Case study

UKTI gives Hyder critical support in Saudi Arabia

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) teams in Riyadh and Jeddah helped Hyder Consulting obtain a crucial licence in order to secure a £12m contract.

Burj Khalifa

The High Value Opportunities (HVO) programme and the UKTI teams in Riyadh and Jeddah have helped Hyder Consulting develop in the Jeddah Municipality.

Our first project in the Middle East was in the colony of Aden in 1904,

says Caroline Lewis-O’Halloran, Regional Director, Business Development at Hyder Consulting Middle East Limited.

Other major projects have followed, such as the structural design of the Emirates Towers in Dubai, and one of our proudest achievements, Burj Khalifa. We now employ 1,500 staff across the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and our business in the region accounts for around 25 per cent of our group turnover.

Market entry

Hyder has worked in Saudi Arabia since the 1960s. With the development of the Kingdom’s long term strategy to reduce its dependency on crude oil and develop its infrastructure, the consultancy recognised real opportunities to grow this market. As a result, in 2010 it began to make plans for a permanent presence in the Kingdom.

Over the years, Hyder has worked with UKTI teams around the world, including in Jordan, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, joining trade missions, networking events and generally benefitting from the in-country support available.

As plans for the new office in Jeddah developed, the company got in touch with the local UKTI team to talk about organising a launch event and for support securing a crucial SAGIA licence that would allow the company to work on a contract it had been awarded by the Jeddah Municipality, worth 74 million Riyal (over £12 million). UKTI advised to put the launch on hold until this critical matter had been resolved, and made it a priority to help. Thanks to UKTI’s support, Hyder secured the licence for the project to begin in a record time of four weeks.

There are projects worth US$956 billion or more going on in Saudi at the moment, and we have the core competencies and experience to support the growing needs of the Kingdom,

says Caroline.

The SAGIA licence was the last piece in the puzzle before we could finalise this major contract with the Jeddah Municipality. We were effectively new to the market, without the benefit of established relationships to help smooth the way. There was a very real risk of us losing the contract. But UKTI stepped in, giving us wholehearted support and making exceptional efforts to help us.

They knew who to speak to, and between the Jeddah and Riyadh teams, they managed to sort it out for us in just four weeks. This was really a fantastic outcome, and one which we could not have achieved without their support.

Up and running

With the licence in place and work on the project set to begin, Hyder resumed plans for the launch at which it would announce its commercial registration. UKTI in Jeddah helped to organise the event at the British Consulate, which took place in April 2012 and was hosted by The British Consul-General for Jeddah.

It was a great success on the day and over 300 people attended, including VIP’s from the local business community, Hyder’s local Saudi partner Sheikh Solaiman Abdullah ElKhereiji, and Hyder’s own Chairman, Chief Executive and Middle East Regional Managing Director.

Holding our launch event at the British Consulate raised our profile, and introduced our company and staff to the local community,

says Caroline.

Since arriving in Saudi, the UKTI teams have been truly exceptional. They have introduced us to local businesses that fit well with what we do, and given us on-the-ground support and advice as we found our feet. At times, they have worked evenings and weekends for us, always with good humour and a positive, can-do outlook.

We know that the success of our business in the Middle East is highly dependent on the personal relationships that we build. The UKTI teams have become like family to us, and we look forward to continuing to work with them.

About Hyder Consulting

A multi-national design and engineering consultancy, Hyder Consulting has been involved in many of the world’s most iconic buildings and structures, including Sydney Harbour Bridge, Tower Bridge in London and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. This global footprint can be traced back over 200 years in Europe, over 100 years in East Asia, 70 years in Australia and almost 110 years in the Middle East.

Hyder is headquartered in London, and employs 4,000 engineering consultants and support staff globally. As one of the oldest engineering consultancies in the world, it is able to draw on its local knowledge of each of the regions in which it operates. Combining this with the professional expertise of its people, Hyder creates solutions for clients in the property, transport, utilities and environmental sectors.

Fast facts

Company: Hyder Consulting

Industry: Engineering

Target Market: Saudi Arabia

UKTI Service: High Value Opportunities Programme HVO: Water, wastewater & desalination projects


Published 25 March 2014