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Construction job hires increase in Saudi Arabia and UAE

Rics report highlights increased hiring activity in Q3 2018

Rics data has revealed construction hiring increases in Q3 2018 [representational image of Dubai].
Rics data has revealed construction hiring increases in Q3 2018 [representational image of Dubai].

A significant number of firms across the GCC, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have reported hiring increases in the third quarter of this year, despite a decline in overall construction activity, fresh data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has revealed.

According to the group's Middle East Construction and Infrastructure survey, the region has seen “an increasing additional headcount […] due to future workload expectations”, with 71% of respondents in Saudi, 55% in the UAE, and 45% from Oman reporting new hiring between July and September.

However, Rics added, contributors reported a sharp pullback in Q3 profit margins and an increase in payment delays across the region, a dynamic which “can be attributed to the financial constraints faced by firms”.

READ: Rics warns of 'unprecedented change' as global population booms

The majority of respondent described this as a “drag on activity” and is expected to persist, despite increased expectations for increased workloads.

On a more positive note, the survey found that compared to other regions globally there is no apparent acute shortage of ant particular skills in the Middle Eastern construction and infrastructure industries.

But 47% noted a lack of building information modelling managers in both Oman and the UAE, with 42% of those asked reporting a shortage of construction managers.

READ: Financial crime standard for construction set by RICS

Building on findings from Construction Week’s in-house analysis using data from intelligence platform ProTenders, Rics found between 70-80% of contributor in each country – Saudi, Oman, and the UAE – see more of a need for new projects than for the repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

The survey comes weeks after global chief executive officer Sean Tompkins said RICS is pushing for greater collaboration in the Middle East to lower costs and deliver projects faster, as reported by Construction Week.

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019