The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) said yesterday it would begin regulating engineering and contracting companies to a greater degree.
Industry analysts said the move would not have a major effect on bigger companies doing business in the emirate, but would introduce some clarity to existing laws. It would also place greater requirements on smaller companies to prove their competence.
The decision comes as the Abu Dhabi Government seeks to unify its diverse codes and regulations. The Abu Dhabi Municipalityplans to debut a single code to govern all new buildings. "The new classification regulations were developed to cope with the booming of the construction business, which is considered as one of the main pillars of the emirate's economy," said the DED.
The new requirements, which come into effect by the end of this month, are broadly directed towards classifying companies according to their experience and abilities.
Regulation number 1 will categorise each company "based on its technical, financial and previous project design abilities". It will also remove obstacles preventing investors owning engineering offices and contractors.
There are more than 2,500 contractors officially registered by the DED and about 4,500 "non-classified" companies in Abu Dhabi. The regulation will set up an engineering "peer review office", which will give opinions on different structural and engineering issues.
Regulation number 2 will establish "thresholds for projects in which the contractor can participate".
And regulation number 3 will set requirements for companies to employ a certain number of engineers to achieve different classifications. An Engineer's Registry will also be set up.
Jeffrey Squires, the managing director of the MENA region office of the contractor Parsons, said local companies would review the regulations.
"As we understand it, firms that are registered to do business will be able to carry on under the authority that is already granted," he said.