2015 is ending on a gloomy atmosphere in the Middle East that is at best pessimistic.

Climate change conference, COP21, defossilisation mood generalisation throughout the world and Big Oil alleged implications in discrete manipulations here and there are definitely shaping one’s daily life.

but one wonders; would Big Oil mean also big OPEC producers at this conjecture where Iran is re-entering the market. On top of all of the above, the world’s general concern related to emerging markets is felt more and more clearly and policies of pulling away from hydrocarbons based economies and towards diversification seems to be taking longer than anticipated.  To make matters worse, the developed world race towards clean and green technology is increasingly bearing fruits to be reckon with.  This is notwithstanding the regional socio-political volatility that does seem to be endlessly on-going whilst Russia and Turkey have nothing to do but keep on teetering on the brink.

Moreover, prospects of imposition of VAT, personal and corporate taxation, etc. deserve to be

In the meantime, the implications of lower oil prices could be negative for the regional construction industry in 2017 if prices do not recover next year.  Wishful thinking or repeat of previous years’ experience; the industry experts agree the drop in oil prices has made the Middle East more hesitant about its investments this year as well as for this coming one.

The above reason amongst many others, is making everyone somehow restless to the point that almost half of GCC construction professionals expect to change jobs within the next 12 months, according to the results of Construction Week’s 2015 Salary Survey.

It is expected that full details of the Construction Week (CW) 2015 Salary Survey will be published in the upcoming issues of CW, to hopefully shed more light.  In the meantime, a snapshot of opinion from the GCC’s construction sector has shown that a dramatic drop in optimism over the last year is prevailing in all trades and at all levels.

Meanwhile, Pinsent Masons, a UAE based international Law company presented their report at the Annual GCC Construction Survey Conference that shows that no more than 32% of respondents are optimistic about the year ahead.  This is dramatically low if compared to the 77% of a year earlier.

That is the general pessimistic feeling emanating from the UAE’s construction industry as per the feedback through from replies to queries on orders, conditions of contract, payments and claims treatments, etc.

As a matter of fact, these are very indicative of the hardening economic environment generally and particularly in the construction industry.  However when asked which country will provide the strongest growth opportunity in 2016, just 12% stated Saudi Arabia, representing a substantial drop from the 40% of respondents who believed it would be the strongest market during 2015 and that a greater number view Qatar as offering the strongest regional opportunity, rocketing up in positivity from 14% of respondents last year to 33%.  The UAE is however looked at as the strongest market opportunity in 2016.