AECOM DP&E Lead, Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

Job Summary

AECOM is currently seeking to hire Principal Urban Designer/Planner Abu Dhabi market lead to be based in the Abu Dhabi office. He / She will be a member of the senior management group of DP+E Middle East which operates as an integrated team across principle offices currently in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and also smaller office bases across the region.

The Middle East DP+E team combines specialist skills in large-scale city planning, development master planning, landscape architecture and public realm, resort and leisure planning, transit oriented development and sustainable urban growth. The Middle East team regularly works with AECOM’s UK and other international teams to bring the best of AECOM’s world-class talents to meet client expectations on complex projects.

This role is intended to strengthen the ability of DP+E and AECOM more widely to meet the growing scale of master planning and city-scale work in the Middle East, to build strong, high-level client relationships, to position for and win new project work, and to collaborate with our multi-disciplinary teams across the region and in EMEA to bid and deliver projects successfully.

Skills and Background:

  • The Principal Urban Designer/Planner and Abu Dhabi Market lead, DP+E, ME will have proven skills and a depth of experience in the field of urban planning or master planning / Urban Design or related disciplines, including feasibility assessments, planning policy and strategic planning and contribute to the conception and delivery of creative, contextually responsive and economically viable urban planning strategies and solutions. In addition, the role will provide input into the review of project design standards, philosophy and approach, while considering client requirements and expectations and provide financial management and the coordination of both internal and external project resources.

  • This role therefore requires a person with a proven history of strong technical leadership and management abilities (of both projects and people), able to collaborate and provide strong direction and ownership of multi-disciplinary projects some of which will be delivered with a team based in country, or remotely across various EMEA locations.

  • You will have a broad range of experience preferably in public and private sector including in the Middle East region, working on large-scale urban development and city projects. A strong track record of work in Abu Dhabi and the wider the Middle East would be strongly beneficial.

  • This experience will include building relationships with government and senior stakeholders, understanding urban policy implications and opportunities and turning these to effective business development, project delivery and trusted consultant relationships.


  • The Principal Urban Designer/Planner and Abu Dhabi Market lead, DP+E, ME will be report to the Head of DP+E, Middle East and will have accountability for development of the Abu Dhabi market DP+E plan, to align with the AECOM Buildings + Places and EMIA strategy for growth. This work will include supporting the overall business development plan and marketing activities to cultivate an enhanced presence and client base in the Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East market and secure future planning and design projects for the practice.

  • An important part of the role will be to identify and align with high-level influencers and clients both in government and the private sector, to demonstrate AECOM as the strategic consultant of choice for regional, urban development and development/infrastructure projects.

  • You would work alongside and support the Head of DP+E, ME for bidding and winning work activities and wider AECOM strategic commissions in collaboration with the Buildings + Places Middle East leader, regional leadership and Middle East strategic growth team.

  • In addition to management of the technical group of planners, designers and economists the role requires the strongest behaviours of collaboration and leadership as part of the broader teams including those from other end markets, to include transport planners, engineers and environmental planners.

  • You will also have coaching, influencing, mentoring and staff development responsibilities to ensure the delivery of high quality and timely outcomes in line with client requirements, providing technical counsel on projects, and client relationship marketing and management. They will also actively contribute to the team environment, staff development and retention.

Job Duties:

  • Manage and implement strategic planning projects which will further strategic planning objectives and opportunities.

  • Manage and/or participate in the preparation of contracts, service agreements, partnerships,

  • submissions, grant applications and funding arrangements.

  • Co-ordinate with other discipline leaders within DP+E and across the organisation to support strong collaboration and integrated planning and outcomes; and Liaise with the AECOM team on an EMIA and global scale with regard to such issues as assembling project teams and completing multi-office agreements

  • Attend and lead client briefings and planning and design workshops and present project stages and work to the client throughout the project.

  • Work closely with the client, sub contractors and stakeholders to deliver high quality products in a

  • timely manner and manage relationships with the client and the local authorities

  • Attend briefings with the client to review project plans, and resolve any conflicts in design or

  • parameters of the work.

  • Provide project direction on a range of planning and design projects including: preparation of master plans, delivering guidance on planning and governance arrangements, implementation planning, strategic planning and structure planning (eg, national, regional, city), planning applications.

  • Ensuring expected outcomes, budget expenditures and established timeframes are met.

  • Manage and co-ordinate teams for projects covering a range of areas including: housing, regulation development, design guidelines, strategic planning and master planning.

  • Ensure accuracy and quality of work in accordance with project scope within project parameters and client requirements.

  • Manage the presentation and report development for clients and play a key role in client management and client satisfaction.

  • Meet with and report to the Business Manager / Project Accountant on a regular basis to track project progress against the budget.

  • Issue invoices and resolve overdue payments when required in consultation with the Finance group and in accordance with AECOM standards.

  • Implement and use AECOM’s QA system within all project work and maintain and refine in-house standards, procedures, and policy.

  • Lead marketing efforts to current clients and be instrumental in identifying and attracting new clients.

  • Delegate aspects of the project to team members and oversee their delivery in a timely and accurate manner with agreed quality standards.

  • Participate in Regional and Firm-wide committees, forums and Practice Circles as required.

Person Specification (Behavioral Attributes):

  • Be the ROLE MODEL, Leads by example



  • Be DECISIVE, Prioritize, focus and accountability

Safety Competencies:

  • Lead by example.

  • Ensure all projects have risk assessments and safety plans in place.

Minimum Requirements

  • 15+ years in and most recently taking senior leadership roles in relevant projects

  • Proven experience successfully managing a team and multi-disciplinary project teams

  • Experience working in Abu Dhabi and the Middle East region will be considered favorably

  • A proven track record of successfully delivering a range of urban planning, master planning or large-scale city design/transit oriented development projects

  • Flexibility and breadth of experience and knowledge across the master planning or urban planning area

  • A strong understanding of the range of specializations and disciplines that interact in planning projects and processes and in particular, experience incorporating economics and GIS within planning work

  • Extensive experience in the management of projects from proposal development to completion, including periodic project reviews

  • Proven ability to manage a team and manage multi-disciplinary project teams

  • Strong client management skills

  • Strong financial and budget management skills

  • Proven track record in successfully securing new work as well as maintaining existing contracts

  • Experience in both government and in private sector is preferred

  • Experience working in the Middle East will be highly regarded

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Outwardly collaborative with colleagues across teams, offices and regions

  • High level organisational and team coordination and management skills

  • Ability to mentor and provide critical feedback to staff

  • Ability to foster a team environment and practice open communication, a collaborative approach and work commitment

  • Ability to both lead and be part of a team

Preferred Qualifications

  • A degree in Urban Planning, Geography, Economics, Architecture or related disciplines

  • Additional degrees or qualifications in related fields will be considered favorably.

What We Offer

When you join AECOM, you become part of a company that is pioneering the future . Our teams around the world are involved in some of the most cutting-edge and innovative projects and programs of our time, addressing the big challenges of today and shaping the built environment for generations to come. We ensure a workplace that encourages growth, flexibility and creativity, as well as a company culture that champions inclusion, diversity and overall employee well-being through programs supported by company leadership. Our core values define who we are, how we act and what we aspire to, which comes down to not only delivering a better world , but working to “make amazing happen” in each neighborhood, community and city we touch. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we believe in each person’s potential, and we’ll help you reach yours.

Job Category Architecture and Design

Business Line Buildings & Places

Business Group Design and Consulting Services Group (DCS)

Country United Arab Emirates

Position Status Full-Time

Requisition/Vacancy No. 206912BR

Clearance Required No

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.