Keeping calm and carrying on at Arabtec projects

Despite Arabtec's tanking share price and confirmation of redundancies, the news was having little effect on the company's projects on the ground yesterday.

Despite Arabtec’s tanking share price and confirmation of redundancies, the news was having little effect on the company’s projects on the ground yesterday.

For most of Arabtec’s 42,000 employees, it appeared to be business as usual as buses packed with labourers continued to stream into construction sites at landmark projects such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal.

Most of the property developers contacted by The National yesterday reported that they did not anticipate construction delays as a result of the crisis.

“We do not expect the Arabtec changes to impact or affect our construction progress,” said a spokesman for the Dubai developer Nakheel, for which Arabtec is currently building 134 villas at its Jumeirah Park development. They are slated to be completed at the end of the year.

Contractors and construction consultants had a similar story.

“For our projects with Arabtec it is very much business as usual,” said one consultant contacted by The National who works closely with Arabtec. “These are long-term engineering projects. Of course they will continue whatever the company’s share price is doing as long as people are being paid.

“For the projects which are yet to be started, however, like the million homes planned to be built in Egypt, there is a lot of speculation whether those will go ahead as planned,” he added.

“Things are carrying on, their people are still on site,” added an architect working with Arabtec on a number of schemes.

However, with few questions answered about the company’s strategy following the resignation of Hasan Ismaik as chief executive nearly a week ago, others were waiting to see if there was further fallout to come before they ventured an opinion.

“There is a lot of confusion out there about what is going on with Arabtec and we don’t really know yet whether it will affect construction deadlines or not,” said a source close to one developer.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

jeverington@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights

Published: June 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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