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Face to face: Hamish Tyrwhitt, Arabtec Holding

by Neha Bhatia on May 24, 2018


Tyrwhitt says Expo 2020 Dubai is generating growth opportunities for Arabtec.
Tyrwhitt says Expo 2020 Dubai is generating growth opportunities for Arabtec.
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The mandatory procedure allows Arabtec to “optimise the commercial costs of the organisation, to support a tender decision-making process based on objective risk information, and to ensure that contractual commitments are in line with the organisation’s objectives and its defined risk appetite”, the group’s 2017 Annual Report reveals.

Arabtec Holding’s geographic focus is also influenced by similar discussions about opportunity and capability. The company has a market share of 6% in the UAE, and Tyrwhitt says that Expo 2020 Dubai is generating “more than enough opportunities” for the company to bid in its domestic market. 

“Right now, in the UAE, we have more opportunities to tender and to win than we require to meet our growth expectations,” he reveals, adding that he is very optimistic about the country’s construction market. “Another thing we’re looking at [right now] is following our clients from the UAE to other markets. So we will follow our clients to the other markets they go to.” 

The UAE government will also be a key client for Arabtec, which is already working on the $1.1bn (BHD414.1m) Bahrain International Airport project that is partly funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, a public-sector organisation in the emirate. 

“So we [will] go to regional markets, but with clients and customers that we have a relationship with, and that we’ve delivered with before, [because] we know how they operate.”

Outside the UAE, Tyrwhitt is optimistic about Saudi Arabia, which he says he is “watching with great interest”, expressing confidence in the country’s Vision 2030 plans, launched by Crown Prince HRH Mohammed Bin Salman. Additionally, the company is working for Eagle Hills’ Saraya Aqaba project in Jordan, and the St Regis-branded hotel and apartments in Oman. Tyrwhitt reveals that the company is also bidding on work in Bahrain. 

READ: Arabtec Holding records $2.4bn in revenues for 2017

And last week, Arabtec Construction announced that it had been awarded a $43m (AED157m) contract for the Uptown Cairo master project from Emaar Misr. The contract comprises the construction of Phases 3 and 4 of Village E Levana within the Egyptian master planned development.

“We can see a short-term positive market, [and] longer-term positive trends and drivers in the region,” Tyrwhitt adds. 

“We will remain focused mainly on the GCC, but also [look at] Egypt and other countries, potentially in North Africa.

“I think the sector is incredibly resilient. We have no control over [external factors], but it’s our ability to navigate through those issues, if they have an impact on us, that’s important. We have a visibility of a really good market at the moment, and we will tender for work. Hopefully, we’ll win our share […], and if we do, we will focus on delivering those jobs.”



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