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RMJM shifts HQ to Dubai

Practice to merge European arm into Middle East business

RMJM designed the Dubai International Financial Centre
RMJM designed the Dubai International Financial Centre

Architectural practice RMJM is to move its international headquarters to Dubai after merging its European operations into its Middle East practice.

The firm, which was started in 1956 and had previously been based in Edinburgh until the office recently closed, has said the combined business will be known as RMJM International and will oversee its offices in London, Glasgow, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

RMJM is best known for designing the Scottish Parliament building, but has endured a difficult period during the recession.

It once employed around 1,200 staff, but placed three of its UK businesses into administration last year and was recently served with a winding-up petition from staff who claimed they were owed up to £170,000 in wages and expenses.

In the Middle East, it sold off its engineering practice last year to US-based Ted Jacob Engineering.

RMJM International will be headed by Harry Downie as CEO and Boran Agostan as Design Principal.

RMJM Group CEO Peter Morrison said: "Our Middle East business has been a beacon of light within the RMJM Group throughout a dark and difficult global recession.

"Harry, Boran and their team are a shining example of what can be achieved with resilience, loyalty and above all else, raw determination.

"The strength of the RMJM brand in the Middle East is testament to the extraordinary strength of character encapsulated within our regional team and serves as a constant reminder of why we have been able to maintain a constant presence and sustain a successful business here for more than 40 years.

"I am confident that under the stewardship of our Dubai management team we will quickly realise the growth of our business across Europe and the Middle East."

RMJM has been involved in a number of flagship projects in the region, including the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Capital Gate Tower at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Mr Downie said: "RMJM has a proud history in the UAE, and in the wider Middle East, and this restructuring clearly displays our commitment to the region.

"Our dedicated and ambitious design teams are responsible for creating some of the most important, recognisable and award-winning buildings in the region. Despite the very difficult times experienced and in contrast to what others chose to do as a result, we have maintained a strong and continuous presence here.

"I am excited about the prospect of bringing on board our talented European team and creating a business capable of sustained growth and with the undoubted talent and ability to design many more exciting projects across the Middle East and Europe in the coming years."

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Construction Week - Issue 734
Mar 21, 2019