Five minutes with David Green, KEO Oman
David Green, Managing Director – KEO Oman, said it's clear that the government will prioritise infrastructure, healthcare, and education projects, so these are KEO’s longer-term focuses in the Sultanate
How was business for KEO international Consultants in Oman during 2015?
Generally speaking, last year was relatively slow in terms of production. We had one new Oman-based project that we started and completed within 2015. It’s now out to tender. We had another for which we were expecting to continue with future phases. However, the client then decided to put the other phases going forward out to tender.
How has business in Oman been for KEO so far in 2016?
We’re now this year seeing [the latter project] come back to market. Programmes have been revised in that they’re looking to take all the new phases as design and build (D&B). But in the interim, we did manage to team with one of the builders as a design partner, so we hope to get back involved in that project, which is a major multi-phase, multimillion-dollar residential project.
What are the main challenges?
We would have expected the beginning of 2016 to be busier. That said, we’ve been writing a lot of proposals; not just in the Oman market but also for other territories. However, some of these proposals fell into a black hole and we didn’t hear anything else about them.
I do feel this is changing slightly now in the region. I don’t know whether it will change in the same way or as quickly for Oman, but at the same time, KEO is very big in Abu Dhabi, we’ve reopened in Dubai, and Doha is stable. Those are our big centres, and two out of three are busy.
What are your expectations in Oman for the rest of the year?
If things continue to follow a similar pattern, there’s going to be a certain amount of project prioritisation. Of course, this will depend on whether or not the oil price stabilises. What we see on the private side of the market is that if a project looks right, now is a good time to press go. The oil price is down, commodities are down, and contractors are looking to establish backlogs for the future. The construction side of the market will probably become more competitive during the coming months, so now is the time to design and get projects out to tender.
What are the main longer-term opportunities for KEO In Oman?
It’s pretty clear that the government will prioritise infrastructure, healthcare, and education projects, so these are KEO’s longer-term focuses in Oman.