Aecom’s regional director gives Building the lowdown on Europe’s safe havens in the Qatar Pavilion

So - what brings you to the Qatar Pavilion then?

We were having lunch with Gensler who have been designing lots of stuff for Msheireb’s Downtown Doha project - which Aecom is masterplanning with two other firms. So I wanted to come in and see the model of the project so far. And the pavilion is great, isn’t it? Worth coming in to have a look at.

And how about closer to home, and the London stand? What sort of vibe have you been picking up there?

There is a good buzz this year. People seem to be here to do business. I think it helps that the London stand is much better set up this year. There are fewer, smaller stands and more networking space.

How is Aecom faring at the moment? what’s next on the agenda for you as a company?

We are looking outside of the UK quite a bit to integrate our business sectors. And our big focus areas at the moment are government work, health, education, transport and industrial projects. In terms of targeting specific regions - we will go wherever we think we can win work.

We have been following our clients rather than particular geographies. But we will be upping our presence in South America and Turkey. Turkey is a strange one. There is a lot of investment from the States, China and Russia in Istanbul. I am not 100% sure why. I suppose because it’s one of Europe’s safe havens at the moment. Like London.

 Is London really a safe haven?

 Yes. Particularly compared to the rest of Western Europe. I think it is still allowed to be called a safe haven!