The UAE currently has a portfolio of $690 billion worth of infrastructure projects, a senior official at a strategic government body said.
“The UAE is considered as one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies with some of the most complex and large-scale projects under construction. The rapid expansion of the UAE and Abu Dhabi requires more projects, qualified workforce for these projects, demand for housing, and demand for healthcare and demand for education and energy and, more importantly project managers,” said Mohammad Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) at the inauguration of the Emirates Project Management Academy (EPMA) in the capital.
The body has been established with a mission to foster local and international cooperation in the field of project management in the UAE.
“The EPMA has been created to ensure that the visions of growth that the leadership of the UAE has developed are delivered through competent project managers that are equipped with the best tools,” said Al Hammadi.
EPMA offers corporate and individual memberships, which provide members access to an array of services including training, discounts on educational courses, industry meetings and workshops. More than 250 corporate memberships were secured during the event with the UAE entities including Khalifa University, Emirates Advanced Investments Group, National Petroleum Construction Company, Gasco, Strata, Injazat and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea).
Currently, Al Hammadi said only 0.78 per cent of all certified project managers in the world are based in the UAE, adding EPMA’s mandate is to build project management practice in the UAE, that includes both the UAE nationals and expatriates. It is part of the UAE Vision 2021 to build up the UAE nationals to handle mega projects in the UAE.
“There is a substantial need to increase the pool of certified project managers to, not only ensure that projects are constructed on time and within budget but more importantly in a safe and quality-driven manner,” he added.
Separately, Al Hammadi said the UAE under its civil nuclear program is constructing four nuclear energy plants in Barakah.
“The first plant is scheduled to commence operations in 2017, pending further regulatory approvals. The peaceful nuclear energy program is a long-term project that will create a new industry for the nation. This means thousands of jobs and the creation of a support industry that will require certified and experienced project managers to deliver. It will become a great contributor to the practice of project management,” said Al Hammadi.