Half the country's developments are on hold, report finds

Half of the UAE's construction projects are on hold, a new report has revealed. Over 52% of civil developments in the country, totalling $582bn (£401bn), have been suspended. The findings, by Dubai-based research firm ProLeads Global, found that 180 projects have been stopped.

The report found that the real estate industry has been the hardest hit sector in the downturn.

Dubai Construction workers
Credit: Paul Keller
Dubai construction workers in sunnier times

ProLeads warned that this could be the tip of iceberg. It said: “The UAE has yet to feel the full effects of the global economic crisis. Since December 2008 Proleads has recorded a sharp increase in the rate at which projects have been placed on hold across all sectors of the industry.”

Rademeyer, director of Proleads, stressed that $698bn of work was still going ahead in the UAE: “The UAE may no longer be the land of milk and honey but it is still in a far better position than most. To put it into perspective, the $698bn of continuing work we are reporting is almost equivalent to the latest stimulus package proposed for the US."

Proleads looked at 1,289 real estate projects, including residential, commercial and retail buildings; infrastructure, including roads, railways, bridges, ports, educational and healthcare facilities; and leisure and entertainment, including sports facilities, theme parks and hotels. The research covered goes up to mid-January 2009, and Proleads claims its data analysis has 90% accuracy.