In some parts of the US, we joke that there’s more than four seasons in a year. The fifth season is usually “construction”, and by and large has to do with road work and basic infrastructure. In Mongolia, especially in UB, the construction season is roughly half the year–when it’s actually warm enough to build. One of the incredible things about living in the capital city was seeing how rapidly it changed: businesses coming and going with little warning or explanation, rerouting bus lines, instigating Daylight Savings Time and then revoking the time change a year later, and so on. To be fair, some of these changes definitely caught us by surprise by virtue of us being foreigners and therefore out of the loop more than the average resident. However, I’ve never seen rapid change in construction anywhere else like I have witnessed in Mongolia. We would leave UB for part of the summer between academic years and come back to a new skyline. (And no, this is not hyperbole.)
Construction, safe to say, is a sizable industry in Mongolia.
Over half of the materials used in construction are produced locally, with the remaining materials purchased mostly from China. There is a high demand for residential buildings in the capital especially as roughly half of the country’s population lives in UB. Beyond residential construction, the industry provides commercial buildings, power facilities (solar, wind, etc.), and industrial buildings. Transportation needs such as railway maintenance and road maintenance also fall under the scope of this industry. Due to tourism, service and hospitality facilities such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, and recreational facilities also need to be built and maintained. Construction companies have shared ownership between private companies and the Mongolian government.
For more details on this industry, click here.