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10 December 2023

Expo impact: UAE to see $35bn contracts


As the UAE celebrates the successful bid of Dubai Expo 2020, a positive sentiment has returned to the country's construction market and to Dubai in particular.

According to regional project tracker MEED Projects, the total value of contracts awarded in the UAE during 2013 will close out at approximately $30 billion.

"We expect this number to increase significantly over the next few years as the market takes full advantage of Dubai's successful bid," said Julian Herbert, Director of MEED Projects. Based on projects already announced, MEED Projects currently predicts that the total value of contracts to be awarded in 2014 will probably eclipse the 2013 number to reach $35 billion.

Herbert also expects that a number of new developments will be announced on the back of the successful Dubai Expo 2020 bid.

With investors upbeat about Dubai's future and property prices increasing at their fastest pace since the 2008, the real estate market seems set to lead growth in the construction market. The improvement in the construction market over the last two years was largely driven by infrastructure investment and a handful of projects from large developers such as Emaar and TDIC, according to the region's projects information provider.

Some of the major infrastructure projects expected over the next few years include the expansion of the Dubai Metro Red line; new concourses at the recently opened Maktoum International Airport; interchanges on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed road; and the construction of the main Expo 2020 centre close to the Maktoum International Airport.

The bulk of the new mega-projects expected to be announced over the next few months will be from large-scale developers such as Meraas, Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties and Damac.