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Tue 28 Jul 2009 02:50 PM

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Abu Dhabi contractors rise 50% this year

Abu Dhabi's construction industry is showing more resilience, figures show.

The number of contracting firms and consultancy offices registered in Abu Dhabi rose 50 percent and 47.8 percent respectively during the first half of 2009 from the year-earlier period.

The Department of Economic Development said in a report that 564 contracting firms were classified, of which 250 firms were classified for the first time, 66 upgraded, 231 renewed and 17 allocated with a new specification.

The total number of contracting companies in the UAE’s capital was 2,964 and 1,305 for consultants, it said.

While the once-booming property market in neighbouring Dubai has been severely hit by the global economic downturn, Abu Dhabi, home to most of the country's oil, has shown more resilience, with construction firms increasingly turning their attentions there to drive business.

South Africa's Murray & Roberts said this week it was awarded a AED1.8bn ($490.1m) contract in a joint venture with Dubai's Al Habtoor Leighton Group, to build a hotel and residential houses in the emirate.

The number of consultancy offices registered in the capital during the first six months of the year reached 520, of which 102 were registered for the first time, 326 renewed, 48 allocated with a new specification, while the legal status of 44 offices was modified, it said.

The number of contracting firms in the first half of 2008 rose 71 percent to 166 companies from the same period in 2007. (Reuters)

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