Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit 2018 will be held later this week. Now in its ninth year, the event – to be hosted at Dubai’s Jumeirah Emirates Towers on 12 September – has cemented its position as a must-attend fixture for the UAE’s construction sector, acting as an ideal forum in which to identify and discuss the challenges and opportunities that affect your construction business.

Much has changed in the Emirates’ construction sector in the last 12 months, and the industry has witnessed staffing changes, as well as adopted newer ways of doing business. Technology was a major talking point at last year’s iteration of Construction Week: Leaders in Construction UAE Summit, and in the months following the 2017 event, major clients and contractors from the country have revealed their strategies to digitise for success.

However, the UAE’s construction leaders have continued to face some familiar market challenges, such as oil price fluctuations, payment delays, and a shortage of skilled staff. Moreover, they have also contended with newer hurdles, especially those related to tech adoption and industry modernisation.

This week’s conference addresses and seeks to rectify some of these issues. Panellists will discuss a range of topics relevant to the UAE’s construction professionals, including ‘smart’ and transformational building technologies; the significance of mental health in the workplace; the impact of inter-emirate real estate joint ventures; and measures through which construction disputes can be mitigated in the UAE.

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This year’s summit is as much a celebration of industry efforts as it is a hub for problem-solving. The UAE’s construction community has overcome notable challenges to deliver some of the region’s finest projects in the last few months, such as Warner Bros Abu Dhabi, with progress also being made on the Etihad Rail scheme. Of course, Expo 2020 Dubai is a significant contributor to this optimism as well.

Earlier this month, Ahmed Al Khatib, senior vice president of real estate and delivery at Expo 2020 Dubai, told Construction Week that construction is well advanced on the three Thematic Districts that form the core of the expo site, as well as the Al Wasl Plaza. There are currently 20,000 staff on site for the project, with this number expected to double when work peaks in H1 2019. Stay tuned for more updates from the Expo 2020 Dubai chief during his keynote address at 9am today, and read more about Expo 2020 Dubai’s development progress in this week’s issue of Construction Week.

As with all of Construction Week’s Leaders in Construction events, this summit will receive extensive coverage in print, video, social media, and online at ConstructionWeekOnline. We urge you to initiative conversations with your fellow attendees, and to participate in our question and answer sessions. Please remember to hashtag all your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts with #LeadersUAE.

My colleagues and I will be on hand throughout the day if you have any questions or suggestions for us. We look forward to hearing from you about the issues, topics, and projects that you feel we should devote our attention to at this week’s summit, as well as 2019’s.