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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasts the most advanced, diversified, and competitive economy in the Middle East. With a GDP of 528 billion USD in 2023, the UAE has the second-largest economy in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia). Its economy is projected to grow by 3.5% in 2024, driven by the expansion of the non-oil sector.

The construction industry in the UAE has been a cornerstone of the nation's impressive development over the past fifty years. This sector has matured into a competitive field that attracts global resources and expertise, fueling further growth. Liberal trade policies are attracting foreign investors, boosting the UAE construction market.

The overall UAE Construction Market size is US$467.57 billion in 2023 and it is projected grow to US$ 522.2 billion in 2026 based on a 2.8% CAGR.

The UAE construction market is highly competitive, featuring a significant presence of international players. As a strategically located economic and trade hub of the Middle East, the UAE offers a substantial market for construction companies. The market is also notably consolidated, with several major players holding significant shares.

Lately, we have observed a strong trend towards more sustainable development in both new-built and retrofit markets.

UAE was the first country in the region to announce its ambitious plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The announcement aligns with the Principles of the 50, the UAE’s roadmap for accelerating national economic development in celebration of the country’s golden jubilee year in 2075. As the nation embarks on a new 50-year cycle of growth, the significant economic opportunities presented by the path to net zero directly support the vision of transforming the Emirates into the world’s most dynamic economy.

The UAE government, developers, and corporations have consistently embraced innovative technologies, fostering an environment that attracts foreign companies to introduce their offerings.

Another trend is the digitalization. COVID-19 impacted the construction market in the UAE, causing temporary work suspensions and reducing the industry's net profit. In response, for example, the government of Dubai, is focusing on smart cities, aiming to digitize up to 1,000 government services and establish over 2,000 wireless hotspots.

There is a strong interest in developing smart cities from the government to ensure more environmentally friendly and efficient infrastructure. There is strong focus on improving city livability, and for better living conditions, buildings, green areas and public services must be integrated into a single automated infrastructure. These trends have pushed construction sector to adopt new technologies and pursue more sustainable alternatives.

In the UAE construction sector major themes are:

  • Green Building and new Construction materials
  • Smart Cities and Sustainable Urban Development
  • Energy Efficiency and Retrofitting
  • Healthy buildings & Air Quality solutions
  • Digital solutions to increase automation
Source: Business Finland, UAE