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Aurecon’s former UAE country manager has said the UAE is a “blank canvas” for developers
Speaking about the benefits of working in the Emirates, Louise Adams said the abundance of available space – in particular Greenfield sites – for large developments was a huge advantage for design and planning companies.
“In Europe and other mature markets, there are other challenges such as existing land ownership, possible contamination issues, etc,” said Adams. “In the UAE, however, there is more flexibility in terms of urban planning and the vision that can be created for such sites, which gives us the opportunity to be innovative when deciding the vision for large, mixed-use developments.”
However, developers in the UAE still faced challenges, Adams continued, with sustainability and urban planning both playing key roles in overcoming problems such as high energy and water consumption.
“Sustainability has become a major theme in the UAE. A great deal of focus is placed on green buildings, reducing energy consumption and water usage,” said Adams.
“The Emirate of Abu Dhabi leads the way in terms of sustainable design systems with the implementation of Estidama; the local sustainability index in the UAE, which includes both a building and community infrastructure rating system to promote sustainable development initiatives,” Adams explained. “Working on a development on behalf of a government client requires a minimum ‘2-Pearl’ rating under this scheme.”
The UAE is one of the biggest construction markets in the world, the value of which is expected to grow by a further 9.3 per cent in 2015.