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French firms to strengthen role in Abu Dhabi’s construction market

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, November 20 - 2007 @ 13:18

At the 3rd annual Advanced Technology Forum held this week in Abu Dhabi and hosted by the French Business Group, a non-profit organisation that seeks to strengthen economic ties between France and the UAE, the focus lay primarily on the construction industry and provided French firms with significant insight into the requirements of local contractors and developers based in the UAE.

The Forum, titled “French expertise in the construction sector”, was held under the patronage of the Department of Planning and Economy, the French Embassy and in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the support of Ubifrance. The event was sponsored by leading UAE developer Sorouh Real Estate.

In his keynote address, Dr. Eng. Abdullah Bilhaif Al-Nuaimi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Vice-Chairman of the Urban Development Committee in Abu Dhabi, thanked the French business community for playing a key role in Abu Dhabi’s development. “The contribution of French contractors is extremely important in our mission to develop the nation’s capital as a modern international city,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Patrice Paoli, Ambassador of France, said, “We are astonished by the dynamism of the UAE’s construction sector and we hope that French companies get more involved in the number of projects in the country. The objective of today’s forum is in line with the strengthening relationship between France and the UAE.”

Construction and real-estate are of great significance in the region, with international investors seeking valuable insights from local developers and contractors. The French Business Group’s Annual Forum allowed public and private delegates from a panel of developers, engineers, architects and contractors to discuss current research and development techniques operated by French industrial firms.

Between AED 500 and 600 billion will be invested in Abu Dhabi’s expansion over the next two decades. The importance of shared perspective among French and UAE companies was highlighted at the forum.

”Logistical convenience and technological advances have made it easier for global competitors to challenge companies on their home turfs,” said Mr. Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President of the French Business Group. “Those intending to remain or become market leaders will have to be proactive in their approach and pragmatic in practice.”

“Irrespective of the quality and quantity of internal resources, it is prudent for aspiring organizations to grasp the opportunities in Abu Dhabi for synchronising the growth,” Al Hajji added.

Another key participant in the forum was Eiffel, a company with over 100 years experience and was responsible for the construction of the “Viaduct of Millau”, the highest cable stayed bridge in the world. The 2.5 km long Viaduct is an important part of the A75 motorway linking Paris to Montpellier and stands 250 meters above ground level.

The forum speakers also included Atelier Xavier Bohl, a modern architectural and town planning specialist; VSL-Intrafor, specialist in post tensioning technology and ground engineering services and is involved in Dubai’s much awaited ‘Metro’ project; FR Environment, specialists in waterfront projects; Legrand, known for electrical equipment, devices installations and information network; Frame & Associates who are experts in Value engineering, cost savings, structural design and project management; and the Paris-Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi.

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Tuesday, November 20- 2007 @ 13:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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