Dubai, UAE, and GCC boom; a hisorical perspective

This article is the first of a series that we published in a regional magazine a few years back. The concepts that we discussed then and the message of these articles are still applicable today, hence the republication here!

In a place like Dubai, Jeddah, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Manama, and many other places in West Asia, particularly the GCC[1] one can observe a major boom. Construction cranes are everywhere dominating the skylines. Buildings are appearing like a forest growing rapidly of the grounds. Islands are emerging out of the relatively calm gulf water and skyscrapers are reaching higher and higher into the clouds. This magnificent growth is unmatched in the world.

The diversity of the projects, their developers, and the innovators behind them are quite unique. Some areas are becoming closer to a dream land where every type of projects imaginable is being created due to the highly innovative, creative, and pioneering minds. We see major cities being built in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and even our beloved Lebanon – once reconstruction starts. It is also worth noting that speed of development is probably not matched in recent history anywhere in the world. This accelerated rate in getting new ideas to the market is quite challenging to regional resources but somehow our wills and abilities are finding a magical way in delivering in this highly dynamic world.

Yes it is easy to see cranes moving around the clock building a better future for us all. It is easy to see islands being born into our new world but what is not easy to see is the magic that is making this happen. What is not easy to see is how our regional airlines are the fastest growing for the industry whereas most other places this industry is declining. What is not easy to see is the dynamic of information technology where many global houses have moved into the area. What is not readily recognizable is the power of human capital, resource development, nationalization programs and their role in creating our fantastic world. What is not easy to see is how the financial sector is emerging as global power across many cities in our region.

What is the power that is leading the way in making these dreams become reality?

Obviously we do not have a magical wand rather – being biased to our profession – we would like to say that Project Management, as an emerging profession, is playing a significant role in all industries across the region and globally. Project Management is not just about managing a construction project. Organizational Project Management has proven itself as a strategic business asset that could help organizations bridge the gap between corporate strategy and implementation it is a link to ensure effective implementation of projects and programs.

Project management is what could help us achieve such a reality and pursue these enormous challenges in much more effective way. The question would therefore be: how effective are we in managing these projects? The answer is for a future article but for now: what is project management and why do we need it?What is project management?

In our forest, we see project management as a giant that is awakening since only a giant can help us effectively navigate in this highly dynamic world. So how to awaken this giant and once it is awakened how do we tame it? How do we refine it in order for us to utilize its power in the most effective way?

To find out more – look for the giant in future editions.


[1] GCC is the Gulf Cooperation Council consisting of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman

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About Mounir Ajam

A Project Management thought leader, who believes that project management touches all people, in all aspects of life; personal and professional.Initiated and led the formation of SUKAD Corp to develop the Uruk PPM Platform.An advocate of real-world, practical and applied project management.Champion of adaptive project management, tailored methods, and organizational project management.Available anywhere in the world to advise executives and organizations on the strategic value of project management. Ready to help organizations build and sustain the Project Management Function and the capacity to lead projects successfully.