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Sun 25 May 2008 02:13 AM

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Dubai construction blighted by delays

Red tape and lack of resources mean just one in five projects will finish on time, experts say.

The construction industry in Dubai is blighted by red tape, shortages of materials and a lack of skilled workers, with just one in five projects set to finish on time, buildings experts said on Saturday.A handful of the 4,000 projects currently in progress would be completed to schedule as residential and commercial developments compete with infrastructure projects for the same resources, builders told UAE daily The National.

“Only one in five [projects] are being completed on time,” said managing director of the Alec building firm Kez Taylor, adding a reluctance by clients to make difficult decisions was a major factor in delays.

“Because of bureaucracy, nobody wants to stick their head out and make a decision,” he said. “But it is vital that the client takes the lead.”

More than 90% of projects in the emirate are two months late, said Emil Rademeyer from research firm Proleads.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a project being handed over early,” he said, adding that late design changes hindered projects across the region with a shortage of quality contractors affecting standards in construction.

Delays in connecting power, water supplies and telecommunications also hamper developments, while problems were also caused by culture clash between foreign and local firms, according to the newspaper.

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