UAE: Leading Construction Recovery in the Post Pandemic Era

01 Nov 2021   |  UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched measures to encourage foreign investment activities to catalyze recovery from the post-COVID-19 pandemic effect, including 50 economic initiatives designed to push the region's competitiveness and reach the USD 150 billion targets of foreign direct investments (FDI). In particular, Dubai has established around 47 construction contracts for the construction industry by September 2021, bringing USD 3 billion in revenue streams to local and foreign construction players.

During the pandemic, Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipal Affairs (DMT) succeeded in completing over 150 construction projects despite the struggles in raw materials supply chains. Therefore, the UAE is optimistic that 2021 will end with mega projects, quickly positioning the region as one of the most globally active construction environments after the economy reopens.

UAE Construction Outlook

UAE Construction

The existing construction projects such as the Dubai 2040 Urban Development Plan, the Sheikh Zayed Housing programme, the Dubai Tourism Strategy, and the UAE's Vision 2021 emphasize the urgent needs of infrastructure for the UAE to provide a globally leading quality of airports and other public spaces. So far, construction projects in Dubai have released two new stations to mark the start of the World Expo 2021.

In implementing robust construction initiatives, the UAE has adopted a collaborative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) across the sector's segments, including education, transport, and municipal works, to ensure efficiency and headstart economic activities in the post-pandemic era. With most of the UAE's population inoculated, the region expects the hospitality and tourism industry to rise alongside global easing of travel restrictions. Being one of the world's most sought-after travel destinations in 2021, the UAE will establish 11 new hotels at the end of 2021, primarily built by foreign players.

Focusing on Industrial Sector

The UAE is putting its forefront focus on the industrial sectors for the years to come, aspiring to increase the sector's contribution to help provide jobs and encourage more diverse investment activities into the region. The aspiration is evident through the launch of "Operation 300 bn," aiming to double the contribution of industrial output to USD 82 billion by 2031. The government mainly invites foreign investments through legislative reconstruction that would expectedly bring the sector about USD 16 billion to achieve the goal. Additionally, Operation 300 bn will promote existing components of the industrial sector to support the development of a new industrial complex, integrating the ecosystem with Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) ventures.

The UAE's primary long-term goal is to eventually connect cities and ease the transportation process throughout the country, putting the region as the destination for strategic projects and increasing its location value stemming from accessibility and other economic indicators. In the first half of 2021, the UAE has completed construction projects valued at over USD 520 million, focusing on infrastructure that includes roads and ports.

Closing down this year, the UAE will complete over 11,000 new houses for citizens to be soon handed over as the output for suitable housing and tax exemptions that were previously delayed as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry has set off stimulus packages for contractors affected by the pandemic to continue as raw material prices stabilize.

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