By Gerhard Hope www.constructionweekonline.com
CW speaks to Eng. Hessa Ahmed Al Malek, director of the Roads Department at the Ministry of Public Works, who has overseen $544m worth of infrastructure projects over the last five years.
The office of Eng. Al Malek at the Ministry of Public Works overlooks Al Nahda station on the Green Line of Dubai Metro, a fitting symbol of the holistic infrastructure development she advocates. She may be in charge of roads, but her ambit extends much further than the tarmac.
This is evidenced by her qualifications, as she holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from the American University of Sharjah and a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the UAE University.
“It is very strange. Everyone thinks that roads are only for civil engineers,” muses Eng. Al Malek. Upon completing her Bachelor’s in 2000, she worked at the building department in Ras Al Khaimah, where she oversaw a mammoth project for the development of the rural areas within the UAE.
“I was the only employee with a degree in urban planning at the Ministry, and actually I am the first woman in the UAE who holds a degree in urban planning.” More info