Construction

Gulf construction in 2016: Experts give their outlook

Industry looks to year ahead after ‘interesting and challenging’ 2015

PHOTO: A new dawn – but challenges await the construction industry in 2016. Credit: Shutterstock

Both interesting opportunities and challenges await the Gulf construction sector in 2016, leading executives told MEConstructionNews.com as part of an industry outlook for next year.

Marcus Truscott, managing director at Brookfield Multiplex, said 2015 had been a good year for the contractor, with 15 projects currently underway. A number of those are set to finish in the first and second quarter of 2016, he added.

“We’ve had a lot of operational challenges, but we’ve overcome them and it’s been fantastic. We’ve got a couple of projects we’re speaking to clients about at the moment, and we’ve got four or five major projects finishing during 2016, so we’ve got some challenges ahead,” Truscott said.

Kez Taylor, the CEO of ALEC, agreed with the sentiment about this year, highlighting the opportunities available in the region.

“We’ve all been given amazing opportunities working in this part of the world. There’s great leadership in the UAE, and in Dubai. It’s been a good year, we’ve got a strong order book and we’ve got fantastic people within our business. We’ve still got a good order book through 2016. By 2017, hopefully we’ll still be going strong.”

Gurminder Sagoo, business development director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, said there had been “interesting challenges” for the consultant in 2015, with a number of projects underway that showed the diversity of the organisation and what’s on offer in the market.

“It’s been an interesting and challenging year. We’ve been balancing project delivery with integration, because obviously we’ve been integrating two businesses together. We’ve been trying to keep an eye on both things, and obviously that’s had its challenges. Our focus has always been on maintaining good project delivery,” he said.

“We have exciting aspirations. The market has exciting projects ahead and we’re lucky enough to be engaged on a number of those projects, leading up to Expo 2020 and the World Cup 2022, as well as projects in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

“The market has taken a break and it’s going to be interesting to see how they get back into the scene and how they get projects moving again,” Sagoo added.

Donna Sultan, CEO of KEO International Consultants, said  2016 would continue to be good for consultants and contractors due to the number of confirmed projects, developments and budgets agreed across Qatar and the UAE.

“I think 2016 will still be okay because there are a lot of projects, budgets and commitments due to various developments in Qatar and the UAE. These will go ahead and we are a part of these major projects – like Expo 2020 and the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

“I don’t think that we’re going to see any differences to our company next year, but I think that it’s going to take about two or three years – when the backlog of projects starts to change – for us to start saying ‘okay, what’s the horizon looking like?’”

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