This year's annual International Construction Market Survey (ICMS), by property consultancy firm Turner & Townsend, has reported that the construction sector in the Middle East was affected by high operations’ risks and a wave of an economic slowdown, which hit the region following the steep decline of oil prices that started in mid-2014.
“The low price of oil, and therefore government revenue, remains the single most important factor affecting current and future investment decisions in the region,” the report said quoting Alan Talabani, Turner and Townsend’s Regional Marketing director in the Middle East. “In the Middle East there is a need to drive greater efficiencies across construction projects against the backdrop of low commodity prices. Contractors and clients in the region need to embrace innovative technologies and maximise automated construction, as well as use data analytics and better programme management to unlock savings.”
The construction market in the UAE maintained a strong position, according to the report. With a high number of construction projects and intense competition for physical resources and labour, the market is expected to continue growing at a fast pace ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Meanwhile, the cost of building in the Middle East remained relatively low compared to other countries in the world, the report said. Doha was the most expensive place to build at in the region, ranked number 15 on a list of 43 markets. Globally, New York is the most expensive city to build in followed by San Francisco and Zurich, respectively.