Leaders UAE 2018 Preview: Market saturation raises price competition

Market saturation by smaller consultancies has led their larger counterparts to "compete on price alone, rather than expertise and quality", Lacasa's boss says

Smaller construction consultancies in the UAE are saturating the market, leading to price-based competition [representational image].
Smaller construction consultancies in the UAE are saturating the market, leading to price-based competition [representational image].
Emad Jaber, Lacasa.
Emad Jaber, Lacasa.

Emad Jaber, managing director of Lacasa, reveals how smaller consultancies are challenging larger firms in the UAE construction market, and his company’s plan to expand its workforce in the years to come. To learn more about the Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit 2018 and how you can attend the exclusive conference in Dubai, click here.

What are the main challenges facing the construction industry in 2018?

One of the main challenges we face as a consultancy these days is finding qualified individuals with the right expertise within the market to help with our expansion plans. In addition to this, the market has become saturated due to the rise of numerous small-scale consultancies offering their work at lower fees, forcing larger firms to compete on price alone, rather than expertise and quality. We also find a lack of sufficient and qualified contractors that are able to execute projects at a certain level of quality.

What excites you most about the UAE construction industry in 2018?

We are excited about the diversity of clients. We have always been proud of our long strong relationships with the major developers in the region; however, recently, we have had the opportunity to work on smaller but exciting projects with new developers, allowing us to expand the breadth of our portfolio.

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What topics do you expect will be discussed at the CW: Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2018?

Some topics I expect to hear about are the impact of the oversupply of residential units on the construction industry and technology. Linking construction with new tech that helps speedily complete projects – with the required efficiency – will be a key talking point.

Why is it important for Lacasa, and for you, to support and attend the CW: Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2018?

Lacasa is a strong advocate of knowledge transfer in all industries related to construction. Having participated in the 2015 and 2017 summits, we see great value in the event in terms of the diverse topics discussed as well as the valuable ideas presented by industry leaders.

What are the latest developments that your company has unveiled this year, and what’s lined up for the future?

We launched our infrastructure department last year in response to the demand we see for masterplanning projects. This move is a continuation of our efforts to provide holistic designs to our clients. In the last two years, we have recruited more talent in order to turn our mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, plus interior design teams into full-fledged departments, allowing us to handle greater workload in-house. We plan to bring more design services in-house with the aim of becoming a true ‘one stop shop’ consultancy.

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