Dubai construction firm Drake & Scull International (DSI) is eyeing AED3.5bn in new contracts wins before the year-end, taking its order book to AED10bn ($2.7bn), its CEO said Wednesday.
“We had AED7.5bn as of June, we have announced AED10bn [by the end of the year],” said Khaldoun Tabari on the sidelines of the Leaders in Construction event in Dubai. “Let’s hope.”
The Dubai-listed company has been rapidly expanding its operations outside of its domestic market, where house prices have plunged some 60 percent since their peak in 2008.
DSI is bidding for work in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Vietnam and Sri Lanka and won AED3.263bn worth of new contracts in the first half of the year.
The company ended the second quarter with a total backlog of AEDh7.5bn, with Saudi Arabia the major contributor to the backlog with 47 percent, followed by Abu Dhabi at 15 percent and Dubai at 13 percent.
Dubai’s largest builder, Arabtec Holding, said this month it had yet to receive 60 percent of the money it is owed for projects completed before the onset of the global financial crisis.
Tabari said DSI still had outstanding receivables, a situation he described as a “dilemma” specific to the Gulf market.
“Some are serviceable, some we are [trying to resolve]. This dilemma exists in this market. But if a developer does not have money it is not about us suing him, it’s about us finding a compromise,” he said, adding the company was “highly liquid.”
DSI also remains optimistic about winning future work in Libya, as efforts begin to restore infrastructure in the Arab state to its pre-revolution state.
“We have a company [in Libya] our capital is still in the bank. Not much capital, I think around $2m, but you know, we’re there. We’re ready.
“I think we stand a chance of getting some work. Let’s hope it opens up today rather than tomorrow.”