The Business Year

Ziad Hage

Executive Director UAE, Odebrecht

Management of wastewater is a critical component for Abu Dhabi and it is a critical part of Vision 2030. The pumping station in the Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Program in Abu Dhabi is our biggest project in the UAE and the one into which we channeled most of our resources in the region. The most significant area of accomplishment for us was on-site performance. Because of our productivity and progress on-site in 2016, we were able to test the pump as early as 2017. This pumping station is the most scientific and economic solution for sustainable reuse of wastewater in Abu Dhabi. The collection and treatment of water made possible by this pump will save millions of gallons of water that will in turn be reused for irrigation. The previous pump station will be dismantled, and all current wastewater retrieving mechanisms in Abu Dhabi will be consolidated into this single 40km tunnel. From here, the wastewater travels to the Wahtba facility, where it can be treated and eventually reused for irrigation. In the 21st century, water is proving to be one of the most expensive and sought-after commodities. The ability to reuse this water is very important from a financial perspective as well as an ecological and sustainability one.

Saeed Khamis Al Mheriri

Managing Director, Pivot

Pivot brings a quality of product and a timeliness to contracts that our competitors do not. We insist upon clarity in the planning stages. For example, when we receive tender contracts there are always discrepancies between the drawings, specifications, and estimations. Because of this, our estimation department is extremely thorough and comprehensive in order to avoid confusion during these preliminary communications. Our estimation department requires the most documents and specifications of any contracting company because we need to thoroughly understand the project and have a clear communication route between our client and us. Also in our estimations, we try to price as accurately as possible. Building and sharing this vision with the client before we begin construction is essential. We must have shared objectives and goals to ensure that our delivery is properly timed and the clients’ expectations are accurate. This is what we have based our reputation on, what we believe to be our biggest asset, and is something we are not willing to compromise on. Currently, we are evaluating a project where a client desires a duration of 16 months’ construction but we know this is not possible and the project will take 24 months. Rather than mislead or lie to the client we are pragmatic in our assessments and honest in communicating this to them, essentially saving them money in avoiding overtime or extended fees.

Riad Nashif

Executive Vice President, Middle East & Managing Director for UAE & Oman, Riad Nashif

The UAE as a whole has done well considering the economic pressures. However, there are distinct differences between various parts of the UAE. We see more private sector involvement in Dubai and more public spending in Abu Dhabi. Oil prices and regional instability have less economic impact when the private sector is more involved. Dubai’s economy has kept going, although perhaps at a slower pace. In contrast, Abu Dhabi has continued to invest in more strategic long-term areas led by the public sector. This has led to different growth levels between the two emirates. Generally for the industry, 2016 was tough and challenging; the market still remains soft and competitive. We are seeing some of the second- and third-tier competitors disappearing because of unrealistic pricing. In the particular case of AECOM, we did well in 2016, although we see 2017 being more challenging as opportunities decline across the region. There are some factors that will stimulate the sector, such as Dubai Expo 2020, which is attracting a lot of foreign investment. When we benchmark ourselves against our competitors, we are doing fine compared to other players. Taking everything into consideration, we will take a cautious approach in 2017.



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