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Karen Tillon

MBA, Dip.Pro.Man. (RICS) MCIOB

Karen is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager with over 25 years of experience within the construction industry. She has a Masters Degree in Real Estate and Construction Management and 18 years of professional practice in some of the most complex and high profile projects in Dubai.

She has an extensive track record in the industry, gained from client, consultancy and contracting roles; encompassing project management, commercial management, contract management, project monitoring, change management and procurement.

The added strength of a quantity surveying background gives Karen the ability to take a strategic view whilst dealing with detail, contractual knowledge attained from client, consultant and contractor perspectives, and the ability to impart these requirements to project team members.

Specialist Expertise

  • Extensive experience of traditional, design and build and on construction management contracts for both public and private organisations.
  • Widely experienced on a range of industries from luxury hotels, emergency services, aqua parks, events and exhibitions, theatres, staff accommodation, light industrial, marina and leisure facilities, retail, housing, education, high-rise buildings, associated infrastructure  and aluminium smelters.
  • Detailed understanding of the design and construction processes and the roles and responsibilities of the consultants, government entities, contractors and subcontractors involved.
  • Member of the ‘Dubai Expo 2020 Bid Team’. Preparation of the Master Plan for the UAE’s successful bid to host the World Expo in 2020.
  • Experienced in the management and directing of all procurement and contracts associated with the development of a mixed-use development project in Dubai central business district, the first phase of which included a 20,000m2 office building and a 588 key hotel.
  • Responsible for initiation and management of a 15+ Procurement Department of a renowned development company, which was established to redevelop large areas of central Dubai. The signature project was the $95billion US dollar Jumeirah Gardens City Scheme, encompassing iconic commercial towers, canal works and costal island reclamation works.
  • Member of both the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina Development Quantity Surveying teams.


  • Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai (March 2012 – July 2014): Senior Procurement Manager – EXPO 2020 and the Dubai Trade Centre District Phase 1.
  • Meraas Development, Dubai (2008 – 2010): Procurement Director – Jumeirah Garden City and all other project procurement.
  • Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai (2005 – 2008): Senior Commercial Manager – DWTC Master Plan and the Dubai Exhibition City at Al Maktoum International Airport.
  • Omnium International (formally DG Jones International Limited), Dubai (2004 – 2005) Senior Quantity Surveyor – Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina Development.
  • Dubai Aluminium Company Limited (DUBAL), Dubai (2001 – 2004): Business Change and Senior Purchasing Officer.
  • ATKINS, Dubai (1997 – 2001): Procurement Manager – CBRD Project (Jumeirah Beach Resort Hotel, Burj Al Arab and the Wild Wadi Water Park).
  • Poole Borough Council and Dorset County Council, UK (1994 – 1997): Constituted a Building Standards Division. Planning and coordination of the Council’s building programme.
  • William Verry Limited, UK (1993 – 1994): Estimator and Quantity Surveyor.
  • MOWLEM Building, UK (1989 – 1993): Trainee and Assistant Quantity Surveyor.


  • Member, Chartered Institute of Builders.

Publications (a selection) 

      • ‘Procurement – a view from Dubai, Part 2’, February 2017, ‘Perspective’ Journal.
      • ‘Procurement – a view from Dubai, Part 1’, October 2016, ‘Perspective’ Journal.

Recent Public Speaking – a selection 

  • ‘Procurement – Win That Tender’ Project Qatar, Doha, Qatar – May 2016

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