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Podcast: Atkins' appetite for growth in Saudi Arabia, UAE

EXCLUSIVE: Atkins' Grant Porter anticipates further growth in KSA and talks about the firm’s 'natural economic cycle' in 2016-17

Grant Porter is CEO of Atkins in the Middle East and Africa.
CW Archives / Atkins
Grant Porter is CEO of Atkins in the Middle East and Africa.

UK-headquartered consultancy Atkins is set to target Saudi Arabia and the UAE as part of its expansion plans for the Middle East, with the firm recently celebrating its 10th anniversary in the kingdom.

In this episode of the Construction Week Viewpoint podcast, Atkins CEO for the Middle East and Africa, Grant Porter, tells Construction Week’s features writer Ashley Williams that the firm has witnessed higher growth in Saudi Arabia than anticipated, which has been driven by Vision 2030.

“As a group, we see the Middle East as our growth market particularly in our core markets such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Porter said.

He also outlined the reasons behind the firm allegedly laying off a number of staff members in the Middle East during 2016-17 and the acquirement by SNC- Lavalin Group: “What happened during 2016-17 [...] was a natural economic cycle within the UAE. About 75% of our business during this time would have been in the UAE and we had a number of really strong client opportunities that simply didn’t occur and we needed to manage that cycle.

“The acquisition of SNC-Lavalin Group hasn’t created turmoil for us and we have continued to deliver to shareholders.”

Construction Week Viewpoint is a weekly podcast series produced by the Construction Week editorial team and published on SoundCloud and iTunes at noon (GST) every Monday.

Business leaders are regular podcast special guests. The weekly bulletin has welcomed the likes of Anthony Taylor, head of real estate for ENBD-Reit; Lee French, Cundall Middle East’s operations director; and tech entrepreneur Karim Helal, co-founder and chief executive officer of building portal ProTenders.

To volunteer yourself or a colleague as a guest speaker on Construction Week Viewpoint, please contact Ashley Williams.

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