A surge in population, economic expansion, and subsequently, higher investments in real estate and infrastructure projects have generated considerable oil revenues and consequently, cash reserves, aiding the exponential growth of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) construction sector. This development of the construction industry bodes well for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services market, since it is considered an integral service within the construction industry.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (buildingtechnologies.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Services Market in Middle East, finds that market earned revenues of $13.53 billion in 2008 and estimates this to reach $22.44 billion in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate of 10.6 percent.
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The fragmented and highly competitive market is likely to take off in 2011, once the effects of the recent economic slowdown and reduced construction activities wear off and the economy rebounds. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi are expected to shore up the market for MEP services till 2013, as their economies are relatively insulated from the financial downturn, thanks to their surplus cash reserves and the latest stimulus package announced by the government.
"Moreover, improved awareness about energy and environment sustainability as well as public health and safety concerns are expected to go a long way in boosting the market for MEP services in the next five years," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Vivek Vijayakumar. "Already the most in-demand service of the construction industry, MEP’s popularity will soar further with the strengthening of the GCC’s commercial, residential, hospitality, infrastructure, and educational sectors."
Meanwhile, the GCC has mandated all types of buildings to install technologies and services that will make them environment-friendly. Owing to such constant demand, contractors are continuously upgrading their services by investing in in-house pre-fabrication, design, and service capabilities to diminish the strong bargaining power of the end users.
Such measures will involve dealing with the escalating cost of construction, construction commodity prices, and labor cost. The prices are not likely to decrease due to the steady global demand and rising accommodation costs of labor, which could severely constrict the contractor’s profit margins.
The market could also be adversely affected by the labor drain, as emerging economies are drawing laborers away from the region. In such a scenario, it has become vital for a company to recruit and send employees to training institutions to hone their skills, initiate training in-house, or provide on-the-job training.
However, contractors can skirt the issue of manpower through technological developments, which will limit on-site prefabrication and thereby, lower time and manpower needs on site and boost productivity hours. Additionally, the involvement of design engineers in the early stages of construction and correct selection of materials will ensure proper building integration and sustainability by reducing its operating costs.
"To gain a competitive edge, it is critical for MEPs contractor to offer scalable and comprehensive contracting service solutions at one-stop and back it up with effective qualified manpower for project design, installation, and service support," notes Vijayakumar.
Strategic Analysis of the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Services Market in Middle East is part of the Building Management Technologies Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: Indian facility management services market, Middle East facility management services market, Indian integrated building management system, and Indian cable management system. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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