Metro job continues to court controversy

The old chestnut of skills shortages in the construction sector has emerged again. And it seems that it has already become an issue for the Dubai Metro project, even before construction has got into full swing. Some industry wags have started referring to the recently recruited senior managers on the project as Dad’s Army — a rather uncharitable reference, I am told, to the senior years of some of them.

  • E-Mail
By  Sean Cronin Published  March 11, 2006

|~||~||~|The old chestnut of skills shortages in the construction sector has emerged again. And it seems that it has already become an issue for the Dubai Metro project, even before construction has got into full swing. Some industry wags have started referring to the recently recruited senior managers on the project as Dad’s Army — a rather uncharitable reference, I am told, to the senior years of some of them. Well, there’s no substitute for experience. And they’ll need lots of that to keep the Metro project, and the potentially challenging tunnelling and traffic management elements on track. There should at least be enough management expertise within the team to ensure the smooth running of the job, with the recent appointment of Atkins in an as yet undefined advisory role. Judging by the reluctance of Capita Symonds, Atkins, or any of the client’s spokespersons, to clarify what its precise role on the project is, or will be, we can safely assume a few noses may be out of joint. Talking of which, the snubbing of local contractors in the initial award of the Metro contract to the Japanese-led Mitsubishi consortium last year, looks to have been repeated in the second round of sub-contracts to have been issued in recent weeks. Back in June of last year when the Metro contract award was announced, the three other losing consortia all included local and regional players, in the form of Orascom, Besix, Habtoor Engineering, Saudi Bin Laden and Arabtec. Now it appears that a second round of packages have also gone to overseas suppliers. One of the more recent appointments has been that of Geoconsult — a tunnelling engineer with a long and illustrious past that has worked for clients throughout the world. The company has several major tunnelling credits to its name, including the Dublin Port Tunnel in Ireland, the Rome Metro in Italy and the High Speed Rail in Taipei. Although I’m guessing they are probably still off the Christmas card list of the UK Health & Safety Executive and Uxbridge Crown Court. Sean Cronin Editor||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code