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Industry leader delivers engaging lecture at AUS
Eminent industry leader Riad Kamal delivered an engaging lecture entitled "Facing Challenges in Hard Times" at American University of Sharjah (AUS) on Tuesday, December 6, in the Main Building on campus.
Kamal, who is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Arabtec Construction and CEO of Arabtec Holding, spoke about the numerous projects that Arabtec has been involved with since its inception. He briefed the audience on the history of the company and its work on landmark projects such as the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi among various others that have earned international recognition. As one of the largest employers in the country, with over 40,000 workers on its payroll, the company's reputation has travelled well beyond national and regional boundaries.
Addressing the packed hall, Kamal said that facing challenges is something that we all confront in our everyday lives. "We are going through hard times today. But in order to succeed you must have passion for what you do. Joy comes through passion," he said.
"You must start small and build your way up," he said addressing the students. "You have to be successful at each stage of your journey. You must maintain your focus on where you are heading, and on your plan. And you need to be patient. You are not going to become a manager in two years. Take your time and take one step at a time," he added.
The lecture, which was held as part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series in collaboration with the College of Engineering, was followed by a lively question and answer session. The event was attended by Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS; Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, AUS Provost; Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs; Mr. Salem Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Dr. Cleve McDaniel, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration; Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; as well as other senior officials, deans, faculty members, staff, students and alumni.
Kamal, who graduated as a civil engineer from Imperial College, University of London, and holds a master's degree in structural engineering from the same institution, began his civil engineering and construction career in London in 1966.
In 1974, he moved to Dubai and started his own construction company. Thirty years later, it became the first private company in the UAE to go public. Today, Arabtec Construction is one of the five largest contractors in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and specializes in building and civil engineering works. It is a household name in the construction industry in the Gulf.