The main challenge facing contractors is to strike a balance between guaranteeing quality and remaining cost-competitive, according to a leading UK contractor involved in various school projects in Abu Dhabi.
"Getting the quality right according to the aspirations of the client and its team is key," says Wates Construction International regional MD Matthew Kennedy.
"There is also a lot of competition, and so you have got to make sure you do not go in too keenly to the point where you cannot deliver on these key issues.
"We are beginning to see a bit more activity in the market than we have done of late, which is positive, but there are a lot of hungry contractors around," says Kennedy.
"Clearly there is a bit of over-capacity," says director Steve Yazdabadi. "I think we are also witnessing a change of market focus in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as you are seeing less tall buildings, and more fit-outs and infrastructure.
"Social infrastructure in Abu Dhabi is the backbone of the construction economy. And that works to our advantage, because 60% of our work in the UK is social infrastructure."
Read the full interview with Matthew Kennedy and Steve Yazdabadi in the next issue of Construction Week magazine.