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New project activity in the UAE has been subdued during the first three months of the year, with an online bidding platform reckoning there has been a halving in the number of tenders issued compared with a year ago period.
“Indeed, we have seen some slowdown compared to last year ... a percentage of the projects have been put on hold or revalued due to the oil prices,” said Karim Helal, CEO of ProTenders.com. There is also the fact that “the local [realty] market is stabilising therefore causing caution among developers.”
“But we see this [new tender issuance] picking up in Q3 and Q4 this year.”
Indeed, since April there have been a handful of high-profile launches from leading private developers, with all of them confirming that they will be moving on to the main contracting phase shortly. Some of these launches are conservatively valued at the Dh1 billion and over range, or represent new clusters or releases within established developments. That should give enough of a boost to overall project activity, making for a busier second half of the year.
Meanwhile, ProTenders has just released the findings of its construction sector survey, which among other things found that more than 94 per cent of respondents are ‘actively seeking new business leads’, while 80 per cent are on the ‘lookout for new construction partners’. And for those construction companies seeking alliances, the chance to reduce risk is listed as the main prompt.
“Throughout ProTenders’ five-year history, we have streamlined over 900 projects for our customers, ranging from small villas to Dh1 billion plus mixed-use complexes,” said Helal. “We don’t normally see the details of all the contract terms in the tenders. The platform can only be accessed by the clients issuing the tenders or participants they have invited to bid.
“Because the platform is designed to be fully audited and incorporates a two-way communication system, problems that typically occur — such as not reading the contract in full or misunderstandings on terms and conditions — are minimised. ProTenders helps both sides to reduce risk prior to starting work.” The portal does not have any restrictions on the categories that can put up tenders on its platform.
As for putting as much of the tendering processes online, the government owned entities are way ahead of the pack.
“Most government ministries do have their own online portals, part of the overall drive of the UAE to become a smart city,” said Helal. “In fact, the government sector has been much quicker than the private when it comes to implementing the latest technologies.
“Parts of the private sector have been reluctant to follow suit due to impression that implementing such a system is both complicated and expensive. Our growth in the market proves this is not the case and that there shouldn’t be any barriers preventing all types of companies streamlining their processes and increasing their leads through a portal.”
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com