Leaders Oman: Who’s speaking this year?
The third Construction Week: Leaders in Construction Summit Oman will take place this week, bringing together a diverse selection of the Sultanate’s most influential decision makers
Now in its third year, Leaders in Construction Summit Oman 2015 will see more than 125 senior construction professionals convene in Muscat to take part in a high-level strategic debate on the state of the industry.
The Sultanate’s construction sector looks set to benefit from the expansionary investment programme outlined in the 2015/16 budget, which at just over $36bn (OMR14bn), is nearly 5% higher than that of last year. However, some experts are predicting a slowdown in Oman’s construction industry as low global oil prices continue to hamper growth across the region.
As such, one of the key questions for delegates will be how best to position their companies to capitalise on the outlined spending whilst creating the agility and flexibility to weather a potential storm.
When and where: Wednesday, 21 October, 2015, Grand Hyatt Muscat, Muscat, Oman
Deepak Seru, GM – projects (civil), Al Ansari Contracting
With a master’s degree in finance, certified project management professional Seru has more than 21 years of experience in the Middle East’s construction industry. He has been involved in handling major building and infrastructure projects in the UAE and Oman, with both government and private clients.
Ahmed Elhassan, senior director, Omran
Elhassan joined Omran in 2009 as project manager, and currently holds the position of senior director for the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project. Prior to the OCEC project, Elhassan master planned the redevelopment of Muscat’s InterContinental hotel.
Khalid Al Mahrooqi, CEO, Arkan Majan International
In addition to his position as CEO of Arkan Majan International, Eng Al Mahrooqi is a board member of the Oman Society of Contractors. Al Mahrooqi has contributed to the establishment of numerous companies other than Arkan Majan, including Nawras, United Supply & Services, and GoPoint Ta’meer.
Simon Chambers, partner, Godwin Austen Johnson
Born in the UK, Chambers is a qualified architect who began his career in 1996 in London, working at several award-winning practices across a range of entertainment, commercial, and healthcare projects. Chambers moved to Dubai in 2007 to join GAJ as senior architect. This year, Chambers became practice manager at GAJ’s Abu Dhabi office.
Simon Karam, director, Sarooj Construction Company
A civil engineer with a BSc from Saint Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut and an MSc from Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées in Paris, Karam is both director of Sarooj Construction and chairman of Al Taher Group. Since his arrival in the Sultanate in 1970, he has founded several companies and joint ventures operating primarily within the fields of construction and oil and gas.
Nikolaus Knebel, associate professor, GUTECH
Knebel is associate professor of architectural and urban design at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUTECH). For the past 15 years, Knebel has practised both independently and as part of project partnerships. His built projects have garnered a number of prizes, media coverage, and recognition on the international stage.
Simon Ward, partner, Curtis Mallet-Prevost
As a partner at Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Ward focuses his practice on commercial arbitration, litigation, and dispute resolution. His experience spans a wide range of fields, including commercial, construction, regulatory, health and safety, environment, and employment, both in Oman and overseas.
Adel Mehri, VP and country manager – Oman
Hill International Adel Merhi is vice president of Hill International’s project management group, and country manager for Oman. Merhi earned his BEng in civil engineering and his MEng in structures from Ecole Polytechnic University in Montreal. He has over thirty years’ construction experience in Canada and the Middle East.
Robert Holtkamp, CEO, National Aluminium Products
Holtkamp is currently responsible for the oversight of National Aluminium Products’ long-term corporate objectives, policies, programmes, and budgets. In this role, he directs the activities of the company towards the accomplishment of established objectives and plans, and provides personal leadership in stimulating expansion activities and growth.
Bassam Addada, area general manager, CCC
Addada has 35 years of experience across various disciplines of the construction sector. During the course of his career, he has worked in Lebanon, Libya, Greece, the UAE, and Oman. Addada has overseen a selection of the Greece-headquartered contractor’s megaprojects across the Middle East, and currently heads the local branch of CCC in the Sultanate.
Danny Warde, resident director – Oman, SSH
Warde joined SSH in 2008 with responsibility for establishing the firm’s business in Oman. In the intervening years, he has overseen the ongoing development of SSH’s project portfolio in the Sultanate. Prior to joining SSH, Warde worked for KUCM and gained experience on Kuwait International Airport’s Gateway Hotel.
MKR Sai, CEO, Towell Construction
Towell Construction generated $130m (OMR50m) in 2014, and Sai expects it to match this figure again this year. Along with his management team, the Towell GM has devised a Vision 2022 plan aimed at turning the firm into a $260m (OMR100m) outfit within seven years. Part of his vision involves diversifying the business into seven new areas, including design and MEP.
Mahdi Al Lawatia, manager – assets development, Sohar Port
With more than 16 years’ experience managing various multimillion-dollar projects, Al Lawatia has primary responsibility for the project management of infrastructure development schemes – across all phases – at the Sultanate's Sohar Port. In this role, Al Lawatia oversees project planning, budgeting, tendering, awarding, and execution at the port.