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CW Awards 2016: Five minutes with Hervé Hamelin

Hervé Hamelin, General Manager, Southern Europe & Middle East, Aconex, Silver Sponsor of the Construction Week Awards 2016, offers his assessment of the Middle East’s contemporary construction landscape

Hervé Hamelin, General Manager, Southern Europe & Middle East, Aconex.
Hervé Hamelin, General Manager, Southern Europe & Middle East, Aconex.

How would you assess the Middle East’s construction sector at present?

The region overall is still relatively cautious, although plans, profits and jobs seemed to be improving from 2015. The UAE and Qatar are accelerating execution plans for major programmes. KSA is gradually picking up the pace and looking toward new and diversified development plans for the future. Oman is moving forward on a few large programmes, while Kuwait remains relatively quiet.

What would you say are the main challenges currently facing our region’s construction community?

The main challenges are market stabilisation and improvement in oil prices. Market uncertainty, lack of payment security, stagnation in decision making, and policy issues continue to temper the regional construction industry. The delivery of milestone megaprojects requires more private and foreign investment, as well as high quality and reliable execution.

What do you believe are the biggest opportunities within our industry at present?

Tier-1 contractors are beginning to offer design and project management services to better scope their business for the required capacity and deliver high quality, on time. Both contractors and asset owners are able to better analyse and report their project data for improved planning and delivery. They are digitising their project processes for better collaboration and insights on design and execution.

What trends do you expect to arise within the Middle East’s construction sector during the next 12 months?

We expect continued growth of BIM and increasing requirements for the integration of system capabilities such as collaboration with cost and schedule management to optimise project delivery. We also expect continued market consolidation, with smaller and less efficient construction firms disappearing while the more reputable players win larger contracts with broader roles.

What will be the main priorities for your business during the coming year?

We will continue the successful integration of our acquisitions, and help both existing and new customers build out their data management, collaboration and project controls capabilities to execute their work more efficiently. We will also continue to provide our customers with tools and reports to analyse their project data for process optimisation and improved delivery.

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