We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 13 Dec 2010 08:09 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

UAE's Al Jaber Group sees single digit growth in 2011

Abu Dhabi-based firm will grow 4-5 percent following revamp plans, says COO, eyes deals in Saudi, Qatar

UAE's Al Jaber Group sees single digit growth in 2011
COMPANY BOSS: Fatima Al Jaber, COO, Al Jaber Group (ITP Images)
UAE's Al Jaber Group sees single digit growth in 2011
(Getty Images)
UAE's Al Jaber Group sees single digit growth in 2011
(Getty Images)

Abu
Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group expects to see little growth next year as it looks
to consolidate its businesses internally, its COO has told Arabian Business.

The
group, one of the biggest contracting firms in the Gulf, is forecasting a four
to five percent rise next year as internal restructuring crimps growth.

“We
won’t see big growth in 2011, [around] 4-5 percent compared to 2010,” said
Fatima Al Jaber, COO. “In 2011 we’re looking at consolidating some of our
businesses internally [and] looking into reevaluating our resources one way or
another.”

Al
Jaber said the firm’s building subsidiary, Al Jaber Building, will be involved
in the restructuring but declined to give further details.

“I
think we’ll be more focused on ensuring that our resourcing policy is cost
effective,” she said.

UAE
contractors have been hit hard by Dubai’s real estate sector slump, which has
seen property prices decline by 50 percent. But Al Jaber said the company’s
diversified portfolio, which includes heavy lifting and industrial operations
in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, helped it weather the downturn.  “Our
diversity helped us to really survive the crisis,” she said.

The
group, which employs more than 50,000 staff, plans to expand its operations in
Saudi Arabia but is struggling to get around the kingdom’s strict visa policy,
said Al Jaber.

Saudi
Arabia’s construction market is set to eclipse the UAE as the largest in the
MENA region, with a total of $322.9bn of planned projects. But many contractors
are struggling with the red tape associated with operating in Saudi, a Merrill
Lynch report released in October said.

“Saudi
Arabia has always been a strategic market. But we’ve been really evaluating
this because….there are a lot of constraints on the transport of labourers
between the UAE and Saudi. It’s very difficult to move them directly,” she
said. “The logistical issues need to be looked at.”

The
firm also sees potential for growth in Qatar, which this month won the bid to
host the 2022 World Cup, and has been invited to bid for a contract in Algeria.

 

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.