DUBAI — Amid the economic slowdown in 2010, the construction industry in Abu Dhabi witnessed fresh contracts awarded valued at $35.5 billion; 66 per cent of the value of all contracts awarded in the UAE for 2010, according to Ben Shaw, Regional Director, DORMA Gulf.
Shaw said that market analysis has found that the total estimated value of interior design contracting projects from 2009 to 2010 in the GCC was $22 billion (Dh80 billion), and the demand for interior design services in the UAE alone is expected to be worth some $14.6 billion this year.
DORMA is a globally active supplier of door technology products and systems. With more than 100 years of tradition behind it, DORMA has developed into the world market leader in door controls, movable walls and glass fittings and accessories.
DORMA Gulf is part of globally active manufacturer of door technology systems and allied products. Currently DORMA operates four companies in the region of which three are based in the UAE and one in Saudi Arabia with branches in eight cities and a total of 253 staff across the Middle East.
Shaw spoke to Khaleej Times about the building construction industry during recession, DORMA’s recession strategy, and its plans for the region. Excerpts from the interview:
What is your forecast for the building construction sector in the Middle East?
The current financial crisis has had a massive impact on economies, industries and companies around the world. This impact extend to companies in the emerging markets such as UAE where construction sector ruled the roost with players capturing significant global market share and creating superior shareholder value. Most companies have resorted to cost cutting, restoring debts, selling off assets and divesting businesses to improve cash flow. Others are repositioning their efforts towards high-growth markets.
As the UAE economy continues on the cautious optimistic path to recovery, Abu Dhabi is shining as one of the brightest stars in the Middle East’s construction industry, with contracts awarded in the energy, infrastructure and buildings sectors increasing. Some of the ambitious projects Abu Dhabi has announced include: Cleveland Clinic ($1.8b), Abu Dhabi Metro ($5-10b), Sadiyaat Cultural District ($5b), Nuclear Power Complex ($20-40b), Shah Sour Gas project ($10b), New refinery at Ruwais ($10b), Mafraq–Ghuweifat Highway PPP ($2b) and Chemaweyaat Petrochemicals Complex ($25b).
This creates a significant opportunity for DORMA which already enjoys brand awareness for its diversified technology products. However, some areas have indeed gone down (in project terms) while others are quite active. Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are showing signs of growth. It foresees aggressive project focus on infrastructure-type developments in airports, hospitals or mass transportation areas. It clearly shows that, amid the economic slowdown in 2010, the construction industry in Abu Dhabi witnessed fresh contracts awarded valued at $35.5 billion; 66 per cent of the value of all contracts awarded in the UAE for 2010. The expected value of construction contracts to be awarded in 2011 will reach $39.8 billion, an increase of 12 per cent from 2010. The total value of all construction projects in Abu Dhabi is currently calculated at $562.8 billion.
Infrastructure, transportation, utilities and hydrocarbons in particular will see significant investments over the next 10 years.
What are your plans in the region?
There will be more aggressive project focus on infastructure-type developments such as airports, hospitals and mass transportation with greater emphasis on sustainable development through internal green policy within the Group. Besides, we will be expanding in growth markets such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait through offering new product adding to existing portfolio of current product line-up.
The establishment of the DORMA Interior Division is a new concept in the region. How does “one-stop solution” work? Why did you establish the new division when the property market is still down?
From the market analysis it is found out that the total estimated value of interior design contracting projects from 2009 to 2010 in the GCC was $22 billion (Dh80 billion), and the demand for interior design services in the UAE alone is expected to be worth some $14.6 billion this year. We at DORMA identified a critical demand for qualified interior services in the market and worked on a concept which would align DORMA’s core services.
DORMA started operations in the Middle East in the 1970s. Where did you start then? When did you come to the UAE?
DORMA Gulf is part of globally active manufacturer of door technology systems, DORMA, Germany.
DORMA Gulf set foot on the Middle Eastern shores in the early 70s and launched a presence in the Middle East with the opening of DORMA Gulf Door Controls FZE in Jebel Ali, Dubai, in 1997. DORMA Gulf headquartered at Jebel Ali Free Zone is spread on a sprawling facility at 6,500 square metres to serve the region’s construction sector in meeting the growing demand for innovative technology in door and access systems.
Currently DORMA operates four companies in the region of which three are based in the UAE and one in Saudi Arabia with branches in eight cities and a total of 253 staff across the Middle East.
Achieving milestones has been DORMA Gulf’s forte and over the years the company has been actively involved with the region’s leading innovative projects such as the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Metro, Meydan Racecourse, Qatar Convention Centre, Mall of Arabia (Jeddah), Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria), Emirates Palace Hotel (Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi Convention Centre (ADNEC) and others.