Ted Jacob completes deal for RMJM engineering arm
US consultant plans to use Dubai as base for further overseas growth
TED Jacob Engineering has completed its takeover of RMJM's Dubai-based engineering operations.
The US-based firm has taken on around 120 staff in the region, which it intends to use as a base for further expansion into Asia, Russia and the rest of the Middle East.
The practice's Dubai-based principal and director of structural engineering, Dr Peyman Nejad, told Construction Week that the merger, which has taken around a year to finalise, completed last month. It has also moved to new offices in the Tecom district.
RMJM is a UK-based architecture practive best known for its architecture work, but it has had a presence in the GCC for more than 30 years.
However, it was hit hard by the region's property slump, which led to delays in payments to staff. The firm eventually received a $12m bailout from the its majority owners the Morrison family, but suffered losses of large numbers of staff from its Hong Kong office.
Despite this, Dr Nejad said that Ted Jacobs had acquired a "fantastic firm".
"This is not a two or three year-old company," he said.
"RMJM is in the market for more than 30-35 years. They were the first registered consultant used by Sheikh Mohammed in Dubai."
He pouinted to the firm's history of completing successful projects in the region - from the Emirates Towers in Dubai to more recent projects including the Yas Southern Marina in Abu Dhabi and the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"So many good projects have been designed by RMJM. Not just here, but worldwide."
Dr Nejad, a tall buildings specialist, said that he believed RMJM's knowledge of the local marketplace could be combined with Ted Jacob's specialism in healthcare projects to create new opportunites both in the Middle East and beyond.
It is currently working on a five-star hotel project planned for Palm Jumeirah and another major scheme for a client in Abu Dhabi which uses Dr Nejad's patented hexagrid building structure developed for tall buildings.
"Now, I think the market is picking up. It is not booming, like in the crazy times, but it is picking up 5-10% a year," he said.
An interview with Dr Nejad will appear in the next edition of Construction Week.