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Gulf re-emerges as a magnet for international construction contractors

Construction roles now account for a high percentage of the total number of jobs for international contractors in the Gulf. In demand positions include Project Construction Engineers, Construction Managers and Project Directors.

Currently, senior construction positions account for 27% of the total number of white collar roles marketed to UK contractors in the UAE, 82% in Qatar and 54% in Saudi Arabia.

Lisa Mangan, Relationship Manager at Procorre, says: “The number of roles for senior construction contractors in the Gulf fell sharply after the financial crisis, as funding for new building projects collapsed. But the regional economic recovery and high oil prices have combined to trigger another boom in building, particularly as the region prepares for major events like the World Cup. This is feeding sharply rising demand for international contractors to deliver these projects.”

Over a quarter of positions for international contractors in the United Arab Emirates are in construction

Procorre says that over a quarter of positions (27%) for international contractors in the United Arab Emirates are in construction, despite the Emirate being known best as a financial services hub for international contractors.

Recent research by Deloitte revealed that the value of construction projects in the UAE has bounced back sharply from its trough after the financial crisis, with $12billion of stalled construction projects in the Emirate now having restarted.

Landmark projects underway in the UAE include Expo 2020 and the Mall of the World, both in Dubai.

Lisa Mangan says: “Abu Dhabi and Dubai are returning to their position as huge users of senior UK construction expertise and knowledge. The projects range from mid-sized right the way through to the kind of huge, innovative projects that create opportunities for contractors to gain quick progression up the career ladder.”

World Cup and other projects mean contractor jobs account for 82% of roles in Qatar

Procorre explains that the construction sector accounts for 82% of all roles in Qatar advertised to international contractors, as the country gears up for the 2022 World Cup.

Lisa Mangan says: “There is a massive need for contractors to oversee the construction work beginning in Qatar. Building has started on the 12 stadiums needed for the 2022 World Cup and contractors, such as architects and engineers are needed to implement the planned extension to its road system, expansion of its power and power supplies and the construction of a brand new international airport.”

Attractive opportunities for contractors

Lisa Mangan continues: “Senior construction consultants are finding the opportunities available in the Gulf very attractive because of the many advantages to undertaking an overseas contract. Often these jobs offer rapid progression, immersing contractors in the project from the off. The posts are also well paid, with additional bonuses such as free flights and discounted accommodation coming as part of the package. For those looking for a promotion, it could well be worth considering a short term contract in the Gulf.”


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