Dubai: Demand for project management industry professionals is expected to increase in the UAE in the lead up to Expo 2020, according to Mark Langley, chief executive and president of Project Management Institute (PMI).

Langley, speaking ahead of the PMI’s Global Congress in Dubai next week, the first to be held in the Middle East, said Expo represents a number of opportunities and challenges for the industry.

The PMI is a not-for-profit think tank that represents 750,000 industry individuals in more than 190 countries.

The UAE has become a hotbed for the industry over the last five to ten years with “quite a bit of demand being put on this region,” Langley said.

He said that the stakeholder management is “absolutely critical” for the success of the Expo site development.

On regional trends, he said that the UAE and Middle East does generally better in PMI’s research than other regions, however, the most common reason projects failed in this region is change management, which is the process of transitioning individuals or teams.

Globally, the industry is worth around $6 billion (Dh22 billion), Langley estimates, with demand steadily increasing. However, he said that the talent gap is widening every year, according to the group’s research.