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New UAE construction think tank calls for collaboration and innovation within the UAE Construction Industry

17 September 2019
A newly formed UAE Construction Think Tank has released a Whitepaper presenting its recommendations to foster collaboration and innovation within the UAE Construction Industry.

The Construction Think Tank is constituted of leading industry stakeholders including Mashreq Bank, MEED, ACC, AECOM, ALEC, Arabtec and DAEP.

By addressing the barriers to growth faced by the industry, the White Paper has outlined 15 key recommendations to foster the progress of construction in the UAE within a digital-led era.
Under the umbrella of four themes – collaboration, talent retention, innovation and engagement - the White Paper outlines initiatives which, if adopted, could radically transform risk allocation, cashflow and efficiencies within the UAE construction sector.

In summary, the 15 recommendations are as follows:

1. The introduction and promotion of standard contracts to allocate risk fairly between parties.
2. Implementation of a Construction Contracts Act applying to UAE construction works, providing a statutory framework for certification and payment timescales and rapid adjudication of disputes.
3. Enforcement of restrictions on contractors who are inexperienced or have a negative track record to encourage tendering based on best industry practices and whole-life cost.
4. Introduction of a contractor accreditation scheme to measure contractors in terms of financial stability and technical and practical capability.
5. Grant of work visas to professionals who can demonstrate experience and professional attainment in the industry, not just academic qualification.
6. Industry transparency of the pipeline of future projects allowing stakeholders to plan resources and funding more efficiently.
7. Establishment of professional development bodies for technical workers and a unified accreditation committee for industry professionals.
8. Provision of graduate recruitment programmes by industry players to attract younger talent.
9. Introduction of incentive schemes to reward innovative technologies.
10. Establishment of regulations concerning emerging technologies to enable research and development.
11. Agreement on common standards for technology to harmonise practice across all sectors.
12. Institution of a patent system for innovative project methods such as offsite manufacturing processes.
13. Establishment of a Construction Industry Development Board to encourage dialogue between the industry and the UAE authorities for the agreement of standards and to address disputes.
14. Creation of accreditation bodies to provide training for trades and disciplines that are in demand.
15. Establishment of a more active association that engages with government and project clients to regulate the industry and maintain standards.

Many industry professionals in the UAE will recognise some of the recommendations from their home jurisdictions, where they have been implemented successfully and are now well established.
Also, recognition ought to be made to those institutions, companies, commentators and educational establishments based in UAE who have been promoting such initiatives to industry stakeholders and professionals for a number of years.

The White Paper reflects those efforts and collates them into an effective roadmap for the potential future of the UAE Construction Industry. 

The presence within the UAE of talented and engaged construction professionals and the opportunity to develop existing best practice from other jurisdictions places the UAE in an ideal position for the implementation of the proposed regimes to support the UAE's strategic vision to establish itself as the most modern, productive and technology-driven construction industry worldwide.

You can download the full version of the White Paper at this link

Further Reading