His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with a group from the Irish Construction Industry

Building New Relationships in Dubai

Extract taken from The Sunday Business Post, November 9, 2008

A trip to Dubai last month by 30 company heads from the construction sector is already generating activity in Ireland. The trip was part of an Enterprise Ireland initiative to help chief executives accelerate the internationalisation of their businesses.

The programme has been developed jointly by the Construction Industry Federation and Duke Corporate Education. Along with building capability to internationalise their businesses, the companies will look at ways to collaborate to develop projects overseas.

Finn Lyden, Chief executive of SIAC CONSTRUCTION GROUP, said the visit was designed to encourage participants to think outside the box on the markets in which they were currently operating.

“It was very interesting for people in the construction industry to visit Dubai because there are fantastic things going on there,” said Lyden. “The vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and how that is being implemented is unbelievable.

Their Metro project is 75 kilometres long, of which 15 kilometres is underground with big chunks of the overground on stilts, which looks great, and for which the total cost is €3 billion,” Lyden said.

“A big part of our business is civil engineering and, until recently, that had good prospects in Ireland. However, it is clear now that the government will not maintain the capital programme in Ireland, and therefore we are going to have to look at other opportunities.

“The middle East is certainly a very interesting place an there is great ambition to get projects up and running. They are very open to international companies to come and do business there and we have seen enough to investigate the market very closely.”