KSA's Big 25 list of construction companies

CW & Ventures ME reveal 25 of the Kingdom's most important contractors

SPECIAL REPORTS, Saudi build, Construction companies, Saudi Arabia

25 of Saudi Arabia’s most important construction companies. Compiled by Construction Week and Venture Middle East.

Who are the key companies behind one of the biggest national redevelopment programmes in the world?

The Big 25 List shows the companies that are constructing the new kingdom, from roads and railways to the hundreds of thousands of new homes and complete industrial and medical cities.

The list is dominated by family-run firms like the Saudi Binladin Group and Saudi Oger, both of which have held their place for decades and still secure the largest projects.

However, the last few years have also seen a proliferation of fast-growing local firms along with joint ventures between KSA contractors and international companies.

With the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only faltering slightly during the economic crisis and in the wake of heady government investment across sectors the market is in many ways more fiercely contested than ever.

The 25 contractors listed below are ranked in order of founding year in the field of contracting in the Kingdom and entry based on recent contract awards.

Saudi's Big 25

  • Saudi Bin Ladin Group
  • Al Rashid Trading & Contracting Co. (RTCC)
  • Al Ayuni Investment & Contracting Co.
  • Al Harbi Trading & Contracting Co. Ltd.
  • Arabian Bemco Contracting Co.
  • Al Shoula Group
  • Almabani General Contractors
  • Al Fouzan Trading & General Construction Company
  • ABV Rock Group
  • El Seif Engineering & Contacting
  • Baytur Construction & Contracting
  • International Centre for Construction Company (ICC)
  • Saudi Oger
  • Freyssinet Saudi Arabia
  • A.S. Alsayed & Partners Contracting
  • Saudi Lebanese Tarouk Contracting Co.
  • Al Arrab Trading & Contracting
  • Al Latifia Trading & Contracting
  • Azmeel Contracting Establishment
  • Abdul Rahman Saad Al Rashid & Sons (Artar)
  • FARE Constructions - Fawaz Al Hokair Trading & Contracting Establishment
  • Al Habtoor Leighton
  • Al Rajhi Construction (ARC)
  • TAV Construction
  • Arabtec Construction

Saudi Binladin Group - 1931

The kingdom’s largest construction firm has continues to reinforce its prestige year on year, with the mammoth $7.2 billion contract win in 2010 for the first phase of the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and the 2011 award of the long anticipated deal for the Kingdom Tower.

Following its inception in 1931, the firm’s reputation was first secured when ties between King Abdulaziz Al Saud – the founder of Saudi Arabia – and SBG’s chairman Mohammed Binladin saw the firm extend the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina. In 1964 it also reclad the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Today the group has major subsidiaries across the region and the firm has come to work on some of the Saudi Arabia’s largest projects, including the 1,800km North-South railway project, the $36bn King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), and both the Abraj Al Bait and Jabal Omar schemes in Makkah.

The group is also  jointly-developing the $30bn Jizan Economic City with Malaysia’s MMC Group and is now a 17% stake holder in the Jeddah Economic Company, which owns Kingdom City, and in 2012 Saudi Binladin was involved in the expansion of the Haram's holy mosque.

Al Rashid Trading & Contracting - 1957

Abdullah Al Rashid & Brothers was established in 1957 in Al Hufof city.

Upon relocating its headquarters to the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh, the company merged with Rashid Abdulrahman Al Rashid Company to form Al Rashid Trading & Contracting Company.

In partnership with Germany’s EADS, RTCC secured one of the most high-profile but sensitive projects to be tendered in Saudi Arabia in years - its border fences.

The kingdom’s $3 billion border fence project covers a distance of about 6000km to detect incursions along its border with Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar.

In 2009 it also won a $427 million contract to build residences for staff at King Saud University in Riyadh.

Al Ayuni Investment & Contracting Co. - 1960

Al-Ayuni Group has been in the Kingdom since 1960, where it worked as a sub-contractor for road construction until 1972 when it was registered as general contractor.

By 1976 Al-Ayuni had major road projects for both the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Rural Affairs.

In 2006 the Al-Ayuni Investment and Contracting Company was classified as a 'Grade A' contractor, having carried out work in both the public and private sectors in the fields of rock blasting, piling, concrete, earth works and asphalting.

The contractor has built more than 1,500km of roads and Al Ayuni is involved in 473km of highway in the country for the Ministry of Transport, including work on the 190km Doubling Highway Project Tabouk, the 125km Bisha-Tathleeth Highway and the 158lm Jeddah-Jizan Doubling Highway.

Al Harbi Trading & Contracting - 1965

The firm established itself in the kingdom in 1965 with offices in Riyadh, Lebanon, Kuwait and the UAE.

It has experience across a range of projects, from heavy civil works and highways to residential villas and palaces, such as the governor residences of the Interior Ministry at Baha, Mecca and Najran.

It has also been involved in a number of education projects, including the Taibah University expansion and the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education.

Most recently, in October 2012, Al Harbi Contracting won a $24m contract for the for infrastructure works at Emaar The Economic City, covering the 210-hectare Phase 1 of the city’s industrial zone. Al Harbi will undertake road building, ground works, water and electricity systems over twelve months.

Arabian Bemco Contracting Co. - 1968

Bemco was formed in 1968 and has developed into a top EPC Contractor in industrial and power projects including co-generation, combined cycle and steam power plants in the country.

Bemco has undertaken some the largest and most challenging projects in Saudi Arabia and employs a workforce totaling 18,000 employees and in 2011 had 96 ongoing projects.

In 2007, Arabian Bemco was awarded a $570m contract with the Saudi Electric Company (SEC) to build the 2,500MW Qurayyah Open Cycle Power Plant in the Eastern Province of KSA, and in 2010 Bemco was awarded a further $550m contract to convert the project to a combined cycle plant.

In May 2012, Arabian Bemco signed a $1.3bn deal with SEC to build a 2,175 MW grass root combined cycle power plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Al Shoula Group – 1970

Al Shoula Group was founded in 1970, and is owned by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mishaal bin Abdul Aziz. Administrative control passed on to Prince Mishaal’s son, Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishaal in the late 1990s, and the group has since developed significant expertise in infrastructure and real estate investment.

The group has played a leading role in the Saudi-Spanish consortium that secured the $9.4bn contract for Phase 2 of the Haramain High Speed Railway Project, which included two Saudi companies and a total of 12 Spanish companies and including Talgo, Renfe and Adif. Al Shoula will also procure rolling stock and operate the line for 12 years.

The company has a broad exposure of multi-billion dollar projects in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf, including in cement manufacture and petrochemical industries.

Almabani General Contractors - 1972

Almabani was founded in Jeddah in 1972 by Lebanese politician Nehme Tohme and Almabani General Contractors has since become one of the kingdom’s largest contractors, with offices in Khobar, Riyadh, Jubail, Beirut and Qatar, with an established niche in aviation projects.

It is carrying out the redevelopment of seven regional airport runways, including one of the largest tunnel projects in the GCC - a $411m contract for road tunnels under Riyadh airbase.

It will build three tunnels: two running for 800 metres and the third extending for 1.7km along the arterial roads. It includes associated works like the construction of groundwater and stormwater pumping stations.

In 1991, the company also opened a branch office in Muscat, and has since helped delineate the borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen.

Al Fouzan Trading & General Construction Company - 1974

Al- Fouzan Trading and Contracting Company, by its own estimations 12th in the Saudi contractor market, is among the most rapidly growing Saudi companies.

In the last five years the company has executed several huge projects, with particular success in the healthcare sector.

It built the King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah, a 500-bed project for the Ministry of Health, and was awarded a $133m contract in 2010 for the construction of the university hospital in Dammam.

In 2012 the firm also won a $260m deal to build three medical tower projects at King Saud Medical City, Prince Salman Hospital and Al-Iman General Hospital.

Still in family hands, the company is chaired by Mohammed Abdullah Al Fouzan and vice-chaired by Ahmed Abdullah Al Fozan, Tarek Al Fouzan is chief executive officer.

ABV Rock Group - 1974

The ABV Rock Group Limited Company originates from Armerad Betong Vägförbättringar, which was founded 1918 in Sweden.

In 1974 ABV registered in Saudi Arabia and opened an office in Jeddah with a branch in Yanbu.

During the mid-1980s the group was contracted for the execution of the nationwide Saudi Strategic Storage Program (SSSP) which commenced in 1987 and was handed over 22 years later in 2010.

Though the ABV Rock Group only registered for a 20 year initial period in the field of General Contracting, it is now executing numerous projects in the King Saud University and in and around Riyadh.

The core activities of the company are underground storage including tunneling, road construction and pipelines.

El Seif Engineering & Contacting - 1975

One of the kingdom’s oldest contracting firms, El Seid was initially in the commerce and transport sectors where it held a large vehicle fleet, but then established in general contracting in the Kingdom in 1975, with branch offices in Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut.

Under Khaled Musaed Al Seif, also chairman of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, the company has grown to over 15,000 employees specialising in hospital projects and tall-tower developments, as well as defense and military projects.

The firm has been involved in several iconic projects including the symbolic Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, the Jewels Twin Towers project in Dubai Marina and Qatar’s Silhouette Tower.

In 2008 the firm secured the third initial package for the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman, worth $2.13 billion, and in 2010 the El Seif was awarded a $240m contract to build a new headquarters for the Samba Financial Group in the King Abdullah Financial District.

Baytur Construction & Contracting - 1976

It is the construction company of Çukurova Group, which dates back to the emergence of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

During the past 35 years the company successfully increased its volume of business steadily both in Turkey and abroad, and the value of its present contracts under execution is in excess of $1.7 billion.

In March 2012 the Jabal Omar Development Company awarded a $397m contract to Baytur Construction Company and Azmeel Contracting & Construction Corporation for the construction of four hotel towers over 24 months on the Jabal Omar project.

International Centre for Construction Company (IC) – 1977

International Center for Contracting (IC) was founded in 1977 in Jeddah, and now has around 1,700 employees, making it one of the few Grade A contractors in the Kingdom able to take on projects worth more than $133m.

Originally a family business, in 2008 the Drake & Scull Group (DSG) and ACWA Holding have purchased a majority of IC stock.

The company now boasts a forward-thinking outlook with a solid heritage and background, guided by its same founding principles.

Saudi Oger - 1978

Saudi Binladin’s main rival, Saudi Oger occupies a similar sphere of influence within the kingdom’s construction sector.

Since its inception in 1978 by former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri – when he took over the French firm Oger – the family firm has become a multi-divisional giant with subsidiaries in Dubai, Abu Dhabi.

In 2007 the firm won work valued at approximately $5 billion, much of it mirroring that of Saudi Binladin, with projects on KAEC and the $2.7 billion Jabal Omar, although the latter ended in 2011 after a $157m payout.

It conducted the first and largest package on the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University for Women after producing the lowest bid at $3.33 billion.

In 2011, the company raised a $2 billion syndicated loan to finance the construction of police training facilities in the Kingdom, and in February this year secured a further Saudi Oger secures $1.03bn loan to restructure its finances.

Freyssinet Saudi Arabia - 1978

Founded by the late Shiekh Kamal Adham in 1978, the company commenced operations in the specialised fields of pre-fabricated and pre-stressed concrete.

The firm evolved and grew into general contracting including building complexes, hospitals, industrial projects and other civil projects.

Though infrequently highlighted, Saudi Freyssinet nonetheless consistently secures major residential and real estate projects in the kingdom.

Notably, it won a $192m contract to build commercial buildings in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), a $193.3m contract for the Corniche Tower in  Jeddah, and a $85.3 million contract for work with Saudi Binladin Group on the light railway in Riyadh’s Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University for women.

A.S. Alsayed & Partners Contracting - 1979

Abdullah Alsayed Company and his partners made their first step in contracting in 1979. From then on the firm has continued to flourish from one city to the next across the Kingdom, particularly distinguishing itself in the social infrastructure sector.

In education, the company built the University of King Abdulaziz in Jeddah; the Faculty of Dentistry in King Faisal University in Dammam; and, a number of technical colleges affiliated to the General Organization for Technical Education in the cities of Dawadmi, Wadi Aldwaser and Hafer Albaten.

Saudi Lebanese Tarouk Contracting Co. - 1979

Tarouk began its work in electromechanical contracting in 1979 and today employees 500 people.

In 2010 Saudi Lebanese Tarouk Contracting Co. and First Gulf Company for Supplies & Contracting Ltd. obtained a Saudi government contract valued at $32 million for the construction and supply of radio and television production centers in Arar, Al Jouf, Najran and Al Baha.

Al Arrab Contracting Company - 1983

The Riyadh-based Al Arrab Trading & Contracting was established in 1983 to carry out simple contracts, but has since expanded to become a major Kingdom contractor, with 16 subsidiaries and 12,000 members of the workforce.

Al Arrab is the Saudi-based construction company of Al Rajhi Holding with is a business group established by the Al Rajhi family in1936. Al Rajhi has witnessed aggressive and sustained growth since 1970, and is now a leading industrial company in Saudi Arabia, and the largest Saudi investor in the UAE.

Al Latifia Trading & Contracting - 1987

Founded in 1987, Al Latifia has grown into a large scale construction company operating throughout the kingdom.

In 2010 it was awarded a $400m contract for the construction of a business and residential complex for the General Organisation for Social Insurance in Riyadh, including six high-rise towers, an underground car park and a business centre.

In September 2012 it won a healthcare project worth $316m from the Ministry of Health for King Fahad Medical City in an equal joint venture with Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG).

The Riyadh project will include two 11-storey buildings for neurosciences and cancer treatment centre; a three-storey cardiac centre and a further seven-storey laboratory block.

A second contract awarded in October 2012 and worth $74m will also see Al Latifia and HLG build a proton therapy centre, to be built two levels underground and in a heavily-lined radiation proof bunker.

Azmeel Contracting Establishment – 1988

The Azmeel group was established in 1988 by the renowned Al Jabr family, and its roots stretch even further back to the early sixties when it got move on track under different names.

Azmeel Contracting has had a sustained presence in Royal Commission Projects, and working with Bechtel, SABIC, Ma’aden, the Ministries of Education and Interior and also the petrochemical private sector.

In a very short period, Azmeel became experienced several construction and ranked in the first grade of construction companies in the classification issued by the Public Buildings Ministry in 2006.

The firm has also expanded to Qatar and Oman, and has further plans to reach the other GCC countries.

Abdul Rahman Saad Al Rashid & Sons (Artar) - 1992

Abdul Rahman Saad Al-Rashid Est. was incepted in 1992 in the firled of real estate, agriculture and industry, and became a limited liability company in 1996 as Abdul Rahman Saad Al-Rashid & Sons Co.

The back bone of the Al Rashid group's success comes from its accumulated expertise in construction, real estate development and investment management.

FARE Construction - Fawaz Al Hokair Trading & Contracting Establishment - 1997

Fawaz A. Al Hokair & Partners Co. established its construction division in 1997 to meet the growing construction and interior decoration needs in the local market.

The company then underwent a major expansion in 2001 and FARE Construction was registered as a construction company in 2003.

The company has a record of sustained growth and customer satisfaction, and performance since its inception has also secured this firm the Grade 1 classification form the Department of Public Works.

Al Habtoor Leighton - 2007

Established in September 2007 through the merger of Al Habtoor Engineering and Gulf Leighton, the Habtoor Leighton Group is represented in Saudi Arabia by the Leighton Middle East Contracting.

In 2011 the group’s Advance Rail Group, itself a 2010 joint venture with Australian rail contractor John Holland, secured a partnership with Al Rashid Trading and Contracting Company (RTCC) to strategically bid for railway projects that are part of Saudi Railway Company’s (SAR) rail network.

Al Habtoor Leighton was involved in the 2012 award of an $765m Aircraft hangar project by Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) to a venture also involving TAV and also involving Al-Rajhi Holding and Al Habtoor Leighton.

In 2012 Leighton Middle East secured an $85m contract share in a $169m infrastructure project at Ma’aden Alcoa's bauxite extraction site, in a joint venture with the ACS Groups's Dragados Gulf Construction and Intecsa Industrial.

Al Rajhi Construction (ARC) – 2009

In the Al Rajhi Construction’s progressive GCC expansion, Al Rajhi Advanced Construction LLC & Al Rajhi Infrastructure Works Co. were established in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2009.

Headquartered in Jeddah and with offices in Dammam, Riyadh and Madinah, Al Rajhi Construction has since earned a reputation as one of most diversified construction firms, building on the strong track record of the company’s successful UAE operations.

Capitalised on a reputation for quality, safety and commitment, the new Saudi firm has won major contracts on earthworks, roads, infrastructure and bridges for the Haramain High Speed Rail Project.

The scope of the phase one package one civil works for the dual-track substructure includes blasting, building road structures and the repositioning of utilities along 449km of the length of the line.

The firm has also won work of the Strategic Water Plan for Riyadh, utility and communication work at Madinah Knowledge Economic City, and dry and wet infrastructure on Al-Marina Project in Dammam.

TAV Construction - 2009

TAV Airports was established as a joint venture between Tepe and Akfen groups in 1997 to build and operate Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

In 2003, the company regrouped its airport operations and airport construction projects under two different companies, TAV Airports Holding and TAV Construction respectively, which are now both in Saudi Arabia.

TAV most recently made headlines for its win, alongside Arabtec and CCC, of the contract to build the $3.2bn Midfield Terminal contract, widely touted as the largest ever airport project.

The structure will be fabricated from more than 1.6m tons of concrete, 70,000 tonnes of steel, and nearly 500,000m2 of steel and glass cladding, and is due for completion and to become operational in 2017.

In April 2012, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) awarded TAV Construction a $765m contract to design, build and operate 11 aircraft maintenance hangars at King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

The joint venture project between Al-Rajhi Holding and Al Habtoor Leighton was set a 900-day duration.

Arabtec Construction - 2009

Arabtec Saudi Arabia was formed in 2009 in an alliance between Arabtec Holding and CPC Services Company, a member of the Saudi bin Laden Group and Al Mawrid Holding.

The joint venture is particularly aimed the housing deficit in Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and the Eastern Province.

The company’s first major project in the Kingdom was the construction contract for 46 buildings as part of the Princess Noura University project in Riyadh.

The firms was also awarded contract for the construction of the 60 and 68 storey Lamar Towers, worth $530 million, on the Jeddah corniche.

In 2010 Arabtec consolidated its position by securing a further deal to construct 5,000 Villas in a new housing project in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia value at $1.33 billion, which brought to date wins up to $400m.

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