UAE suspends construction projects

By Richard High06 February 2009

Over half of the United Arab Emirates' construction projects have been suspended, according to the latest report by Dubai-based research company ProLeads Global.

The report stated that over 52% of the UAE's development projects, worth US$ 582 billion, have been suspended. It stressed this could be just the beginning of the decline.

"The UAE has yet to feel the full effects of the global economic crisis. Since December 2008 Proleads has recorded a sharp increase in the rate at which projects have been placed on hold across all sectors of the industry," said the report.

The report, which reviews the real estate, leisure and entertainment and infrastructure sectors, shows the real estate market to be the worst hit. Real estate comprises about 74 %of the UAE's construction portfolio.

Some 180 projects have been suspended, said the report, while projected cash flow, is expected to fall by 43% in the first quarter of 2009, the report stated.

While the numbers are daunting, Emil Rademeyer, director at Proleads, said the report also offers some hope for the future.

"Though the negative numbers are daunting, we should still focus on the glass being half full. There is still close to US$ 700 billion worth of projects on the table, and not many countries in the world can say that during times like these."

Proleads looked at 1289 real estate projects, including residential, commercial and retail buildings; infrastructure, including roads, railways, bridges, ports, educational and healthcare facilities; and leisure and entertainment, including sports facilities, theme parks and hotels.

The research went up to mid-January 2009, and Proleads claims its data analysis is 90% accurate.

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