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2011 Construction Week Power 100: 1-10

CW's list of the most influential people working in GCC construction

Ayman Hariri
Ayman Hariri
Bakr bin Laden
Bakr bin Laden
Riad Kamal
Riad Kamal
Mohammed Alabbar
Mohammed Alabbar
Zuhair Fayez
Zuhair Fayez
Power 100
Nasser Ali Al Mawlawi
Nasser Ali Al Mawlawi
Hassan Al Thawadi
Hassan Al Thawadi
Fatima Obaid Al Jaber
Fatima Obaid Al Jaber
Power 100

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

1. AYMAN HARIRI
DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER
SAUDI OGER

Ayman Hariri is the deputy general manager and a board director at Saudi Oger, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction firms, integral to the transformation of the country’s economy.

He is well-known as one of the rare executives that combine a deep, hands-on knowledge of complex technology concepts with an impressive history of entrepreneurial success. Today, 33-year-old Saudi Oger has successfully diversified into FM, telecoms and utilities as part of its overall business activities.

Hariri oversees the building of the company’s contribution to some of the Kingdom’s mega projects, such as the development of the iconic King Abdul Aziz Centre for World Culture in the Eastern Province, as well as King Abdullah Road in Riyadh and a number of towers at King Abdullah Financial District. Earlier this year the company also negotiated another $61.3m worth of work on the King Abdullah Economic City project, which will see it eventually construct four towers.

Among the company’s current projects is the first phase of the now-globally-reknowned Princess Noura Bint Abdularahman University for Women in Riyadh. This facility has been designed to accommodate more than 40,000 female students. Saudi Oger will build a series of colleges, schools, administrative buildings, housing facilities, a medical research centre and a hospital, in addition to multiple support facilities over an approximate built-up area of 100ha. The company is also delivering Le Meridien Towers in Makkah, among other projects.

Hariri’s direct involvement and dedication also helped in the execution and handing over of the state-of-the art Academic & Administration Buildings of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal in record time.

In 2009 and 2010, the Dubai-based Arabian Business magazine selected Hariri as one of the 100 most influential Arabs in its annual Power 100 list. He was also ranked sixth in CEO Middle East’s list of the Arab world’s most influential leaders in property.

Also under Hariri’s leadership, the firm is working with the Saudi Oger Training Institute in Riyadh to train and develop young Saudis to become highly-technical specialists. A second training institute for girls is under development. He is also a board member at 3C, a South African mobile telecoms operator.

Next: BAKR BIN LADEN

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

2. BAKR BIN LADEN
CHAIRMAN
SAUDI BINLADIN GROUP

As head of the board at Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), Bakr bin Laden heads one of the world’s largest construction dynasties, with subsidiaries across the region.

The second son of founder Mohammed bin Laden, Bakr has controlled the family firm after the death of Salem, Mohammed’s eldest son, in 1988. He is one of 13 of Mohammed’s sons who sit on the board of the company.

SBG started its growth when it was entrusted by the Royal Court with the task of expanding Islamic Holy Sites in Makkah and Madinah. It has also built several palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah for the Royal Family, and carried out restoration work following an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. The firm acts as a developer on a number of projects.

It is involved with some of Saudi Arabia’s major infrastructure and real-estate projects, including the North-South railway project, the King Abdullah Economic City, Abraj Al Bait residential scheme in Makkah and the Jabal Omar scheme in Makkah.

It is also overseeing construction of 30 towers at the King Abdullah Financial District, a mandate that requires the company to sub-contract to Saudi companies to boost local industry. It is also aiming for a LEED rating on the upcoming buildings.

In recent years, Bakr bin Laden has overseen the company’s expansion plans beyond the MENA region, with China a particular target. The company has sought to establish ties with key Chinese companies and government initiatives -- moves that are likely to boost the group’s bottom line in the medium- and long-term.

In 2005, SBG received two IRF Global Road Achievement awards for its involvement with the Al Qassim-Al Madinah-Yanbu-Rabigh Expressway project, in the categories of Construction Methodology and Innovative Finance.

Next: RIAD KAMAL

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

3. RIAD KAMAL
CHAIRMAN AND FOUNDER OF ARABTEC CONSTRUCTION LLC
CEO OF ARABTEC HOLDING

Palestinian-born Riad Kamal is one of the UAE’s most recognisable executives as founder and chairman of Arabtec Construction, the main building arm of publicly-listed Arabtec Holding, of which he is CEO. The company remains the biggest builder in the country with a staff of around 60,000, with projects from Dubai to Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

He began his civil engineering and construction career following a BSc in civil engineering and an MSc from the same college in structural engineering from the Imperial College, London. Soon after, he went on to work on construction projects in Jordan, the UK and Spain, for companies including Tarmac and Sir Robert McAlpine.

It was only a year after his arrival in the Middle East in the 1970s that Kamal set up his own construction firm in Dubai, Arabtec Construction LLC. Under Kamal’s authority, the company has been responsible for building some of the most architecturally-significant buildings in the region, including the co-construction of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa.

Having endured a hard-hitting recession and a number of late-payment problems, the company is now looking forward to winning new contracts across a range of developing, geographical markets, including Jordan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Palestine, in addition to places such as Azerbaijan, Angola, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon and Turkmenistan.

Next: MOHAMMED ALABBAR

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

4. MOHAMMED AL ABBAR
CHAIRMAN, EMAAR PROPERTIES

Though no project under development in the last year rivals the global landmark that is the Burj Khalifa, Emaar Properties has continued its diversification across many countries and building sectors through a growing network of subsidiary companies. Mohammed Alabbar, last year’s most powerful construction executive, remains central – and crucial – to this growth.

He has been a key driving force for Emaar’s expansion into new markets, with key development contracts for Emaar’s integrated community developments secured in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Several of these projects are expected to be handed over this year, including homes in Egypt and commercial offices in Syria at The Eighth Gate development.

Much of the company’s regional success is down to its array of regional companies overseen by Alabbar. Emaar Dubai, Emaar Education, Emaar Healthcare Group, Emaar Hospitality Group, Emaar Hotels & Resorts, Emaar International and Emaar Malls Group are just a few of the entities competing across sector and region.

Perhaps most impressively, Alabbar ensured early that the developer looked beyond the pay-off from big projects and focused on the steady, consistent returns from built assets befitting of a still-cool UAE market. Hospitality and mall projects, in particular, have produced decent earnings for the company, helping it to achieve net profits of $667m in 2010, up 45% against the previous year.

Committed, enthusiastic and hard-working, Alabbar began his career with an undergraduate degree in Finance and Business Administration from The Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University in 1981. He later received an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from his alma mater in 2007, and spoke at a number of international forums, representing the UAE several times at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Alabbar is closely associated with Dubai business more widely, having been vice chairman of Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) for 11 years up to 2003, and chairman of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for ten years from 1992 until 2002. A confident executive, and one of the few stars to emerge from the property duress of 2009, he believes the emirate will “never stop taking risks”.

Next: ZUHAIR HAMED FAYEZ

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

5. ZUHAIR HAMED FAYEZ
PRINCIPAL, FOUNDER
ZFP CONSULTANTS

After 36 years, ZFP Consultants, a company founded by Zuhair Hamed Fayez in Jeddah, is one of the biggest and best known consultancies in Saudi Arabia.

It has eight branches throughout the Middle East, more than 300 architects and 3,000 staff, and is now the number one partner for foreign firms working in the Kingdom.

As principal of ZFP, Fayez has been in a position to hire rather than fire staff during the financial crisis, diversify into MEP, engineering, IT and construction management and position the firm as one of the first Saudi Arabian companies to employ and train female architects. Landscaping, bridge construction, interior design and master-planning all fall within the company’s remit.

Not content with a slew of projects within his home country, Fayez has driven the company to explore opportunities across the Middle East and Far East. Today, it has offices in Dubai, Cairo, Hyderabad and Manila.

ZFP Consultants also has specialist skills for medical and educational projects. One of the firm’s key medical projects is the Emergency Medical Institute in Riyadh, a development with a total built up area of 8.3ha, and a site area of five hectares.

Next: MOHAMED ALI M.K. AL KUBAISI

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

6. MOHAMED ALI M.K. AL KUBAISI
BOARD MANAGER, MIDMAC

MIDMAC has defined the rise of Qatar. As it becomes a global centre for construction at the start of its World Cup build-up, it is worth remembering his leadership in the construction industry of the country among all the other areas in which he has significant influence.

The development and diversification of Doha, the capital, along with the mega-industrial projects, are all part of his vision to create something different to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, or any other surrounding state.

At the centre is MIDMAC, one of the country’s largest contractors that its management has overseen to grow into a 6,000-strong institution competing equally on building projects, hotels, hospitals, sports grounds, palaces and infrastructure.

It also offers services in areas that few contractors know well, such as marine work and piling, as well as a well-defined offering in civil engineering and electromechanical work.

As the country becomes a magnet for business – particularly for consultants and contractors – the companies like MIDMAC leading its development are beyond doubt.

Next: NASSER ALI AL-MAWLAWI

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

7. NASSER ALI AL-MAWLAWI
PRESIDENT, ASHGHAL

With Qatar one of the fastest-growing economies, according to the International Monetary Fund, and a country moving swiftly towards its development goals, it is inevitable that the head of the government’s infrastructure and utilities department would see his star rise up CW’s list of powerful figures. The Public Works Authority holds the key to a treasure trove of building, development and maintenance work, representing billions of riyals of work for an increasingly globalised list of consultants and contractors.

An electrical engineering graduate from Boston University, Al-Mawlawi served the Qatar armed forces for 25 years before being promoted to the Organisation Committee for the 2006 Asian Games, held in Doha, overseeing the facilities and project management. By 2007 he was CEO of the Barwa City project before being appointed acting managing director of Ashghal. Now president, he has played a strong part in the body’s organisation and execution of projects, and at the same time forging strong diplomatic ties with nations across the world.

Next: HASSAN AL THAWADI

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

8. HASSAN AL THAWADI
CEO, QATAR WORLD CUP BID

Hassan Al Thawadi made the impossible possible last December when Qatar was awarded the right to host the biggest football tournament in the world in 2022. He has been unwavering in his belief in his home country’s ability to confound the naysayers and develop the buildings and infrastructure necessary to host the show since being appointed head of the bid team in March 2009.

He and his team’s success in convincing the decisionmakers at FIFA to take seriously the idea of air-conditioned stadia is not only a remarkable feat in itself, but he has set off a construction boom in the country that will transform it in just over a decade. This will eventually give the country its first nationwide railway system, innumerable hotels and other leisure facilities.

Furthermore, his success has also boosted the commercial and tourist potential of the entire Gulf, as global football fans venture beyond the gas-rich state into Oman and the UAE. An Anglophile graduate of Sheffield University, he is also director of the legal department of the Qatar Investment Authority.

Next: FATIMA OBAID AL JABER

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

9. FATIMA OBAID AL JABER
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
AL JABER GROUP

Fatima Obaid Al Jaber oversees operations at one of the biggest and most influential construction companies, the Al Jaber Group, and is an inspiration for young women.

She was the first Emirati woman to be elected to the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, in addition to her position as an executive director at Al Jaber Group.

After graduating from the UAE University in Al Ain in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering, she worked for the Abu Dhabi government in various technical and managerial positions until 2005. In 2009, she lectured budding female engineers at the Al Hosn University in Abu Dhabi, providing inspiration to the next generation of Emirati women.

As a result of her hard work and dedication last year, Al Jaber won the Arabian World Construction Summit’s Industry Personality of the Year award and an Arabian Business nomination for Businesswoman of the Year. Recognised and admired in the region for executing some of the industry’s most iconic projects, she was also voted as the seventh most influential woman in the region by Forbes Arabia in 2007 and one of the most influential businesswomen in the Arab world by MEED in 2008.

Next: ALI AL-KHODARI

2011 CONSTRUCTION WEEK POWER 100

1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-7071-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

> The Power 100 - Full List

10. ALI AL-KHODARI
CHAIRMAN, ABDULLAH A. M.
AL-KHODARI & SONS

Last year, as the building phenomenon in Saudi Arabia gained momentum, Ali Al-Khodari successfully oversaw the successful transition of a successful, but secretive, contracting firm into a publicly-listed company. An unusual move, perhaps, for a close-knit family company, the listing and equity raising is all part of the growth and diversification strategy embodied by chairman Ali Al-Khodari.

So far this year, the company has been a magnet for contracts, winning deals across its core businesses of civil construction, building contracting and utilities. In fact, Al-Khodari’s inclusion in the Power 100 is chiefly down to the success in securing projects from Tabuk to Dammam, and the company’s ability to compete on so many fronts, as well as exploit opportunities to work with fellow contractors, such as the decision to form a MoU with Saudi Kier to jointly prequalify for energy and utilities projects in the company’s home province in the Eastern Region.

2010 saw the company post profits of $58m, up 0.4% on the previous year, with first quarter 2011 gains reaching $10.45m.

Al-Khodari’s success in driving the firm’s recent renaissance is such that regional expansion is well within the company’s sights. Having established an office in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year, it is also strongly considering an office in Doha. In both states the company is looking to be involved in big infrastructure projects, including, sources say, the UAE’s upcoming Etihad Rail network. The company is an undoubted strong contender.

Next: OSAMA HADID

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