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Macau’s Construction Boom

Macau is a hot spot for construction projects and already has numerous mega scale casino and hotel developments, and even more projects are planned for the coming years. This city on the South coast of China already has its own version of Venice with a Grand Canal, and will soon have its own (mini) Eiffel Tower!

Macau has grown rapidly over the last decade, and a further phase of expansion is now in full swing as some of the world’s biggest casino operator’s move into town. Most people think Las Vegas is the capital of the casino world. It's not. Casino revenues in Macau surpassed those of Las Vegas years ago. Macau benefits from the fact that gambling is illegal in China. Macau now represents the rising spending power of the Chinese and their economy’s evolution away from large scale manufacturing toward more consumption oriented growth.

Macau’s expansion is quite remarkable; the number of casinos in Macau has tripled to 35 in the past decade. Many of these mega scale resort developments are situated on the Cotai Strip, land that was once a stretch of water between the islands of Coloane and Taipa but has since been reclaimed on a massive scale.

Current construction is moving at a fast pace with around 18 projects currently under construction: 9 in Macau Peninsula, 5 in Cotai, 3 in Taipa and 1 in Coloane. This equates to around 10,000 new hotel rooms under construction. However there will be more than twice that many if all 28 projects currently being considered get approval.

This rapid development is driven by the voracious desire of mainland Chinese who have a desire to gamble as gambling is illegal in mainland China. Nearly 20 million people, or one in five Chinese who ventured outside mainland China last year, came to Macau to gamble, shop and sightsee. Chinese tourists currently form the vast majority of visitors to Macau, and with improved transportation connections — including a bridge linking Macau and Hong Kong due to be completed in 2016 further growth is expected.

At the current time labour supply poses one of the biggest constraints for the future development of Macau. Wages have risen sharply, and lots of additional construction professionals including Engineers, Construction Managers and Quantity Surveyors will be needed to move the construction of resorts forward, this in turn is putting pressure on the local authorities to allow in more expatriate workers into Macau and reduce the current restrictions on granting work visas to foreign workers. 

Although the construction market in Macau is heavily dominated by large Casino and Hotel developments there are also other large infrastructure/civil engineering projects ongoing in the region. These include the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the Macau Light Rail Transit Project (LRT). Both projects are well under construction with the Bridge having started construction in 2009 and the LRT in 2012. Both projects are mega scale and involve heavy Civil Engineering elements which require specialist expertise from experienced construction professionals. 

Due to the range of the ongoing construction projects in Macau and the variety of construction companies now operating there: Main Contractors, Engineering Consultancies, Client Developers, we are now seeing an increase in demand for construction professionals to work there. This is includes both local Cantonese speakers and expatriate foreign workers looking to find work in the booming Macau construction market.

We are currently seeking  Quantity Surveying, Project Management and Engineering professionals interested in working in Macau – please get in contact with an updated CV  if you are interested in looking at these opportunities further with us.

Tim Cole
Maxim Recruitment
Hong Kong and Asia Region 

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