Friday, October 27, 2006

UAE tops region in terms of construction value

UAE's breathtaking rate of development has seen it account for a third of the $1 trillion total construction value of projects in the GCC. The country is the region's top spender on construction projects with $294 billion worth of building work announced so far - more than Bahrain, Qatar and Oman combined.

Kuwait is in the second place with construction projects announced totaling $211 billion, narrowly beating Saudi Arabia with $201billion. According to a company organising the Big 5 trade fair, the rapid growth in construction spending (estimated in the UAE at 11 per cent per year on average over the last decade) is sustainable, but the UAE's domination of the market is not guaranteed.

The UAE is definitely a major player in the GCC, but the exciting companies are involved in huge activity in the other Gulf States, many of which are selling land to foreigners and attracting more and more tourists.

The five-day Big 5 exhibition held at Dubai Exhibition Centre from Sunday attracts global companies in the building and construction sector, as well as air conditioning and refrigeration, cleaning and maintenance, glass and metal, bathrooms and ceramics, marble and machinery and water technology and the environment.

Companies' interest in the GCC would dip if development slows. There is still a huge amount of work required and for the foreseeable future there is no sign of a slowdown. Once the majority of construction is complete, refurbishment and renovation is still required - it's not just new build which attracts companies.Organisers are expecting 43,000 visitors, compared to that of 38,535 in 2005. However, this year hundreds of companies were turned away through lack of available space.

Italian minister of trade Emma Bonino will be among the visitors at the show. Total Italian exports to the UAE in 2005 reached 2.5 billion euros ($3.15 billion), up more than 20 per cent on 2004. Trade in the first half of this year reached 1.5 billion euros - a staggering 35.7% increase on the same period in 2005.

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