Nearly 80% say construction will never return to peak

Poll finds only 5.3% of people think industry will return to its heyday by next year.
Nearly 80% say construction will never return to peak
By Elsa Baxter
Thu 24 Sep 2009 02:28 PM

Nearly 80 percent of people believe Dubai’s construction industry will never return to its peaks of 2008 following the impact of the global economic crisis, according to the results of an Arabian Business poll.

Some 39.6 percent of respondents said they thought the market would not return to its heyday, when property prices were at their highest and billion dollar deals were common.

The majority of people (39.9 percent) said they did not think the sector would ever recover from the current global recession. The UAE's real estate and construction sectors have been badly hit by the downturn. A recent report suggests they have seen the biggest declines in the Middle East region. Some 566 projects have been shelved or cancelled in the country – the majority of which are in Dubai – according to the research house Proleads.

Last week, Thomas Barry, CEO of Arabtec, said he thought the emirate’s construction sector would not reach its heady heights again.

Instead, he said the Dubai-based contractor was concentrating on expanding its business in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, which have been less effected by the global recession.

"We will always bid for projects in Dubai, whatever happens and however limited that may be, but our focus,” he said at the time.

However, some optimism remained with 5.3 percent of AB poll respondents saying they thought Dubai’s construction sector would be back to its peak by next year.

While, 15.1 percent of respondents said the sector would see the market gradually pick up, reaching its peak again in a number of years.

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