CIOB signs two key memoranda in Qatar and welcomes new president
The CIOB’s Members’ Forum is underway in Doha, Qatar, this week, marked by the signing of two key memorandums of understanding with local organisations, an address by the UK Ambassador to Qatar and the inauguration of the CIOB’s new president, Professor Ghassan Aouad.
The CIOB first signed an MoU with the Qatar Foundation, an organisation with a dual role as client in several public sector projects and as a modernising force in Qatar society.
It is seeking to embed its Mandatory Standards of Migrant Worker’s Welfare for Contractors and Subcontractors in the construction sector, and the MoU endorses its take up through CIOB membership.
British envoy Nicholas Hopton (second from left) with CIOB president Peter Jacobs (extreme right), Qatar Chamber board member Nasser Ahmed al-Meer (third from left) and CIOB Qatar official Ahmed al-Ansari (third from right).
The CIOB also signed an agreement with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, which has undertaken to act as a focal point for organising CIOB events, seminars and industry-level meetings in Qatar.
CIOB chief executive Chris Blythe and Qatar Chamber board member Nasser Ahmed al-Meer signed the documents in the presence of British ambassador to Qatar, Nicholas Hopton.
Hopton later spoke at the “Leaders in the Construction Industry” reception, adding his voice to the CIOB’s main message that more has to be done to protect the welfare of workers in Qatar and inviting CIOB members to help drive up the standards in the industry.
The CIOB also held its Annual General Meeting in Doha yesterday (Monday June 16), which saw the inauguration of new president Professor Ghassan Aouad.
Aouad, vice president for academic affairs at the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST), succeeds Peter Jacobs and becomes the CIOB’s 111th president.
"I am fortunate to start my tenure as president in Qatar, a country that is very close to my heart that has undergone major development through creative and innovative construction and infrastructure projects in recent years."
Professor Ghassan Aouad, CIOB president
Speaking about his appointment, Aouad said: “It is a privilege to be presiding over an Institute that’s the world’s largest and most influential body for construction management and leadership.
“I am fortunate to start my tenure as president in Qatar, a country that is very close to my heart that has undergone major development through creative and innovative construction and infrastructure projects in recent years.
“However, we shouldn’t shy away from the well-publicised problems that face construction workers here and throughout the Gulf. And during my presidency it is my aspiration to help stimulate change and promote a culture of respect for people and professionalism in our industry globally.”
Prior to his role at GUST, Aouad spent 20 years at the University of Salford, holding several roles including pro vice chancellor for research and innovation.
Born and raised in Lebanon, where he studied for a degree in civil engineering at Beirut Arab University, Aouad has worked in both the UK and Arab markets.
The CIOB has had a presence in Qatar since 2008, where it currently has more than 500 members.
Delegates to the Members’ Forum also toured Qatar’s Sports City (pictured below), a project that spans more than 250 ha and features a 50,000 capacity stadium and an aquatic centre with Olympic standard pools.