The Business Year

Walid Mahmoud, CEO, AECOM Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA - Real Estate & Construction

Walid Mahmoud

CEO, AECOM Arabia

Bio

Walid Mahmoud joined AECOM initially in London before later relocating to the company’s UAE offices. Throughout his career with AECOM spanning over 26 years, he has been committed to the firm’s ongoing growth and success in the Middle East region, where he has held several leadership positions and is currently the CEO of the AECOM business in Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining AECOM, Mahmoud worked with several engineering firms in the UK and was involved in the delivery of large infrastructure projects in the UK and Europe. He holds an MSc degree and a PhD degree in civil engineering from the University of Leeds in the UK.

“We are extremely proud to support Vision 2030 and help Saudi Arabia achieve its ambitious plan to create a diversified, innovative, and world-leading nation for the benefit of future generations.”

Planning to develop a long-term presence in the Kingdom, AECOM is investing heavily in its people and partnerships with key clients in order to make a positive and lasting impact.

How would you assess the importance of Saudi Arabia to the company, and how is AECOM positioned to support the development of the Kingdom?

Walid Mahmoud: Saudi Arabia has been changing rapidly since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016. As a result, the Kingdom has become the focus for many global companies such as AECOM that are involved in the delivery of the mega and giga projects being undertaken as part of Vision 2030. We have been expanding our presence in the Kingdom for the last few years by leveraging our regional and global skills and resources to ensure we are in a strong position to serve our clients’ needs and challenges in the most effective way for many years to come. Today, we feel privileged to be involved in some of the key projects that are considered the crown jewel of Vision 2030, such as NEOM, Al Ula, Diriyah Gate, Red Sea, and others where we provide a wide range of services including planning, design, program and construction management, and cost management services. In addition, we are supporting a number of government organizations in managing their portfolio of projects across the Kingdom through the project management office (PMO) initiative. We are extremely proud to support Vision 2030 and help Saudi Arabia achieve its ambitious plan to create a diversified, innovative, and world-leading nation for the benefit of future generations.

What does innovation mean at AECOM, and how is AECOM positioned to develop and deliver innovative infrastructure solutions that improve lives and connect communities?

Walid Mahmoud: Innovation is embedded in AECOM culture, as we believe ideas should have no borders. We have trusted planners, designers, engineers, and program and construction managers who work together throughout the project lifecycle to bring new ideas and create the best solutions that leave a legacy for generations to come. We believe infrastructure creates opportunity for everyone, and as we work on projects from an early stage during the development of the master plan, we are able to embed smart infrastructure in the urban design. Our focus is on improving livability and uplifting communities by enhancing public transport options, pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths. As we move toward truly green communities, we are working closely with our clients to incorporate the infrastructure for electric vehicles, maximize the use of renewable energy, and build smart infrastructure that recycles waste. And for some of our clients we are working actively on developing integrated transportation systems (mobility as a service), allowing door-to-door journey planning.

How do you shape your advantages in a market characterized by increasing and fierce competition?

Walid Mahmoud: AECOM is a strong and trusted brand. Our clients trust us because they are aware of our successful track record in delivering major projects globally. As a global company, we have the ability to leverage our world-class expertise to support the local Middle East markets, including Saudi Arabia. By harnessing the power of digital technology and the innovation of our technical experts around the world, as well as our ESG offering, we deliver bespoke solutions for our clients locally. This is especially applicable today, as we attract global talent and experts from within the organization and dedicating them to large and complex projects. Our strategy is focused on reinforcing our presence in the Kingdom and building long-term partnerships with key clients. We are investing significantly in talented people, and we are pioneering innovative solutions that make a positive and lasting impact. We are also expanding and diversifying our service offering within the Kingdom to enable us to support a larger client base, as we believe in creating opportunities for everyone. Creating opportunities also means attracting and developing a new generation of Saudi leaders through our robust talent management and training programs, which reaffirm our long-term commitment to the Kingdom and its people.

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