Construction work has resumed over the last 18 months on stalled real estate projects in the UAE, which are worth $12 billion, according to a MEED Projects report.
The pace of construction work has picked up since Dubai’s successful Expo win last year, the company said in a statement.
Projects worth more than $23 billion were awarded in the construction sector last year, 55 per cent of which were for mixed use or residential developments. The UAE saw the highest number of project awards in 2013 after 2008, MEED said.
“2013 showed some of the most promising growth in the construction sector since 2010, with especially strong figures in the residential and mixed-use sector of the industry,” said Julian Herbert, director of MEED Projects.
“This is a positive sign of increased investment in the UAE’s economy, both from developers and from property investors – the large number of residential project awards alone demonstrates that there is a rising demand for such buildings, indicative of a growing population.
“The UAE is well on track to returning to the levels of investment last seen in 2008, with 2014 expected to be even better.”
MEED Projects estimates that construction projects worth $23 billion will be awarded throughout 2014. The UAE will also see projects awarded worth more than $5 billion in the first quarter of this year, said the company.
Habtoor Leighton Group dominated the local construction sector, securing contracts for real estate projects worth $10 billion between 2008 and 2014. Dubai’s Arabtec too, won projects worth $5.5 billion.
An EC Harris study, released late last year, estimated that the UAE’s construction expenditure on major projects will reach $329 billion by 2030.
Big construction projects, costing more than $1 billion, are due to peak in the UAE by 2016 with projects worth $40 billion due for delivery that year.
The Emirates will be the highest spender on construction projects by 2030 followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where construction expenditures are projected to touch $225 billion and $156.8 billion respectively, the study found.