PMV Live roundtable reveals genuine optimism
Industry experts discuss the future of construction in the Middle East
The PMV Live event has hosted a roundtable discussion with some of the leading players from the fields of plant, machinery and vehicles in the Middle East. The general consensus was that 2013 has been a positive year for construction in the GCC, with the transport industry alone worth an estimated $358bn.
The discussion included six industry experts: Putzmeister Middle East’s regional director Jens Bawidamann, Wolffkran Arabia’s managing director Martin Kirby, M H Al Mahroos’ marketing manager Talal Al Mahroos, Al Wasit Machinery’s president Abdul Qader Mohamed Al Ali, NFT Cranes’ managing partner Nabil Al Zahlawi, and PMV Live’s event director Nathan Waugh.
Participants seemed pleased with the fact that, once again, construction appears to be gathering pace across the region. The experts also agreed that the sector now has realistic expectations in regard to the rate at which it can progress.
“Business is now based on facts,” commented Bawidamann. “Previously, it was based on dreams.”
If sustainable growth is to be achieved and maintained, this shift in attitude will be vital. Encouragingly, the Middle East’s PMV industry is already enjoying growth across a number of markets.
Kirby is confident that the region’s foundations are sufficiently solid to support further growth across the PMV industry.
“There are some big mega projects in Abu Dhabi but the fundamentals are all there in Dubai,” he said. “A lot of small projects will come round to supplement the mega projects. I expect 2014 to be a good year.”
Of course, in isolation, a strong PMV market in the UAE will not be sufficient to bring about resurgence across the GCC. As Al Ali pointed out, large-scale infrastructure projects planned in Oman – such as the construction of roads, railways, ports and airports – represent promising news for the industry. However, he also warned that previously thriving markets, such as that of Qatar, are not as active as they once were.
Even so, the cautious optimism of 2012 seems to have been replaced by genuine optimism. Participants were overtly satisfied with the way that the PMV industry is progressing.
As both an organiser and a speaker, Waugh was in an excellent position to gauge the mood of the discussion.
“As event organisers, we are definitely seeing a real momentum in the industry, gearing up for a positive 2014 and beyond,” he commented. “With a number of big infrastructure and transport projects underway and in the pipeline, the PMV market sees significant opportunities within these sectors, which will contribute to its growth in the coming years.”