Construction sector fears tight deadlines for Dubai Expo 2020

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Construction companies are bracing for tight deadlines to deliver Expo 2020 on time as most of the remaining projects have yet to be awarded to contractors, reports ConstructionWeekOnline. 

Though Dubai’s construction sector is set to witness a rush of activity this year, research by Ventures ONSITE shows that the average construction period for high value projects exceeding $100m is around three to four years, creating alarm in the industry as only a few expo related projects have been awarded so far.

READ MORE: Expo 2020 Dubai budget could reach $8.7bn

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But the challenges for the construction industry become even greater when considering the current lack of liquidity in the market and cash flow problems, issues that are expected to persist at least through 2017.

New legislation like the implementation of the VAT in 2018 as well as the difficulty of acquiring qualified manpower will also pose challenges for companies to meet their deadlines for the global event.

Mibu John, Managing Director for Ventures ONSITE, said: “Expo 2020 offers abundance of opportunities, but with very tight deadlines.

“In order to ensure timely delivery for the expo contracts, there needs to be efficient project planning to identify challenges and risks, if any, as early as possible so that plans to mitigate them can be put in place in advance.”

The Expo 2020 is expected to award 47 construction contracts worth $3bn (AED11bn) in 2017, with some major projects, including Al Futtaim Carillion (AFC)’s nearly $600m (AED2.2bn) contract to build the three main Theme Districts at the Expo 2020 site, already awarded. AFC is expecting to begin work next month.

Foster, BIG and Grimshaw will be designing the Dubai Expo 2020 theme pavilions of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, under the Expo’s 2020 theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

READ MORE: Construction of Dubai Expo theme districts will start end of March

Yet, with less than four years to the event, companies will need highly skilled professionals to manage these projects. They will also require the right workforce and adequate finance in order to ensure no hiccups towards delivery.

“Clients, consultants, contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers must all work as a single unit rather than squeezing one another and companies will need to keep facilities ready with banks to use in case of financial need,” added John.

“All of these are vital to ensure 2020’s timely project delivery.”

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