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New Year brings new opportunities as Expo 2020 Dubai approaches

As several of the GCC’s country budgets are being announced, the Middle East’s built environment is set for a defining year

Ashley Williams is editor of Construction Week. Image: ITP Media Group
Ashley Williams is editor of Construction Week. Image: ITP Media Group

Welcome back. We’re very excited to return from the festivities and end of year celebrations to see what 2020 has in store for the Middle East’s construction industry.

As expected, we are anticipating many twists and turns, but we also have a series of milestone events and project deliveries coming up, which is expected to drive excitement for the buildings sector.

We will be continuing to focus our efforts across region for the latest news on contract wins, project deliveries, as well as key events from the likes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, particularly Expo 2020 Dubai which begins this year.

As we are probably all aware, the UAE’s three-year budget worth $53.36bn (AED196bn) has been approved by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to boost the country’s economy.

This shows a great indication to the direction that the UAE is heading towards.

In terms of construction, the Dubai Ruler has indicated that the funds will be used for the UAE economy and to support the establishment of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

We expect to see the extension of the Dubai Metro, construction of country pavilions, road works, among other developments for the World Fair all coming to fruition soon, which we will share with you through our news website – constructionweekonline.com.

Also revealing its plans for this year is Oman, who launched its 2020 General Budget at the beginning of January, with a particular focus for real estate across the Sultanate.

The budget noted that housing loans will increase to 1,587 worth $207.9m (OMR80m) by the end of 2020.

The number of housing loans provided by the Oman Housing Bank will surge from the ones granted in 2019 that accounted to 1,375 loans valued at $155.8m (OMR60m).

According to the Sultanate’s Ministry of Finance, which prepared the budget, $3.4bn (OMR1.3bn) will be spent by various government organisations on infrastructure projects, with another $3.4bn (OMR1.3bn) being allocated for oil and gas production.

Following all these commitments, Oman’s building sector can look ahead to 2020 with real optimism.

As the Dubai Ruler stated last month, 2020 will be the year of preparation for the UAE over the next 50 years as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021 since the union of the emirates, and Construction Week will be following this journey.

I would like to conclude by saying a Happy New Year to our industry and wish every single firm the best of success for 2020.

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Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 758
Feb 08, 2020