“Staying ahead of the curve would mean doing everything possible to win contractor commitments now rather than 24 months later, when there could be a choking up of capacity in the construction sector,” said Rahail Aslam, CEO of Select Group, which has just confirmed an AED1 billion award to ALEC as the main contractor for its Marina Gate 1 and 2 structures in Dubai Marina. “There’s still plenty of spare capacity available right now.”
But that may not be for long. The first six months are projected to see a spate of major construction-related awards, with government agencies leading the way in awarding them.
“We signed up ALEC as per the original timeline ... but it still meant five months of an exhaustive negotiation process and where a lot of things had to be resolved,” said Aslam. “The contractor will now start mobilising on site by January-February.”
Thankfully, for developers, there hasn’t been any sharp spike in project-related costs to date. Key building material prices are still relatively stable, and there is still plenty around to feed much of the short- to medium-term demand.
“We expect 2015 would witness more demand [for steel-specific products] compared to the current year,” said Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares. “The forward indications remain promising as projects continue to be moving on."