The total number of classified contracting companies, and engineering consulting offices is Abu Dhabi rose to 2007 companies and offices according to latest report issued by Office for Consultants and Contractors’ Classification and Engineers’ Registration of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi (DED), which applied new systems for classification at level of Abu Dhabi since November last year.According to DED indicator for the transactions activities of contractors and engineering consultancy offices in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter in 2012 , the total number of registered , classified and vaild engineering consultancy offices since the implementation of the new system reached 695 offices and the total number of classified and valid contracting companies amounted to 1936 companies.Since the implementation of the new regulations, 42 engineering consulting offices were classified in Abu Dhabi, whereas the number of registered and classified contracting companies amounted to 358 till the end of last year, these figures reflected the increasing number of companies and offices completing classification transactions according to new regulations .
Eng. Ahmed Al Burkani , Director of DED’s Office for Consultants and Contractors’ Classification and Engineers’ Registration, said that the Office worked on reorganizing and restructuring the framework of contractors, consultants and engineers according to latest developments and updates in Abu Dhabi, especially in the construction sector which is considered the most important sector contributing to the increasing growth rates in Abu Dhabi’s GPD.His Excellency stressed that the continued growth of classified contracting companies in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of this year compared with 2011 is an indicator of the healthy and sound business atmosphere in Abu Dhabi which reflects the success of Abu Dhabi’s Government to attract foreign companies and investments.Al Burkani added that with the beginning of the new contractors and consultants systems in November last year, the owners of contracting companies and engineering consulting offices were well aware of the need to amend their status as per the guidelines of those systems and in line with their experiences, financial and technical capabilities. This was followed by issuing the general policies for each system and the mechanism to implement them in accordance with key conditions, norms and regulations.The indicator indicated that the total number of classified and unclassified contracting companies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reached 9,959 companies until the end of the first quarter of 2012, whereas the number of companies classified by the new system was 475 companies. Meanwhile, the number of companies classified according to the old system stood at 1461, and the number of unclassified contracting companies to 8023 companies.The indicator clarified also that the total number of classified and unclassified engineering consulting offices in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reached 1285 offices until the end of first quarter of 2012. the number of classified valid engineering consulting offices according to the new system was 71 offices. Meanwhile, the number of classified valid engineering consulting offices according to the old system was 624 offices. Eng. Al Burkani stressed the importance of commitment to classifications procedures according to new regulations by unclassified contractors companies and engineering consulting offices and to accelerate to be classified in order to avoid DED’s taking action against unclassified companies and offices such as refusal to renew license, the DED set the end of November2012 as deadline for accomplis classification.The indicator of transactions activities for DED’s Office for Consultants and Contractors’ Classification and Engineers’ Registration pointed out that 199 transactions regarding engineering consultancy offices were accomplished and distributed on 12 transactions of new classification, 179 license renewals, 3 modifications (amending)of offices and 5 additions to new activities. Transactions activities of first quarter in 2012, regarding contracting companies indicated that 171 transactions were accomplished distributed on 46 new classification for the first time in Abu Dhabi in addition to 115 licenses renewals, 4 companies were upgraded and 6different transactions including adding commercial activities , Cancelation and modification of trade names .Transactions activities last year regarding contracting companies indicated that 358 companies were classified for the first time in Abu Dhabi in addition to 561 renewals, 28 companies were upgraded , 4 companies were downgraded and 19 different transactions including Adding commercial activities ,Cancelation and modification of trade names.
The registered classified contracting companies and engineering offices have immensely participated in the last two years in promoting the role of the construction sector in the GDP, benefiting from the available privileges and facilities they have to optimize this sector and accomplish development projects in Abu Dhabi despite regional and international challenges”, Al Burkani said.Article (11) of the Law No. (2) /2009 Concerning the Establishing of DED authorized H.E. Chairman of DED to issue appropriate systems for contractors and consultants classification, and engineer's registration. This falls in line with the set priorities of the strategic plan of the Department to broaden the base of private sector institutions and enable them as the driving force for economic growth. The new classification systems which were adopted as of 22 November last year came as a result of three years of research and comparative studies.According to the Regulation No. (1) / 2009 on the Classification of Engineering Consulting Offices, issued by the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi classification is based on the financial and technical capabilities, expertise of engineers and previous experiences. The owner of the consulting office is allowed to owning more than one office. The owner of a contracting establishment is also allowed to own an engineering consulting office. A citizen investor can also own an engineering consulting office within specified controls.The new Regulation No. (2) for the year 2009 Concerning Contractors Classification took into account the developments in the construction sector since 1980, when the Contractors Classification Regulation No. (4) of 1980 was issued. Now the focus is on increasing the estimated value in which the contractor can participate to give him more room to participate in tenders and the possibility of grouping the values of projects completed by the contractor.According to this system the classification applies to all contractors who practice contracting activities that are classified by the DED, with the possibility of classification of contractors who carry out designing and construction of projects in accordance with the same criteria used for classification of contractors, namely, (financial capability, the technical staff working for the designing and construction contractor, as well as previous experience and implemented projects) and other administrative requirements.The Regulation No. (3) for the year 2009 Concerning Engineers Registration which will be launched soon for the first time in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, will examine and test engineers working in the emirate and intending to be listed on the Register of Engineers at DED . This will require all contractors and engineering consulting offices to appoint engineers who are registered at the Engineers Section of the DED. The most important feature of these systems is that they ensure equitable distribution of projects among all categories of classifications, and offer equal opportunities for all contractors and consultants, through stating of estimated values of projects that may undertaken, and ensuring that all contractors and consultants will abide by this distribution through periodic and random inspections, Mr. Ahmed Al Burkani, commented.
Engineer Al Burkani added also that the DED worked in the past in order to reach an agreement with implementing entities, to develop regulations to ensure equitable distribution of some parts of major projects to small businesses, also took into account that Classified and unclassified companies would not be affected by these systems. DED, thus keenly granted a grace period which extends to four years for contractors and two years for engineering consulting offices operating in the Emirate to comply with the new requirements.