Designation: Middle East CEO
Simon Moon approaches the second anniversary of his appointment as Atkins’ Middle East CEO – and his 20th year at the firm – with a busy order book.
Business performance has been strong ahead of the company’s annual results this month. As its most recent trading statement revealed: “Our Middle East business delivered a good second-half performance, driven primarily by significant rail and metro projects. Looking forward, we continue to see a good pipeline of work across our focus sectors of rail, infrastructure, and property.”
H1 sales grew by 16% and the operating margin was up 9.3%. As the region’s leading metro consultancy, Atkins delivered design and MEP services across the entire Dubai Tram network in time for its launch in November 2014.
At present, Atkins is providing client QDVC with multidisciplinary services – including station planning, architecture, tunnel design, and track alignment – for Qatar’s 12km, five-station Doha Metro Red Line South.
Atkins is lead design consultant for the $3.85bn (QAR14.02bn) Doha Metro Gold Line, the largest package of Doha Metro works to be awarded; and the FAST consortium working on three of Riyadh Metro’s six lines, in a joint venture with Spanish consultancy, Typsa.
Its UAE property projects, meanwhile, include: Dubai Opera; Al Habtoor Residences; Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club; and Suites in the Skai.
Moreover, Atkins is involved in the UAE’s nuclear construction programme as technical adviser for the power project at Barakah, where four reactors are being procured from a South Korean consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco).
In terms of future opportunities, Moon said: “We’re really excited by the continued growth in opportunities to support clients in Saudi Arabia. We’ve seen a step change in the level of thinking [that] is going into major projects and programmes, and this is driving expectations and demand for high-quality consultancy support.
But what keeps him awake at night? As Moon pointed out, skilled staff members represent the core of Atkins’ success.
“Keeping and attracting the best talent is always the most important challenge because if you’ve got the right people, and you’re enabling them to reach their full potential, then you’re in the strongest position to win and deliver great projects and delight clients,” he added.