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My days of riding up and down in lift hoists are drawing to a close

Michael Fahy
Michael Fahy

For those of you who I’ve managed to draw into reading this column over the past couple of years, I’m afraid this is your last one. After nearly three years working at Construction Week – the past two of which have been in the editor’s chair – I’m moving on to pastures new.

I’ll still be in the UAE, though, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the magazine and its development, which I’m sure will continue to grow in strength and reputation moving forwards.

How can I be so confident of this? Well, I’ll let you into a little secret. I already know the new guy, and how good he is. James Morgan, who currently edits our Plant, Machinery and Vehicles Middle East title, and who has written for Construction Week several times already, is stepping up to take on this role.

I have only given James one piece of advice, but to be frank, he doesn’t need any more. He’s not only younger than me, he is also much brighter and a nicer person, too. So if, for some reason, I’ve managed to annoy you or your company over the past couple of years, you may find James to be a little more tolerant.

Yet understanding does not mean he should be considered a pushover. One thing that I’ve learned while doing this job and trying to produce a magazine that properly represents its industry, is that some companies only want to be written about if they have complete control over the entire process.

So if you’re wondering why, at times, some of the huge contracting giants in this region haven’t featured as often in these pages as one would think they should, or why their sites haven’t been covered, it is because I have tried to produce a magazine that has been a little more honest. If they’re only after a glossy brochure, Construction Week’s publisher, ITP, has a customer publishing arm that I’m sure would be able to provide something at a reasonable rate.

Having said that, there have been many contractors, developers and government bodies who have been more than welcoming in terms of getting us access to some truly amazing sites. I hope – and I believe – that most of those who arranged these will feel we’ve done them justice.

For me, personally, there have been many highs – physical and metaphorical. Physically, I’m still slightly scared of heights, but it’s a fear that has diminished after riding up and down so many hoists on the side of huge tower projects.

Metaphorically, one of the real joys of this job has come from that privileged access that everyone who works in the industry gets – the one that allows them to see some of the amazing buildings constructed in this region before everyone else does. Seeing something like Yas Mall or Riyadh’s Burj Rafal take shape provides a lasting memory that sticks with you years after a project is completed and the public are wandering through it.

It is one that I will miss.

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Construction Week - Issue 758
Feb 08, 2020