The consultancy, which has previously worked with the UAE’s Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, will apply its Future Proofing Cities (FPC) approach to make recommendations to its operations in the region.
Atkins’ FPC methodology was first developed in 2012, through a partnership with the UK Department for International Development and University College London.
Designed to identify opportunities and tackle risks faced by developing countries across Africa and Asia, FPC has since been adapted to suit developed and emerging economies.
Atkins’ announcement was made while at the Future Cities Forum, part of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, on 20 January, 2016.
Johan Hesselsoe, managing director of advisory services for Atkins in the Middle East, remarked: “The core drivers impacting the future of cities are very much the same across the world, but the dynamics for each city are quite unique.
“It is essential to have a tailored approach which responds to the people who live in a city, while anticipating their changing needs and behaviours in the decades ahead.”
Hesselsoe said typical issues for GCC cities include the delivery of consistent city planning, when much of the region’s governance structure is still relatively immature; upskilling future generations of talented leaders; and, the need to build in flexibility and adaptability to the region’s infrastructure investments.
He added: “You can never completely remove risk and nor can you fully anticipate the future, but we think the opportunities for GCC cities to realise their visions, and to be among the world’s leading pack of liveable, competitive and sustainable centres, are very much achievable with the right focus and prioritisation today.”