DUBAI,(Reuters) – More than half of the construction projects in the United Arab Emirates, worth $582 billion, have been put on hold, with more expected to be deferred in 2009 due to the global crisis, a market research firm said. A report by Dubai-based Proleads said 52.8 percent of projects were on hold while a further $698 billion-worth remained in progress.
“Within the real estate sector, it is likely that we will witness more deferred projects throughout 2009 as will be the case, but to a lesser degree, within the infrastructure sector,” the report said.
The report looked at 1,289 projects in January in real estate, infrastructure and leisure and entertainment in the Gulf Arab state.
The construction industry in the UAE, and in Dubai in particular, is facing a sharp slowdown as a result of the economic crisis, as property prices fall, jobs are cut and projects are axed.
Morgan Stanley said this week some $263 billion worth of projects in the UAE had been delayed or cancelled and property prices had fallen by an average of 25 percent since their peak in September.
Deyaar Real Estate said on Wednesday it was putting on hold at least 25 percent of its projects while private developer Damac announced further job cuts.