• Building a Sustainable Landscape in the UAE

    14 SEPTEMBER, 2022 - TAJ EXOTICA, THE PALM, DUBAI, UAE

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​ABOUT

The construction sector in the UAE has seen a strong rebound in activity, with projects in full swing. While many factors are influencing how projects in the UAE are designed, planned, built, and delivered, sustainability remains central. Through the Leaders in Construction UAE Summit, we aim to provide critical insight into the impact of industry trends and highlight the industry's journey toward a net-zero future at this year's Leaders in Construction UAE Summit.


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​Conference Programme

Session One
Session Two
Session Three
Session Four
Session Five
Session Six
Session Seven
Session Eight
Session One

09:05 - 09:25

Keynote Speech: The UAE construction industry's growth prospects

Providing critical insight into the impact of industry trends and issues, as well as an analysis of key risks and opportunities in the UAE construction industry.

Nasser Alhajri, Acting Chief Industry Services, Saudi Contractors Authority (SCA)

Long experience of 15 years in different industries, he works in various areas such as Product Development, Strategic Marketing & Management, Product & Brand Management, Marketing Consultancy, Market Intelligence, Business Development, Marketing Research & Customer Services. Currently, he is chief of the industry services at the Saudi Contractors Authority (SCA), he is working with high ambition and target to drive and build the future with confidence by managing the number of departments that are working on organizing the contracting sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which are the Academy Department, Technical services department Contracting services department, information services department. 
Session Two

09:20 - 10:05

Panel Discussion: The role of leadership in creating a sustainable construction sector 

With the fall of several UAE-based construction giants, the sector has been forced to think beyond the borders. Our line up top bosses in the industry will analyse the role of decision makers in creating a future-proof industry while promoting sustainable practices.

Yu Tao, CEO - China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East 

Tao became the founding Managing Director of China State Construction and Engineering in the Middle East in 2004. Today it is among the largest construction companies in the region and employs over 13,500 people. Tao has encouraged the early adoption of new technologies such as virtual reality, 3D printing and drones. Under his leadership, the company completed the 323 National Housing Project in Sharjah in 2020. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Business Council in the U.A.E., and the team leader of the preparatory team for the China International School, which is Dubai’s first ever Chinese school.

Sean McQue, Operations Director - ALEC

Sean graduated in Construction Management in South Africa in 1996. Since then he has built a 24 year career as a General Contractor in South Africa, Mozambique, Seychelles, UK, Mauritius and eventually joined ALEC in the UAE in 2008 where he has been for the last 12 years. After delivering some of ALEC’s largest and most complex projects Sean took on the role of Operations Director for ALEC and is now the Director of Construction for the UAE continuing to oversee the delivery of projects for ALEC as well as playing a significant role in the design and implementation of business strategy for the organization.

Ali Amiri, Head of Specialisms, Middle East - Ramboll

Ali Amiri has over 20 years of experience in the construction sector and across several geographies including the United Kingdom, Middle East, and North Africa. He has vast experience in buildings, infrastructure, and master planning projects and currently sits on the steering committee for Ramboll Group’s Building Sustainability Leadership, and that of Corporate Sustainability. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Emirates Green Building Council. Fascinated with the innovative and integrated design solutions which can be embedded with principles of sustainability, climate action, and circularity, Ali has shared his expertise at several global forums including the World Green Buildings Congress, the Emirates Green Building Council’s Annual Congress, and The Cityscape events.

Sachin Kerur, Managing Partner Middle East - Reed Smith ( Session Moderator)

Sachin is Managing Partner of Reed Smith firm’s Middle East offices and a senior partner in the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources practice. He has over 25 years of experience advising Government and the private sector on privatised and publicly procured infrastructure and development works, particularly across the Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinents. He has advised on some of the most important airports, road and rail networks, power plants, commercial and residential developments, oil and gas facilities, water supply plants, hotels and education facilities throughout the Middle East and Sub-continent. 
Session Three

10:30 - 11:15

Panel: The rise of master communities in the UAE

How the Emirates is introducing more master communities that focus on human well-being in addition to providing inclusive facilities. Experts will reflect on the growing demand for community living, why UAE is the right place for communities to flourish and the technical challenges associated with building such communities.

Baharash Bagherian, CEO - URB

Baharash Bagherian is the CEO of URB and has masterminded designs of various sustainable cities currently under construction. Having gained and harnessed invaluable knowledge leading the designs of such projects, URB was founded with a sense of purpose to accelerate the world’s transition towards sustainable developments. As highly experienced international consultants providing development, master planning, landscape & architectural services, URB are creating the highest standards of sustainable cities through their unique expertise & sustainability know-how. Headquartered in Dubai Design District, URB are currently planning the next generation of sustainable cities which are pushing the boundaries of urban planning, whilst educating people that such cities are commercially viable to construct and operate.

Prathyusha Gurrapu, Head of Research and Advisory - CORE Middle East

Prathyusha leads CORE’s Research and Advisory team in the UAE where she focuses on producing thought-leading research publications for major real estate asset classes. Prathyusha also advises developers and institutional investors across the real estate development cycle for residential, office, hospitality, retail and industrial assets. She is the first author of over 46 research publications and is considered a leading commentator in the UAE real estate market and contributes regularly to prominent media outlets including Bloomberg, Gulf News, The National, Reuters, Arabian Business and Khaleej Times. An architect and urban planner by education, Prathyusha has over 14 years of experience in research, development consultancy, transaction advisory and the wider fields of architecture and urban planning, gained in strategic roles in the UAE and India.

Alexandros Pounentis, Director of PM/CM Services - KEO International Consultants

Alexandros serves as KEO’s Director of PM/CM Services.  He is an experienced professional in the engineering design and construction industry who holds valuable experience in the entire lifecycle of large building construction and infrastructure projects. His range of experience includes Engineering Construction on projects such as highways, tunnels and bridges, as well as delivery on hospitals, large mixed-use, residential and hotel developments. Alexandros also has experience in the delivery of mega infrastructure networks such as power grids, depots and telecom as well as valuable experience in oil & gas environments. He brings over 25 years in leadership roles acting in various roles as the Client Representative, Consultant Engineer, & Contractor in several international markets such as Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta, Qatar, Iraq, and the UAE.


Session Four

11:15 - 11:35

Firseside Chat: How Timely Analytics Drive Construction Project Execution

Fady Kobersy, Head of Sales & Customer Success MENA - RIB CCS

Graduated from University of Balamand in Lebanon with a Structural Engineering Degree, Fady started his career in the contracting field in Saudi Arabia. Moving between different departments, from Design, Site to Office, Fady’s passion toward controlling what goes on after the design has been established when he was appointed as Cost Control Manager. Holder of a Master of Science in Project Management from University of Liverpool, Fady specialized in Construction and Infrastructure and moved into Consultancy. With his professional knowledge in Cost Control and being technology orientated, Fady spends his time with consulting, training and supporting engineers around the MENA region. Fady is currently based in Dubai with RIB CCS as Head of Sales & Customer Success for the MENA Region.
Session Five

11:35 - 12:20

Panel: Will digitalisation become more pervasive in UAE construction?

Over the last two decades, the construction industry has gradually incorporated digital technology as the push continues to overcome the sector's customary and traditional methods. The panellists will engage in discussions to share the sector journey into digitalisation and what more needs to be done. 

Mohamed Swidan, Senior Director, Head of MENA - Procore

Mohamed Swidan has over 17 years of experience working with multinational technology companies, including leadership roles at Cisco, LinkedIn, SAP and Uber. He is responsible for managing Procore’s business across all Middle Eastern and North African countries, tasked with strengthening Procore's brand and presence across the region. Mohamed was drawn to the world of construction after realizing the impact that technology and data can have on transforming the industry.

Michael Rimmer, Head of MEP, Middle East - Ramboll

Michael Rimmer is a chartered building services engineer, with 17 years of experience in delivering an expanse of diverse projects across the United Kingdom and in the Middle East regions, encompassing industries such as commercial, defence, education, leisure, rail, retail, residential (including high-rise), and stadiums. Since joining Ramboll, Michael’s focus has been to strengthen the building services engineering offerings by driving the integration of parametric and digital twinning into Ramboll’s portfolio of projects. Michael’s experience extends to that of both design and construction supervision phases of a building services project.

Dr. Yasemin Nielsen, Associate Professor, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society - Heriot-Watt University Dubai

Dr. Nielsen has over 25 years of academic and industrial experience and she is currently active in post-graduate education and research.  

As a catalyst for closer collaboration between industry and academia, she has promoted applied research with an industry focus. Her publications include book chapters and numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. She has organized and chaired international conferences and led international research. Dr. Nielsen is based in UAE and is currently an Associate Professor and the Lead of EngD in Construction at Heriot-Watt University Dubai campus. 

Session Six

12:20 - 12:40

Fireside Chat: How modular construction is helping streamline the entire construction process?

Waleed Khaled, Regional Director - Losberger De Boer

Waleed has worked on projects with some of the most prestigious and well-respected developers and authorities in the region, and he has been successful in forming long-lasting, valuable partnerships with major corporations, investors and major industry players. He has extensive experience in commercial and entertainment sectors, having worked on some of the region’s most iconic projects, including Qiddiya Entertainment City, MDL Beast Music Festival and many more.

Session Seven

12:40 - 13:25

Panel: Strengthening supply chain management 

Experts will analyse how supply chain management could help improve the inventory visibility and velocity in the construction sector as they highlight the challenges currently facing suppliers in the industry and how we can overcome such challenges.

Dr. Sreejith BalasubramanianHead of Centre for Supply Chain Excellence - Middlesex University Dubai

Dr Sreejith gained his BTech in Engineering from the University of Calicut (India) and his Master’s in International Business from the University of Wollongong in Dubai, before obtaining his PhD in Supply Chain Management from Middlesex University (UK). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistic and Transport (UK), the Academy of International Business, the American Statistical Association, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Sreejith is Chair of Middlesex University Dubai’s Research Committee and lecturers in Supply Chain Management. His learning and teaching interests include Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Strategic Management, and Quantitative Research Methods.

Paul Kelly, Director of Cost Management, C-Quest

Paul Kelly is a Director of Cost Management at C-Quest Project Development & Cost Consultants (an allied practice of KEO) with over 17 years’ experience across the entire project lifecycle in multiple sectors, large scale masterplan developments, residential and commercial high-rise buildings, corporate real estate, retail fit-out and refurbishment, hospitality, and infrastructure projects. Paul qualified with a BSc. in Construction Economics in Ireland before moving to the Middle East in 2005 and has witnessed first-hand the extraordinary construction developments in the region through this time.  Paul is goal oriented and driven leader who manages a team working on projects across the Gulf including the UAE, KSA and Qatar.

Session Eight

14:05 - 15:10

DISPUTE RESOLUTION QUESTION TIME

The impact of inflation and price escalation in construction contracts

The construction industry continues to face new challenges. Rising inflation and debt costs, labour shortages, supply chain delays, and escalating freight and material costs are putting enormous strain on the industry. These factors are collectively impacting construction contracts at a time when contractors are dealing with slim margins. Through Dispute Resolution Question Time UAE we gather legal experts in the industry to analyse clauses governing cost escalation, how contractors could seek protection against cost escalation, as well as the extent of the recovery for escalation.

Mark Raymont, Head of Risk Advisory Services, Middle East - Pinsent Masons (Session Moderator)

Mark is recognised as a leading construction disputes lawyer in the Middle East and has been described by construction industry sources as "a brilliant strategist - very comfortable with high-value disputes that have a local law impact". He heads up the ME construction disputes team at Pinsent Masons - one of the leading law firms in the World specialising in the infrastructure sector. He has been based in the UAE for over 13 years and with over 30 years’ experience advising both owners and contractors in relation to major energy and infrastructure projects throughout the Middle East/Asia Pacific, he is well placed to discuss the impact of inflation and price escalation in construction contracts. 


Daniel Xu, Partner - King & Wood Mallesons (KWM)

Daniel is a construction and dispute resolution specialist based in Dubai. He is a Singapore qualified lawyer and also holds full rights of audience at the DIFC Courts. Daniel is listed as an accredited arbitrator on the panel of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) and sits as arbitrator for DIFC-LCIA. Daniel focuses on international arbitration and cross border dispute resolution such as construction, engineering and infrastructure related disputes. He also has extensive experience advising international contractors and developers on issues regarding project risk management and dispute avoidance.


Phil Duggan, Director & Head of Expert Services - CCi

Phil is a quantity surveyor with over 30 years’ experience in the construction and engineering industries. He particularly deals with the preparation and valuation of variations; claims for prolongation disruption and acceleration, disputed accounts and counter-claims and damages. Phil gained 12 years’ working experience with 2 of the UK’s largest multi-discipline construction and engineering contractors. In this time Phil carried out a full range of quantity surveying and commercial management functions on power station projects, water and sewage treatment works, petro-chemical and other process plants as well as major civil engineering projects across the UK. For the past 18 years, Phil has been a consultant involved in claims, dispute and expert work on major projects globally.

Michelle Nelson, Partner - Reed Smith

Michelle is a partner in the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources practice. She is a specialist arbitration lawyer with over 24 years of experience. Her practice focuses on the Middle East, advising on major oil & gas and construction and infrastructure disputes. Michelle represents clients in arbitration proceedings under the major international and regional arbitration rules including the ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, DIAC and ADCCAC seated in Paris, London, Geneva, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman. Michelle acts for a variety of employers, contractors, consultants and subcontractors and has advised on a wide range of projects including airports, process and power plants, roads, commercial and residential premises.

James Plant, Partner - HFW

James Plant is a Partner at HFW. He heads up HFW's construction and engineering disputes team in the Middle East. He has worked on construction projects in the Middle East throughout his career, and has been based in the region full-time since 2015. James acts principally for international EPC contractors on disputes relating to oil and gas projects, process plant, infrastructure, renewable energy, tunnelling, sub-sea cables and airport projects. He works on projects throughout the region, but with a particular focus on Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. James represents clients in arbitration, dispute adjudication boards, mediation and other forms of ADR. He works with HFW's own Arabic speaking litigators to represent clients in the region's local courts

Rohit Singhal, CEO - Masin

Rohit Singhal is the Chief Executive Officer of Masin, which is a renowned construction arbitration expert firm with presence in 8 countries. Rohit is a highly respected Construction Dispute expert with 25 years of international consulting experience involving construction contract disputes analysis and resolution, arbitration / litigation support and expert testimony. Rohit has been listed and recognized as one of the Top 10 influential construction expert by Construction Week Middle East Power 100 List for the year 2022. He has also been awarded with prestigious “Outstanding Expert of the Year Award 2019” by International arbitrators & experts in Engineering Sector (IAEE), UAE. 

​PRACTICAL INFO

14 September, 2022
9am - 1pm

Taj Exotica, The Palm

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Building a Sustainable Construction Lanscape 
Moderated by Editor-in-Chief, ​Ranju Warrier

​REGISTER TO ATTEND

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