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Hunt For Senior Consultants in Middle East

18 June 2013

Costain is looking for experienced people to fill senior consultancy roles in the Persian Gulf as it further strengthens its project and programme management consultancy offering in the region.

Tim Bowen, Costain’s Regional Development Director, moved to the Middle East late last year with the task of expanding the Company’s range of services in the Gulf States, and he has found there is no shortage of potential work for a company like Costain which specialises in engineering, project management and operation of key national assets.

In 2013 alone, infrastructure and development projects worth over $350 billion are planned across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a political and economic union of Arab states that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. More crucially, the work will require consultancy services, whether in providing engineering solutions or delivering integrated consulting and operations and maintenance services, which is where Costain hopes to make a difference.

“We’re not looking for construction contracts, even though there has been no shortage of opportunity in that regard. I’m here in the Gulf to develop the Costain advisory proposition and present our considerable expertise, systems, processes and people to clients here. We have been in Abu Dhabi for 50 years and we’ve got a fantastic reputation here,” said Tim.

"Costain has the scale, skills, experience and financial strength necessary to secure and then deliver these large and complex projects, but at this time, the price point competition from some Asian contractors mean that there’s no point wasting our valuable bidding resources when there are many commercially preferable opportunities in professional services,” he said.

Tim added: “We’re looking to work more on a consultancy basis, either on our own or as part of a joint venture with another company. But our biggest constraint is the availability of professionally qualified, experienced people, i.e. those at the most senior level, because these projects are vast and will include working at the cutting edge of engineering technology.”

Places like Qatar present enormous opportunities. The state is hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup and plans to put in place vital infrastructure in order to meet its ambitious growth plans.

Contracts are now starting to be awarded as Qatar plans to invest $200 billion in infrastructure development over the next 10 years, with over $100 billion expected to come in the next five years as it gears up for the World Cup. The projects include new roads, highways, bridges, airport, a new seaport, and a new rail and metro system.

This investment is part of a broader vision to meet the state’s growth and infrastructure needs beyond the FIFA World Cup.  The president’s executive office of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) recently announced that more than $30bn would be allocated for the implementation of over 700 projects to meet the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030.

Costain’s ambition in the region is in line with 'Choosing Costain,' the Company's strategy to deliver a full-service offering, from front-end engineering consultancy and design, through construction to back-end care and maintenance. In the Middle East, the emphasis will be on offering a consultancy service, which is why experienced specialists are required to fill the senior roles.

“Costain has a rich history of engineering excellence but we need to reconsider our market positioning and the manner in which we fulfil those opportunities. Part of the solution is for us to go to the market, recruit and bring capacity into the business. Therefore, in line with our best in class approach, we are looking for senior level sector experts to join me to grow our new business in the region,” said Tim.