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Insights Hani Ashour: A Project Manager Shaping Success in AlUla

Discover the remarkable journey of Hani Ashour, a seasoned project manager at AtkinsRéalis. With a rich background in architecture, real estate, and project management, Hani has contributed to the realization of over 520 diverse projects, ranging from private villas to head offices, IT centers, and spas. 

Born in Jeddah in 1979, Hani's passion for architectural design led him to graduate from King Saud University in 2002, specializing in Architectural and Building Science. He has since honed his skills, obtaining certifications in LEED, PMP, TQM, and SCE consultancy. 

During his illustrious career, Hani has collaborated with esteemed organizations like Al Amusally Design Office, Saudi Bin Laden Group, Good Deals Contracting, Arab National Bank, and now, AtkinsRéalis. In each role, Hani embraces challenges with open arms, striving to expand his knowledge and contribute to the Saudi Vision 2030. 

Working in AlUla as a Project Manager 

AtkinsRéalis, where Hani currently thrives, has welcomed him with open arms, providing not only a professional environment but also a supportive family-like atmosphere. Together with his exceptional team, Hani believes that collaboration and determination will propel them to shape a prosperous future and carve their names into the company's success story. 

In AlUla, the role of a project manager carried by Hani Ashour is pivotal. Tasked with overseeing the entire project lifecycle, Hani unfolds his expertise in planning, organizing, and coordinating resources. His keen eye for detail ensures that project objectives are met on time and within budget, all while adhering to industry standards. Moreover, Hani establishes strong relationships with stakeholders, team members, and contractors to foster seamless collaboration throughout each endeavor. 

What it takes to be a successful Project Manager?

To achieve success as a project manager, several key qualities and skills are necessary. Let's explore them: 

1. Effective leadership and communication: Strong leadership skills are essential for managing and coordinating project teams, stakeholders, and resources. Clear and concise communication helps convey project goals, expectations, and progress to all parties involved. 

2. Excellent organizational and time management skills: Successful project managers must develop and maintain detailed project plans, set realistic timelines, and allocate resources efficiently. Adaptability and prioritization are also important to ensure project success. 

3. Solid understanding of project management methodologies: A successful project manager should have expertise in project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. Familiarity with tools and techniques such as risk management, budgeting, and quality control is also crucial. 

4. Problem-solving and decision-making abilities: Addressing challenges and making informed choices throughout the project lifecycle is vital. Project managers must identify and mitigate risks, resolve conflicts, and make timely decisions to keep projects on track. 

Involvement in AlUla projects 

Hani has been involved with AlUla projects in the role of EPMO (Enterprise Project Management Office). The EPMO in AlUla projects is entrusted with overseeing and managing the alignment of projects with the strategic goals and objectives of AlUla, while also ensuring project deliverables are successfully managed. Some insights into his involvement include: 

1. Project Portfolio Management 

The EPMO critically evaluates and prioritizes projects based on their alignment with AlUla's strategic objectives. They assess project feasibility, resource requirements, and potential risks, making informed decisions about project selection and prioritization. 

2. Standardization and Best Practices 

To maintain consistency, the EPMO establishes and enforces project management standards, methodologies, and best practices across all AlUla projects. This ensures project execution, documentation, and reporting are consistent, promoting efficiency and effectiveness. 

3. Resource Management 

The EPMO oversees resource allocation and capacity planning, ensuring that projects have the necessary resources to succeed. This includes personnel, equipment, and budget allocation. They also encourage resource sharing and collaboration between different projects. 

4. Risk Management: 

Identifying and managing project risks is a key responsibility of the EPMO at the portfolio level. They develop risk management frameworks, monitor risk exposure, and implement mitigation strategies, thereby minimizing the impact of potential risks on project outcomes. 

5. Reporting and Performance Monitoring 

The EPMO diligently tracks and reports project progress, performance, and key metrics to stakeholders and senior management. Regular updates on project status, milestones, and any deviations from planned objectives are provided. 

Overall, the EPMO plays a paramount role in ensuring effective project management practices, alignment with organizational goals, and successful project delivery in AlUla projects. Their efforts are aimed at driving excellence and innovation in project execution. 

Making an impactful difference to AlUla’s heritage and culture 

By carefully integrating preservation and conservation efforts into project plans, project managers play a crucial role in protecting and celebrating AlUla's historical sites, artifacts, and cultural traditions. Collaborating with local communities, experts, and stakeholders, they ensure that diverse perspectives and knowledge are woven into project designs and implementation. 

But that's not all. They also foster the development of sustainable tourism initiatives that showcase AlUla's unique heritage and culture while minimizing any adverse effects on the environment and local communities. By championing responsible tourism practices, project managers safeguard both AlUla's cultural identity and the local economy. 

Moreover, project managers contribute to educational programs and initiatives that raise awareness about AlUla's rich heritage and captivating culture. They organize engaging workshops, captivating exhibitions, and vibrant cultural events that enthral both residents and visitors. Through these endeavors, they kindle a profound appreciation and understanding of AlUla's remarkable history and enduring traditions. 

In the end, the impact of a project manager's work on AlUla's heritage and culture depends on the specific projects they undertake and the extent to which they prioritize preservation, community engagement, and sustainable development. Their dedication and passion pave the way for a brighter future that cherishes and cherishes AlUla's extraordinary legacy. 

Activities in AlUla 

When you're not working, AlUla offers a plethora of activities to indulge in and immerse yourself in the region's unique charms. Rich in heritage, AlUla boasts stunning landscapes and cultural experiences that are worth their weight in gold. Here are some recommended activities to make the most of your time: 

Uncover History at Historical Sites: Unearth the fascinating history of AlUla by exploring iconic sites like Madain Saleh (Al-Hijr), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the ancient Nabatean tombs and rock-cut structures that provide a window into the region's intriguing past. 

Embrace the Wonders of Rock Formations: Prepare to be awe-inspired by AlUla's breathtaking rock formations, including Elephant Rock and the volcanic landscapes of Harrat Khaybar. Take a tour or embark on a hike to truly appreciate the geological wonders of the area. 

Immerse in Vibrant Cultural Events: Experience the beating heart of AlUla by attending an array of cultural events hosted throughout the year. From music festivals to art exhibitions and traditional performances, surrender yourself to the vibrant cultural scene. 

Seek Serenity in the Oasis: Find solace in AlUla's lush green oasis, enveloped by palm trees and ancient agricultural terraces. Wander through this serene haven, enjoy a leisurely picnic, or simply bask in the peaceful ambiance. 

Unleash Your Adventurous Side: Get ready for an adrenaline rush with a range of outdoor activities. Hike, rock climb, or embark on off-road adventures that showcase the captivating desert landscapes for an unforgettable experience. 

Delight in Local Cuisine: Explore AlUla's diverse culinary scene offering a fusion of traditional Arabian flavors and modern influences. Savor local dishes and indulge in the culinary delights at traditional restaurants or food markets. 

Discover Handicraft Treasures: AlUla is renowned for its impressive array of traditional handicrafts, from pottery to weaving and jewelry. Explore local markets and shops to find unique handmade souvenirs, supporting local artisans while you're at it. 

These activities promise a glimpse into the rich heritage, natural wonders, and cultural experiences that await you in AlUla. Remember to check for specific events or attractions during your visit, as availability may vary. 

Advice on relocating to AlUla 

 If someone is relocating to AlUla, here is some advice to consider: 

AlUla has rich cultural heritage, so take the time to learn about and appreciate the local traditions, customs and way of life.  

Take advantage of your new location by exploring the rock formations, ancient ruins, and natural wonders that AlUla has to offer. This will allow you to fully experience the beauty and history of the region.  

Building relationships with the local community can greatly enhance your experience in AlUla. Engage in conversations, join community groups or organizations, and participate in local activities. This will not only help you integrate into the community but also provide opportunities to learn more about the area and its people.  

AlUla experiences hot and dry weather, especially during the summer months. Make sure to dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and take necessary precautions to protect yourself from the sun. Familiarize yourself with the local weather patterns and plan outdoor activities accordingly.  

When relocating to a new place, it can be helpful to seek guidance from locals or expatriate communities. They can provide valuable insights, recommendations, and support as you settle into your new life in AlUla. 

Remember, every relocation experience is unique, and it's important to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to embrace new experiences. AlUla offers a rich cultural and natural landscape, and by immersing yourself in the local community and surroundings, you can make the most of your time in this remarkable destination. 

 Click here to learn more about project management careers in Saudi Arabia.