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Middle East construction is entering a new era. A phase vital to the future of the region and one that will provide exciting new business and career opportunities for those willing and able to adapt. But the new era also requires fundamental changes to the way Middle East construction operates.

For decades, engineers, contractors and manufacturers in the region have thrived on the vast capital investments in infrastructure and real estate. The results have been spectacular. The region is now home to an incredible array of world-class projects that have laid the foundations for the future.

Going forward, growth will not be driven by unlimited top-down spending. Uncertain oil prices, tight fiscal controls and limited access to finance will restrict project spending. Competition will increase and success will go to those who can deliver projects most efficiently, most safely and with the least impact on the environment.

Technology will be one of the key ingredients to success in the future. From robotics to 3D printing to blockchain, technologies are emerging that promise to transform our world. One of the biggest challenges is knowing which ones to invest in. It is a critical choice because, in order to make the most of these new technologies, companies must invest in new skills. They must develop new business models with disruptive technology companies. And they must learn to work collaboratively with other project stakeholders.

Smart Construction in the Middle East showcases the technologies, innovations and trends that are transforming Middle East construction. Combining expert insights with case studies and technology profiles, it provides a unique guide to smart construction that aims to enable change.

The project boom years have seen the regional construction industry mature. Where once, major project clients depended on international contractors to deliver their biggest projects, local players now lead the way. These are the companies who must take responsibility for transforming the way the construction industry operates in the Middle East.

It is my hope that this report will be the first of many in MEED’s knowledge transfer series that will help them do so.

Richard Thompson, MEED’s editorial director