Night of stars

This year's Construction Week Qatar Awards 2014 exceeded expectations

ANALYSIS, Business, Construction week qatar awards 2014

The much anticipated Construction Week Qatar Awards 2014 showcased the people and companies responsible for the dynamic and burgeoning construction sector in the country.

Not only was the evening an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge members of the construction sector, but it was a perfect venue to network with the movers and shakers of the industry.

With a sector built on the importance of personal business relationships, every year the construction community awaits the awards evening with great anticipation.

Attended by scores of key members of the Qatari construction community, the event was hosted in the luxurious surroundings of the Grand Hyatt, Doha.

The quality of entries was exceptionally high, with 14 categories represented, covering every segment of this diverse sector, making the selection process challenging in the extreme, as new technologies, initiatives and projects were presented for consideration.

Nominations were made online at and sent out to a panel of independent judges, who were then tasked with ranking nominees in each of the 14 categories.

The final score in each then determined the winner.

Construction Week Qatar Awards 2014 extends sincere thanks to every company and individual that helped make the event the resounding success that it was and we look forward to seeing you at the Construction Week Qatar Infrastructure Awards and the Construction Week Awards later this year.

Construction Executive of the Year
Winner: M. Vasanth Kumar, Arabian MEP Contracting 

Collecting the most coveted award of the evening, Vasanth Kumar, Arabian MEP Contracting, walked away with the Construction Executive of the Year trophy.

Recognised as a giant in the industry, with more than 25 years’ experience within the Middle East, Kumar was thrilled to receive the recognition that comes from winning this much desired award. “This is one of the proudest moments of my entire career; it’s the ultimate award and a reflection of the great work from everybody in the company, right up to the chairman,” he effused.

The judges noted his standing within the industry, praising him as: “A construction entrepreneur and leader who is a well-established part of the construction industry and whose contribution to the sector is immeasurable.”

Gordon Lindsay : Atkins
Mark Rudman : Country Director, Qatar, Faithful+Gould
Renier Breitenbach : Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf

Engineer of the Year
Winner: Linden Stephens, Hyder Consulting

Linden Stephens, Technical Director, Automation & Telecoms, Hyder Consulting admitted candidly to being “shocked” at his win.

However, he recovered his composure well enough to explain how his role countering cyber terrorism propelled him to the front of the competition. “It’s the work I have been doing on building secure networks and smarter process environments ... I am an automation and telecom engineer and I have been working with our strategic partners to secure vital infrastructure from cyber terrorism.”

He added, “I help to secure critical systems infrastructure; to make it smarter and self-defending.

“We are building self-defending networks because the threat [of cyber terrorism] doesn’t stay still.”

Rather ominously he added: “You don’t build these things and then walk away; the security threat evolves…”

Steven Ocallaghan : Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf

Ioannis Spanos : KEO International Consultants
Ossama M. Abdou : Projacs International
Shaukat Ali : KEO International Consultants

Consultant of the Year
Winner: Hyder Consulting, Middle East

In this fiercely competitive section the award went to Hyder Consulting Middle East, which was recognised for having a great track record of delivering innovative, original and consistent project expertise, over the last 12 months.

Maher Chatila, country manager, pointed out the award didn’t come easily. “The award is really a culmination of five decades of experience in Qatar – we are part of the fabric here,” he said.

Nominees were required to demonstrate how their consultancy had enhanced projects, as well as how it contributed to its clients’ success.

The judges praised the winner’s introduction to Qatar of excellent international contracting standards, including health and safety, sustainability, and road safety best practice. Recognition and admiration was also shown for their apprenticeship scheme.

WSP Group

EC Harris
Hill International

Contractor of the Year
Winner: UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC)

It was a memorable night for UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC), as Mowafaq Kharbat, senior project director, collected the award for the company.

The judging criteria included demonstrating unsurpassed progress and delivery to its clients, while maintaining an exemplary HSE record and achieving commercial growth.

The winner was praised “for the amount of time and effort put in to their employees’ health and safety training for their projects,” with the judges adding: “They understand that the safety of the workforce is crucial to a successful project and proves that safety costs less if you invest in the safety of the people.”

Carillion Qatar

Arabian MEP Contracting
Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf
ETA Star Engineering & Contracting WLL Doha Qatar
Hyder Consulting Middle East
KEO International Consultants

Sub-contractor of the Year
Winner: Action International Services

Appearing in the line-up for the first time, the new category, Sub-contractor of the Year, went to Action International Services.

Padraig Nagle, MD, Action International Services, believed that it is the company’s approach to work that set it apart and contributed to its win. “We take a tried and tested engineering approach and we have also invested in our engineering capabilities,” he said.

The judging panel praised the company saying that it is “a very strong candidate in this category”, and “a highly specialised (dewatering) sub-contractor, introducing high quality technology and approach to HSE and worker welfare”.

Traffic Tech (Gulf)

Arabian MEP Contracting
ETA Star Engineering & Contracting, Doha Qatar

Architecture firm of the Year
Winner: Arab Engineering Bureau

One of the new categories this year, the award for Architecture firm of the Year, went to AEB, and was collected by Uday Kumar, general manager, project development department (PDD), AEB.

Excited and pleased at the win, he enthused: “I think our win has to do with the range of projects that we are involved with — and the effort from the team and the management.”

Recognised as an organisation that has demonstrated commitment to dynamic, yet feasible architecture that harmonises with its surroundings, according to the judges, the winners showcased sustainable design, while ensuring a balance between design aesthetics and functionality.

AEB was also highly praised and congratulated for “adapting local architecture and using local suppliers”.

KEO International Consultants
Tangram Architects and Designers

Hospitality Project of the Year
Winner: Kempinski Marsa Malaz Hotel, Arab Engineering Bureau

One of the newest additions to the awards, the Hospitality Project of the Year category was open to any hospitality or tourism-related project that has been completed within the last 12 months.

In their selection, the judges looked for use of best business practices and creative use of technologies and techniques that contributed to the overall success of the project.

Uday Kumar, general manager, project development department (PDD), AEB, couldn’t contain his joy at winning. “This is great!” he exclaimed and added: “This is a seven star resort, and we delivered it on time and on cost.”

Commercial Project of the Year
Winner: Doha World Trade Centre, Projacs International

Winner of Commercial Project of the Year was Projacs International.

This award went to the project that made an important contribution to its surroundings, highlighted best practise and showed how innovative construction techniques and technologies contributed to the project’s success.

Infrastructure Project of the Year
Winner: Kahramma Substations, Arabian MEP Infrastructure

With the emphasis on infrastructure as it is in the region, this was a closely contested win.

According to the judging panel, the winning entry went to the project that made a vital contribution to its environment, showcased best construction practises, while demonstrating how construction techniques and technologies contributed to the project’s success.

The judging criteria also cited that the project had to be completed during the last 12 months.

“It’s really pleasing to win the infrastructure award because that is the main thing that is happening in Qatar currently,” said Vasanth Kumar, CEO, Arabian MEP infrastructure, when he accepted the award on behalf of the company and added: “Power is the backbone of any project, you can’t do anything without it, which makes what we do very important.”

Sustainable Project of the Year
Winner: Msheireb, Heart of Doha, Phase 1C, Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf

Ashraf Algarf, executive vice president and deputy CEO of Projacs International, presented the fourth award of the evening, the Sustainable Project of the Year.

According to the judges, the winner, Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf demonstrated the most significant contribution to sustainable development over the last 12 months and was highly praised for “an excellent submission with interesting supporting information”.

One of the judges enthused: “This project has clearly set sustainability targets and KPIs [the project was] closely monitored and reported. Well presented too.”

Kahramaa Awareness Park : KAHRAMAA (Renewable Energy Systems executed by Innovations Unlimited ME)

ALSADD Multi-Purpose Sportshall : ASTAD Project Management & Qatar Olympic Committee
Baytna, Passivhaus : ETA Star Engineering & Contracting
Msheireb Downtown Doha Project Phase 1B : Carillion Qatar

Sustainability Initiative of the Year
Winner: Green Roads : WSP

Dr. Morteza Zohrabi, technical director, WSP Middle East, collected the award on the evening, from Platinum Sponsor, Jaidah Heavy Equipment.

He discussed the winning project. “We’re working on two expressways and some road projects. Every product we used to build the roads needed to be imported and for our projects that equated to between five to 10 million tonnes in aggregate," he said.

“That is something like 500,000 truck loads,” he added with a laugh.

“Everything needed to come in by road, because there is a big challenge on port capacity. However, The Green Roads project allows us to use local companies, which saved fuel.”

He continued: “What set us apart was that The Green Roads project built concrete roads of asphalt and aggregate, in flexible layers, to make the roads thinner. This meant that we could use local products to build the roads, creating a sustainable base and save on materials.”

Bionest : Gulf Contracting Company

Baytna, Passivhaus : ETA Star Engineering & Contracting
Building a Successful Business : Carillion Qatar
KOPERNIK , Renewable Energy Internship Program : Innovations Unlimited ME

Health & Safety Initiative of the Year
Winner: KARAMA: Qatar Foundation H&S Initiative, ASTAD Project Management

Competition in this category was strong, given the significance of workforce welfare within the construction sector.

However, praise for the winning initiative was high, and in the words of one of the judges: “This iniative reflects the key issues facing Qatar; an excellent initiative.”

Minimum Requirements for Construction Safety : Atkins
i-port : KEO International Consultants
Lifeguard : AECOM Qatar
Make Safety Personal : Gulf Contracting Company
STEP (Safety through empowerment of people) : Drake & Scull International
The Monorail System : Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf

CSR Initiative of the Year
Winner: Sustainable Communities : Carillion Qatar

Carillion shone in its category, highlighting how it has contributed to the welfare of the wider community.
Arthika Nath, sustainability manager MENA, CSR initiative of the year, Carillion, was extatic about the win: “We’re really excited about the award; it a natural fit for Carillion as CSR is embedded in the company.

“We have bought into the 2020 sustainability vision and as part of that we reach out and support the local communities that we work in – it’s very important for us.”

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