Open and close mobile menu


Insights How is the digital transformation in the Middle East impacting construction?

The Middle East is one of the most fast-paced and competitive parts of the world.

In the last decade, countries in the region have been rapidly adopting cutting-edge digital technologies, with governments progressively diversifying their economies from traditionally crude oil. It is predicted that spending on technology in the Middle East and North Africa region will have grown by 4.5% annually in 2021, reaching $171.3 billion, and this growth is only set to continue.

At AtkinsRéalis , and within our brands Atkins, Faithful+Gould and Acuity, we harness the power of digital, as we know it will bring countless advantages to not only our clients but also deliver long term benefits for societies. We have a robust digital infrastructure in place, which helps us prepare for the digital revolution, and promotes innovation in the sectors we work in.

image of two people wearing VR headsets looking at designs

Applying digital in Architecture

The digital revolution in the Middle East is highlighting the need for construction professionals to continue upskilling and reskilling for the future. Architects, for example, are increasingly using Virtual Reality (VR) in the planning and design stages of projects. By having a 3D perspective of their work in the design phase, architects can push the boundaries and ultimately benefit from risk and cost reduction, and improved safety, quality, and accuracy.

New technology allows architects in the Middle East to take risks, push the limits and achieve greatness both on projects and their personal development.

Modernising engineering with digital

The future of engineering in the Middle East is bright, and digital is supporting the modernisation of the discipline. The rise of mega projects in the region is paving way for exciting career opportunities in the Middle East for both graduate and professional engineers from around the world, inspiring them to use technology to drive innovation. We are seeing some of the most extensive and forward-thinking schemes being built on a scale not previously seen before. NEOM, in north-western Saudi Arabia, for example, will be the first ‘cognitive city where world-class technology is fuelled with data and intelligence to interact seamlessly with its population’.

The wide-ranging pipeline of work that is generating opportunities to be creative and explore new technologies and innovation make the Middle East an ideal place to develop a career in engineering.

How does using digital make construction more sustainable?

Digital technologies can be used in construction to increase efficiencies from design phase to build out. BIM, for example, automates design tasks and is used to ensure data accuracy and establish intelligent modelling of infrastructure. By using BIM in conjunction with advanced technology like aerial drones and augmented reality, architects and engineers can explore a variety of solutions to infrastructure design problems that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.

Sustainability is the main driver on NEOM in Saudi Arabia, as it is envisioned to be a Net Zero, smart city by 2030, which complements AtkinsRéalis ’s decarbonisation plans for the region. Smart technologies improve services for communities by enhancing their efficiency, safety, wellbeing, and access to information. This is not just about traditional engineering but about combining creative genius with innovation and technology to provide digital solutions for a better planet. 

At AtkinsRéalis , we weave sustainability into everything we do. On the Emirates Aluminium Smelter Complex (EMAL) project in Abu Dhabi, for example, we established the UAE’s first carbon contaminated soil treatment facility. Our environmental team restored more than 180 tonnes of polluted soil, which they reused in laydown areas and roads.

Revolutionise your career at AtkinsRéalis

For us, the Middle East represents a significant growth opportunity for our diversified engineering and design service offering, and we’re excited about where the future is heading with the use of digital. From designing end-to-end project solutions to pioneering new technologies and ways of working, everything we do at AtkinsRéalis supports our goal of delivering outstanding outcomes, regardless of the scale, complexity, or location of the project. We’re proud to be making a difference today and for generations to come.

If you’re a visionary looking for a new challenge, and you have revolutionary ideas about how we can employ new technologies in construction, we may have an exciting opportunity for you. Browse our available jobs in the Middle East and find out what heights you can take your career to.