Keith Howells, newly installed chairman of London-based global design firm Mott MacDonald Group, is optimistic that Dubai’s gradual emergence from its real estate slump will boost the firm’s fortunes this year. Mott’s recent award of a design contract on the $6-billion Dubai Pearl mixed-use project supports his view that the emirate’s construction market is climbing “off the floor.”
Mott’s work involves design of mechanical, electrical, public health, fire, communications and security systems for the project’s first of two phases. Four 73-story skyscrapers framed in structural steel and reinforced concrete form the 1.9-million sq-meter complex. Standing between 32 and 110 m apart, they will be joined by a one-story-deep rooftop platform. Due for completion in 2013, the development will provide homes and work places for 21,000 people.