Delay Factors

Impacting Construction Projects in Sana’a-Yemen



By Wael Alaghbari1, Rasha S. N. Saadan2, Wail Alaswadi3 and Basel Sultan4

1 Assoc. Prof. at the Architectural Department, Faculty of Engineering, Sana’a University, and International University of Technology Twintech –IUTT, Yemen – Corresponding author

2 Master Graduated, MBA Program, Faculty of Business and Finance,International University of Technology Twintech –IUTT, Yemen

3 Assist. Prof. at the College of Business Administration, Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia.

4 Engineering Management Department, College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University, P O Box 66388, Riyadh 11586, Saudi Arabia.



In Yemen the delay in the implementation of construction projects has become a widespread phenomenon, especially in public projects This research intends to identify the most significant factors causing delay in construction projects in Sana’a- Yemen. A survey questionnaire was structured and distributed to architectural and structural engineers who were working in construction projects. The questionnaire included of 32 predefined causes, which were grouped into five major factors, managerial, financial, technical, materials & equipment and external factors. The relative importance index (RII) was determined and the causes were ranked within their groups and overall. The results showed that the group of financial factors ranked first among the five groups. The top five factors causing delay of construction projects in Sana’a – Yemen: (1) delay in receiving progress payments by contractors, (2) financial difficulties faced by clients, (3) inadequate experience of contractor/ consultants, (4) poor site management and supervision, and Lack of sufficient cash for project implementation, and (5) lack of sufficient cash for project implementation. This study highlights the importance of acknowledging the most significant factors and their causes leading to the delay overarching issues in order to achieve a successful implementation of construction projects.

Keywords: Construction, Delay factors, Construction Projects, RII, Sana’a, Yemen


Construction industry is considered to be a major contributor as well as an integral ingredient of the development of economies especially developing ones, yet many construction projects experience extensive delays as well as a noticeable stumbling and thereby exceeds the projects’ initial time and cost estimated (Hussin et al., 2017). Moreover, as construction projects get larger and more complex, clients are also increasingly demanding higher standards whenever it comes to their preferences of the products and services provided in the world of the real-estate (Chan et al., 2004). Meanwhile, cost, time, and quality have increasingly become the main features of competition in the business world. According to Hoonakker et al., (2010) rapid growth and competitiveness have made the industries and organizations throughout the world adapt “Quality” as a strategic weapon for market share, profitability enhancer of their organizations, and clients’ sophisticated specifications fulfiller. Despite well-known research findings and decades of individuals and team expertise of project management, construction project outcomes continue disappointing the projects stakeholders (Bodicha, 2015).

According to previous studies, construction delay is not a local fact in Yemen only, but an international reality that often results in time overrun, cost overrun, disputes, litigation, and complete abandonment of projects (Fugar&Agyakwah-Baah, 2010). What is more, both public and private sectors’ infrastructure investment in developing countries has been unstable over the last decade, with perennial infrastructure gap of USD 31 billion per year (Asante, 2014). This seeming instability in infrastructure delivery has been largely attributed to the obvious delays in project delivery (Fugar et al., 2010), which in most cases result in woefully construction cost and time escalations and, thus, to the projects failure. The failure of some projects and the complete shutdown of others indicate that there are also many hidden factors behind such scenarios in specific stages; even sometimes at the very beginning, some of which are project-related factor, project managerial factor, recourses-related factor, and external factor (Nallathiga et al., 2012).

Thus, an in-depth scan through the previous literatures shows a convergence in the causes of construction projects’ delay in both developed and developing countries (Asante, 2014). Recent studies provided a comprehensive list of project delay factors, and they were expounded in terms of project factor, managerial factor, human factor, technical factor, materials and equipment factors, financial factor, and external factor (Desai &Desale, 2013; Doloi et al., 2012; Hasan et al., 2014).

Despite the fact that the three attributes in the so-called Iron Triangle which are cost, time, and quality are essential criteria for projects’ success Hughes et al.,(2017) especially those characterized by having a high level of complexity, increased uncertainty and unlimited diversity, construction projects in Yemen are unfortunately stumbled and often beset with severe problems (Sultan, 2013;  and Alaghbari et al., 2017).

The previous studies by (Sultan, 2005; Al-Seraji, 2010; Al-Fadhali, et al., 2016; Al-Fadhali, et al., 2018; Sultan and Alaghbari, 2017; Alaghbari, et al., 2017; Almaktar, et al., 2017; Al-Yousfi, 2018; Al-Sabahi, et al., 2014) indicated the problems of construction projects in Yemen, including delays and / or non-completion of projects. There is a remarkable gap between the construction needs and the domestic resources, which in turn result in complete failure to meet the increasing and the required demands. In addition, like other developing countries, the construction sector in Yemen is undeveloped where there is a remarkable gap between the construction needs and the domestic resources, which in turn result in complete failure to meet the increasing and the required demands.


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How to cite this paper: Alaghbari, W.; Saadan, R. S. N.; Alaswadi, W.; Sultan, B. (2018). Delay Factors Impacting Construction Projects in Sana’a-Yemen; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XII (December); Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pmwj77-Dec2018-delay-factors-impacting-construction-projects-in-yemen4.pdf

About the Authors

Assoc. Prof. Wael Alaghbari

Sana’a University and International University of Technology Twintech
Sana’a, Yemen



Dr. Alaghbari is an Assoc. Prof. of Architectural Studies and Project Management in the Architectural Department, Sana’a University. He received his B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering (the 1st with the honour degree) in 1995. Then in 2005, he received his M.Sc. in Project Management in 2005 and his PhD in architectural Studies in 2010 from University Putra Malaysia. Additionally, Dr. Alaghbari is the chief editor of the Journal of Engineering Sciences and he is an editorial board member and reviewer for many international journals. Dr. Alaghbari has very good experience in academic and consultancy works in architectural engineering, urban studies and construction management for more than 20 years.Currently, he is the President of the International University of Technology Twintech – IUTT (private university).Contact with Dr. Alaghbari via e-mail; [email protected]


Ms. Rasha S. N. Saadan

International University of Technology Twintech
Sana’a, Yemen



Ms. Rasha is working as an Interior Architect and is a project manager for some projects in the private sector. She received her MBA in 2018 from the International University of Technology Twintech – IUTT, Yemen. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from the University of Technology Mara UiTM, Malaysia.  Contact with Ms. Rasha Saadan via e-mail; [email protected]


Dr. Wail Alaswadi

Shaqra University
Saudi Arabia



Dr. Alaswadi is an Assist. Prof. at the College of Business Administration, Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia. He got his Master and PhD in Business Administration from University Utara Malaysia. He worked as a visitor Assist. Prof. in the International University of Technology Twintech and the Emirates International University in Yemen.Contact with Dr. Alaswadi via e-mail; [email protected]


Assoc. Prof.  Basel Sultan

Prince Sultan University,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



Dr. Sultan is an Assoc. Prof. at the Engineering Management Department, College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University. He obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Civil & Structural Engineering from the United Kingdom and was awarded a PhD in Project Management from Queensland University in Australia. Dr. Sultan was an Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering School, Faculty of Engineering, Sana’a University, Yemen, 2006-2013. Course topics include Project Management, Engineering Contracts and Building Specifications, Building Technologies and Sustainable Development. Introduced a new topic of study in sustainable construction. Moreover, he worked as a Senior Consultant in Sana’a, Yemen, until 2010. He was providing consulting services to local companies, as well as, taking the lead in estimating and putting forward the commercial & technical proposals for many major petroleum projects. Dr. Sultan was the chief Editor of the Journal of Engineering Sciences between (2012-2014). Contact with Dr. Sultan via e-mail; [email protected]