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RICS 150

2 MAY 2018

Ivan Sovis FRICS: Dubai’s changing skyline

Ivan Sovis FRICS, CEO and founder of Sovis QS is one of Dubai’s most notable surveyors. He has worked on some of Dubai’s most high profile developments, including Dubai’s World Trade Centre, a number of Dubai’s 5 star hotels and most notably Wafi City.

Over a distinguished 42-year career in the UAE, Ivan has worked on several landmark projects including Dubai’s World Trade Centre, prominent 5-star hotels and high-rise developments, shopping malls and Wafi City. As one of the UAE’s first and most experienced Chartered Quantity Surveyors and with a background in construction, Ivan has been able to apply his broad suite of experience and expertise to Dubai’s transforming skyline.

The UAE was barely five years old, when Ivan arrived from Sri Lanka in 1976 to work for Widnell and Trollope. One of the first projects that he worked on as a quantity surveyor was the Dubai World Trade Centre. At the time, the building was Dubai’s first skyscraper and the tallest building in the Middle East. In the following nineteen years at Widnell and Trollope, Ivan was involved in the construction boom of the 1980s working on most of the 5* Hotels in Dubai, as well as commercial and high-rise buildings, residential developments and government and infrastructure projects. Given there was a shortage of quantity surveyors in the region, Ivan had to apply his expertise to a broad suite of challenges. Overtime, Ivan helped give the profession value in the UAE and this supported an increase in the recruitment of quantity surveyors into the region.

As one of the UAE’s most experienced Chartered Quantity Surveyors and with a background in construction, Ivan has been part of the Dubai’s dramatically changing skyline from the very beginning. His strong industry reputation gained from a successful project track record and client endorsement, helped inspire the establishment of Sovis QS in 1995, one of the GCC’s first RICS regulated firms. Sovis QS has helped apply international standards to a number of pioneering projects and has gained recognition for its specialist QS knowledge in 5-star hotels, shopping malls and property development.

Over the past 23 years, Sovis QS has delivered a diverse portfolio of projects including the firm’s signature project, Wafi City. The Egyptian themed complex includes a shopping mall, 5* hotel, health club and a number of entertainment facilities. Due to its unique Egyptian theme Quantity Surveyors had to apply specialist expertise in areas including statues, artwork and customised glass. Sovis QS has since led other important projects including the expansion of Dubai International airport and the Sahara Centre.

Over a distinguished 42-year career in the UAE, Ivan has played an important role in the transformation of Dubai’s skyline. He has not only brought international standards to pioneering projects, but he has also helped highlight the importance of quantity surveyors in the UAE. Ivan was made a Fellow of RICS in 2000 in recognition of his contribution to the profession.

Pride in the Profession

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of RICS. To celebrate this milestone, we've launched our Pride in the Profession initiative to showcase the significant and positive impact surveyors have made to society.

The initiative is a great chance for all of us to promote our profession by demonstrating how varied and rewarding a surveying career can be.

We've already received a great many nominations of exceptional surveyors from RICS members around the world that you can read about below, but we need more.

Tell us about the people and projects you admire most.



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