Middle East contracts add to healthy first half at UK construction firm Interserve

The UK construction and facil­ities management company Interserve expects a mixed outlook for the Middle East, a region that has helped it grow the size of its order book in the first six months of the year, the company said.

“The outlook in the region is mixed, with a strong flow of work in the UAE, tempered by a less certain near-term outlook in Qatar,” Interserve said. “However, strategic development plans such as the UAE’s plans for Expo 2020, Qatar’s Vis­ion 2030 and the ongoing need for infrastructure development to keep pace with rapid population growth, are all gaining traction and stimulating activity.”

The company said its order book had grown by £1.9 billion (Dh9.1bn) within the first six months of this year. Contracts won in the Middle East by its international construction division contributed £200 million. This helped the business to maintain a healthy pipeline of future workload worth £7.6bn.

Construction revenue in the Middle East grew by 17 per cent, but its at its international support services arm, which includes its facilities management arm, revenue increased by 43.5 per cent year-on-year to £147.2 million. The group’s overall revenue increased by 2.4 per cent to £1.6bn.

Interserve operates through a number of joint ventures in the Middle East. In Dubai, it has operated a 60-year-plus joint venture with Khansaheb Group, through which the pair run contractor Khansaheb Civil Engineering, among other businesses. In Qatar, it is a partner in Gulf Contracting Company. It also has investments in several facilities management com­panies, including a joint venture set up in November 2014 in Saudi Arabia with the Rezayat Group, and a partnership with OHI Group in Oman.

The contracts secured this year include a £75m deal to expand the City Centre Ajman mall for Majid Al Futtaim Group, and a deal to build a 389-room Premier Inn Hotel in Dubai. In ­Qatar, Gulf Contracting secured a £12m contract from Hitachi to carry out civil works on a desalination plant and a £15m field maintenance, technical labour and equipment supply contract with RasGas.

The company’s facilities management arms also picked up an integrated contract with Emaar covering its community and retail centres in Dubai, as well as a deal with Meraas for its new roadside food lorry stop, Last Exit, in Jebel Ali.

Interserve Rezayat, meanwhile, won contracts worth £11m to provide FM services at the Al Raha project at King Abdullah Economic City near Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this week, Dubai’s MAB Facilities Management said it had also picked up a range of facil­ities management contracts from Emaar to provide services to its Emaar Square and Boulevard Point projects in Downtown Dubai, and to the Marina Plaza office tower, Dubai Marina Mall and Pier 7 restaurant complex in Dubai Marina.

“The first quarter of 2016 has been an extremely prosperous one for MAB Facilities Management,” said Maen Saddeq, MAB’s chief executive.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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