2nd October 2023
A slightly different angle this time for our latest blog but one we hope you’ll find equally interesting. We take a more sector-specific approach and look at some of the exciting developments in the world of construction and the myriad of opportunities for many global contractors from a wide range of backgrounds. From iconic sports arenas, trains and planes to property projects, the viewscapes in many cities and countries will change, changing the lives of residents. But for recruitment companies placing contractors abroad, the need to remain compliant will always remain a top priority.
Let’s start in the US and the futuristic Maddison Square Garden (MSG) Sphere in Las Vegas, an all-purpose 17,500-seater entertainment venue that is set to open in 2023! At 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, it will be the largest spherical structure on the planet, hosting concerts as well as film and sports events. Fans of megaband U2 are in for a treat as the Irish quartet are set to inaugurate the opening with a series of concerts. Elsewhere stateside, supporters of the Buffalo Bills will have to wait a little longer before their new $1.4bn stadium in Orchard Park, NY sees the light of day in 2026.
One of the most important infrastructure and transport projects in the world has to be the 2,117km Gulf Railway, also known as the GCC railway. Although we don’t yet have a date for final completion, significant progress has already been made to the $250bn railway, which links the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states of Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain. Construction has also resumed on the world’s tallest building, the Jeddah Tower (former Kingdom Tower) in Saudi Arabia, designed by US firm Adrian Gill + Gordon Smith Architecture.
Two strategic airport projects in Asia are at different stages of construction. The first is the building of the Navi Mumbai International airport in India set to open in 2024. The final phase of the public-private partnership project is expected to be completed in 2032 and will help ease the pressures on the city’s main airport. A new Trans Harbor Link is currently also being built, a 22km sea bridge that connects the airport to the Mumbai mainland. This will generate many new opportunities for contractors with specialist skills and fuel economic growth in the nearby cities of Goa and Pune.
Nicknamed the ‘starfish’, China’s Beijing Daxing International airport (PKX) is the biggest airport in the world. Now four years old, having officially been opened in 2019, it hit the headlines for the wrong reasons during the pandemic due to a decrease in activity and flooding. The airport is however an important transportation hub and base for 28 airlines (mostly Chinese). Expected to handle in excess of 70m passengers by 2025 and located some 30 miles from Beijing city centre, it is the second airport serving the capital, having cost around $17bn and taken four years to build.
Compliance critical for global recruitment businesses
Let’s turn our attention to two major European capital cities and their lofty construction ambitions. Starting with France and the Grand Paris Express, which started in 2015 but is scheduled to be finalised in 2030. Extending line 14 of the Paris metro as well as adding four new lines (15-18), the project will benefit three million residents every day. As well as the required transport solutions and infrastructure, design and technology, engineering, and project management expertise, the state-of-the-art stations will also feature retail outlets and amenities, creating jobs for local communities.
Across the Channel, the Crossrail project in London, England, saw the completion of the Elizabeth Line, which was officially opened on 17 May 2022 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The network comprises 41 stations with up to 24 trains per hour running from Paddington to Whitechapel, making it one of the most advanced digital railways in the world. Having been approved in 2007 and with construction commencing in 2009, the controversial project was blighted by considerable delays and budget overspends. A Crossrail 2 project is currently on hold due to funding issues.
Also courting controversy is the $4bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam or ‘GERD’, the construction of which began back in 2011. At 1.8km in length, 155m high and with a capacity of 74 billion cubic litres of water, it is the biggest hydroelectric dam of its kind in Africa. Generating up to 6,500 MW of power, it will double Ethiopia’s electricity capacity, allowing 60% of the country’s population to access a reliable source of energy. The near complete project on the Blue Nile has caused issues with neighbours Egypt and Sudan who also obtain their water supply from Africa’s longest river.
The New Administrative Capital (NAC) of Egypt is our final port of call. A satellite of Cairo City, the impressive urban community in the Cairo Governorate built in the desert is four times the size of Washington DC! The dream of President El-Sisi, it has cost billions to establish, with construction starting in 2015. According to a statement released in May 2023 by presidential spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy, 14 government ministries have already relocated to the new development, which is 60km east of the capital. When finished, 50,000 government employees will be based at the NAC.
Recruitment agencies placing global contractors to work on these construction megaprojects must remain tax-compliant or face serious consequences. If in any doubt, speak to our 6CATSPRO experts.
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