Market Intelligence
Design and Construction United Arab Emirates

UAE Design and Construction Project Opportunities

The UAE’s construction sector is expected to recover in growing by almost 6% as delayed and stalled projects during the pandemic resume construction. 

The UAE government is investing in energy and infrastructure - transportation, utilities, decarbonization, renewable and nuclear energy generation, and resolving the ongoing water scarcity. Major projects announced include the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) Al-Nouf seawater treatment plant, Dubai Municipality’s strategic sewerage tunnel, and other mega construction projects like the redevelopment of Mina Rashid in Dubai, and the Dubai International Financial Centre Expansion 2.0.

The utilities energy infrastructure sector is expected to expand over the next decade as the UAE boosts electricity generation capacity to meet growing demand and increases the UAE’s water security. Growth in energy and utilities infrastructure will be driven by the expansion of water and renewable energy capacity over the coming years, in line with pressing water scarcity of the UAE and the government’s low carbon energy agenda. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced earlier this year the commencement of a competitive process to evaluate and select a developer to participate in the development of a large-scale seawater treatment and transmission pipeline project in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This $2.5 billion project is aimed to replace the current aquifer water injection systems used for maintaining reservoir pressure at onshore oil fields in Abu Dhabi. 

Transportation and road infrastructure development continues to be important. The UAE has a sizable transportation and road infrastructure projects pipeline, including the $11 billion Etihad rail, the $5.9 billion proposed hyperloop project between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the $2.7 billion Sheikh Zayed double-deck road project, and more.

A wave of private sector projects, combined with high levels of government spending and investment plans, is bringing renewed optimism to the market. Despite the fierce competition from local developers, U.S. companies are market leaders in the design and construction field in the UAE.

Local developers are increasingly seeking efficiency and digitally integrated processes in projects planning, staffing, monitoring, and delivery.  American companies catering for digitized innovative technology solutions will find increased opportunities. 

There is a strong demand for all segments of design and construction. Recent trends indicate growing demand for solutions and technologies including:

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Augmented Reality (A/R)
  • IoT data applications
  • Drones in construction fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID)
  • 360° video capturing technologies
  • 3D scanning technology
  • 3D Printing

For more information about this niche sector, please contact Office.AbuDhabi@trade.gov.

12/06/2021