CW Oman Awards 2014

2013 Qatar award winners give their tips to this year's entrants

ANALYSIS, Business

The month of March is when Construction Week honours the individuals, companies and projects that are contributing to the growth and success of Oman’s construction industry in the 2014 Construction Week Oman Awards.

This year’s awards, sponsored by Al Wataniyah, Famco, Al Hassan Engineering and Sobha, will be held at the Grand Hyatt Muscat on 18 March.

Ahead of this year’s event, CW spoke to winners of the 2013 awards to share their experiences, as well as gaining some of their best tips for winning an award in 2014.

For those looking to enter, though, the deadline is fast approaching. Nominations close on 12 February, 2014. A nomination form and the criteria for entry can be found on the Construction Week website. To nominate in any category, Contact: michael.fahy@itp.com.

For sponsorship details, Contact: Mark Palmer – mark.palmer@itp.com. To book a table at the event, Contact: Michelle Meyrick – michelle.meyrick@itp.com. Full details are at constructionweekonline.com/cwawardsoman.

Maqbool bin Hameed Al Saleh, Chairman, Oman Holdings Intl
Lifetime Achievement Award

What did winning the award mean for you?

Winning this award meant recognition of the good work done by OHI over the years. While contracting is a complex business, one needs to be good at many things to be able to deliver a quality project in time. Apart from the profitability of a contract, the fact we have consistently achieved other parameters is what gives me satisfaction.

What have you achieved in the past year?

The construction industry in Oman has become extremely competitive. Following the global financial crisis, many of the regional contracting companies have started participating in tenders in Oman. Many a time they quote prices which are not sustainable or healthy. In these circumstances, the last 12 months have been challenging for our construction business. Even so, I believe, we have done reasonably well.

How do you see the Oman construction market?

Given the significant spending on infrastructure that the government is committed to, the construction market in Oman should do well over the next 3 to 5 years. This provides opportunities for well-established players in the construction market.

What tips would you have for someone entering this year’s awards?

This recognition is not based on one year’s performance. Therefore, I cannot provide any tips that in the short term will help.

Muhammad Al Salmy, Managing Partner at Hoehler + Partner
Commercial Project of the Year

What did winning the award mean to you?

Winning the award (for German University of Technology) is an important achievement, and a recognition of the hard work and dedication of the team. This proved that we can compete and that our business lines of architecture, project management and technicality are appreciated.

What have you achieved in the past year?

We have already started the supervision and project management of another large scale university project in Oman, the University of Buraimi. We are also very excited to be involved in many other projects, including the Museum of History of Islamic Science, Porsche Center Muscat, Audi Showroom Muscat, and other commercial buildings.

How do you see the Oman construction market?

Oman is at a stage of fast development when we look at the construction market. There are many promising projects coming up in the next few years, and you can definitely see a change in the architecture of the new projects - and get a feel of what the country is going to look like in a few years.

What tips would you have for someone entering this year’s awards?

Be precise and consistent with your answers, and pick categories that apply to your company/projects/staff. Enjoy the event even if you don’t get shortlisted! It is a great way to meet people from the industry, and thank your colleagues for their hard work and dedication.

Marco Malepiedi, Managing Director, Atkins Oman
Consultant of the Year

What did winning the award mean for you?

All our staff felt as if it was an individual thank you and recognition for their hard work. Our colleagues in the industry, not least contractors, also afforded us even more ‘respect’ than before, so it was a tremendous honour.

What have you achieved in the past year?

We've widened our service offering to have more capabilities in infrastructure-related work, and we have developed our BIM capability.

How do you see the Oman construction market?

The market is steady with decent growth. We don’t see aggressive growth and believe this will also allow inflation to stay relatively low, which will again encourage investment. So we have a positive, secure outlook.

What tips would you have for someone entering this year’s awards?

Walk the talk. It’s one thing to present facts, but you also need to show you deserve to win because something special is ingrained into the way the business operates and its employees.

Eng. Nasser Al Maqbali, COO, Omran
Sustainability Initiative of the Year

What did winning the award mean for you?

We were honoured to be recognised with the Sustainability Award for Crowne Plaza Duqm’s Sewage Treatment Plant as it showcased Omran’s approach to creating memorable tourism destinations that are in harmony with Oman’s unique and fragile environment.

What have you achieved in the past year?

The most notable achievements include opening Crowne Plaza Duqm and witnessing two flagship developments, Musandam and Alila Jabal Akhdar Resorts, near completion.

How do you see the Oman construction market?

The market has been witnessing growth with increased government spend on major tourism, healthcare, education, transportation and support infrastructure projects.

What tips would you have for someone entering this year’s awards?

Overall, entries must be engaging. This is an ideal space to sell the project to a stranger. Show character, be accurate and interesting.

Kameshwar Rao, Asst Manager, Al Hassan Engineering
Engineer of the Year

What did winning the award mean for you?

It felt great. This award stands as testimony not just to my achievements but to that of my entire team.

What have you achieved in the past year?

Al Hassan invests wisely in the overall professional development of its employees. I have attended several technical conference and workshops to upgrade my skills and am involved in the execution of the Emergency Water Reservoir project in Muscat.

How do you see the Oman construction market?

Oman's commitment to upgrading its infrastructure shows no signs of slowing down, which can only be good news for the construction industry. Spending on construction in Oman is expected to reach over $27bn by 2014.

What tips would you have for someone entering this year’s awards?

Make your entry brief and compelling. Supporting evidence is important, so substantiate your entry with testimonials and photographs.

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