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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

China State foresees 50 per cent jump in UAE contracts

Construction colossus expects pipeline to hit US$4.5 billion by end-2018

Yu Tao of China State Construction Engineering Corporation at Cityscape Global. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Yu Tao of China State Construction Engineering Corporation at Cityscape Global. Chris Whiteoak / The National

China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), one of the top contracting firms in the world, expects to win US$1.5 billion worth of new contracts in the UAE by the end of next year, expanding its current order book by 50 per cent, a senior company official has said.

“The jobs in hand are around $3bn [at the moment],” Yu Tao, the company's president and chief executive for Middle East operations told The National at Cityscape Global in Dubai.

“It’s hard to gauge how many deals we will win but we foresee our contract values increasing ….. 50 per cent by the end of 2018.”

China State has been actively engaged in the UAE property market, especially Dubai, and has assisted a number of developers with construction finance.

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The contractor yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Union Properties to be the main contractor for the developer's Dh8 billion MotorCity master planned development in Dubai, to be built in phases over the next four years. China State will also provide construction financing as part of the deal.

“We are in negotiations with some other developers," said Mr Tao, declining to give further details.

"Don’t forget that China State is [the] number one contractor in the world [and], we need a lot of food every day."

The Arabian Gulf's construction sector is posting signs of recovery, particularly in the UAE, after two years of slowdown, caused by persistently low oil prices and softer economic conditions.

Projects awarded in the UAE for the first half of the year stood at $21.3bn, representing about 38 per cent of all contracts across the Arabian Gulf, according to data complied by regional project tracker MEED Projects.

Construction activity is expected to increase further ahead of Expo 2020 in Dubai, for which the emirate is expected to announced contracts worth Dh11bn this year alone.

"China State has been pretty busy for the past three years in the UAE market and I can foresee that we will remain busy in the coming two to three years -- even after the Expo 2020,” Mr Tao said. “The reason being that we have established ourselves, we have resources, we understand the local practices and we have financial mass.”

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