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CW Awards: ALEC named Contractor of the Year

Company makes it a hat-trick after claiming the prestigious crown for the third successive year

Barry Lewis is presented with the award from Famco managing director Paul Floyd.
Barry Lewis is presented with the award from Famco managing director Paul Floyd.

ALEC made it a hat-trick at the Construction Week Awards 2014 last night when the company claimed the prestigious title of Contractor of the Year for the third year in a row.

Accepting the award, a delighted Barry Lewis, managing director - construction, said: “This is testament to the people in our business."

Competing for title were some of the biggest construction companies operating in the GCC. Judges were asked to look for a company that could demonstrate operational excellence, commercial success and continuous improvement.

As expected, the standard of entries was high and competition was fierce.

But ALEC demonstrated the same exceptional qualities that saw it presented with the award for the last two years.

One judge commented: “They continue to deliver challenging, major projects and continue to expand into other regions. Their focus on staff and leadership development has been an important part of their success.”

Particular mention was also made of the number of huge projects ALEC is currently involved in throughout the GCC, including works at Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports.

Lewis said: “We've got quite a tough year ahead of us. We've got to close out Concourse 4; we've got the T1 upgrade, which I'm sure people are going through and experiencing the chaos there. In Abu Dhabi we've got segregation; in Qatar we're busy with the Al Futtaim Group building a big mega-mall of 568,000m2; and in Oman we've got a nice resort hotel in Jebel Akhdar.

"It's a different challenge for us as a business because we've grown geographically, so there's a lot more pressure, but with that comes a lot more growth opportunities."

From a labour perspective, Lewis revealed the company has grown by about 15-20% over the past year, and from a staff perspective about 5-10%.

He added: "We're putting a big focus on the younger people coming into the business, a very aggressive program where we bring in a lot of graduates from the sub continent, South Africa and obviously people from the Middle East. We're putting a lot of energy into that. Not so much senior staff but middle management and junior positions."

Carillion Allawi, named highly commended, was praised for its impressive submission and delivering many high profile projects in Oman.

Brookfield Multiplex Medgulf, Carillion Qatar and China State Construction made up the remainder of the shortlist.

The Construction Week Awards are an annual series of events that recognise and reward the best the GCC construction industry has to offer.

This year’s event was supported by presenting sponsor du; platinum sponsor Famco; gold sponsor Genavco; silver sponsor Alec; and category sponsors Atkins, Conares, Hyder, Kone, Projacs, Soprema, VSL and WSP.

A full review of all the winners and finalists will feature in a special issue of Construction Week on 20 December. 

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