Contractor Bovis Lend Lease has opened an office in the city-state of Dubai in the Middle East to capitalise on the building boom.
The three-man office is run by Mark Fletcher, who has been with the company for 10 years.

John Spanswick, chairman and chief executive for Bovis Lend Lease Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that he was convinced the group needed to expand into the region because of the number of developments taking place there.

He said: "When I touched down last November I couldn't believe what I saw – it was absolutely mind-boggling. I didn't take much convincing that there was an emerging market."

Spanswick said the company had been slow in moving into Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates. He said: "What we try to do is judge the strength of markets around the world. I admit we were a little late here." The company also has offices in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the UAE.

Bovis is at an advanced stage of negotiations on a project in Dubai, as well as one in Abu Dhabi, which is also in the UAE. It expects to make an announcement in the next two weeks.

Spanswick said that the company's international links would give it an edge in Dubai.

He said: "What we can do with our global platform is source materials effectively.

"For example, we have global agreements with the four largest air-conditioning manufacturers in the world. One of the things that will dictate the speed of development in Dubai is the supply of materials."