Dubai contractor Drake & Scull International is eyeing project tenders in Iraq in the second half of 2011 as it looks to break into new markets and diversify its income.
Drake, whose biggest market is Saudi Arabia, is also keeping a close eye on political unrest in Egypt, where it is bidding for $200-300m worth of projects, chief corporate affairs officer Zeina Tabari told Reuters in an interview.
Drake, which specialises in mechanical, engineering and plumbing businesses (MEP), won a $126.6m contract in Egypt in January, and the project is on track, Tabari said.
“The majority of our contracts this year will be from the GCC,” she said, adding: “We have a business development team in Iraq, but it is a new market for us and will take some time to start tendering. Probably in Q3 and Q4.”
Gulf Arab companies see growing opportunities to invest in Iraq in sectors including energy, telecoms, finance and infrastructure, as the war-torn nation battles to recover from years of bloodshed.
Drake has been rapidly expanding its operations outside Dubai, where house prices have plunged some 60 percent since their peaks in 2008 as a result of the financial crisis.