Construction

Raising the bar – The critical reforms that can transform GCC real estate

Pinsent Masons and Big Project ME host high-level executive roundtable to discuss touchstone issues critical to the real estate and construction in the region

On Wednesday, October 9th, The Oberoi Hotel was the setting for an industry roundtable, focusing on touchstone issues critical to both the economic and the stakeholder mix in the GCC’s real estate sector.

Sponsored by international law from Pinsent & Masons and hosted by Big Project, Governance and Investment in GCC Real Estate featured two hour-long sessions: the first focusing on attracting FDI to real estate and construction projects in the GCC; and the second  showcasing how contracts can best be structured to encourage collaboration and coordination between stakeholders.

The discussions raised the bar on a number of very practical areas – and made real progress on not only clarifying the issues, but in proposing relevant and timely solutions. The panel featured eminent practitioners at the ‘sharp edge’ of development, construction and law, with the real-world stakeholder mix raising issues such as –

  • The impediments to FDI – is the legal and regulatory framework too opaque and uncertain, and likely to deter potential investors?
  • Is enough prominence given to the use of capital market solutions, which can be useful tools in hedging risk and minimizing project exposures?
  • Is it possible to update and reconfigure present contractual templates to include key areas of project responsibility and reporting?
  • What are the communication frameworks necessary to deliver projects with diverse stakeholders on-time and on budget? Why is the culture of distrust so prevalent that it prohibits authentic pricing of variations and encourages a pass-the-blame mindset?

Our thanks to all the panelists who contributed to a highly stimulating and worthwhile debate –

  • Tim Armsby – Partner, Pinsent Masons
  • Mark Raymont – Partner, Pinsent Masons
  • Gurmeet Kaur – Partner, Pinsent Masons
  • Asif Shafi – Senior vice president, Strategy and Growth MEA, AECOM
  • Rana Obeid – vice president/senior legal counsel, Parsons
  • Cecilia Reinaldo – chief executive officer, HOD.co
  • Wu Ming – executive vice president, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East
  • Rahail Aslam – CEO, Select Group
  • Kez Taylor – CEO, ALEC Group
  • Masood Al Awar – CEO, Medallion Associates
  • Nicholas Harris – managing director, Omnium International
  • Jaime Soto – head of Legal, ACCIONA, Middle East region
  • Robert C Bush, Jr – real estate finance analyst
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