Working at full capacity, a strong order book and good prospects are rare statements in the current economic climate for construction companies.
Online PR News – 23-November-2010 – – Working at full capacity, a strong order book and good prospects are rare statements in the current economic climate for construction companies. But hold true for Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC) that has won a string of lucrative projects in the last few months. ASGC been appointed as the main contractor for several prestigious developments in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Egypt. Included in its list of new contracts are Ambulatory Hospitals in Abu Dhabi, Marina Bay, Ocean Scape and Al Wifaq Tower on the Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, Seasons Community in Jumeirah Village in Dubai, The Onyx on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, The One – Commercial Tower in TECOM Dubai, Wasl Square, Safa South Complex in Jumeirah, Dubai and Marassi in the North Coast in Egypt. These amount to a total value of approximately AED 3bn.
Making the announcement on the occasion of The Big 5, Mr Bishoy Azmy, CEO, ASGC, said, “After an all time low, activity in construction sector has improved and we are glad to have signed up these fabulous deals that range from residential towers to commercial centres and healthcare facilities.”
Population growth, urbanization, industrialization and infrastructure development all point to a bumper return over the next few years in Mena region – the Middle East and North Africa. Construction makes up almost a third of growth in gross domestic product (GDP). Echoing other senior figures in the industry, Mr Azmy sees the biggest growth in infrastructure projects. “Around 70% of the population of the Arab world is below 30 years old. It means authorities have no choice but to invest in creating jobs and building infrastructure, from transport and roads through to desalination plants.” The current ‘run rate’ of spending on infrastructure is around $2.5tn in the region. The largest construction and infrastructure projects by value in the GCC show that five of the region’s 10 biggest schemes planned or under way are in Abu Dhabi. This has sparked a frenzy of activity among construction companies each vying for a share of the business. ASGC has been quick to capitalize on the opportunity and has recently established ‘ASGC Al Shafar Oilfield Contracting’ which is based in Abu Dhabi and will focus on providing building services in the on-shore and off-shore oil gas fields.
In addition to focusing on its home turf, ASGC is also looking to expand its operations in potential overseas markets and is on the hunt for new opportunities across the Mena region and Asia. The company is aggressively pushing ahead with its expansion strategy that envisages stretching its footprint from KSA to Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, CIS and parts of Asia. Mr Azmy said, “We have been diversifying across the region and are negotiating some big contracts at the moment. However, like most of the world, it’s not what it used to be in terms of growth. The market is fairly subdued but there is still significant worth of work going out to tenders over the next two years. We are hopeful some of these will materialize for ASGC.”
Brilliantly led by President Emad Azmy, ASGC is a broadly spread organisation well supported by its sister companies. Al Shafar group has over 16 companies under its umbrella providing an array of specialized contracting services and construction materials. Driven by value and quality, the group has been a major player in the UAE building industry for the past two decades and has to its credit over 250 prime projects including landmarks such as Dubai Police General Headquarters, DAFZA Headquarter, UAE Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Dubai Internet City – Phase III, Dubai Studio City, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Golden Mile Residence – Palm Jumeirah and Business Central Towers. The company’s projects range from skyscrapers to residential towers, government buildings, educational facilities, factories and healthcare projects.
What puts ASGC at the top of the pile is the company’s international management processes and savvy approach to business. Mr Azmy said, “Most clients do not focus on price alone but are looking for quality. They want the best people not the cheapest. Owing to the support we receive from other subsidiaries under Al Shafar Group we have a better grip over every project we undertake and are able to drive down price to deliver best value. Also, the strength of our group’s finances and the spread of our activities leaves us well positioned to deliver our planned progress.”
ASGC is dedicated to health, safety and carbon credentials and has maintained the highest operational standards through its accreditation to OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) and BS EN ISO 14001 (environment). The company has won several prestigious awards including Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MRM) Business Award 2008 (Construction Category), (IRCON) for Best Safety practices in 2008 and the Arabian Business 2008 Award among others for its outstanding quality and commitment to excellence.
Some Key Industry Facts for Editors
The UAE tops Gulf construction market. Projects worth $714.8bn are in various stages of development. The country’s construction sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product jumped to $19.06bn in 2008, an increase of about 20.1 per cent. Activity plunged in the aftermath of the 2008 global fiscal crisis but the UAE has remained the region’s main business hub. Despite the decline, analysts believe the UAE still maintains its position as one of the largest construction hubs in the Middle East.
In a recent report, the International Monetary Fund estimated the total value of projects planned in the UAE at a staggering $918bn in construction, oil and gas, petrochemicals, real estate, industry and other sectors. The value accounts for nearly 42 per cent of the total major ventures to be implemented by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the medium term as part of a strategy to diversify their oil-reliant economy and upgrade their infrastructure, the IMF said.
The second most active market in the GCC after the UAE is Saudi Arabia, with $283.8 billion worth of projects in the pipeline. Saudi Arabia is hoping to lure contractors and investors in to the country with $500bn worth of energy, transport and industrial projects in the offering, according to head of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). According to The World Bank’s 2011 Doing Business Report, KSA is the best place in the Middle East to do business and 11th in the world. The country is the eighth largest education spender in the world and currently has $79bn worth of investment in private sector energy projects.
For more information about ASGC please visit www.alshafar.com
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