More managers required to cope with growing workload in Abu Dhabi and Qatar

Carillion has said it expects to fly out more staff from the UK to the Gulf next year to help it keep up with the pace of its building programme.

The firm will send out senior project and commercial managers mainly to Abu Dhabi, where it is building three schemes worth a combined total of £850m.

It is also looking to form a joint venture with a local contractor to tackle an expected building boom in Qatar.

A spokesman said the firm is also planning to move a number of staff from its Dubai operations, where it has around 20,000 people, across to Abu Dhabi. He added: “A year ago we had no one in Abu Dhabi. Now we have 6,000 people. In the next two or three years we will be getting more revenue from Abu Dhabi than Dubai.”

Al Raha Beach
The Al Raha Beach complex, where one of Carillion is building one of its largest developments in the region

Carillion carries out work in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with Al-Futtaim, which is based in Dubai, and also works in nearby Oman with another local contractor, Alawi. In 2007, its joint venture revenue from Dubai was £237m while Oman brought in £100m.

The largest of its developments in Abu Dhabi is a £500m residential and commercial job for developer Aldar at the Al Raha Beach complex.

It is also building a £250m hotel next to the racetrack that will host its debut Formula 1 motor racing Grand Prix next November, as well as the infrastructure for a giant aluminium smelter for Emirates Aluminium.

The spokesman said Carillion is talking to Al-Futtaim about work in Qatar but is also speaking to other local firms out there. He added: “There are big opportunities in Qatar but we just don't have the resources out there at the moment. But we're looking to move there in 2009.”

In a trading update yesterday, Carillion said it is on target to increase turnover in the Middle East region to over £600m by the end of next year.