1. CURRICULUM VITAE - Robert John Watson (BSc Hons ICIOB)
Resides: United Kingdom, Sheffield South Yorkshire. Telephone: 00971 50 6561129 / Email:
As a product of the Mace Group graduate training scheme, I have spent over 5 years with Mace UK under the role of
Principal contractor, 8 years with Mace international and the past 5 years with Emaar property the largest local UAE
developer with a significant international presence. This employment has given me an all-round exposure and
understanding of principal main contracting, consultancy and client representative roles. My experiences are wide
ranging from grass root site level, to understanding and implementing project delivery and processes at a strategic level,
responsibility for managing and reporting P&L for my various consultancy projects reporting to Director Level. I am
continually gaining the fundamental project management skills and processes necessary to deliver varying complex
projects at various stages. My experiences demonstrate that as a Project Lead I am adaptable to the changing roles,
environments and the demands placed upon each project .In my career I have had early exposure for complex projects
and client facing roles, repeated requirements to manage expectations of clients, establishing effective communication
across all levels which at times can be particularly challenging with a multi-cultural management and work force. I have
demonstrated that I can quickly adapt to change, displayed effective management styles in engaging with both local and
internationally renowned design teams local & international Main contractors along with adapting to the constant
changes in legislation. I am keen to identify areas of improved efficiencies & productivity in what is at times recognized
as a somewhat inefficient industry. I have introduced various initiatives, models, systems and improved process for both
the business and at project level contributing to better efficiencies all round. My initiatives can be demonstrated as being
wide ranging from HSE, the introduction of good construction management software for planning and design, exploring
and improving ways of varying procurement strategies and establishing framework agreements with supply chains
amongst other things. I have no reservations in accepting the challenge of inheriting both new projects and leading many
distressed failing projects given to me requiring leadership & tenacity together with the foresight to quickly recognize
those key areas requiring improvement for better productivity for both the business and projects positively influencing
outcomes. This all round exposure and a hands on approach are the key requisites needed to manage aspects of the
whole development process, managing and motivating teams whilst adhering to and establishing the clients’ goals and
My experiences demonstrate, supported with examples that I am a proactive, self-starter, energetic team player having
the tenacity to undertake complex projects key attributes that I see as pivotal in motivating and driving the rest of a
project team. I believe that I have the required attributes to be a successful and valued addition to both a business and
delivery team with the focus on delivering challenging and prestigious projects at all stages.
Emaar properties (PJSC) – Developer (Client Side)
Role: Operational Director of Projects.
Established in 1997, Emaar Properties is a Public Joint Stock Company listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Emaar
Properties is a real estate development company located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company operates
internationally providing property development and management services. It is a public joint-stock company and is listed
on the Dubai Financial Market and has a valuation of $14.6 billion USD as of May 2017.
With six business segments and 60 active companies, Emaar has collective presence in 36 markets across the Middle
East, North Africa, Pan-Asia, Europe and North America. Emaar Properties Dubai is one of the largest real estate
developers in the UAE and is known for various large-scale projects such as developing Burj Khalifa, the tallest building
in the world.
As respected professional within Emaar I am responsible for the overseeing and assembly of the professional and
construction team for a number of flagship projects bringing together the stakeholders’ at the various project stages,
confident in establishing strategies in engaging internationally renowned consultants’ from concept through to project
completion. I have demonstrated that I have the energy, tenacity and leadership qualities to run both business sectors
and projects providing that added extra value to your business.
2. Example projects:
The Address Boulevard Hotel & serviced apartments- Dubai (UAE) Value: $900m. Director
As a distressed project I was introduced to take over the lead of the businesses first large hospitality project from detail
design the completion of the 72 storey tall tower which is now completed. Reevaluating procurement strategies,
refreshing the supply chain and improving internal process I was challenged to recover time lost an d overspend on
various packages by introducing supply chain framework agreements amongst other recovery plans. Ensuring the
strategy and implementation for the final stages of construction was seamless between departments and handover
dates are maintained reporting the Executive Director and GCEO managing multiple stakeholders.
Address Sky views Twin towers - Dubai (UAE) Value: $780m. Director (Multi tourist destination property)
Appointed as the Operational delivery director reporting to the GCEO responsible for the pre-construction and post
contract strategic delivery of two towers engaging concept architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) with detail
design done by NORR group.
SOM designed the 260+ m tall, Tower 1 a sixty-one 61 stories tower of luxury Serviced Apartments and Tower 2 a fifty-
six 56 stories tower accommodating a 167 key 5 star Hotel and Serviced Apartments with three 3 Basement car park
levels, a three 3 level mixed-use Podium and a three 3 level Deck bridging between the two towers at Level 51. The
Towers and Podium are located within landscaped gardens both within and surrounding the exterior of the plot. My role
commenced at concept through into construction. With a complex façade design I could recognize the potential delays
caused by Client changes with façade selections being a common issue amongst all our projects driving delays. I had to
take the lead early on to manage changes of stakeholders. Whilst adhering to the programme remained a challenge I
had to ensure the strategy of setting out the procurement and delivery of the facade work package from the early design
phase was established, through detailed design, approvals and manufacture, to installation all required to be understood
early on in process. Along with managing several inherent risk factors due to the involved cost, technical and
engineering complexities and its position on the critical path as with all high rise projects was a project priority. The
process of selection and speciﬁcation of building facade elements at the early design phases was required with the
overreaching aim of identifying early on at design the issues aﬀ ecting speciﬁcation decisions, ensuring stakeholders
understood the impact of change on projects. I developed a process to ensure that this and all our other projects had the
façade selection done early in the project to mitigate time loss. Supporting this I introduced the role out and procurement
of BIM LOD500 in the business and across projects to assist and improve efficiencies’ in design and construction
Opera Grand Development 227m Residential Tower- Dubai (UAE) Value: $550m- Director
As a distressed project I was introduced Operational Director reporting to the GCEO for the delivery of the project.
Strategizing the re commencement of the project post economic downturn. Establishing, assembly of delivery teams,
consultant appointments and contractor appointments. Responsible for bringing together various lessons learnt
initiatives’ taken from my ongoing and previous distressed projects implementing into new start up projects. I was keen
to introduce the initiative of the rollout of Building Information Modelling (BIM) LOD500 beneficial for both the project and
end users of the FM team. I also improved staff interaction in the team with regular workshops improving communication
Manzil Hotel refurbishment- Dubai (UAE) Value $100m- Director
Overseeing the delivery of the Chairman’s project, consultant, contractor appointment and site delivery within an
aggressive programme 332 key hotel. Delivered on time and within budget.
Burj Vista tall tower 2013- Present Value $250 M
Overseeing the Assembly and appointment of the design and construction delivery team, the project designed by RTKL
associates, Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill, consists of two 20 and 65 storey towers located on Mohammed Bin Rashid
Boulevard, offering 120 and 520 luxury apartments in one, two, and three-bedroom layouts. The towers are directly
3. linked to the newly opened pedestrian link that connects the Dubai Metro station with Downtown Dubai. The boulevard
level of the towers will feature several high-end retail outlets and restaurants.
I initiated through the standardization of products and design , simplification of grid design utilizing repetition were
possible and introduction modular construction all intended to improve productivity managing time & cost at all stages of
a project cycle. This initiative was encouraged on all my projects.
The Address Downtown Hotel &Serviced apartment’s tall tower 238 meters -refurb and construction $600m
After my successful completion of the once failing TABH hotel I was introduced to this distressed project to offer
leadership and experience to the existing team for the reconstruction and refurbishment after the Dec 2015 fire.
This is a five-star hotel and residential serviced apartment hotel 63 storeys featuring 196 rooms and 626 serviced
apartments. The time lost on the project due to poor HSE was one of the many issues facing the project, a very much
health & safety focused professional instilling health & safety best practices to all team members. I was quick to identify
shortcomings with the local labour and welfare on many of our projects the absence of labour HSE incentives. With Sr
management support, I took the initiative across all our projects to place more emphasis for the business raising our
profiles by adapting Uk/ international first basic principles. The newly established intense HSE prequalification of
contractors and supply chain at tendering stage prior to awarding contracts, introducing basic best practice HSE policies
and site incentive award schemes improving motivation, wellbeing and efficiencies on some of our flag ship projects.
Burj Khalifa tallest building in the world- Observation Deck experience
Construction delivery of the new the viewing level on the 148th highest observation deck in the world @ 555 meters.
Structural modifications, and ME reconfigurations, installation of an architecturally challenging spiral staircase and
interactive stations one of the most popular attractions in the Dubai city district. Despite a relatively small value
project in order to ensure the Chairman’s vision was correctly and smarty delivered I commissioned special
visualization interaction software to ensure the client’s needs and visions were met.
Zabeel District Master plan community. Hotels, High rise & Retail.
Status: Design, enabling works and tender Main Works.
2.2m/SQFT comprising of (a) 2 towers 1G+75 & G+70 stories total 1,720 high end residential units totaling BUA
3,403,879 Sq/Ft .(b) 220 key Vida hotel incl retail component BUA 3,698,97.
Taking the lead for the delivery and assembly of the project team from design through to construction having appointed
the enabling works. The key challenges at the moment are market driven, this project is undergoing revised design
changes and feasibility to adapt to a somewhat challenging property market, where prices are naturally soft but in order
for developers to keep the ticket prices of residential property described as affordable to the averag e person, the actual
size and mix of the finished unit/product are being revisited at the same adhering to end completion dates.
Through the ongoing development process I have initiated a modular pre fabrication approach through standardization
of both our design reducing sizes and construction role out improving cost and time. To support this, recognizing the
opportunity for improved economies of scale in procurement I spearheaded with our team the establishment of supply
chain frameworks’ setting up procurement agreements amongst my key projects.
Zabeel mall expansion connecting with 55 storey residential on 9 story podium
The new Zabeel expansion will house multiple commercial units throughout its G+9 development, including a dedicated
entertainment anchor and a flagship retail store.
The expansion will increase the footprint of the existing mall by 40% by connecting the two structures with a number of
bridges, the largest being the link-bridge of 200 meters long and 50 meters wide. The expansion building will provide
additional parking to the existing Dubai Mall as well as a substantial increase in retail outlets and restaurants integrating
with a new 55 story residential tower.
I was introduced to this distressed project after the expulsion of the Main Contractor overseeing the procurement and
engagement of a new main works contractor and associated sub contractors. A complex procurement strategy needed
to ensure quick transition and recovery programmes put in place.
4. Mace International Part of the Mace Group.
March 2004 – 2013
Role: Associate Director.
Mace Group Ltd, is a global consultancy and construction firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom, employing
approximately 4,500 people, across five continents. Example Projects include:
Kempinski Hotel Palm Jumeriah Dubai (UAE) Value: $400m Project Director
This project was restarted after the downturn and required new delivery strategies and the assembly of a new
professional and construction delivery team. Verification and audit of the existing design was the initial brief working
alongside the operator. I was appointed directly by the entrepreneur of a private Developer to restart his project after the
downturn reporting directly to the Owner as Project Director. Leading a large team along with operator for the delivery of
the 5 star 244 key resort property.
Ritz Carlton Hotel new build – Abu Dhabi (UAE) Value: $470m– Lead Project Manager
Appointed towards the end of the project bringing support and my experience of hotel / project close out procedures for
a 532 key hotel, 83 bespoke chalets associated amenities’ associated with a 5 star hotel. Liaising with the operator and
senior client representatives to interpret their specific requirements ensuring handover is achieved April 2012. Focus
given to the progressive strategic handovers, site delivery and assisting settlement of claim disputes. Responsible for
regular project updates to the client reporting at various levels.
MAFRAQ Hotel new build Extension and refurbishment- Abu Dhabi (UAE) Value: $220m – Principal
contractor: Project Director
Appointed on the completion of the Fairmont hotel and Residences to manage the roll out of a 250 key hotel considering
the strategic and logistic complexities of keeping a live hotel operational under extensive and complex renovations.
Introducing & Implementing processes and procedures bringing discipline to an existing live project to ensure successful
completion. Management of multiple consultancies’ primary focus on liaising with external master developer for
coordination of infrastructure works to support the new development on behalf of the client, reporting to the board at the
same time liaison with the hotel operator ensure hotel operations’ are not disrupted during construction & completion in
line with the Abu Dhabi grand Prix. Successful completion achieved October 2011.
Fairmont Palm Hotel & Residences – Palm Jumeirah Dubai (UAE) – Value: $350m Sr. Project Manager/
Initially appointed as PM for the design, procurement and construction of the Fairmont palm residences and later client
appointed me as Project Director for the 452 key hotel reporting directly to the client project delivery board members.
Residences completed October 2010 and partial completion December 2010 for the hotel. The Hotel component of the
larger development was suspended in part due the financial crisis. The client was IFA hotels and resorts FZE to be
operated by Fairmont. The project comprises two similar 13-storey 558-luxury apartments, with royal and imperial
penthouse suites, 23 townhouses with extensive landscaping and water features. In no particular order below are some
of the key roles, but not limited to:
In conjunction with the design team, developed and coordinated the design effort from concept through to detail
design within budget constraints.
Supervision of the piling and enabling works implementing FIDIC short form of contract.
Advising the client regarding contractor’s claims for extensions of time.
Reporting to the vice president of construction, varying from progress to design issues.
Assisting the Engineer in adjudicating any claims and preparation of interim valuations.
Planning and programming of works at strategic level.
Undertaking direct procurement.
Review of tenders and preparation of bid placement reports.
Advising on various procurement strategies.
Coordinating and overseeing the preparation of tender documentation.
Pre-qualification and appointment of the main works contract.
Advising client on contractual issues.
Instrumental to implementing project specific change control procedures, maintaining risk registers and various
planning tools to monitor and report progress, facilitating accurate client reporting.
5. Preparation of various RFP’s for the procurement and appointment of other consultancy services required to
support the project.
Review of stage design and producing design recommendation reports to the Client.
Managing the design in accordance with the budgetary constraints without compromising the operators brief.
Realigning design with budget initiating value engineering workshops where necessary.
Point of contact for the liaison with other third parties, in particular when overseeing the piling and enabling
works and logistical matters associated with the commencement of main works.
Assisting with securing the various third party approvals and permits from local authorities.
Understanding and interpreting local authority requirements associated with project role out.
Understanding and application of FIDIC contract.
Developing strategic handover programmes to close out the Project.
Mirdiff Retail Mall – Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Value:$50m– (Construction management delivery)
Secondment to Emaar Properties – The Springs, 320 Villas and infrastructure Value: Principle Contractor &
Client representative: $200m – Project Manager.
On joining Mace international I was seconded to the Main contractor and later as Project manager to Emaar Properties
as client representative to ensure that the 320 villas and associated infrastructure were complete to programme. This
particular role enabled me to gain invaluable first hand experience and exposure to main contracting works in the Middle
East, at the same time exposure to the role of client representative. In no particular order beloware some of the key
roles, but not limited to:
Assisting the main contractor in programming, sequencing of works and day-to-day site project management.
Chairing weekly progress and coordination meetings.
Reporting construction progress to the Client.
Exposure to the use/application of FIDIC.
Programming and planning.
Facilitating subcontractor payments.
Management of supply chain.
Implementing contractor QA/QC procedures.
Implementation/promoting UK standard Heath and Safety.
Advising main contractor on optimum site demobilizing and handover strategies.
Advising the client on handover procedures to be implemented releasing villas to tenants.
Acting as the client representative advising and fostering relationships with the Emaar property handover and
marketing teams, advising on procedures to ensure smooth tenant handover.
October 2000 – February 2004 Mace Ltd (UK) Project/Clients include:
Crosby Homes Midland – Principal Contractor: £20m 156 Luxury apartments, Hacienda Manchester
(18 months) –
Role: Construction Manager.
I commenced the project as Assistant Construction Manager during the structural works and was later appointed as
Assistant Project Manager. In no particular order below are some of the key roles, but not limited to:
Providing all the typical tasks as the role of construction manager, construction management support to the procurement
& delivery of earthworks, concrete frame later overseeing the coordination of design team, authorities and on site sub -
contractor management for delivery of the internal works. My main packages of procurement through to delive ry were
brickwork, aluminum rain screens, and internal finishes.
Crosby Homes Special projects – Principal Contractor: £20 million luxury residential apartments,
Birmingham (18 months) – Role: Assistant/ Construction Manager
Construction of 256 luxury apartments and conversion of grade 2 listed buildings and associated canal works at the
Sheepcote street project Birmingham City Center, completing the project within a demanding 18-month programme of
works. Providing all the typical tasks as the role of construction manager, construction management support to the
6. procurement & delivery of earthworks, concrete frame later promoted to construction manager overseeing the
coordination of design team, authorities and on site sub-contractor management for delivery of the internal works.
British Airways –Principal Contractor: £12 Million extension executive lounge, Manchester Airport (12
months) Assistant construction/ project manager.
Capital One Bank - Involvement with submission work, presentations to potential clients (4-6 months)
Value: GBP 20m
Laing Construction (UK)
Role: Trainee site planner & and site Engineer
July 1998 - October 1999/2000
Cardiff Millennium Stadium-Principal Contractor: Rugby Union - 15 months
As part of my university degree sandwich course I secured a position with Laing Construction initially employed in the
planning and production control department and later as site Engineer for the £120 Million Rugby world cup Millennium
Stadium, Cardiff. On completion of the stadium, prior to returning to University to conclude my final year of studies I
worked at the Welsh Water Authority as an Assistant Planner for the Cardiff City Centre upgrade of the sewage
treatment plant. On completing my industry placement I was awarded Laing graduate sponsorship, supporting me
through my final year at University and securing a permanent position upon graduation, if I so chose.
Education / Qualifications:
2007- 2011 various ongoing training.
2006/ 2007 Mace training: Externally recognized FIDIC claims/arbitration. Design management.
2000 – 2003 Successfully completed Mace Group graduate training programme.
1996 - 2000 Sheffield University (CIOB endorsed degree)
BSc Hons (MCIOB) 2:1 Construction Management (Sandwich course)
I spent a period of time independently travelling to various areas of the word including Asia and Australia. This
experience broadened my horizons and exposed me to a variety of cultures and ways of life. I continue to enjoy
traveling whether it be for business or recreation. Other activities include spending time with my family, personal fitness,
trekking and golf.
References available on request.