Several of the UK’s big construction companies have offices in the Middle East in countries such as Dubai, and now several big construction contracts could tempt UK construction firms to bid for work in Iraq.
A new report by Research & Markets has found that substantial opportunities exist in Iraq as the country rebuilds its infrastructure following the Iraq war.
Building News write that the Iraq Infrastructure Report 2011, found that infrastructure is a priority investment for the Iraqi government, and several big contracts, including one for a new international airport and a port, are available and waiting to be snapped up by UK contractors.
The report also mentions the need for electricity in Iraq, as facilities need improving, which could lead to more work for UK electricians. Two million new homes are also set to be built in Iraq over the next four years, which will create more jobs if UK contractors can be successful and win these contracts.
The global construction industry is expected to grow by 70% in the next decade, with forecasts predicting it will be worth $12 trillion in 2020, compared to $7.2 trillion today. That’s why the CIOB have swooped in, to try and create jobs for UK contractors in the area.
The CIOB plans to use its new foothold in Dubai to launch new initiatives and construction projects across Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The CIOB’s Head of International, Amy Gough says that, “The expectation is that China, India and Eastern Europe will be the new magnets for construction activity.”
Ms Gough continued to say that, “we are still seeing our own members , and other construction professionals, migrate towards the Middle East.”
It is no surprise that the Middle East and countries like India and China are booming, as they are two of the world’s fastest growing countries and the next two big superpowers. A report published this month by Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics found that China and India are expected to contribute half of the $4.8 trillion increase over the next nine years.
The other benefit of companies like the CIOB having a base in the Middle East is the arrival of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It may be over a decade away, but UK construction firms could have a big part to play in helping the country get ready for the world’s biggest sporting event.
It may have not been a popular choice for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup among football experts, but it could have a similar effect to the 2012 Olympics, in terms of creating work and jobs for contractors abroad.