Report says emirates remain among world's most active construction markets despite 400 projects being put on ice

More than 400 projects are on hold in the UAE, worth over $300bn, a new report has said.

The findings from research firm Proleads said, however, that the UAE remained “one of the most active construction markets in the world”, with more than 750 active projects in construction and 450 recently completed.

Yet the report was gloomy overall, highlighting a slowdown in new projects in the commercial, leisure and retail sectors. It also noted education and healthcare projects being placed on hold more often than in the past and increasing numbers of cancellations in the residential sector.

Key findings included:

  • A marked downward trend beginning in mid-2008 in the rate at which new projects are announced
  • A dramatic increase in the rate at which projects are cancelled since early 2009
  • An increase in the size of the schemes hold and the rate at which the overall number of schemes on hold is increasing
  • On the plus side, multiple projects in several sectors are still going ahead and due for completion in the months up to 2011, with most due to finish in 2010.

Emil Rademeyer, director of Proleads Global, said: “From our cash flow projections for the industry, we see the UAE construction market beginning to stabilise at current levels and showing some signs of recovery during 2010.”

The report, “Insights United Arab Emirates: An Investigation into the Current and Future State of the Civil Building Construction Industry”, examined more than 1,900 projects with a total budget of over $100,000bn.