Construction firms in Dubai say they are having to either accept reduced payments, or risk not getting paid at all.

Riad Kamal, the chief executive of Arabtec Holding, the UAE’s largest construction company, said the company had outstanding invoices of about Dh3 billion (US$817m), of which nearly 80% was due from the Dubai Government or related entities. Arabtec is hoping to meet government officials next week to discuss the payments.

'We feel quite secure the money is going to come eventually. It’s a question of if it’s going to come in good time to be able to sustain the outlook and commitments that we have with our suppliers and sub-contractors,' Kamal said.

Some firms are making provisions for bills that may never be paid. A spokesman for a UK consultant with a large presence in Dubai said the company was owed Dh4.8m and had been asked by some developers for discounts.

The National