DAMMAM – A number of Chinese contracting companies have pulled out of the Saudi construction market and quit government and private construction projects they had taken up due to high local specifications and standards, a local daily reported Thursday.
The Dammam-based Al-Yaum newspaper said a number of Chinese contractors were facing difficulties executing construction projects in accordance with the Kingdom’s rules and regulations. “These (Chinese) companies were not used to implementing projects with high specifications and standards,” an industry source said. He did not want to be identified.
Abdullah Al-Ammar, deputy chairman of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EPCCI), said Chinese contractors have failed in a number of projects due to the difference between projects in Saudi Arabia and China. “The style of construction in China is vertical whereas here it is horizontal,” he said while adding that a lack of experience in the Saudi construction industry resulted in delays of projects assigned to Chinese companies.
Abdullah Al-Sayed, a member of EPCCI’s Environment Committee and CEO of Arabian Fal Co., attributed the failure to the updated systems and high quality building materials being used in construction projects.
“Recent events have shown us that Chinese contractors were not serious in implementing high-quality buildings,” he said
Al-Sayed added that when Chinese contractors were asked to improve the quality, they argued that the costs were too high and asked for amendments to be made to their contracts. “This put their prices on par with their American and European counterparts, which are far more experienced and produce high quality buildings. They also offer superior after service sales.”
Asked about the substitutes for the runaway Chinese contractors, Al-Sayed said Saudi construction companies had taken over most of the projects.
“We have to restore confidence in our own companies which are capable of carrying out high quality construction projects. It is our duty to support Saudi construction companies on condition that they totally commit themselves to industry standards and specifications,” he said.
Abdullah Al-Hazza, a member of EPCCI’s Contracting Committee, said low cost leads to low quality and called for more support to be extended to national construction companies.
“If you want high quality, you have to pay for it. Our national companies have a lot of experience and better knowledge of the construction industry, which is a great contributor to GDP.” — SG