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Annual review 2022

South Asia, Middle East and Africa

David Cox

Regional managing director

We are driving change and creating long-term value for all our clients by delivering projects that have a positive social and environmental impact and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

​David Cox
Musaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall Tunnel project

9M injury-free hours were worked on the Musaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall Tunnel project

View from this region


girls across Africa and Asia have access to learning opportunities


people in Dhaka will receive drinking water

South Asia, the Middle East and Africa offer an incredible variety of opportunities for us as a business that include prosperity development in India, our girls’ education project in 17 countries and decarbonisation across the Middle East. Through projects such as these our multi-disciplinary expertise is helping to tackle economic, social, climate and environmental challenges across these regions.

In 2022, we’ve made good progress on the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) – an 800km development aimed at unlocking Andhra Pradesh’s economic potential.

The past 12 months have been an exciting time for us to be working in India, the most vibrant market in south Asia. India’s economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, driven by a bold national plan to create world-class infrastructure and a business-friendly environment.

Drawing on our 50-year track record operating in India, we continue to advise our clients on how to make the most of business opportunities in this fast-changing market.

In 2022, we’ve made good progress on the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) – an 800km development aimed at unlocking Andhra Pradesh’s economic potential. We also started working on a project in the state of Tripura to stimulate industrial development and help local people to find routes into employment.

Another example of our success in delivering better social outcomes in India is our work on the development of Tata Cancer Care Hospitals in Assam, which were inaugurated in 2022. This project includes 10 advanced medical facilities offering accessible and affordable healthcare across the north-east of India, making early cancer detection and treatment possible.

In India, our focus on energy transition sees us work with leading power producers to increase solar capacity and lower electricity costs for households and industry. We assess technical and economic viability of projects as well as the social and environmental benefits. And we continue to work for world-class manufacturing and industrial clients to help them achieve long-term returns on their capital investments.

India - a booming domestic market

South Asia - driving sustainable development

We have been expanding our business in Nepal and Bangladesh in the past year. Using local knowledge and international expertise enables us to address a wide range of social, economic and climate-related challenges.

We are supporting partners in government, the private sector, UN agencies and civil society to improve skills development, water infrastructure and adapt to climate change.


In Nepal, for example, we are taking a locally-led approach to climate adaptation – giving communities greater influence over which climate projects are prioritised and how they are implemented. The Nepal Climate Change Support System provides resources that tackle climate risks to infrastructure, water management, increase agriculture yields and diversify livelihoods.


In Bangladesh, we are managing a range of vital water and infrastructure programmes. This includes the Saidabad-III Water Treatment Project, one of the largest in the world, which aims to deliver drinking water to more than 4.5M people in Dhaka.

International Development – a global business

Mott MacDonald is committed to changing people’s lives for the better, which is illustrated by our international development business.

In 2022, our education consultancy, Cambridge Education, celebrated its 40th birthday. Since 1982, our education experts have worked with hundreds of thousands of schools and improved the education of more than 50M children around the globe.  That’s a legacy we can be proud of.

The Girls’ Education Challenge programme which we run across 17 countries in Africa and Asia, is enabling up to 1.6M girls and young women to access learning opportunities.

Our health team is playing a key role in the battle against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as managing agent of the UK aid-funded Fleming Fund. This programme is helping to develop a global AMR surveillance system to monitor harmful bacteria in animals and humans and control infections. This forms an important part of our work to increase pandemic resilience – a major priority for Mott MacDonald since COVID-19.

Middle East – energy transition in action

An important issue on people’s minds in the Middle East over the past year has been decarbonisation. With Dubai set to host the COP28 global climate summit in November 2023, governments and companies across the region are turning to us for help implementing decarbonisation policies and practices that drive progress towards net zero.

As a global leader in sustainability and carbon management, we are working with clients to calculate the whole-life carbon footprint of their assets – from construction, through operations to decommissioning. Our sustainability and asset management teams can then advise on design and engineering solutions to reduce carbon costs and deliver better project value.

Our work with the Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) since 2012 has helped its staff, contractors and suppliers to uncover innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions and drive energy efficiency. With our support, ADSSC achieved the international carbon management standard PAS 2080 in 2022.

We also drive excellence for clients in the Middle East by applying international best practice in infrastructure design, digital innovation, programme management and sustainability. One success story has been the Musaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall Tunnel in Qatar, a ground-breaking project to build flood-protection infrastructure in Doha.

Our consultants have the technical and strategic skills to spread knowledge and build capacity across the public and private sectors. Across the region, we are supporting the development of social infrastructure – more hospitals and schools – as part of integrated urban development.

Our digital, design and infrastructure expertise also make us a valuable partner as Middle East nations develop ambitious masterplans for the smart cities of the future.

Africa – delivering change in developing economies

In Africa, we are working with international donors such as UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), USAID and country governments to deliver positive changes for those that need it most.

Our latest results have been impressive on the UK aid funded Leh Wi Lan (Let’s Learn) programme to improve teaching and learning in Leone’s secondary schools. There was a 354% rise in the number of candidates who sat the national secondary school exams in 2021 compared with 2018 and the pass rate increased nearly ten-fold.  

Our work on the Better Health Programme, South Africa (BHPSA), made progress in strengthening national health capabilities to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease and diabetes. The South African government is committed to tackling the rise of NCDs from multiple angles, such as innovative use of data and strengthening community healthcare.

In our climate work, we helped Kenya to launch the 2050 Calculator in August 2022. This is an interactive energy model designed to help policymakers, energy producers and consumers better understand their energy and emissions-related choices. We led the programme to develop the tool with international climate finance from the UK.

Digital tools

Our in-house Global Delivery Services team has continued to use its sectoral and digital expertise to increase efficiency and excellence across our regional business and projects.

The team drives innovation by creating apps and dashboards to help streamline internal processes and automate repetitive tasks. This helps to enhance our programme management capabilities by ensuring quality data management, cost efficiency and freeing up staff resources.

Our digital resources enable the successful delivery of key projects. For example, GDS collaborated with our health team to produce a hospital fly-through animation to demonstrate how tech will revolutionise healthcare. The digital team also produced high quality visualisations for the High Speed 2 railway line in the UK, giving stakeholders a better perspective on how it will look once built.

And finally, we have created digital twins - virtual models designed to accurately reflect physical objects - for leisure assets in Abu Dhabi to optimise running costs and customer experience in relation to the flow of tourists.




Annual review 2022

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