Construction projects planned for Gulf region valued at $2 trillion

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Construction projects planned for Gulf region valued at $2 trillion

Dubai - Driven by the boom in the construction sector, GTL reported a 15 per cent increase in net revenue in 2015, 60 per cent of which was from their construction projects.

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Published: Sun 31 Jul 2016, 4:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 31 Jul 2016, 6:34 PM

An increase in soil testing frequency is pointing to a buoyant construction sector in the UAE, according to the top official of Geoscience Testing Laboratory (GTL), a subsidiary of Prime, the region's leading quality and compliance solutions provider.
The Chief Executive Officer of GTL, Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi said, "There is an increase in frequency of soil testing than before, which indicates that a number of projects are either in the planning stage, or on the verge of being developed."
Soil investigation is the first part of construction as it sets up the platform for the design of a project.
"One needs to know the strata of the soil and only then the load bearing capacity of a structure can be designed. We understand from our experience that an increase in soil testing frequencies indicates that developers are serious about the project and plan to go ahead with it," said Al Mahdi.
Driven by the boom in the construction sector, GTL reported a 15 per cent increase in net revenue in 2015, 60 per cent of which was from their construction projects.
"We are already seeing positive impact in our business. Before a building is constructed or a swimming pool and fountain is set up, we will have to first conduct environmental testing and ensure that these projects pass the air, water and soil standards. They have to be free from any contamination," Al Mahdi stated.
GTL currently has 200 projects in its construction division and is expecting an increase in volume of proposals and work orders from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
According to BMI Research, the UAE construction market this year is forecast to grow by 6.6 per cent, considerably ahead of the International Monetary Fund's forecast of 2.6 per cent growth for the wider economy.  BMI Research said the value of the UAE's construction industry is set to reach Dh181 billion next year from about Dh162 billion this year. It also predicts growth of more than 6 per cent for the following three years.
A Meed report puts the value of construction projects planned for the Gulf region at $2 trillion, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE topping the chart.
Al Mahdi also ruled out investor concerns of stalled projects in the UAE being at the risk of material corrosion.
"If the materials from the very beginning comply with the requirements, then nothing obstructive will happen. In the UAE, there are set specifications. And reputed institutions, like us, do check these materials to ensure the quality. Besides, contractors use anti-corrosion inhibitors to protect these structures," she added.
The construction material division carries out tests as per the international standards and specifications with core services offered including testing of soil, aggregates and rock, concrete, steel products, asphalt, cement, water, and geosynthetics.
"We are capable of setting up on-site laboratory testing and meeting the requirements of the client, consultant and contractor. On-site laboratory can vary from having the facility to undertake only the site testing to a complete full-fledged laboratory dedicated to the particular project. This enables all parties to have direct access to the laboratory and also allow them to witness the complete testing process," said Al Mahdi.
It is mandatory for contractors in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to get all construction materials inspected and analysed by third-party laboratories.
"We do the tests and inform our clients, contractors and consultants on the quality of materials. These checks confirm that the contractor is meeting the set specifications by the government authorities," Al Mahdi said.
Geoscience Testing Laboratory's esteemed clients include major developers such as Viz Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties, Dubai Municipality, and Road & Transport Authority. The company is a member of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in Abu Dhabi and is accredited by Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS) and Dubai Accreditation Centre (DAC).

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