Patrick McKinney, area director of BAM International for the Middle East and Gulf States, talks to Construction Week ahead of the 13th annual CW Awards 2017 this week.
BAM International is the official Post-Event Celebration Sponsor of the CW Awards 2017.
The winners of this year’s event will be presented with their accolades during a gala dinner and awards ceremony at Rixos Premium Dubai on Wednesday, 6 December, 2017.
We believe that CW Awards is the recognition for the commendable achievements and remarkable accomplishments of the region's construction engineering professionals, and reward for excellence, corporate expertise, and project success.
The region is facing a wave of opportunities with various developments [in the pipeline], and CW Awards helps to strengthen contractor-client relationships and further reassure clients that their expectations can be met.
What do you think are the main challenges that the regional construction industry may face in 2018?
The construction market in the GCC is a key driver of the nations’ economies, and the region is home to some of the most ambitious mega-projects underway in the world, with the UAE propelling most of the sector’s growth.
The UAE will be the [outstanding] market in the coming years – especially in the run up to the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and the Expo 2020 Dubai. The scope of the expo has made infrastructure a national priority for the UAE, and various mega-projects are on the way in 2018. This will prove challenging in terms of the resources it will require, such as manpower, management, plant and equipment, suppliers, and competent sub-contractors.
The introduction of value-added tax (VAT) in GCC countries may be a challenge for the construction industry in 2018, and it could have an impact on how developers end up pricing their properties. The major construction companies are going to have to invest not just on having systems to be able to charge VAT, but to also be able to determine their own VAT status.
How would you rate the GCC construction industry’s performance in 2017?
The reduced number of project awards in 2017 has led to intense competition for major developments. Some of these projects have been awarded at lower margins, which may affect the performance of contractors. Additionally, [difficult] terms and conditions, and tight scheduling have [also troubled] general contractors.
However, while economic headwinds prevailed for the short term, prospects have been significantly boosted by the recent approval of new master plans and ongoing economic diversification.
Please list the top three categories that you will look out for at the CW Awards 2017.
We will seek out the Health and Safety Initiative of the Year, the Contractor of the Year, and the Residential Project of the Year categories.