A farewell to the Middle East's construction sector

With more than 400 industry leaders in attendance, the grand finale of the Construction Week Awards 2017 was a superb way to round off the year – and indeed my tenure as editor

COMMENT, Business

True to form, this year’s Construction Week Awards went off with a bang, as more than 400 of our industry’s biggest players gathered in Dubai to celebrate the Middle East construction sector’s most impressive achievements from the past 12 months.

As for the evening’s trophy recipients, I’ll do my best to keep this a spoiler-free zone. For full coverage of 2017’s grand finale – including all of this year’s winners and highly commended nominations – you’ll have to turn to page 18.

Suffice it to say that, for me, the Infrastructure Project (page 32), Rising Star (page 29), and Contractor of the Year (page 22) categories stood out as particular highlights. With regards to the latter, I’m excited to reveal that – after five consecutive years of ALEC-led domination – Construction Week’s independent panel of industry judges selected a brand new Contractor of the Year. There’s no need to feel too sorry for the folks over at ALEC, however, as they still walked away with a variety of gongs on the night.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our eight-strong panel of industry judges, which pored over almost 100 shortlisted nominations – investing significant time and effort – to crown this year’s winners and highly commended entries. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to our commercial partners, without whose support we simply wouldn’t have been able to host the awards.

The fact that the event struck such a celebratory tone was not only refreshing for attendees, but also for me personally as it will be the last that I attend as editor of Construction Week. In fact, it saddens me to say that this will be my final issue at the helm of the magazine. Nevertheless, I am delighted to announce that I’ll be leaving you in the extremely capable hands of Neha Bhatia, who will take over as editor with immediate effect.

Neha, who has been working diligently within the Construction Week fold for almost three years now, has already forgotten more about the Middle East’s construction sector than I could ever hope to learn, so I am in no doubt that she will continue take the brand from strength to strength. I hope you’ll all join me in congratulating Neha on her new role by extending an industry-wide high five, which – as luck would have it – is her celebratory gesture of choice.

Before I bid you farewell, I would like to thank everybody who has helped to make my tenure as editor of Construction Week such an exciting, rewarding, and enjoyable experience. The hospitality that has been extended to me during my time in this position has been more than generous, and being paid to find out about the staggeringly impressive projects and professionals that populate the Middle East’s built environment has been both a pleasure and a privilege.

Thanks for all the memories. It’s been an absolute hoot!

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Construction Week - Issue 765
Jun 29, 2020