Wates is banking on its record of delivering 35,000 school places in the UK to win work in Abu Dhabi

The firm has just set up an office in the emirate in conjunction with local contractor Al Fara’a, and is being sponsored by Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan al Nahyan, who owns Sultan International Holdings. The sheikh also sponsors Amec and French firm Saint-Gobain.

Matthew Kennedy, Wates’ regional managing director, said: “Contractors here don’t have much experience in school building, that’s why we feel there is an opportunity for us,” said Kennedy.