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Abu Dhabi has introduced new rules to govern construction activities as part of an overall restructuring process to support the domestic economy within the emirate's 2030 development strategy. The new rules have already been inforced but contractors and other construction companies have up to four years to meet the various criteria set out, according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
“The executive regulations and instructions for the classification of contractors and engineering consultancy offices”, in the department's words. are aimed at organising and restructuring the construction sector according to a report by Emirates Business.
The Department’s Undersecretary, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, said, “They are designed at streamlining and restructuring the activities of contracts and consultants to match the developments which the emirate is witnessing, mainly in the construction sector, one of the most important sectors and a key contributor to economic growth in the emirate. These rules are considered as an integrated and comprehensive system that will serve the economy of Abu Dhabi and the whole UAE… it has been prepared by a highly qualified team of experts in collaboration with the private sector.”
Abdullah said that the new system governing contractors’ activities would also support Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 development strategy.
“These rules are basically intended to upgrade performance and define goals and requirements for the coming stage, which is expected to see an upsurge in construction activity in all parts of the emirate,” Abdullah said. His figures showed more than 2,500 classified contracting companies and their branches operate in Abu Dhabi while there are nearly 4,500 unclassified firms.
“These new rules take into consideration the successful experiences in the classification of contractors in other countries… the department has also conducted in-depth studies about the local market before preparing such regulations,” said Khaled Housani, acting head of the Classification Section. “We also took into account in our classification the experiences and financial and technical capabilities of contracting companies in line with defined criteria.”
Housani said the rules could allow expatriate investors, under specific terms, to own a consultancy office while other investors could be permitted to practice contracting and consulting activity at the same time.
“We have set a deadline of four years for classified contractors and two years for unclassified contractors and consulting firms to redress their position,” said Housani.