Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim returns to GCU to meet scholars

25 June 2014

Claire Robertson with Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim and Brian Reid

Claire Robertson with Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim and Brian Reid

Construction magnate Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim returned to Glasgow Caledonian University today where he met some of the students whose lives have been transformed by his generosity.

Mr Abdulrahim was in Glasgow to receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering from GCU, and spent time on campus to meet students and staff from the School of Engineering and Built Environment and to look at some of the work they do.

Mr Abdulrahim is founder and chairman of the KAR Group, which is headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The group is predominately concerned with the property and construction industries but also includes other focuses such as retail, automotive and electronics.

His company is responsible for building the £700m Abu Dhabi F1 circuit, as well as the £100m Bahrain equivalent.

Mr Abdulrahim completed a Masters in Construction Management at GCU in 2005 and has been a generous contributor to the University ever since.

He said: “I owe a great deal to GCU. The education I received here has helped inform my business on every level and the success I have had since my studies is thanks to the University. I am honoured to receive an additional award of this nature.”

Mr Abdulrahim has helped establish the KAR Scholarship, now at the end of its fourth year, which helps students experience international construction first hand. During his visit, he met the first two graduates to have participated in the scheme. Brian Reid (BSc Building Surveying) and Claire Robertson (BSc Environmental Civil Engineering) both achieved First Class honours, with Claire already having secured a job in the oil and gas industry with PDi in Abderdeen.

Brian said: “For financial reasons, I didn’t think I could complete the fourth year of my degree. I’m slightly older than your average student and have a young family, which was my priority. The scholarship made it possible for me to complete my honours year. The fact that I also got to visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai were incredible bonuses.”

Claire said: “The scholarship has been a great motivator for me. It let me work abroad in Austria over the summer, and has helped me decide that overseas work is definitely something I want to do more of throughout my career.”

Mr Abdulrahim, a racing fan, also experienced the Virtual Reality Lab in the Charles Oakley building while he was on campus. He was able to test Professor Vassilis Charissis’ Traffic Collision Avoidance simulator, driving along a digital recreation of the M8 – minus the tailbacks.

Professor Douglas Greenhalgh, Executive Dean, School of Engineering and Built Environment, said: “The generosity of Khalid’s scholarship has been seminal, particularly to our construction students. It’s allowed them to look at international construction where it happens and in a way that is both empowering and unique. It is a delight to see him honoured by GCU.”