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Al-Omari, J A (1992) Critique of aspects of development theory using construction industry in a capital-surplus developing economy as an exemplar, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading.
- Type: Thesis
- Keywords: Abu Dhabi; construction industry; social composition; cultural values; political institutions climatic characteristics
- URL: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=2&uin=uk.bl.ethos.332273
This study identifies the main factors influencing Abu Dhabi’s construction industry and its contribution to development. The relevance of existing research on construction in developing countries is questioned. This is based on a number of preliminary indications which suggest that there are significant gaps in existing research thus undermining its applicability to Abu Dhabi. The study proceeds to examine Abu Dhabi’s construction industry in 9 areas. These were selected following a preliminary field survey in Abu Dhabi. In each area, the main factors influencing the construction industry in Abu Dhabi and creating problems or underpinning solutions are identified and examined. The research findings indicate that while economic constraints in many developing countries have driven existing research to focus on and over-estimate the importance of economic factors and related models, Abu Dhabi’s experience highlights the importance of non-economic factors. It is suggested that the discovery of oil, by eliminating financial constraints, has heightened the importance of socio-cultural, politico-administrative and geophysical factors. This means that Abu Dhabi’s social composition, cultural values, political institutions and climatic characteristics exert significant bearing on the construction industry and its contribution to development. Abu Dhabi’s interaction with the outside world, and its ability to continually modify and update its development policies are two further factors influencing both development and construction. Finally, the successful implementation of development policies has been observed to be dependent on the pace of development and the existence of role models. A new development model which categorises all the main factors influencing construction in Abu Dhabi into several inter-related components is developed. In this new model, construction’s contribution to development is defined as being that of a service sector to other economic sectors, rather than an economic engine as suggested by existing research.