Posted on June 05, 2016

ASTAD has had unrivalled successes within the construction industry, successfully managing the delivery of some of Qatar’s most complex projects, providing world-class, award winning project management services which they now offer throughout the region. Because of this, ASTAD was invited to the annual MEED Construction Leadership Summit in Dubai to share their expertise and discuss the strategic direction of the region's construction industry. The summit was held at the Conrad Hotel on May 25th and gathered high-level construction leaders and opened dialogue between stakeholders.

Chief Executive Officer of ASTAD, Engineer Ali Al-Khalifa, shared his contract expertise through a thorough panel discussion related to construction partnerships, risk allocation and margins in a new financial era. The panel was under the theme ‘Contract Management' where he discussed the current challenges faced with contracts and the way forward stating: “All parties involved in a project need to become more aligned and join forces while cooperatively understanding a project's IRR (Internal Rate of Return). Project stakeholders particularly within the GCC, need to recognize that the construction industry has changed and all of us present need to collectively promote a cultural shift where all parties take responsibility for their fair share of risk from project initiation.”

Chief Commercial Officer of ASTAD, Abdulaziz Al-Mulla participated in a panel discussion under the theme ‘Why the lowest bid wont give you what you want' in which he discussed the current challenges faced with low bids in the region stating: "The lowest bidder, in most circumstances has the least experience, and the least quality and clients usually choose the lowest bidder because they think it will save them money, however in the long run, they usually have to pay more for delays and on-going revamps. Clients need to define the scope of work clearly to ensure they get the right price, cost and value for money, as these three components are not necessarily the same when it comes to the lowest bid."

He continued to discuss ASTAD's contribution stating: "We are sharing this message through presentations at conferences, forums and events all around the Gulf to bring light to the issue and to educate on better alternatives while simultaneously advising our clients on the best solutions for them. ASTAD has this year produced its own fully integrated suite of contracts, with a full set of appendices and templates, all fully adaptable and versatile for use with any project, any procurement strategy and any employer. We hope by adopting a smarter approach, clients will get what they want at the right price.

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ASTAD achieved major recognition later on in the evening when its projects won four awards at the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, celebrating the success of the best quality projects from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Engineer Ali Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of ASTAD, said on this occasion: “These awards truly underline the emphasis we put on quality and illustrate our growing reputation as a quality project management organization that strives for excellent project outcomes. The key components of these achievements are our clients and our people.”

ASTAD's winning projects were the Qatar Foundation Headquarters, which won the national award for "Building of the year" while their Lusail Sports Arena won the national award for "Sustainable project of the year". The Qatar Foundation HQ is a world-class and internationally renowned landmark, accommodating over 500 QF employees and standing at approximately 57 meters tall. The Lusail Sports Arena is the largest multi-purpose hall in the Middle East and was the first stadium project in Qatar to receive a 4 star Global Sustainability Assessment System Rating. An additional ASTAD Project, the Qatar Foundation Male and Female Student Housing also bagged the national award for 'Residential Project of the Year'.

ASTAD’s biggest achievement of the night was the Qatar Foundation Headquarters winning the GCC Award for ‘Building Project of the Year’. This is the second year in a row that an ASTAD project wins an award at GCC level, with the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies bagging the award last year. These awards distinguish their projects as the highest quality within the GCCNow in its sixth year, the 2016 MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Mashreq, is the only awards programme that recognizes the very best project achievements in the GCC, established as the region’s premier accolade for project achievement.