Dubai, UAE: Despite the complexities in the current use of FIDIC (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) contracts in the GCC region, there has been a ‘hesitant’ support among experts in the UAE towards implementing a localised FIDIC contract.
Regarding this, VS Chandra Sekhar Reddy, CEO, Elemec Electromechanical Contracting, said, “Any documentation can be localised. However, the implementation is the crucial factor, because currently, each individual developer and contractor is re-drafting FIDIC for their own convenience and, ultimately, it is the MEP industry which is at the receiving end.”
Reddy added, “We do understand that FIDIC is for builders, but overall there can be an improvement. However, it needs to be honoured and implemented, and nobody should be allowed to re-draft the content of the document to their advantage.”
In Reddy’s opinion, if a local FIDIC is to be drafted, it should have a strong legal backing to protect the client, the contractor and the consultant.
Voicing similar concerns, another industry expert, Ramesh Kumar, said, “While a localised FIDIC is required, yet it is a long way to go because of the different complexities of the issue.”
Highlighting the complexities Kumar pointed out that while most businesses use the 1987 version of FIDIC in Dubai, the 1999 version is used in Abu Dhabi.
Differentiating between the two versions, Kumar said, “The 1987 version offers more protection to the client, while the 1999 version offers the balance, where all parties involved are protected.”
On the flip side, in Kumar’s view, the government version of the ‘bespoken contracts’ derives its data from the current two versions to suit particular requirements; hence there is no uniformity in the market.
Kumar indicated that if FIDIC is localised, then it should follow a uniform code of contract endorsed by government bodies, and followed strictly. Or else, its purpose would be defeated.