Andrew Greaves, partner and head of GCC at Addleshaw Goddard (Middle East), provides a legal take on the UAE’s contemporary construction sector. To learn more about the Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit 2018 and how you can attend the exclusive conference in Dubai, click here.

What are the main challenges facing the UAE’s construction industry in 2018?

From our perspective, the main challenges and opportunities for the construction industry revolve around a tightening-liquidity environment in the market, which is likely to lead to a greater consideration and use of alternative funding structures such as public-private partnerships (PPP) and export finance and, perhaps, a more active claims market.

There is also likely to be a shift in regional dynamics; whilst Dubai is fully focusing on delivering Expo 2020, new opportunities will materialise in both Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, as both have recently announced ambitious and exciting investment plans.

What excites you most about the UAE construction industry in 2018?

With the preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai gathering steam, we are likely to see more unique and landmark projects coming on line and nearing completion to ensure the Dubai government’s goals for the event are achieved. Alongside that, the government’s push for ‘Smart Dubai’ will hopefully lead to the introduction of new and exciting technologies, and the further rollout of initiatives such as solar power generation and connectivity.

What topics do you expect will be discussed at the CW: Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2018?

I expect to hear from both contractors and developers on how the cash flow issues being experienced in the market are leading to challenges to the delivery of projects, and hope to hear some thought- and discussion-provoking suggestions as to how to overcome these hurdles.

Why is it important for Addleshaw Goddard, and for you, to support and attend the CW: Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2018?

As one of the largest specialist construction legal teams in the Middle East, it is important to our business that we attend events such as the CW: Leaders in Construction Summit to ensure we are picking up on the latest trends and developments within the construction industry. With the aim of promoting cost-effective and efficient dispute resolution in the region, and in an attempt to support both contractors and employers in delivering projects on time and under budget, we believe being part of the conversation at events such as these with the decision makers and key figures within the construction industry is crucial.

What are the latest launches that your company has unveiled this year?

We look forward to enhancing ‘Control’, which is our integrated solution for litigation financing and risk-sharing with clients on commercial disputes. It includes conditional fee agreements (CFAs), damages-based agreements (DBAs), third-party funding (TPF), and after-the-event (ATE) insurance. Ten years since its initial launch, we are building on our experience and strong relationships with brokers, insurers, and funders to offer more flexible than ever before blends of financing options to suit our clients’ cases.