UAE attracts investment
Money to be made in infrastructure
The UAE and Qatar are among the top three most attractive markets for infrastructure investors, according to consultancy firm Arcadis.
The firm said that, despite low oil prices effecting investment into infrastructure, UAE and Qatar have secure business environments, stable financial sectors and strong growth potential.
The most attractive country, according to Arcadis, is Singapore, with Qatar coming in second and the UAE in third. The top five is rounded out by Canada and Malaysia.
Other countries in the top 10 were Norway, Sweden, USA, UK and The Netherlands.
Arcadis said that despite infrastructure being a long-term investment, its third Global Infrastructure Investment Index highlights that short-term factors, such as currency devaluations, commodity prices and security issues, can be a barrier to investment.
It said that, given these issues, nations such as the UAE, which has traditionally funded infrastructure through the public sector, is opening up to private finance, which could bridge the funding gap for the development of much needed new infrastructure, including the extension of Dubai Metro.
Ben Khan, Middle East Client Development Director at Arcadis, said: “Infrastructure is an increasingly popular asset class for private sector investors, particularly in times of increased risk and uncertainty.
“Whilst opportunities have been limited in the region due to falling export revenues, as we see more GCC countries opening up to private finance, this can create opportunities for investors in the short to medium term.”
The index is published every two years and ranks 41 countries by their attractiveness to investors in infrastructure. It looks at various issues, including the ease of doing business in each market, tax rates, GDP per capita, government policy, the quality of the existing infrastructure and the availability of debt finance.