Firm formerly known as Multiplex plans to double its £100m business in Abu Dhabi and Qatar in order to counter the slowdown in Dubai

The firm has a turnover close to £500m, with most of this coming from its operations in Dubai, although two jobs have been delayed by the downturn in the emirate.

It carries out a fifth of its work in Abu Dhabi and Qatar but Graeme Robson, its head of its business in the Middle East, said he wanted to increase this by the end of 2010.

Robson, who was also in charge of UK operations for Brookfield for a short period in 2007, added: “Most of our business right now is in Dubai, with 20% in Abu Dhabi and Qatar but over the next two years that will probably double. We need a broader business.”

Robson declined to name the jobs that had been put back. He said the firm would redeploy some of its 870 staff to offices in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, adding: “Abu Dhabi has a lot of real estate opportunities and we see it as a good market.”

The firm is best known for high-rise developments in the Gulf and is currently working on the tallest hotel scheme in the UAE, two 80-storey tower developments in Dubai known as the Emirates Park Towers Hotel.

The move comes as a number of Dubai schemes, such as developer Meraas’ £95bn Jumeirah Garden City development, have been delayed.