On 23rd November, Links Group’s Group General Manager Simon Hobart, hosted a workshop at The Big 5 exhibition to discuss the foreign investment opportunities across the construction and engineering sectors.
Simon explained that although the UAE remains a robust and sustainable market due to the government’s strategy to diversify the national economy by 2021. Developing these new sectors will shore up the economy, but getting there still requires massive investment in infrastructure projects. This presents excellent opportunities for foreign investors.
According to Alpen Group, the GCC construction sector is forecast to grow 11.3% from 2015 to 2018 to reach a value of $525.60 billion with the UAE expected to become the largest projects market in the region. Much of this momentum can be attributed to Expo 2020 Dubai with infrastructure alone expected to cost more than $9 billion, according to a recent report by the Oxford Business Group.
While the UAE government remains committed to supporting and developing local enterprise, it also recognises the importance of bringing in external manpower and expertise to achieve ongoing, sustainable growth. This is particularly true in the construction and engineering sectors where specialist experience in healthcare, education, hospitality, green building, transport and logistics is being sought.
The UAE’s ambitious infrastructure plans require tremendous investment. However, the continued low oil price means the UAE government is seeing its state revenues decline. This is another reason why the country is actively seeking foreign and private sector investment to support its pipeline of megaprojects.
Links Group applauds the efforts of the Dubai government in introducing new initiatives to attract foreign investment. In particular, the recent introduction of the public-private partnership (PPP) law (Law No. 22 of 2015) is helping to attract more private sector finance and expertise to help meet future infrastructure needs.
The UAE is one of the most buoyant global construction markets, but the sheer scale and urgency of what lies ahead as the country prepares for Expo 2020 requires significant investment in international expertise. Foreign companies must make sure they position themselves correctly via the most suitable means of incorporation to both capitalise on these opportunities, and safeguard their beneficial ownership interests.