BRG adds five to UAE construction team as industry set to boom

30 August 2019 3 min. read

The Berkeley Research Group has bolstered its construction practice with five new directors and associates in the Middle East. The appointments come on the back of a recent KPMG industry survey which predicts double-digit growth in the UAE next year.

Following the launch of a real estate valuation practice for the Middle East and Europe in May, global business advisory Berkeley Research Group (BRG) has recently bolstered its regional construction practice with the addition of five new directors and associate directors: Stephen Dickie, Christian Merrett, Alex Burton, Kasia Halliday and Malcolm Landman. A construction industry survey from KPMG meanwhile has predicted bumper growth in the UAE next year.

To be based in Dubai, Christian Merrett – appointed as one of two new directors alongside Stephen Dickie – brings over two decades of construction engineering, management, contract administration and dispute resolution to the table, having most recently served as a delay expert for Diales and director at Driver Trett together with Dickie. Merrett has experience in the Middle East dating back to 2012, and spanning roles in Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq.

Fellow director Dickie has more than 25 years of quantity surveying, commercial management, contract administration and dispute resolution experience under his belt, having led commercial and claims teams on major international disputes – including projects in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Libya, Lebanon, Oman and Iraq. Dickie has been with Driver Tett since 2012, prior to which he served for four years as an associate director at Systech International in Dubai

Stephen Dickie, Christian Merrett, Alex Burton, Kasia Halliday and Malcolm Landman

BRG’s three new associate directors meanwhile – Alex Burton, Kasia Halliday and Malcolm Landman – bring a variety of local and international experience covering internal audit, advisory, and change, claims and contract management across a range of sectors including the oil and gas, building, civil engineering and infrastructure segments. Burton crosses from a director role with FTI Consulting, while Landman was previously an assistant director in Deloitte’s capital projects practice.

“These hires will significantly expand our capabilities in the region and enable us to take on a greater number of projects,” commented Michael Kenyon, BRG managing director and head of the firm’s Middle East construction practice. “We have strong expertise in the region and are fortunate to add such a talented pool of individuals to our team.” According to the firm, the recent hires will all be based out of Dubai. BRG has further outlets in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The announcement from BRG comes on the heels on KPMG’s latest annual construction industry survey report, which this year took in the views of senior executives from more than 220 engineering and construction firms in the UAE – around three quarters of which are expecting growth of at least 6 percent in the coming year, including 20 percent which predicted growth of above 10 percent. ‘People’ were also cited as the most important factor for industry performance.  

“The construction sector is the lifeblood of the UAE economy and it is very encouraging to see that the industry is expecting single to double digit growth this year,” said Sidharth Mehta, head of Building, Construction & Real Estate at KPMG Lower Gulf. “As the pace of disruption accelerates, leaders will have to consider implementing a three-pronged approach to rationalise governance and controls, optimise human performance and innovate with technology, to become more future-ready.”