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Construction Law/Access to Other Contractors


The issue pertains to a building construction project under execution in the UAE in accordance with FIDIC Red Book 87/92, Clause 31.1.
The works in question have been executed by the Contractor and approved by the Engineer in accordance with the IFC drawings, but  not yet taken over by Engineer.
However, the Employer has in the meanwhile desired to carry out ‘certain additional works to enhance the aesthetics’ of certain elements of the completed works e.g. doors; elevation details; external elements etc., and has,through the Engineer, awarded such additional works to ‘other specialist subcontractors',rather than instructing the same as variation to the Contractor.
The Contractor has contended that since such additional works shall be carried out over his approved completed works, and the nature of the scope of specialist subcontractors’ work is such as shall significantly alter them, and has, therefore, requested the Engineer to issue a partial ‘Taking over’ certificate in respect of the  concerned  approved works prior to the specialist subcontractors’ commencing of the additional works.
The Engineer has, however, denied his request citing Clause 31.1 (a), and warned the Contractor of ‘contractual consequences’ should access be denied by him to the specialist subcontractor. The Contractor has contended in response that the provisions of the clause apply only if the additional works do not concern works performed under the Main  Contract.
Kindly advise the most appropriate contractual position to take in the matter from the Contractor’s perspective.

Dear Sarvsri,

Thank you for your question.

As long as the Employer did not omit some works from your Contract, just to give them to another contractor, there should be no problem.

Employer always has the right to do whatever they please, OUTSIDE your Contract.

Of course, the first available approach would have been to give to the existing Contractor an additional job, but they decided not to - fair enough.

And in line with Sub-Clause 31.1 you have no other option but to make room to the other contractor.


As far as your works are concerned, you must deliver as per your Contract and Employer must pay for.

A "Taking Over" would only be possible for a whole section, which is probably not the case.

Hence, simply make sure you complete your job and that Engineer confirms that.

Then, you simply include in your Monthly Statements all executed and certified works and get paid for.

Always, try to ensure you fulfil your tasks and then manage to separate your work from work of the other contractor.

Just try ensuring that your work is certified as completed, by the Engineer, then the other contractor can do whatever they please after you have done your job and that is confirmed in writing.

Hope that helps

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Over 20 years of experience in the field of design, works supervision, construction, management of aid funds and technical assistance for various types of contracts implementation, including severe conflictual contractual situations leading to Claims and disputes. Claims/ Contract management, Disputes adjudication, Arbitration.

Member of Romanian Professional Association of Roads and Bridges; Listed on President's List of Adjudicators of Romanian Association of Consulting Engineers Former member of the Disputes Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) of United States – nominee on DRBF President’s Disputes Board Members List and of DRBF Chapter for Eastern Europe Former member of Polish Association of Consulting Engineers (SIDiR) – nominee on SIDiR President’s Disputes Board Members National List Member of “” volunteers pool Member of the "Constructions Disputes Resolution Services” International Panel of Construction ADR Specialists" of United States

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