x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Committee says draft law should be priority

Given the local market and economic situation, codes regulating construction standards should be revised, a judicial committee says.

ABU DHABI // A draft law governing construction in Abu Dhabi should be quickly drawn up given the local market and economic situation, a judicial committee has found. A steering committee under the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department yesterday said codes regulating areas such as construction standards should be revised after the recommendations of a group of foreign experts. The Department of Municipal Affairs is developing the Abu Dhabi International Building Code with the International Code Council, a leading non-profit authority on construction codes, to guide new building projects.

Although the steering committee would not reveal details of the draft law, building codes typically cover on-site health and safety, building time and contracts between parties involved in a construction project. Sultan Saeed al Badi, the Judicial Department under-secretary and chair of the Commercial Court Steering Committee, said: "the committee considered the importance of reviewing these ordinances, especially in this stage of development which Abu Dhabi is witnessing.

"This must be accompanied by updated legislations which are consistent and appropriate with such progress. They also should reflect Abu Dhabi's position among the countries of the region and the world." Mr Badi said the laws should take into consideration "the realities of the market, locally and internationally, and the situation of the economy". Also yesterday, new unrelated safety regulations for industries were released. The Environment, Health and Safety Code, is designed to ensure industrial companies provide safe environments, prevent pollution and manage hazards.

The total value of announced projects in Abu Dhabi will soon reach US$500 billion, with developments on Yas Island and Saadiyat Island accounting for the largest share, according to the Middle East Economic Digest. rditcham@thenational.ae