x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Contractors build on their profile

Turkish contractors have bagged contracts worth billions of dollars after moving into the region more than a decade ago.

Turkish contractors have steadily grown their profile in the Middle East in recent years.

They have bagged contracts worth billions of dollars after moving into the region more than a decade ago.

The Turkish government has also set them a target of landing up to US$50 billion (Dh183.65bn) worth of business in the region by 2015.

One of the centres of growth has been the Emirates.

Last year Turkish contractors were involved in about 26 projects in the UAE, including the Dubai Metro.

Charging less than their foreign rivals and with a growing reputation for expertise, they began entering the local market when the building boom took off six years ago.

The biggest job went to Yapi Merkezi in 2005 when it was awarded a contract to build the Dubai Metro as part of a consortium led by Japan's Mitsubishi. Nurol Construction grabbed a slice of the action in Abu Dhabi, gaining a $60.7 million contract in 2007 to build a number of bridges for Shams Abu Dhabi.

But when the slowdown stalled projects in the Emirates in 2009, Turkish contractors began expanding their horizons in the region.

Owning about 40 per cent of Africa's oil and with $60bn worth of projects in the pipeline, Muammar Qaddafi's Libyan regime offered plenty of opportunities.

Turkish contractors were last year involved in 36 projects there, including a number of shopping malls and entertainment centres in Tripoli.

As a carrot to attract foreign companies, Libya's government offered tax incentives on materials imported and the Turkish government signed a bilateral agreement with Libya to waive entry visas, making travel and trade easier.

With Col Qaddafi now deposed, many Turkish contractors are keen to resume stalled projects.

Across the region, infrastructure work such as airport building is an area many Turkish contractors are focusing on.

TAV Group is one of the shortlisted companies for the Midfield Terminal building project at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

It is already building the foundations for the project and has been involved in the construction of Doha International Airport's new terminal.

The firm has also been involved in infrastructure work at Muscat International Airport.

tarnold@thenational.ae