The Middle East construction and infrastructure activities have shown a decline in the Q3 2018, with an increasing additional headcount being highlighted across the region due to future workload expectations, according to the RICS Middle East survey
The RICS Asia-Pacific and the Middle East Construction and Infrastructure Survey is prepared every quarter to identify the trends in the construction and infrastructure markets.
About 71 per cent of survey respondents in Saudi Arabia, 55 per cent in the UAE and 45 per cent in Oman reported new hiring during the quarter to support new workloads.
A sharp pullback in profit margins in Q3 and an increase in payment delays has been highlighted in the survey by contributors across the Middle East. This can be attributed to the financial constraints faced by firms, which was described as a drag on activity by the majority of respondents and is expected to persist despite expectations for increased workloads.
About 81 per cent of contributors in Oman cited financial constraints as holding back activity in the country, while 88 per cent cited competition as the main cause for the reduction in activity.
Compared to other regions globally, there is no apparent acute shortage of any particular skill in the Middle East construction and infrastructure industries. However, a lack of building information modelling (BIM) managers was ascertained by 47 per cent respondents. About 42 per cent in Saudi Arabia reported a shortage of construction managers.
The infrastructure market received nuanced reports from the contributors across the region. Harbours and ports were recognised as the segments that are set to see the greatest growth in output over the next twelve months from UAE respondents. In Saudi Arabia, rail is expected to see the strongest growth in output and Oman is projected to see higher growth in the communication sector, said the survey.
The most uniformity in responses was received in the type of infrastructure investment is needed in the region. About 70-80 per cent of contributors in Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE see more of a need for new projects than for the repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure.