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UK consultancy Cundall to open second UAE office in Abu Dhabi

Cundall will open the Abu Dhabi base in 2019 as it looks to grow its manpower to 100 staff, Middle East MD says

Richard Stratton is the managing director for UK consultancy Cundall's operations in the Middle East.
© ITP Media Group
Richard Stratton is the managing director for UK consultancy Cundall's operations in the Middle East.

Cundall will open an Abu Dhabi office in 2019 as the construction consultancy readies to bid on more work in the UAE.

As part of a five-year strategy, Cundall will open its second office in the Emirates with the aim of increasing its market share, managing director for the Middle East, Richard Stratton, told Construction Week.

The business established a presence in the UAE in 2007. Following the aftermath of the global financial crisis, its revenue in the Middle East has increased year-on-year, and 2018 was its best 12 months since the global economic downturn.

Buoyed by its performance in the Emirates and wider GCC region, Stratton said now is the time for modest expansion.

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“Through a combination of both project successes and a desire to better serve the market, we have decided to open an office in Abu Dhabi in 2019,” he said.

“We are proud to have a successful and sustainable business in the UAE, and we believe that this will further strengthen our offering to the market as well as demonstrate our commitment to the UAE.”

Today, approximately 50% of Cundall’s revenue is generated by its UK arm, while the rest comes from operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa. This has helped the business become more resilient, which may prove beneficial as the UK's exit from the European Union creates uncertainty for Cundall's British operation.

With Brexit less than two months away, Cundall's expansion in the UAE comes at an interesting time, its local boss said. 

“We have between 60 and 70 people in the region at the moment, but by the end of 2019 we are hoping to be up to around 100 people,” Stratton said.

“Some of that expansion is in specialist services, so we're bringing in more of our specialist disciplines into the business from the UK, rather than trying to expand our core disciplines. This will give us a share of the market that isn’t being tapped into yet, as well as the ability to bid as a multidisciplinary entity on more projects.” 

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