Abdulmajid Karanouh leads Drees & Sommer innovation in Middle East

05 February 2019 Consultancy-me.com

Abdulmajid Karanouh has been appointed as an international director of the Middle East branch of European engineering consultancy Drees & Sommer. 

Established in 1970 in Stuttgart and headquartered in Germany, construction and engineering consultancy Drees & Sommer today boasts a workforce of approximately 3,200 employees spread across 40 offices worldwide, including international locations spanning Europe, the US, China and the Middle East – where the firm has had a permanent presence for more than 15 years. 

The latter office, launched in Dubai in 2003, has announced the appointment of Abdulmajid Karanouh as its new International Director, Head of Interdisciplinary Design & Innovation. Karanouh crosses from Danish consultancy Ramboll, where for five years as Head of Innovation Design, Facades and Sustainability he worked on projects across the region, including the Maker’s District in Abu Dhabi and the 111-storey SRG Tower in Dubai.

Altogether, Karanouh boasts some 20 years of experience in the design and architecture business, with over 15 years leading multidisciplinary project teams specialised in the development and delivery of innovative solutions to specific market factors. In 2012, Karanouh in collaboration with Arup won the design completion for Al-Bahr Towers, which was noted by Time Magazine for its innovate dynamic façade which adapts to the movement of the sun.Abdulmajid Karanouh named as new Drees & Sommer international director“Abdulmajid’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the field will support Drees & Sommer Middle East’s ongoing objective to offer its clients cost-effective solutions that are tailor-made to meet the specifications required in the region. He is highly-qualified and presents our organisation with a great opportunity for further growth as it works to boost its R&D efforts in the region,” said Drees & Sommer Middle East Managing Director Stephan Degenhart.

With expertise in high-tech and geometrically complex buildings, as well as computational and interdisciplinary design, Karanouh in his new role with Drees & Sommer has been tasked with spear-heading the consulting firm’s innovation and research & development drive in the Middle East – with the aim of identifying and addressing local market needs in areas such as construction materials, methods and project delivery.

“Quite often you’ll find solutions and technologies implemented abroad are imported into the region without sufficient consideration of or adaptation to the local context,” said Karanouh. “I am thrilled to have joined Drees & Sommer, which is one of the few construction consultancies in this part of the world to have embraced the concept of conducting local contextual R&D in order to develop projects that relate to the local environment and culture.”

Focused on the real estate and hospitality sectors, Drees & Sommer Middle East provides a range of services in areas such as development consulting, project management, engineering, infrastructure, and strategic process consulting. Altogether, the global firm has had an association with the Middle East dating back to its earliest days, with its first international project offices located in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Construction consultancy Drees & Sommer launches innovation hub in Dubai

18 April 2019 Consultancy-me.com

The Middle East branch of international construction and real estate consultancy Drees & Sommer has launched a new innovation hub in Dubai

Following the appointment of ex-Ramboll exec Abdulmajid Karanouhas as its Head of Interdisciplinary Design & Innovation earlier this year to spearhead the firm’s R&D drive in the Middle East, the local branch of German-origin construction and real estate consultancy Drees & Sommer has now launched a new innovation hub in Dubai – designed as a collaborative environment to serve both external start-ups and its own employees.

“It has always been part of our corporate culture to promote our own ideas and initiatives,” said Drees & Sommer executive board member Steffen Szeidl. “Increasingly, digital transformation and our clients are calling for completely new and disruptive business models. The Innovation Centre is one of our responses to these challenges. All 3,200 staff members can upload their ideas virtually.”

According to Szeidl, from there, promising concepts and solutions addressing identified market gaps in areas such as planning, construction and operations will be developed, funded and localised for any market which sees the potential. He continues: “Adding the Dubai innovation hub emphasises our status as a global innovation company by being one of the few companies doing R&D in this region.”Construction consultancy Drees & Sommer launches innovation hub in DubaiLocally established in 2003, Drees & Sommer was founded close to 50 years ago in Stuttgart, since growing to include some 40 offices worldwide, with its global headcount of 3,200 professionals generating revenues upwards of $430 million in 2017. The firm’s offerings span the gamut of real estate and infrastructure requirements, delivered according to its ‘blue way’, which takes into account economic, functionality, and ecological aspects together.

This, for Drees & Sommer, is an important point in the regional context.  “There is a huge demand in this market for contextual solutions as most models and systems are imported from abroad with little to no adaptation to the local culture, economy, and environment,” explains Karanouh. “As a consequence of this approach, we are facing major challenges related to user-comfort, efficiency, manageability, durability, and overall sustainability and feasibility of the built environment in the region.”

Accordingly, the firm has tailored each of its innovation hubs rolled out so far across the world to drive specific initiatives. In Aachen, Germany’s ‘Silicon Valley’, for example, there is a focus on customised smart buildings, IoT product testing and cyber-security, while the firm’s Stuttgart hub focuses on start-ups and processes and its Berlin one on smart cities and smart quarters. The Netherlands hub meanwhile focuses on wellbeing and sustainable innovation.

Karanouh: “The innovation hub brings together specialists of various disciplines from across the industry as a single interdisciplinary team that advises clients from early feasibility studies all the way to operation and revitalisation of buildings to maximise comfort, efficiency, sustainability, return of investment and overall value. The platform allows for brainstorming ideas, identifying market gaps and needs, adapting existing solutions or/and developing new solutions tailored to the local market and environment.”