"It is like building an M25 in the Middle East," said chief executive Ivor Catto, referring to the Qatari's £3bn Doha expressway project, on which Hyder Consulting (HYC) has recently won a £70m design contract.
Oil money is rapidly being turned into concrete in the desert. Mr Catto said a "ramping up" of expenditure was behind the region's eye-catching 82 per cent rise in operating profits to £7.1m. Revenues increased 18 per cent to £75m, or a quarter of the group total, and the Middle East order book is up 40 per cent to £190m year-on-year. In turn, this accounted for all of the £50m increase in the group order book of £413m, securing almost two-thirds of current year forecast revenue.