Group general manager of UAE contracting giant Khansaheb, Steve Flint, told Construction Week that “long tender lists” and “new entrants to the marketplace” were viewed as key challenges that the company would look to overcome in the next 12 months.
Flint was speaking to Construction Week ahead of his inclusion in the 2019 Power 100 list, Construction Week's annual ranking of the Middle East's most influential industry leaders.
Commenting on contemporary market conditions, Flint said: “Clients [are] focused on driving down tender prices.
“Contracts are awarded based on [the] lowest possible price with little regard for competence and capability of the contractor and their ability to deliver to programme and within budget.”
Already building the world's largest sports mall in Dubai, Khansaheb also set to work on a 255-key Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments-branded property in Dubai over the next 12 months, under a contract signed with Enaba Hospitality in March 2019.
The past year has seen the contractor work on a number of projects across the UAE, including Jumeriah Beach Hotel, The Exchange at Dubai International Financial Centre, and the City Centre Ajman mall.
Market competition and tender pressures are also impacting Saudi Arabia's building sector.
Speaking to Construction Week earlier this month, joint-head of Middle East operations at HKA, Haroon Niazi, said “fierce” market competition was adding to price pressures in Saudi Arabia – a market that he said contractors must remember was markedly different from the UAE.