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A farewell to Construction Week and Middle East construction

Construction Week’s editor Neha Bhatia departs from the brand amid an ongoing engineering industry evolution

Neha Bhatia is the editor of Construction Week.
© ITP Media Group / Rajesh Raghav
Neha Bhatia is the editor of Construction Week.

CW 752 has been one of the best issues of Construction Week I have worked on as editor. We’ve started revealing the shortlist for the upcoming CW Awards 2019 with this issue, and I can’t help looking back at the happy winners from last year’s event – Kez Taylor’s joy at ALEC being named CW Awards 2018’s Contractor of the Year was truly infectious! This is also why leaving the construction industry and Construction Week is a bittersweet proposition for me.

The industry has vastly evolved since 2015, when I first joined Construction Week. Technology adoption was generally viewed as more of a compulsion than a genuine business need at the time, and sustainability was only just evolving into something more than a buzzword. We’re doing far better in both arenas today, and in many ways, this is still early days.

Looking back on the three-and-a-half years I’ve spent with Construction Week as senior reporter, deputy editor, and editor, I am reminded that engineering excellence has continued to make its mark despite the commercial or economic challenges faced by our industry. I’ve had the honour of speaking with the engineers behind some of Dubai’s grandest and largest projects, such as Dubai Frame, ICD Brookfield Place, One Central, and Jewel of the Creek.

It has been an absolute treat to walk through the buildings constructed in the city before the general public has had a chance to see them, as well as to meet the people designing, engineering, and building these projects. It is a privilege I am grateful for, and one I will miss.

I’ve also had a chance to hear and learn from industry titans such as Kez Taylor, Yu Tao, Mark Andrews, Saeed Al Abbar, Donna Sultan, Rizwan Sajan, Gurjit Singh, Haroon Niazi, and Sachin Kerur, among so many others. Delving into their ocean-deep knowledge for long discussions about the past, present, and future of the engineering sector is among the job perks that I’ll miss most.

The expertise of these individuals will continue to drive the regional construction industry forward as new products and processes are sought to improve the quality of our output. There’s no denying that the construction sector has ambitious and lofty ideals to achieve, but I am confident about the industry’s ability to innovate and improve in the years to come. 

As I look back on my tenure with Construction Week, I’m immensely grateful for the time you made for our print issues, videos, podcasts, events, and conferences despite your hectic schedules. Together, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Construction Week magazine in December 2018, and you will soon attend the 15th annual CW Awards on 4 December. Both landmarks are solid reminders of the long journey traversed by the regional construction sector, and the role that Construction Week has played in driving the market forward.

As a custodian of the brand, I hope you will continue to be a part of the Construction Week family in the years to come. Personally, it will take me some time to outgrow the highs of being an editorial representative for Construction Week, an institution that – despite having been at the helm of – I’m still somewhat in awe of.

It has been an absolute treat to walk through the buildings constructed in the city before the general public has had a chance to see them, as well as to meet the people designing, engineering, and building these projects. It is a privilege I am grateful for, and one I will miss. 

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019