The UAE – Amec Foster Wheeler case study

Amec Foster Wheeler case study
Amec Foster Wheeler case study

Amec Foster Wheeler has been in the UAE since the early 70s primarily focusing on the oil and gas sectors. It employs 600 people in the Emirates including 100 in Dubai. Its main hub is located in Abu Dhabi.

"Oil and Gas is our bread and butter and in the UAE we cover the entire spectrum carrying out engineering and project managing and consulting services," says Roberto Penno, president of Asia, Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe.

The group is presently looking at diversifying its offering in the UAE with a particular focus on the burgeoning nuclear energy and water sectors. "There is a growing energy demand in the UAE with subsequent opportunities around renewable energy," says Penno.

He says one of the main challenges in operating in the UAE is a limited supply of local engineering skills and experience. However it strives to use a combination of highly skilled ex-pats and local expertise amongst its stable of engineers and project managers.

"Everywhere we go we want to hire local resources," he says.

Penno urges UK businesses to consider exporting to or opening offices in the UAE given its strong banking network, fair and transparent regulations and flexible employment laws.
"My main recommendation for businesses is to do your homework, look at property costs and make sure you have at least a couple of visits to your chosen location before you come to a decision," he says.

In tomorrow’s instalment of the UAE series, we take a look at potential cultural barriers to trade…