Simon Light has been appointed as the general manager for Europe and the Middle East of Australian engineering consultancy GHD.

He will be responsible for driving forward a programme of growth and innovation for the business, which has worked on Abu Dhabi’s prestigious Qasr Al Hosn restoration project.

Before joining GHD, Light served as executive director of client development for Europe and the Middle East at Arcadis. He starts his new role with GHD in February 2019.

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He described his appointment as a “real opportunity” to strengthen and diversify GHD’s position in key markets across Europe and the Gulf.

“I look forward to working with such a talented team and to continue to build on a successful 2018. With market and client demands changing and GHD’s ongoing business transformation, this is a real opportunity to create a unique position in target markets with innovative client solutions and a compelling proposition to attract top talent.”

GHD’s chief executive, Ashley Wright, said Light’s appointment came at “an exciting time for the company”, following a string of new hires and the opening of an office in Dubai.

The business employs around 130 people in Abu Dhabi and opened an office in Dubai earlier this year as part of its expansion plans for the GCC. The advisory services company employs 500 people in the UK, UAE, and elsewhere in the GCC.

In February, Jennifer Barnett was named legal counsel for its Europe and Middle East operations, and John Hensman joined as its market development director for Europe and the Middle East in September 2017.