2014 Construction Week Power 100: 51-60
CW provides most influential people in the GCC’s construction industry
51. Abdulrahman Saif Al Ghurair
Chairman, Al Ghurair Group
Last year: No.65
Abdulrahman Saif Al Ghurair chairs a group which has scores of business lines from packaging and industrial companies through to shopping malls, real estate and construction.
The company has a diverse range of business arms including a foundations and piling specialist currently busy at Dubai International Financial Centre to a ready-mix concrete business that has delivered more than 13mn m3 of concrete to projects since it began in 1985. The concrete arm has recently expanded to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and it has a production capacity of 1.8mn m3 per year.
One of the biggest parts of the construction group is MEP operator ETA Star. It has been involved in a huge range of projects, including Dubai International Airport’s Concourse 3, Dubai Metro Green Line and the fit-out of Burj Khalifa.
More recently, the firm, which was named Contractor of the Year at the MEP Middle East Awards in 2013, said that it had won a $63.2mn contract for an integrated health centre and workers’ hospital at the Ras Laffan refinery project in Qatar.
Chairman Abdulrahman Saif Al Ghurair said: “We celebrate our team, who always manage to exceed all expectations. We honour our commitment to quality, our vigorous involvement in the community, our continuous investment in technology, and above all, we celebrate the lively spirit of innovation that has proved to be the binding thread that makes Al Ghurair Group what it is today.”
52. Mr Khaled Mohammed Al Sayed
CEO, Qatari Diar
Last year: No.73
Mr Khaled Mohammed Al Sayed has been CEO of Qatari Diar, the real estate development arm of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, since 2012. Most recently, Qatari Diar’s subsidiary Labregah Real Estate Company said it would buy the Barwa City residential project for $2.08bn. This comes as part of its plan to buy $7.2bn worth of assets from the developer, in which it owns a 45% stake.
Al Sayed is responsible for more than 35 active projects in over 20 countries, with a total investment of more than $60bn. These include a $3bn plan to turn the former Chelsea Barracks in London into luxury homes, the Nile Corniche project in Cairo and the $700mn City Center DC scheme in Washington DC.
53. Naif Al Harbi
CEO, Al Harbi Trading and Contracting
Naif Al Harbi is CEO of Al Harbi Trading and Contracting Company, which is one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest contractors. The Riyadh-based company was awarded a deal for developing an area of 500 hectares in Mardooma Quarter last November, which was one of two contracts worth $80mn handed out by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.
The scope of the works includes roads, water drainage and waste water, drinking water and wastewater treatment, as well as the construction of a communications building.
The company has carried out a large number of government projects since its establishment in 1965. Apart from being involved in massive infrastructure jobs such as King Abdullah Economic City, Al Harbi Trading and Contracting has worked on major civils projects, including a $19.1mn job to upgrade runways at Kuwait’s airport, a $53mn sewage tunnels project in North Jeddah and a $104mn contract to build nine 50-bed and 100-bed hospitals across the Kingdom. It is part of Al Harbi Group, which also has an MEP arm, Hemco, a rock-blasting business and a new cement business, United Cement, which has been set up at Al Sadiya in the Western Region.
54. Abdulrahman M. Al-Marouf
Chairman and MD, Combined Group Contracting Company
So far, 2014 is proving to be a good year for Kuwait-based Combined Group Contracting Company (CGCC) chairman, Abdulrahman Al-Marouf, as at the end of the first quarter, the company had been awarded contracts worth $602mn.
In May, the company signed a $17.2mn contract from Kuwait Oil company to install a new pipeline and replace existing lines in the southeast of the country.
Earlier this year, Ashghal awarded a deal worth $86mn for new integrated infrastructure in North and East Al Kheesa, Qatar to a JV between CGCC and Sacyr Construction. In May, the firm said that construction work on $2.6bn Jaber al-Ahmed Causeway, which it started working on in November with South Korea’s Hyundai E&C, is on schedule. CGCC works with a number of JV partners including the UAE’s Arabtec, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction, India’s Vlotk and Turkey’s Ticar.
In 2013, the company signed partnerships with US-based Langdon Wilson, Shapoorji Pallonji, Samsung Engineering, Italy’s Carlo Gavazzi and Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso. It also opened a subsidiary in Abu Dhabi and an asphalt emulsion plant in Kuwait, and signed contracts worth $400mn.
55. Ahmad Abdelrazaq
Sr. Executive Vice President, Samsung C&T
Last year: No.39
Samsung C&T has every right to be pleased with itself given some of the big projects it has picked up over the past year. For example, in transportation it has won a $1.4bn consortium deal to work on Doha Metro’s major stations (Msheireb Downtown Doha and Education City) alongside Spain’s Obrascon Huarte Lain and Qatar Building Company, with its portion of the deal worth $700mn.
It is also working on the $8bn third package of the Riyadh Metro as part of a consortium with France’s Alstom, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Strukton, Typsa and Setec, bringing in another $2.22bn. The consortium will build 25 stations on the three lines and 64.6km of track – 26.6km of which will be underground.
Meanwhile, Samsung C&T is powering ahead in the energy sector, picking up a $1.2bn EPC contract for the Rabigh II Independent Power Project (R2IPP) in Saudi Arabia, and another EPC contract to build two power plants for $1.37bn in Algeria, for Sonelgaz Electricity Production Company. The firm’s joint venture with Sixco has finally completed the prestigious, $1.54bn Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi project.
Senior executive vice president Ahmad Abdelrazaq, who is based at Samsung’s corporate HQ in South Korea, joined Samsung in 2004 to work on the Burj Khalifa.
56. Brian Johnson
Founder, GAJ Architects
Last year: No. 42
Brian Johnson, founder of Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ), is full of enthusiasm for what lies ahead in 2014.
The company is currently involved in some of the biggest projects in the region, including the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, in which GAJ is offering its services as urban architects.
GAJ has also recently been awarded the design of the Etihad Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and will have completed five new schools in Dubai, in addition to the design for Cranleigh School in Abu Dhabi, which is due to open on Saadiyat Island in September this year.
With offices in Qatar, KSA and Oman, GAJ is working on 15 hotels at various stages of design throughout Dubai and the wider MENA region.
Johnson’s early projects with GAJ include the design for The Dubai Creek Golf Club and the Arabian Court Residence & Spa at the One & Only Royal Mirage.
“We have a really positive, dynamic and talented team, so I am confident that the end of the year will be as good as the start,” he said.
Johnson was named as Principal of the Year and GAJ Large Firm of the Year by CW’s sister title, Middle East Architect, at its annual awards event in November 2013.
57. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Fouzan
Chairman, Al Fouzan Trading and General Construction
Last year: No.40
One of the most remarkable recent achievements for Al Fouzan Trading and Contracting was the construction of a ministries’ complex in a record time of five months.
The $300mn project included 50 buildings, in addition to six mosques, a health centre, and a civil defence building. While the project was scheduled to be completed in seven months, the efforts of 12,000 workers contributed to cutting down the time to build it. That is not to mention the several huge projects that the company has executed, mainly in the Kingdom’s healthcare sector, such as a university hospital in the King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah, and three medical tower projects at King Saud Medical City, Prince Salman Hospital and Al-Iman General Hospital.
Ongoing projects include phase 3 of a $56mn housing facility for Al Imam Muhammad Ibn Saudi Islamic University, as well as a $59mn medical tower.
Al Fouzan was founded in 1974 and is run by chairman Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Fouzan.
58. Abdallah Yabroudi
CEO, Dubai Contracting Company
Abdallah Yabroudi, chief executive officer of Dubai Contracting Company, says he prefers to keep a “cautious and steady hand on the tiller”.
Yabroudi’s strategy has been to focus on trusted clients. The company has been selective with the type of work it has taken on in the past few years.
An example of this is the Four Seasons Hotel projects with Bright Start that DCC is undertaking. The company has emphasised that the project is with a trusted client with whom it has a strong working relationship.
DCC also recently completed the mixed-use development Burj Al Salam complex on Sheikh Zayed Road containing residential offices and a hotel tower operated by Sheraton, as well as the Burj Rafal skyscraper in Riyadh — its first major Saudi high-rise project.
DCC has been responsible for many of Dubai’s iconic high-rise buildings, such as the Conrad Hotel, completed as a JV with Arabtec. It has also worked on the Rolex Tower and Sama Tower.
59. H.E. Salah Bin Ghanem Nasser Al Ali
Chairman, Barwa Real Estate
Although Qatar’s Barwa Real Estate has been struggling with debt, the company remains one of the Middle East’s biggest property development firms, with a market capitalisation of $4.2bn. Last June, sovereign wealth fund Qatari Diar, which owns a 45% stake in the firm, said that it would buy $7.1bn worth of Barwa’s assets. Following the announcement, in July, H.E. Salah Bin Ghanem Nasser Al Ali, also Minister of Youth and Sports, was appointed group chairman.
At Cityscape Qatar earlier this month. the company announced the launch of sales at its Dara scheme in the Fox Hills area of Lusail City, which contains 56 buildings with more than 1,000 apartments. The project sold out during the three-day event.
It also signed a contract with Egyptian firm CRC Dorra to build the second phase of its huge Barwa Al Baraha project, which is set to deliver 32 new four-storey buildings that will house up to 24,000 workers. This will bring the total number of homes for workers at the site to 53,000.
However, the company has shelved plans for the $5.5bn Oryx Island project announced last year, which was meant to contain five floating hotels, a water park and exclusive luxury villas with their own private beaches.
60. Ibrahim Jaidah
CEO, Arab Engineering Bureau
Last year: No.28
Ibrahim Jaidah can justifiably be proud of the Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB), which has a portfolio of more than 1,500 in-house completed projects. The company’s CEO is at the forefront as he helps guide AEB through the plethora of construction works and contracts in Qatar, as well as tending to an extensive array of projects for private clients in places such as Abu Dhabi, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan.
The firm was founded in 1966, but by 1991 it still only had six employees when it was acquired by Jaidah. Since then, it has grown to an organisation with a team of 500.
A sustainability advocate, Jaidah was a co-founding member of Qatar’s Green Building Council and his firm was one of the first providers of Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) to service providers.
AEB is also continuously expanding its expertise in this field to explore new sustainable design sectors.
Past projects include the masterplans for developments at Education City, Al Sidra, and the Cultural Village, as well as Barwa Real Estate’s headquarters and the Lusail Visitors Centre.
Jaidah is confident AEB can continue to grow: “The state of Qatar is going through a major construction boom, and the last 12 months brought many changes in the industry. We coped with challenges such as project scales, and the implementation of industry related-standards and time.
“Against competition and formidable odds, we managed to excel and deliver anticipated results. In the future, our firm is looking to maximise on Qatar’s current growth, but also further expand our regional presence by establishing an office in Dubai.”
Click here to find out who made the list from 61-70