Qatar consultants and contractors must collaborate

Bring contractors in earlier says Atkins’ Rod Stewart at CW Summit

CW editor James Henderson opens the summit.
CW editor James Henderson opens the summit.
NEWS, Business, Consultants, Contractors, CW Qatar Leaders in Construction, Leaders in Construction, Qatar

Consultants and contractors in Qatar need to collaborate more as design and build becomes the in-vogue method of procurement, asserted speakers during the opening panel debate at today’s Construction Week Qatar Leaders in Construction Summit 2014.

Speaking at the annual event, held at Grand Hyatt Doha, Atkins Middle East MD and country director, Qatar, Rod Stewart, said the industry desperately needed “more integrated work between consultants and contractors”.

“Design and build is the most efficient way to build anything if we are to have true collaborative working,” said Stewart, adding that there was a great opportunity to “bring contractors forward in the planning process”.

“We need to take advantage of the skill sets of the major contractors that are hungry for work and know exactly how things should be done and should be involved in an element of the planning,” said Stewart. “I think we can do far more by introducing contracting expertise.”

Going forward, Stewart aired concerns that stronger, faster decision-making was needed from clients, a view shared by Engr Meshal Al Dhahname, member, Central Municipal Council.

“One of the challenges is the development of government decision making,” said Stewart. “For anything to be built efficiently and effectively we need strong client leadership, decision making and approvals, and everything being integrated, not pushed away for contractors to manage.

“We have seen strong progress in government development and approval structures but we are not there. Government still needs to strengthen further in terms of getting approvals in place,” said Stewart.

Al Dhahname admitted that with speed of the essence, he would “make my decisions on site without going back to my superiors for approval”.

“It will take weeks or months,” he lamented. “All contractors know this and they are suffering from this. We need strong decision making leaders to manage the project. You have to make your decisions on site; that’s it.”

Qatar Society of Engineers chairman Ahmed Jassim Al Jolo added that while he agreed more collaboration was needed to facilitate design and build, “there will be so much risk on the contractor and consultant”.

“The government will put everything to them I tell you,” said Al Jolo. “Really, the challenge is very huge…even the approvals…but I’m sure we’ll overcome it”.

The Construction Week Qatar Leaders in Construction Summit 2014 is sponsored by Faithful & Gould, KEO, Drake & Scull, GAJ, Hill International, Pinsent Masons, Trimble, Innovations Unlimited ME and Ecoval Trading WLL.

For more insights from the Summit, see the May issue of Construction Week Qatar.

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