Coronavirus: UAE construction sector feeling the impact of global outbreak, analytics firm says

Global economic activity has slowed sharply following the rapid spread of the virus, including in the UAE

The UAE’s construction sector has been indirectly affected due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Factors contributing to this include some of the social distancing measures that have been implemented to ‘flatten the curve’, according to a report by GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Global economic activity has slowed sharply following the rapid spread of the virus, it stated. The pandemic has caused business closures, city curfews, travel bans, financial market upheavals and manufacturing shutdowns in major global economic hubs, the report added.

The UAE, as well, has felt the impact of the virus, where precautionary measures have been implemented to combat the spread of the virus through social distancing, it added.

Colin Foreman, deputy Editor at GlobalData, said: “In the construction sector, remote working, which some private sector employers in the UAE have voluntarily offered, could impact administrative procedures that are essential for site works to progress, such as sign-offs and schedule management.”

“Meanwhile, even though cargo travel currently faces fewer restrictions than passenger flights, supply chain disruptions are likely to deepen in the weeks ahead. China – the world’s largest exporter and the epicentre of COVID-19 – has only just begun a slow recovery after its factories were shut down for almost two months to curb the spread of the virus.”

Foreman added that as more countries suspend manufacturing and business operations to contain the virus, questions persist about whether these new supply markets will be in a position to fulfil their export commitments during the second and third quarters of this year.

So far, UAE authorities have managed to implement social activity suspensions without severely affecting economic output, he stated.

“It is not yet clear when the spread of COVID-19 will peak in the Middle East. This will largely determine the guidelines for social movement that health authorities implement over the next few weeks. For now, however, it is construction as usual in the UAE,” Foreman concluded.

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