MEP Middle East Awards 2019: Judges' Notes Part 1

Each had favourites they deemed worthy of walking away with top prize in each of the annual awards’ 16 categories.

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Now all that remains is to crown the winners during the prizegiving ceremony on 6 November; we hope you are ready, because we can’t wait.
Now all that remains is to crown the winners during the prizegiving ceremony on 6 November; we hope you are ready, because we can’t wait.

Expert insight, critical comment, and professional opinion were the order of the day as the judging panel for this year’s MEP Middle East Awards convened to discuss the 2019 shortlist.

Assembling at MEP Middle East HQ, the thoughts of Nerissa Deoraj, Mandarr Agshikar, Omnia Halawani, Ahmed Abou Alfa, Majd Fayyad, and Vasanth Kumar were exchanged during a lively and informative discussion.

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Each had favourites they deemed worthy of walking away with top prize in each of the annual awards’ 16 categories, and their job on the day was to settle on the lucky winners.

Of course, the judges came to their final results independently, their professionalism during the judging process a credit to themselves and the organisations they represent.

Judges noted the high calibre of entry, specifically pointing to the MEP Contractor and Consultancy of the Year categories as being packed with industry leading names and influential powerhouses.

But after plenty of debate they were able to agree on a deserving champ in each.

Be sure to read the judges’ notes to find out more about the process behind their selections.

Now all that remains is to crown the winners during the prizegiving ceremony on 6 November; we hope you are ready, because we can’t wait.

Mandarr Agshikar
Director, Middle East
AMCA International

I have been a business excellence consultant and a student of business excellence for the last 30 years.

We have a definition of excellence which says that excellent individual professionals and organisation are those who achieve and sustain outstanding
levels of performance which meet and exceed clients’ expectations.

In each category we saw that people were trying to put their heart and soul into the application.

What I liked most is that there was some entities who had already received an award last year, but here they were competing against each other again.

That shows the zeal, that shows what the awards mean to them. When we had the consensus meeting with the judges I thought we were on the same wave length which is not always the case.

For me [I am looking to see if] the approach is sound and integrated with the company, then deployment. Finally comes the refinements and assessment, measurements, learning, and what improvements have been done. I thought most of the candidates were bang on in that regard, and that impressed me the most.

I think all categories were well co-ordinated. Each one is not about an individual or a company applying for an award, it is about the whole system.

The individual, contractor, consultant, supplier... I’m sure everyone looks forward to the awards because each individual in the company can participate and take the journey of continual improvement to the future.


Nerissa Deoraj
Director Technical & Regulatory Affairs
Eurovent Middle East 

It was a very pleasurable experience from the perspective of it being very interactive with a lot of follow up, and I enjoyed working with the other judges.

It is good to work with other people from the industry to get other perspectives.

I think from the industry association perspective it is very easy for us to get into this habit of being very focussed on one aspect, but this expands the view point of what the industry is about – that was definitely one of the best things about this process.

[What I looked for during the judging process was] the scale of the projects, the calibre of the individuals involved in the projects, professional development, but also development from the perspective of what they were doing to improve projects, looking into things like green building and sustainability, and measures that have been implemented to achieve those ratings.

I would say the GCC project of the year was my favourite category.

Firstly because of the types of projects, it was so diverse; different aspects had to be taken into consideration – again talking about the scale of the buildings.

It was very interesting to hear the different view points from the judging perspective, so that was definitely my favourite category.


Ahmed Abou Alfa 
Founder
UAE BIM Association

For me [my favourite part of joining the panel], first of all, it was a great added value to join the judging team.

Secondly, the alignment we had in choosing all of the nominations in each category.

All of us, a judging panel of six people, were all choosing numbers one and two, two and one in each, and I was amazed by the new technology and innovative solutions, sustainability, and utilisation that is being used in the market right now.

People are thinking about saving more time, saving more costs, saving more efforts, and they need to think more about the OPEX space than the CAPEX space.

We are digitally transforming right now in the right way.

When I looked at the nominations I was looking for innovative solutions, for sustainability solutions, and I’m focussing on digital transformation. I am a guy who is amazed by digitalisation, automations, and artificial intelligence because we are now in the era of digital transformation.

Dubai is wanting to be the first city in the world when it comes to smart cities.

The UAE BIM Association is trying to be a community service, the first in the region which will empower digital construction and digital transformation, thinking about digital assets management.

We are trying to cope with another world to make a better built environment which is also a sustainable built environment.

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