Since 2007, Main Board Director Peter Nathan has been ‘our man in Saudi’. In a recent interview with Middle East Consultant News, he discusses Omnium’s operations in the Kingdom, our projects and goals as the country experiences a transformation in its economic and social landscapes.
Peter first established our Saudi Arabia base in Jeddah, working with private developers including Emaar and Jeddah Economic Project on landmark projects including the Jeddah Tower. Since then, we have expanded to open a further office in Riyadh in 2018 to support the raft of new construction and infrastructure projects announced following the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030, making this a really exciting time to be involved in development in the Kingdom.
Peter tells the publication that we have significantly increased our staffing levels in Saudi Arabia in recent years, despite challenges presented by COVID-19, in order to serve the large and complex projects launched in the Kingdom.
“The projects under this initiative are enormous and clients require even more added value from partners/contractors and from cost consultants – you need to be able to think beyond ‘normal’ parameters. We are used to operating in this type of environment and do so with confidence.”
Omnium, both in Saudi and across all of our branch offices, enjoys unmatched experience in the delivery of pioneering and landmark developments with complete Pre and Post Contract cost consultancy and quantity surveying services, handling both standard and bespoke contracts, consultancy agreements and with further support available from Omnium Resolve in dispute resolution, claims management and expert witness.
“The way [landmark developments] are managed and developed is pioneering, so we must also be forward thinking to provide the right services to our clients”
Our teams in Saudi Arabia are involved in a portfolio of major private and public sector programmes, including:
Navigating challenges is, as ever, a key part of our role and that includes the rapid mobilisation of staff. As Peter comments in his interview, Saudi Arabia is a huge country enjoying beautiful natural diversity, but sourcing suitable accommodation and facilities in more remote areas can present difficulties!
Not even the pandemic has halted the Kingdom’s movement towards Vision 2030, with no real slowdown encountered. Challenges have mainly concerned the resourcing of projects, travel restrictions and ensuring safety of working and office environments. We are continually looking to recruit quality talent for our Saudi Arabia teams to ensure that Omnium remains at the heart of development in the Kingdom.
Peter notes that he is confident of continued growth during 2021 and 2022, with cost consultancy work our main focus in Saudi Arabia.
“The current growth is driven by Saudi Vision 2030. It places huge demands on the construction industry and its services sector. With our wealth of experience and ‘lessons learned’ from working on developments of a similar complex nature in the Kingdom, we are well placed to support this huge demand”
Resourcing quality staff remains a key priority for Omnium too, particularly in Saudi where we are seeing such rapid growth and expansion.
“We have been looking within the Omnium ranks from our other branches outside the Kingdom…Retaining the knowledge and lessons learned by people that have been with us for a long time is important.
We have invested heavily in the local workforce that is available to us… This year we achieved Platinum status under the Saudi Nationalisation Nitiqat program – it’s an achievement we are extremely proud of”
Peter is rightly ambitious and excited about the opportunities for Omnium and the work we do in the Kingdom. Government sector projects are incredibly promising, spanning sectors including tourism, hospitality, entertainment and residential, coupled with a rise in infrastructure projects to support the growth led by Vision 2030.
“I’m proud to have been part of Omnium’s success in Saudi Arabia over the last 14 years and with our drive and desire for future growth in the Kingdom, and given our excellent staff, I am confidence in our long-term future.”
The full issue, and Peter’s interview on page 26, can be found here.
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