x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Drake & Scull wins Binary Tower build deal in Dubai

Drake & Scull's civil contracting arm has won a Dh200m contract to build a 25-story tower in Dubai.

Drake & Scull Construction has won a Dh200 million (US$54.5m) contract to build a new tower in Dubai's Business Bay.

The firm has been selected as the main contractor for the 25-storey tower, being developed by Omniyat, its parent company Drake & Scull International announced yesterday.

The contract for The Binary commercial tower follows the firm securing a series of projects further afield in the past year as it sought to offset a development slowdown in its home market of the UAE.

But Drake & Scull is now more positive about future growth opportunities in the country.

"We have been able to secure some of the key developments that we have been eying over the past months as part of our efforts to increase our market share in the civil business across the Mena [Middle East and North Africa] region. The Binary agreement reflects our successful and continuous growth in this line of business and gives us cautious optimism about the construction industry outlook in the UAE," said Saleh Muradweij, the managing director of Drake and Scull Construction.

The company has already started work on the site with an estimated completion date of early 2014, said Mr Muradweij.

"I don't see it as changing anything significantly for the firm," said Hettish Karmani, an analyst at Global Investment House in Kuwait. "They have won bigger contracts in the past, but it is perhaps significant that the latest contract is in Dubai, as most of their recent new projects have been in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere."

The firm's stock closed 0.9 per cent lower at 86 fils yesterday. Mr Karmani said the firm's announcement last week that it would pay a dividend for last year of 3 per cent in cash and 5 per cent in bonus shares was helping drag its stock lower.

Launched in 2010, Drake & Scull Construction specialises in design, engineering and construction linked to water, power, mechanical, electrical and plumbing works. The firm has successfully expanded its footprint outside the UAE in the past year. It has won business in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and North Africa.

Last month it said its Qatari unit would be a major driver of future business as it picked up projects linked to the government's task of hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup. In March it added Algeria to its list of major markets, signing a project there valued at Dh845m.

tarnold@thenational.ae