Richard Barrett has spent the last 30 years at Atkins, which is currently celebrating its 40th year in the region and 75 years in business.
Earlier this month Atkins released its financial results for the year ending March 2013 revealing a “strong UK performance” up 4.7% to £900.3m ($1,411m) with profits climbing 9.7% but it went on to say that both the North America and the Middle East markets “remain challenging”.
In the Middle East revenue was £162.2m (254.3m) - down 5.4% on the previous year and operating profit was down by 30%.
Barrett told Construction Week: “There have been delays to a number of key opportunities and last year we thought they would pick up quicker.”
But he explained that over the course of the year, work picked up and by the end of the financial year Atkins had secured more than 80% of its target revenue for the next financial year. “That is 10% up on last year and we enter this new financial year with confidence,” he added.
The UAE, Saudi and Qatar remain the company’s three main Gulf regions for growth over the coming 12 months.
In Qatar, it has just passed the 500 staff mark in Doha - 75% up on the same time last year. And in Saudi Arabia Atkins expertise, especially in rail has seen demand for its time increase in the final six months of the financial year.