Yakin DABDA, General Director of setec Middle East, welcomed us to setec ‘s new offices in Riyadh and Al Ula, alongside the teams working there on all projects.
He tells us about the various steps that led to the creation of setec Middle East in January 2022.

“I started working for setec bâtiment, in Dubai in May 2019, with the aim to develop the local market. After a short while, I made a few observations. First, I felt we should present setec‘s full-service engineering offer, for a better visibility to our clients. What’s more, we rapidly realised that we needed to develop partnerships capable of identifying projects in line with our expertise, through effective and responsive coverage of the entire country.

I would say that the key to success lies in our agile and global approach. With consortiums such as SEA (setec, Egis and Assystem), established to meet the requirements of the RCU (Royal Commission for Al Ula), or the partnership formed by setec and Egis for DGDA (Diriyah Gate Develoment Authority), we have created a context that enables experts to come together and meet the needs of projects. For KSP (King Salman Park), we were approached by Buro Happold, once again as part of a partnership. This approach has enabled us to win projects in Saudi Arabia, where we were already present (via the Riyadh metro project)”

We therefore launched, with the international management team, a business plan for our local company based on 3 areas of development:

  • Local project management local owner’s assistance, for major development projects;
  • Assistance to French companies with their design projects (buildings and infrastructures);
  • Environmental services, to meet the country’s needs in terms of environmental impact analyses and assist public environmental agencies in achieving compliance. To achieve this, we have created a joint department with Alpin.

When, like all other Group companies, we do the GO/NO GO analyses of our project opportunities from the “Engineers & Citizens” standpoint, our most used criteria are the benefits for the general population (and not just a selected few) and the credibility of the environmental objectives. To carry out these analyses and achieve successful projects, the women and men who work here are our greatest asset.
To simplify their integration and meet their needs as effectively as possible, we have set up a “Business Support Services” department, which brings together all our IT, logistics and administrative services.
At present, we are already 60 employees at setec Middle East, and we are expanding rapidly, both in our own field and in new areas of expertise. We have just won a project for the museum in Al Ula, with the Franco-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh. Also at Al Ula, we are developing a platform for online reporting, enabling clients to view the progress of all their projects on a map in real time.
In addition, we won a strategic planning contract for the Jizan region, located on the Red Sea coast. Protecting the environment is an important aspect of the project, as the country’s challenge is to develop facilities to cope with significant population growth without damaging the fragile ecosystems of this desert region.
Our shareholders are setec consultants, setec tpi, setec international, setec organisation, setec bâtiment.

Our main challenges today?

Successfully deliver the projects that we win. To achieve this, we need to recruit and strengthen the skills of our local teams.