Atkins has appointed a smart cities rail guru as it looks to create a modern centre of excellence in the Middle East.
The UK-headquartered engineering consultancy named former Bombardier chief Abdeljabbar Ben Salem as its head of rail systems.
Abdeljabbar will lead a team of specialists in the region as Atkins continues to gear up to service a next generation of rail clients.
Julian Hill, managing director for Middle East rail at Atkins, said: “Rail systems skills are deeply technical and much sought after in the marketplace – not just in this region but across the world.
“By investing strongly in our rail systems team we’re ensuring that we’re in the best possible position to meet future demand as the region’s major rail projects and programmes gain momentum.”
Abdeljabbar added: “The most advanced cities in the region have reached their respective stages of development thanks to the strength of their vision and their passion.
“What we’re seeing now, though, is a demand for the scientific planning and understanding which is needed for smart city urbanisation, and rail systems skills are an integral part of that vision.”
Atkins last month announced a reshuffle that will see Douglas McCormick, who currently heads up UK rail, free to focus on international opportunities in the sector.