Value of UAE construction market edges up in first half

Value of projects has increase 8 per cent to $228 billion

Emaar Properties' Dubai Creek Harbour project is one of the biggest developments currently under construction in Dubai. Renderings courtesy Emaar
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The total value of building projects under way in the UAE increased by 8 per cent to US$228billlion (Dh836.8bn)  last month, according to data provider BNC Network.

The firm said that there are 7,488 residential and commercial building projects currently active in the country, a 24 per cent increase on the 6,020 active projects a year earlier. Active projects are those  in the concept, design, tender or construction phase, including those that are on hold.

The number of projects increased by 3 per cent month-on-month, but the total value of projects remained the same. BNC Networks said that Dh11bn worth of projects were completed during June, compared with Dh2.05bn a year earlier.

Commercial and residential projects represent 82 per cent of all building projects in the UAE, BNC Network said, but exclude retail, hospitality, healthcare or education projects.

Only 14 per cent (1,059) of the buildings under construction were high-rise projects of 15 floors or more, but these represent about 44 per cent of the total value of $100bn.

“The strong project pipeline is a reflection of the healthy construction sector, despite [the] weaker global economic growth scenario – an indication that the UAE real estate and construction sectors are defying the global trend,” said Avin Gidwani, the chief executive of BNC Network.

“While the lower oil price might have dampened investor appetite, developers and contractors are going ahead with building projects as planned,” he argued. “A number of these buildings are being developed to meet the anticipated rush during Expo 2020.”

He said that most of the active projects are expected to be completed by October 2020, before Expo 2020 begins.