May 21 2014

Middle East Market Focus – An interview with Dr Asif Sharif

Asif new headshotThe Middle East is the fastest growing market for CONJECT.  I caught up with regional director, Dr Asif Sharif, in Dubai for an update.

CONJECT blog: Hello Asif, can you provide some history about CONJECT BIW in your region?
Dr Asif Sharif: Originally we were known as BIW in the Middle East region.  We had been running projects from the UK BIW office for many years, and in 2006 opened an office in Dubai to meet local demand, maintaining a presence throughout the downturn. BIW became CONJECT in Europe in 2012 and we are currently completing the formalities of rebranding to CONJECT across all of our Middle-East operations.

CONJECT blog: CONJECT’s Middle East revenue grew by 60% in 2013, can you give an insight into current market conditions?
Dr Asif Sharif: 2013/14 has been a turning point for many of the major markets in the Middle East due the announcement of a series of strategic developments such as FIFA 2022 and the Ashghal Building Programme in Qatar, Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia and the announcement of award of the Expo 2020 to Dubai, in the UAE.  Coupled with more stability and measured growth in the local economies, the future of the region is overwhelmingly positive. 

In the UAE we have seen the planning and delivery of key infrastructure projects, a wide range of leisure and tourism developments, followed by the reactivation of the commercial and property section in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  The UAE is sustaining high occupancy rates in its hotels and resorts and retail spend is growing with the delivery of several new malls and extensions to existing centres in the region.

CONJECT blog: Can you give examples of projects which are being delivered using CONJECT software?
Dr Asif Sharif: We work with a variety of owner/operators, property developers and contractors in the region. With the software underpinning the delivery of on-going mixed-use projects including:

CONJECT blog: What challenges will the AEC industry in your region face during next 12 months?
Dr Asif Sharif: Some key challenges include:

  • A lack of adequate & skilled resources to deliver projects
  • Significant increases of fees and prices across project phases
  • Migration of workforce to areas of high growth/opportunities
  • Greater compliance and audit as a lesson learned after the last downturn
  • Keeping up with the demand for the growing tourist market (Dubai & UAE)

CONJECT blog: What is the most common request you hear from customers?
Dr Asif Sharif: As projects progress a large amount of built asset data and audit trails are held within our cloud software. Customers are keen to understand how we can integrate our platform with their back office systems so that they can import that data to help them with their compliance and statutory requirements.

We are also seeing an increase in enquiries about BIM as customers look to gain value and benefit across the plan-build-operate lifecycle. We’re working closely with these clients to implement a cost effective & fully functional BIM solution.

For more information about how you can improve on-time delivery of projects and manage costs, please contact Dr Asif Sharif on:

Phone: +971 4 341 0027
Email:  info@conject.com 
Website:  www.conject.com


Related posts:

International construction projects made possible by cloud collaboration


About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

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