Despite enormous challenges faced by the construction industry in the UAE over the last year, Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC) has massive expansion plans chalked out. Mr Bishoy Azmy, CEO, ASGC, said, “Our industry has no doubt been hit hard by the downturn. However, despite increasingly challenging market conditions we have maintained a quality construction order book.”
ASGC is expected to make some major announcements this Big 5 which starts in Dubai from November 22. The four day trade show is the largest building and construction exhibition in the Middle East. Mr Azmy will be among the key speakers at the Big 5 Construction Conference and will talk on the need to maintain growth and client satisfaction in the current challenging environment.
With a strong development strategy Mr Azmy looks to the future with confidence. “Effective management of the company resources and calculated response to risk helped us to successfully overcome a critical period. There is still some way to go before we emerge from the crisis but we are confident that our strategy to expand our presence in more resilient markets like Abu Dhabi, Egypt, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Libya will pay off. In addition, we are looking into opportunities in CIS and other Asian countries. The strength of our group’s finances and the spread of our activities leaves us, well positioned to deliver our planned progress.”
Mr Azmy believes, “Geographical expansion will provide ASGC with access to a new customer base and opportunity to leverage its skill set outside the UAE. Our vision is to be a preferred partner in the region delivering comprehensive range of contracting services. We anticipate the need for an experienced service provider will increase in coming months.”
ASGC is well supported by its sister companies providing a broad array of specialized contracting services and construction materials. Al Shafar group has over 16 companies under its umbrella. “This is a definitely a huge plus for us giving us better grip over every project we undertake.”
Also in an effort to mitigate falling demand in commercial and residential sectors, ASGC is looking to boost its exposure in more secure, higher-margin contracts. Mr Azmy said, “There has been an increase in demand for infrastructural projects across the UAE particularly in sectors such as transportation, healthcare, utilities and culture and we see a huge potential for growth there. We have recently established ‘ASGC Al Shafar Oilfield Contracting’which is based in Abu Dhabi and will focus on providing building services in the on-shore and off-shore oil gas fields.”
ASGC has been a major player in the UAE building industry for the past two decades and has to its credit over 200 prime projects including landmarks such as Dubai Police General Headquarters, DAFZA Headquarter, UAE Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Dubai Internet City – Phase III, Dubai Studio City, Al Attar Tower and Al Shatha Tower. The company has built everything from skyscrapers to residential towers, government buildings, educational facilities, factories and healthcare projects.
ASGC has maintained the highest operational standards through its accreditation to OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) and BS EN ISO 14001 (environment). The company has won several prestigious awards including Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MRM) Business Award 2008 (Construction Category), (IRCON) for Best Safety practices in 2008 and the Arabian Business 2008 Award among others for its outstanding quality and commitment to excellence.