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Insights A day in the life of a Project Manager at AtkinsRéalis in Saudi Arabia

Project Managers stand as indispensable team members in construction projects, acting as the linchpin in every development endeavour they undertake. 

Their pivotal role involves facilitating effective communication between clients and their teams, ensuring projects are not only completed within budget but also on time – a task that proves challenging yet undeniably rewarding. 

Deema shares her insights from her experience as a Project Manager in Saudi Arabia at AtkinsRéalis. 

Meet Deema

“My name is Deema Nimatallah, Project Manager at AtkinsRéalis. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Design from Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

I have always had a passion for the construction, entertainment, and housing industries. I am a risk-taker and I work well under pressure regardless of the task at hand.”

What inspired you to become a project manager? 

“I was inspired to become a Project Manager because I always enjoyed taking pictures of unique buildings and finding out how they were built. 

When I saw a building, I would think, “Who designed this remarkable project, what was the idea behind it, and how can I become a part of this industry?” 

After completing my studies in Architecture and Design, this was something I was able to manifest through my work at AtkinsRéalis.”

Fostering the pursuit of passions is a top priority for us. We aim to create an environment where our teams find joy in their work, embrace challenges, and confidently progress along their chosen career path. 

This commitment stands as a primary driving force behind our approach and is a primary reason why people choose to join us

Which project stands out as the most notable in your career and why? 

“One of my favourite projects is Al Balad, which is the “Historic District” in Jeddah, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Although the project duration was short, it is one of my preferred projects with AtkinsRéalia since it is in my hometown. 

I learned a lot about infrastructure design, project management, and how to handle historical sites in different situations. 

The most interesting part was visiting Al Balad, whenever we had a client meeting, and learning more about the project’s renovation and the massive changes that will enrich this place and make it a focal tourism point.” 

Jeddah’s Al Balad is famous for its uniquely designed houses which are built using coral from deep in the Red Sea, with colourful rawasheen balconies, or mashrabiyas. 

Across the Middle East, we’re known at AtkinsRéalis for our expertise in developing modern and unique structures, whilst preserving or incorporating the region’s unique heritage and traditions.

What is a typical day like in your role as a project manager? 

“As part of my role, I develop key project documents such as the 120 Days Deliverable Plan, which outlines the project deliverables and delivery dates, and the project management plan. It’s one of the most complex documents as it involves a large number of team members.”

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a project manager?

“The most rewarding aspect of being a Project Manager lies in grasping the fundamentals and recognizing the responsibilities integral to the role. 

Confidence and maintaining high-quality standards are crucial for effectively carrying out tasks. 

Additionally, building a network within the industry is essential to acquire new skills and broaden one's knowledge base.”

At AtkinsRéalis, we encourage teams across our business to network, collaborate and share skills and knowledge because we know it helps our people to grow and develop. 

What proves to be the most demanding aspect of your job?

“The most challenging thing about my job is managing deliverables with the team and the clients. 

Time management is critical, and I have to remind the team about our deadlines which can sometimes be stressful for them, but unfortunately, that is part of my job.” 

Balancing multiple responsibilities in the role of a Project Manager can be challenging but ultimately it is very rewarding. 

If you’re just starting a career as a Project Manager, we’ve put together 4 project management principles to apply in your next construction project to get you started.

What advice would you offer to other women aspiring to become project managers in Saudi Arabia?

“One piece of advice I would give to women who want to become Project Managers is to be confident and speak up when they witness something wrong that needs flagging. Always have a positive mindset and be patient.” 

We value diverse perspectives at AtkinsRéalis as ‘different makes a difference’. These differences are one of our greatest strengths – and key to understanding the needs of our clients worldwide.

How do you believe we can inspire more young girls to pursue studies in architecture?

“Architecture is an incredible field, but its appeal varies based on individual interests. 

In line with the Saudi 2030 Vision, there is a growing awareness of ongoing projects and the increasing demand for female engineers in the construction industry. 

This aligns seamlessly with the national agenda, as these women not only contribute to these projects but also serve their country in the process.” 

Unlock a project manager job in Saudi Arabia with AtkinsRéalis 

Has Deema’s story inspired you? 

We have several Project Management opportunities available. 

If you want to be part of a team that is responsible for the safe and successful delivery of effective projects, find out more about project management jobs at AtkinsRéalis, or browse our available project management jobs in the Middle East today.