Qatar is as good as it gets for engineers, says Keith Clarke, chief executive officer at UK-based consultancy Atkins.

Speaking to British and Qatari business people at MEED’s Qatar Infrastructure Projects  2011 conference, Clarke said that the opportunity to take a long-term holistic approach to designing infrastructure presented an exciting opportunity for the development of engineering in the region.

“We are now in an environment where government planning is driving economic activity. It is no longer a ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ approach. And things like the World Cup are not just about planning for the event. It is about building public spaces, buildings and meeting points for the next 100 years. For engineers that is as good as it gets.”

Clarke says Atkins, one of the world’s biggest multi-disciplinary consultants, anticipates that it will have more than 1,000 engineers in Qatar in the next two years.