Construction companies are looking towards public sector building jobs as work in the private property market dries up.

Continued government spending on roads, bridges and airports, as well as schools, hospitals and utilities projects is prompting contractors to readjust their strategies to survive the downturn.

'With all the work that’s been cancelled, companies have to think about how else they’re going to get fed, so competition will be tough for these jobs,' said Nigel Harvey, the general manager at Murray and Roberts, which is building a third concourse at Dubai International Airport with partners Al Habtoor Engineering, a local firm, and Takenaka of Japan.

The National