The six leading people in the GCC rail sector: Abdullah Salem al-Katheeri, Abdul Redha Abu al-Hassan, Emir Saleem, Ismail Elkholy, Paul Abbosh and Bassam Mansour.
Abdullah Salem al-Katheeri
Position: Executive director, National Transport Authority, Abu Dhabi
Biography: Engineer Abdullah Salem al-Katheeri joined Abu Dhabi Municipality in 1987 as a project manager. He went on to work as group manager, area manager, deputy chief engineer and director general of the Roads & Transportation Directorate for Abu Dhabi. He became director of Land Transport at the National Transport Authority in 2006. Al-Katheeri has overseen the construction of major highway and road improvement projects in Abu Dhabi. He also played a major role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s transport masterplan, part of which involves the construction of a metro system that will link up to the Dubai Metro. Al-Katheeri is to have a role in the national rail transport system for the UAE once the study has been approved and a new national railway entity set up to oversee the project.
Contact Tel: (+971) 2418 2222
Abdul Redha Abu al-Hassan
Position: Director of planning and development, Dubai Roads & Transport Authority
Biography: Abdul Redha Abu al-Hassan is leading the planning of the Dubai Metro project, the country’s first light rail system. He is part of the team awarding contracts to the developers involved in the building of the metro. His planning responsibilities also include setting toll and train charges. Al-Hassan has 22 years’ experience in a variety of roles within the UAE government. Before becoming director of planning and development at the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) in 2005, Al-Hassan was the deputy director of Dubai Municipality, and prior to that he was head of construction. Al-Hassan was responsible for the 2006 launches of the general projects department, and the planning design department at the RTA. Al-Hassan is a member of the UAE’s Engineering Society, as well as the country’s Architectural Heritage Society.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4284 4444
Position: Director of safety, regulation and planning, Dubai Roads & Transport Authority
Biography: Emir Saleem has two decades’ experience in project management and system safety. He is an accredited systems assurance manager with several major rail operators and contractors, for example Dubai Rail Agency, Kowloon-Canton Rail Corporation, Singapore Land Transport Authority sand Kawasaki Heavy Industries. He is also recognised as a system safety expert with international organisations including the European Commission and the United Nations. Saleem has worked for British Aerospace, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Bovis Lend Lease. Recent major projects he has been involved in include delivering the Operational Safety Case Report for the Taiwan High Speed Rail Project. His current role as director of safety for the RTA involves the certification and regulation of all railways in the emirate of Dubai.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4284 4444
Position: Senior adviser, Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden)
Biography: As the railway and corporate projects advisor for Maaden, Ismail Elkholy is responsible for strategy and liaison between Maaden’s aluminium and phosphate projects and the company’s railway project. He also advises on site infrastructure and permits, recruitment, business planning, governmental affairs and industry relations. Elkholy played a key role in lobbying for the 1,500-kilometre-long railroad. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the planning, management and delivery of projects in the engineering, construction and transportation industry. Before joining Maaden his previous employers include Canadian National Railway Company. Elkholy holds an MBA from McGill University in Quebec, Canada, as well as a PhD and masters in civil engineering from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Contact Tel: (+966) 1472 1222
Position: Development director, Middle East & India, Atkins
Biography: Paul Abbosh joined the UK’s engineering consultancy Atkins in 1986 and in 1997 became the managing director of its major projects unit with responsibility for commissions including due diligence on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. He moved to Atkins Rail in 2003, taking on a portfolio of infrastructure renewal projects for the UK’s Network Rail and a number of commissions for London’s Docklands Light Railway and London Underground. During this period, Abbosh was the bid director for the successful Crossrail bid in the UK, and the Dubai Metro Design. Abbosh arrived in the Middle East in 2006 to take up his role of regional board member and development director for Atkins Middle East and India. He was Dubai Metro project director for Atkins during the start-up phase of the project, which involved 500 staff and 21 offices worldwide.
Contact Tel: (+ 971) 4405 9300
Position: Director, Rail Group - Middle East, Bovis Lend Lease
Biography: Bassam Mansour is a fellow of UK’s The Institution of Engineering and Technology and started his career in the mid-1980s at British Rail, where he trained and worked for 16 years at supervisory and senior management levels, until the privatisation of the UK railways in 1996. He then managed the London Underground’s public-private-partnerships and private finance initiatives, and was the head of the electrification and power group. Mansour has held senior positions on the construction of a number of international railway projects, such as the Channel Tunnel and Docklands in the UK, the Bosphorus Crossing in Turkey and Dublin Area Transit System in Ireland. He became chief traction and power manager for Japan Railway Technical Services in Tokyo before joining Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority as director of engineering for Railways.
Contact Tel: (+971) 4321 4200
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