAE economy and it is very encouraging to see that the industry is expecting single to double digit growth this year.”

“As the pace of disruption accelerates, leaders will have to consider implementing a three-pronged approach to rationalise governance and controls, optimise human performance and innovate with technology, to become more future-ready.”

Over 80 % of professionals in the UAE felt that modular fabrication will be widely implemented within the next 10 years, followed by intelligent construction equipment (56 %) and robots (25 %).

Nevertheless, technological investment won’t reach far without a strong workforce behind them, the survey added. It stated that people form the backbone of the industry and leaders need to invest in human capital to drive overall performance and ensure on-time project delivery.

Meanwhile, the use of data analytics and predictive modelling will also play an important role in the next five years.

Mehta concluded: “Construction companies that continue to invest in people and implement a technology-enabled strategic road map will be well positioned to face industry disruption and improve their capital and program performance, putting them on the fast-paced track to growth.

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