Consulting engineer in talks with UAE government over strategic analysis and threat assessment

Hyder Consulting is in talks with the United Arab Emirates’ government over protecting the region’s buildings and infrastructure from terrorist attacks.

The firm is understood to be holding early-stage discussions about offering strategic advice and threat assessment.

The move follows rapid growth in Dubai’s development programme, investment in which now exceeds £200bn. Dubai’s construction programme includes a series of high profile towers such as the £808m-high Burj Dubai, many of which may be perceived as terrorist targets.

Hyder Consulting's security department is led by Peter Ryan, who also acts as security adviser to the International Olympic Committee. He provided security advice to the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, and other national security projects in the region.

Hyder’s security work focuses on transport, electricity, water, oil and gas buildings, as well as data networks. Its services cover access control, resistance to physical attack and security at mass gatherings.

The news comes amid increasing concern in Dubai over the public perception of its construction programme. It recently launched a sustainability programme to reduce energy consumption by 60%.

Last week, the UAE joined the UN’s anti-nuclear-terrorism group. Signatories to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism agree to put legislations against nuclear terrorism in place and to protect nuclear plants and materials.

Meanwhile, the director of Dubai Civil Defence has issued regulations on fire safety. He urged companies to comply with standards set by the National Fire Protection Association. New regulations require an on-site official responsible for safety.