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Making the move to KSA: a journey towards a vibrant society and a thriving economy

Office expansion By Faiyad Peterson, Country Director – KSA – 23 May 2023

Night time skyline of Riyadh


Faiyad standing in-front of timber wall in a dark suit

Faiyad Peterson

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I started my journey with the Cundall family in Qatar in 2015. Fast forward to November 2022, and I decided to take on a new challenge and move to Riyadh, to help establish the new Cundall office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). But why Riyadh, and why now?

The answer is simple: KSA is experiencing tremendous growth and development, and I want to be a part of it. This journey I am embarking on is much more than just a job - it's a mission filled with passion, purpose, and endless possibilities.

From bustling construction sites that are changing the skyline, to the rich cultural heritage that is being preserved and celebrated, there is a profound energy in the air in KSA. At the heart of it all is the Saudi Vision 2030, a bold and ambitious plan to shape the future of the country. The momentum is palpable, from the construction sites dotting the roads of Riyadh, to the investment, digital, and construction industry events I have attended.

The Saudi Vision 2030 is a transformational agenda that aims to foster a vibrant society, diversify the economy, and create a thriving nation. It's inspiring to see the KSA government push for diversity and inclusion in the construction industry, and the genuine efforts to involve more female engineers in the workforce. There are also many initiatives and programs aimed at fostering a culture of acceptance and understanding. The commitment to modernisation is impressive.

Having lived in the UAE and Qatar, I had certain preconceived notions about what life in Saudi Arabia would be like. I thought that as an expat, my freedom would be limited and that the social life, infrastructure, and entertainment options would not compare to what I was used to.

However, upon arriving in Riyadh, I quickly realised that these misconceptions were unfounded. The people, both locals and expats alike, are warm, welcoming, and open-minded. The city is alive with energy, with every neighborhood buzzing with activities and opportunities to explore.

With its cultural heritage and remarkable architectural styles, KSA also presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for design professionals. The buildings have a distinctive local character and variety of architectural styles unlike any other country in the GCC. The setting is equally intriguing, from coastal areas to mountain canyons, and plains regions - each offering a distinctive perspective.

The new Cundall KSA office and team is well positioned to support the growth of the construction industry in the region, delivering projects that are both unique and meaningful.

Overall, my experience in Riyadh has been a humbling and enlightening one, and I am grateful for the warm welcome I received and the opportunities I have been afforded as an expat. My move is not just a change of location, it’s a journey towards a brighter and better future. I look forward to being a part of the growth and development of this ambitious nation and contributing to its vision of a vibrant society and a thriving economy.