Colleague Interview

A conversation with Mahmoud Abougabal, Director

Mahmoud Abougabal is a Director and testifying expert in our Dubai office, specialising in delay analysis. He shared with us what drew him to his delay analysis specialty, a day in his role, his out-of-office photography experience, and much more.

Tell me about your background.

I am an architect by background. I obtained a master’s degree in project management in construction and infrastructure and, more recently, a master’s degree in construction law and dispute resolution.

What attracted you to your specialty?

In the case of delay analysis, I have always been interested in figuring out how and why things work. So, this made me curious why construction programmes were overrun, and to what extent.

Delay analysis is highly dependent on fact-checking, solid reasoning, as well as objective and coherent storytelling. These are not just work skills because developing such skills is also invaluable to life in general.

What inspires you in your role?

If you grew up watching whodunit skits, you may have experienced, firsthand, the thrill of connecting the dots to see the bigger picture.

This feels especially good if you get to help clients in dire need of such services.

Describe a typical day in your role. 

My day always begins with Java. Lots of Java. And then some more.

I always plan my day ahead, so I dedicate time for emails and admin-related tasks (usually towards the beginning and end of the day) so that the rest of the day is left for focused work.

There will also always be days in the week when I am meeting clients or doing presentations, and I am so glad now that we can finally have in-person meetings, and who would have thought – we are even now mask free!

Finally, nights are dedicated to gym, watching Man United struggle on Thursday’s, and family time. In retrospect, Man United’s season has not been all that bad.

What do you think has been the reason for your success? 

There have been many reasons, but a particular one is my family. Having family support is indispensable, especially in such a demanding career.

Then comes continuous learning. One can never be too old or too experienced to learn something new.

My latest pursuit of knowledge had me travel to London once a month for the past two years to get my master’s degree. Whilst this has been genuinely challenging, i.e., trying to balance work, education, and family life, it has been one of the most memorable and rewarding periods of my life.

Why is HKA a stand-out employer for you?

HKA is a truly global entity. It is modern, ambitious, and agile, and employs some of the most brilliant minds in the market and professionals in their respective fields.

I have also been incredibly impressed by HKA’s transparent and serious take on diversity with how HKA treats everyone equally, with dignity and respect.

Getting to know you. What are your interests outside of work? 


But for now, I will only stick to travelling and street photography. To me, street photography is all about capturing the essence of everyday people getting about their lives. The best part of street photographs is that you can still enjoy them maybe years or even decades down the line.

I post my street photography work on Instagram: @the_gabal.

If you want to find out more about joining HKA, contact or to arrange a confidential discussion or visit

Laura Fox-Oliveira, Recruitment Manager, EMEA
Mohammed Osman, Recruitment Resourcer, EMEA

This publication presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the author and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This publication is protected by copyright © 2024 HKA Global Ltd.


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