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Home / COMMENT / Leaders UAE 2018 unites top construction bosses in Dubai

Leaders UAE 2018 unites top construction bosses in Dubai

by Neha Bhatia on Sep 9, 2018


Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit 2018 discussed the biggest issues facing the Emirates' industry leaders in 2018 and 2019 [representational image].
Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit 2018 discussed the biggest issues facing the Emirates' industry leaders in 2018 and 2019 [representational image].
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The Construction Week: Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2018 was held last week in Dubai. Now in its ninth year, the event reiterated its position as the ideal forum in which to identify and discuss the challenges and opportunities that affect regional construction businesses.

Much has changed in the Emirates’ construction sector in the last 12 months, and the industry has witnessed staffing changes, as well as adopted newer ways of doing business. Technology was a major talking point at last year’s iteration of Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit, and in the months following the 2017 event, major clients and contractors from the country have revealed their strategies to digitise for success.

However, the UAE’s construction leaders have continued to face some familiar market challenges, such as oil price fluctuations, payment delays, and a shortage of skilled staff. Moreover, they have also contended with newer hurdles, especially those related to tech adoption and industry modernisation.

Last week’s conference addressed – and attempted to rectify – some of these issues, with panellists discussing a range of topics relevant to the UAE’s construction professionals, including ‘smart’ and transformational building technologies; the significance of mental health in the workplace; the impact of inter-emirate real estate joint ventures; and measures through which construction disputes can be mitigated in the UAE.

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This year’s summit was as much a celebration of industry efforts as it was a hub for problem-solving. The UAE’s construction community has overcome notable challenges to deliver some of the region’s finest projects in the last few months, such as Warner Bros Abu Dhabi, with progress also being made on the Etihad Rail scheme. Of course, Expo 2020 Dubai is a significant contributor to this optimism as well.

Earlier this month, Ahmed Al Khatib, senior vice president of real estate and delivery at Expo 2020 Dubai, told Construction Week that construction is well advanced on the three Thematic Districts that form the core of the expo site, as well as the Al Wasl Plaza. There are currently 20,000 staff on site for the project, with this number expected to double when work peaks in H1 2019. 

One of the Construction Week team’s key takeaways from the summit has been the confidence expressed by industry leaders in the UAE construction sector’s resilience and adaptability. This optimism may well help to resolve contemporary market challenges such as cash-flow limitations and talent shortages – hopefully by the time the Construction Week: Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2019 rolls around next Septembe.



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