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Sun 9 Dec 2007 11:37 AM

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Construction costs to soar next year

Rising prices of raw material and workers' salaries to drive UAE costs up by a fifth, consultancy says.

Construction costs in the UAE could jump by a fifth next year on higher raw material and labour costs, consultancy EC Harris has warned.

Costs for materials such as cement and steel could rise 19% during the next 12 months, the London-based international real estate and construction consultancy said, quoted UAE daily Emirates Business 24/7 on Sunday.

Costs of materials have risen between 15% and 20% so far this year, the newspaper said. Construction costs rose 25% in 2006, the newspaper said, without giving an estimate for 2007.

An amnesty for 250,000 illegal foreign labourers earlier this year - allowing them to return to their home countries without penalty - is driving wages higher, according to the newspaper.

"There is a shortage of labour," Imad Al-Jamal, an official at the UAE Contractors' Association, is quoted as saying. (Reuters)

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