Mace People: Stephen Venney - Mace Group
Mace People

Stephen Venney

Operations Director

Consultancy, MENA

Understanding the needs of clients from their perspective is Stephen’s specialty - having worked for both developers and contractors. With insider knowledge, a mechanical engineering background and experience from working across the globe, Stephen tackles some of Mace's most complex projects in MENA.

How did you get into what you do?

I left university with a Higher Diploma in mechanical engineering and went straight to work at a semiconductor factory in Dublin. It wasn’t until five years later, during a career break in Australia, that I got into project management with a small developer. There was a real need for this type of expertise with the country getting ready for the Sydney Olympics so I jumped at the chance. Since then I’ve worked in Ireland on the client-side and then moved to Dubai to manage high-rise tower schemes and a fascinating museum project.

Working for a developer really opened my eyes to the way things work on the other side. Knowing how client organisations work definitely gives you an advantage – you understand their business models, challenges and learn how to work well with government entities.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

Building, maintaining and harnessing relationships, without a doubt, is the most important skill. Success is built on strong relationships - they are absolutely vital. Personality-wise you need to have a good character, assertiveness and stamina.

You also need to continually challenge yourself to keep learning and developing your skills further. When I moved to Dubai I went back to university part time to complete my Master’s Degree in Construction Project Management which has been invaluable.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

The complexity of the project I’m working on right now - One Za’abeel. Building two towers over an active six lane carriageway is extremely challenging and really pushes us to innovate. It’s a really interesting, ground-breaking project.

What do you like about working and living in the UAE?

Dubai is known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to construction. It’s a really forward-thinking city that embraces technology and innovation. There are endless opportunities to work on incredible projects here.

I also love the diversity. Going to dinner parties you’re surrounded by people from all around the world - you get to experience such a range of different cultures. It’s also a fantastic place to raise kids, with lots of opportunities and it’s an incredibly safe environment.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Outside of work hours my family is my number one focus; my weekends are all about spending time with them. And if I’m lucky, a couple of times a year I’ll get to play a round of golf or two.

Mace People: Stephen Venney - Mace Group

“Dubai is known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to construction. There are endless opportunities to work on incredible projects here.”