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News & opinion

10 DEC 2018

Facilitating collaboration in the construction industry

The global construction industry is spending more and more on solving disputes, with financial costs in the past two decades reaching billions of dollars.

On average, construction projects end up costing 30-40% higher than the original contract target price, parties get tangled up, arguing over 20% of the overall cost escalation rather than focusing on the successful delivery of projects.

To drive change and encourage collaborative working in the construction industry of Qatar, last month, RICS hosted an industry workshop in partnership with the Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA).

The seminar, titled ‘Driving Change and Facilitating Collaborative Delivery in Qatar’, promoted the work RICS is doing to encourage the global construction industry to drive movement towards a more collaborative delivery model. It was attended by lawyers, arbitrators, businessmen and representatives of construction and real estate companies in Qatar.

Abdulla Al Mehshadi, a certified arbitrator at QICCA, who inaugurated the seminar, said that in a country that is undergoing an unprecedented development like Qatar, going into conflicts is unavoidable. He stressed on the substantial impact these conflicts could have on the main three elements project managers try to have under good control, theses being; time, cost and quality. 

RICS Regional Director, Robert Jackson, noted that the world has seen significant development in the arbitration of construction disputes, and that dealing with potential conflicts before they arise, should be a priority given the boom Qatar’s construction sector is experiencing.

Currently, Jackson noted, there are seven challenges facing construction sector, including risk pricing, project delays, lack of confidence among investors, adversarial, fragmented climate, low productivity and efficiency, claims culture and breakdown in relationships.

With the number of mega projects currently ongoing in Qatar, alternative methods of dispute resolution and conflict avoidance are key to mitigating costly delays and escalating project costs. A rising number of contractual disputes in the region has increased the need for comprehensive methods of early conflict avoidance and alternative dispute resolution.

Mairead Hughes
Country Manager, RICS Qatar

Conflict Avoidance Processes have been successfully implemented in other parts of the world, such as the UK, and have settled potentially costly differences early, without the need for court, arbitration or adjudication. Conflict Avoidance can be the catalyst for change, without initial sweeping changes to contracts, and can provide a new way forward for built environment disputes in Qatar.

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