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AESG's Saeed Al Abbar says industry must fix 'self-perpetuated issues'

Building and MEP sectors must 'wake up and collectively address' challenges such as predatory pricing and risk management

Saeed Al Abbar is founder of AESG.
ITP Images
Saeed Al Abbar is founder of AESG.

Managing director of UAE construction consultancy AESG, Saeed Al Abbar, said the local building and mechanical, engineering, and plumbing (MEP) sectors must take the onus to resolve the 'self-perpetuated issues' they face, particularly those related to contractual disputes and payment delays. 

Speaking to Construction Week's sister title MEP Middle East, Al Abbar said companies investing in change and innovation were already among the top performers in contemporary industry conditions, adding that firms seeking "new and better ways of doing things" would continue to drive the industry forward. 

Commenting on AESG's policies, Al Abbar said the firm was focused on following best practice to ensure it avoids common pitfalls witnessed at some organisations. 

He explained: “From my perspective, we always ensure we provide timely payment to our supply chain and honour contracts and agreements we have in place.

“I really struggle to see how anybody can run a business any other way.

“Going up the chain, we are selective on whom we work with and, put simply, if clients do not pay or do not provide fair and reasonable administration of contracts, we would not work with them.

“This sounds quite simple but it is amazing how many firms do not follow this ethos, which in turn has resulted in self-perpetuated issues in the market.”

Al Abbar explained that the industry's failutre to resolve its issues could aggravate talent shortages currently faced by the sector.

“I feel at the moment that it is the industry itself that is at the root cause of the issues," he said. 

“Low efficiency and productivity, predatory pricing, and poor management of risk have all contributed to the global challenge being faced by the sector.

“Until the industry wakes up and collectively addresses these issues, disputes and insolvency are not going to go away, and I am worried that we may consequently lose some of the best firms and talent in the industry.”

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Construction Week - Issue 747
Aug 03, 2019