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DIPMF discusses mega regional projects

26 Jan 2023

A session about Managing Mega Projects in the Region on Day 2 of the Dubai International Project Management Forum discussed how to successfully manage mega projects besides attracting and empowering human resources. The session also looked into the challenges faced and how to benefit from the latest technology in tracking projects and ensuring the realisation of their objectives.

The session, which was moderated by the MEED Editor Colin Foreman, featured the participation of Rami Al-Jali, Undersecretary of the Ministry for Projects, Public Health and Housing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Joseph Jabara, CEO of CAT Group, Ian Williamson, Chief Executive Officer for Project Implementation, The Red Sea Development Company, and Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, London Rail, Elizabeth line.

Vision 2030 and Wellbeing

Engineer Rami Al-Jali, Undersecretary of the Ministry for Projects, Public Health and Housing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “The ministry is seeking to deliver on the Vision 2030, which supports successful mega projects in Saudi Arabia by providing infrastructure, and building bridges, tunnels and public facilities at world-class standards.”

“Any project faces various challenges and difficulties. For example, we encountered difficulties related to finding leading contracting companies capable of meeting the needs of our projects. We communicated with universities to take advantage of futuristic research to know the future of our projects and the continuity of their success,” he noted.

Striking Balance

Joseph Jbara, CEO of CAT Group spoke about the successful experience of CAT Group in Africa, where the company worked in the fields of civil construction, refrigeration, gas pipeline projects, and facilities management.

Speaking about the challenges faced and overcome, Joseph Jabara said, “Before undertaking mega projects, project owners must strike a balance between stakeholders and the society. And they have to provide cadres capable of implementing the project and achieving its goals according to the approved plans. It is necessary to achieve continuous communication between members of the same team and between the leadership and employees.

Economic Opportunities

Ian Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of The Red Sea Development Company's projects, said, “The Red Sea project directly contributes to achieving the goals of Saudi Arabia 2030, as it seeks to highlight the huge potentials of the Kingdom and create new economic, cultural and social opportunities. The project aims to create new opportunities for tourism in Saudi Arabia, and establish a world-class community that attracts tourists from inside and outside the Kingdom. As such it will contribute to the growth of the economy and the advancement of new sectors. It will also empower local human resources by creating economic and cultural opportunities that contribute to achieving the full utilisation of talents and potential.

Facing Challenges

Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, London Rail, Elizabeth Line reported that the "Elizabeth Line" had a total cost of 90 million pounds sterling, as the project is distinguished by its stations archetictural designs, and that the project succeeded in hiring talented and experienced professionals that had vision, focus and leadership skills.

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