SSH provides valuable insight into Kuwait market
Senior partner, construction director, Khaled El Khoury, talks to CW about the current trends and projects in the GCC country
SSH specialises in the delivery of world class construction projects in the MENA region.
The company is a rapidly expanding multidisciplinary firm with over 50 years' expertise in master planning, infrastructure, building design and construction supervision.
SSH are respected project leaders, trusted international partners and reputable employers with the aim to be the consultant, strategic partner and employer of choice for the MENA region.
Here senior partner, construction director, Khaled El Khoury, talks about the current market trends in Kuwait, where the company is involved in a number of high profile projects.
Q1: How do you see the situation of the market in Kuwait?
Despite competition, SSH is doing really well. We currently have three major government projects in the pipeline, which will be released in due time, as well as private sector bids and projects.
Q2: How big do you see oil price disruptions’ and its impact on plans for project in the region and in Kuwait?
The projects already awarded will remain unaffected, but there’s certainly the possibility of disruptions within the construction industry, especially from the public-side, for new projects.
Q3: How do plan to take up projects in terms of Regulations and Compliance and other responsibilities?
We have a great team of experts who apply national, regional and international standards to the great work we do. They are specialists in their field and are recognised respectively for the work they do, whilst rigorously complying with country regulations.
Q4: Who is keener on sustainability elements, governments or private companies’ clients?
I would say both, really. Kuwait has been increasingly embracing the eco-movement with both public and private sector requesting for greener work practise and ecologically-efficient materials.
Q5: Are there any eco-friendly future projects in Kuwait?
Yes, actually we are working on the new NBK Headquarters in Kuwait City, which aims to be the first LEED Gold certified building in the country.
Q6: What are the market trends in Kuwait?
The eco-friendly movement is definitely one of the most recognised ones, but generally market-wise there’s a low demand from the private sector, which luckily hasn’t affected us very much.
Q7: Are the designs in Kuwait generally traditional or is there a move towards a more cosmopolitan design?
Kuwait has a great mixture of both traditional and cosmopolitan designs, with high-rises tending to go for a more cosmopolitan look and public buildings keeping an essence of traditional Arabic architecture. With our projects in Oman, however, we tend to see a lot more traditional architecture.
Q8: What are the most challenging projects you and your company have undertaken, and why?
All projects present a different challenge, for example the Kuwait University City Campus is vast in size; KIPCO Tower and the new NBK Headquarters are high-rise buildings; KOC Marine requires marine engineering; and the Theatre and Museum buildings being such prestigious project. But we embrace these challenges, it allows us to expand and exercise our capabilities along with sustaining our reputation as a trusted architecture and engineering consultant in multidisciplinary sectors.
Q9: Are the Green or sustainability requirement a costly burden on projects in terms of costs and complications?
Yes it’s costly, but we are very pleased to be eco-friendly. The work we do here is to stay and be enjoyed for generations to come, and maximising our efforts to be sustainable and eco-friendly has fewer complications, then adding extra strain on the already limited world resources.
Q10: Who is keener on sustainability elements, governments or private companies’ clients?
Governments, but it’s also embraced by private companies along with their corporate responsibility.