Construction disputes in the Middle East

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Given the rapid growth of the local construction industry, we have seen a particular peak in joint venture disputes, in approximately 1 in 5 being undertaken.

This will pose particular demand on legal professionals specialising in party-to-party negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

 

 

Current statistics: global comparison

Across the Middle East, Asia and the UK, the market has witnessed sharp increases in the average time to settle disputes, with the Middle East demanding the longest resolution periods of approximately 14.6 months and averaging 298.017 million AED.

This can be directly compared to the US which had the lowest value at 32.74 million AED. Asia followed shortly behind with dispute lengths averaging 14.3 months.

What does the market suggest?

Experts suggest that these figures are reflective of overarching industry trends. Proposing that this is not the result of particular causes, rather a reflection of the magnitude of construction programmes resulting across the region. Similarly, dispute costs are being attributed to the raw number of resolutions, which have been becoming more frequent as development continues to increase. 

Experts suggest that these figures are reflective of overarching industry trends. Proposing that this is not the result of particular causes, rather a reflection of the magnitude of construction programmes resulting across the region.

Although these figures are in-line with the general uplift in industry after the GFC, it appears that more needs to be done to ensure joint ventures do not end up in disputes, so as to fully ensure a sustained recovery of the market.

The job market: our expectations

Generally we can expect to see a demand for skills to manage party-to-party negotiation, mediation and arbitration, which are among the most popular avenues in settling disputes. As a rule, we can forecast that these skills will continue to be in high demand until construction growth plateaus.  

For more detailed information on the legal market and working in the Middle East, please contact:

Kamran Habib, Manager (Middle East)
kamran.habib@robertwalters.com
+971 4 8180 10


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