2015 Construction Week Power 100: 41-50

Construction Week's annual ranking of the most influential people in the Middle East's construction industry


41 Fawwaz Al-Khodari CEO, Abdullah A M Al-Khodari Sons Co

Fawwaz Al Khodari is CEO of Abdullah A M Al-Khodari Sons Co, which became Saudi’s biggest publicly quoted contractor following its IPO in 2010.

Its activities spread far and wide beyond construction into FM, MEP, haulage, travel and tourism, wholesale and retail operations, vehicle bodybuilding and repair, and more. Even so, some 94% of the company’s work has been connected to government contracts.

Revenues for the calendar year 2014 increased by 14% to $463m (SAR1.74bn). Net income increased by an impressive 57% to $26.9m (SAR101m), although this figure was flattered by the sale of used equipment at auction and other assets, amounting to $18.9m (SAR71m).

The company said last month that it expects the government to compensate it for some of the costs of ‘Saudisation’ labour reforms. It claims that it has become more expensive and difficult to hire large numbers of foreign workers.

Al-Khodari, which employs around 17,000 workers, has reportedly been hit disproportionately by a levy of $640 (SAR2,400) for every foreigner it employs above the number of Saudi workers.

Last month, Al-Khodari announced that it intends to enter the Egyptian market. The CEO said it was negotiating with various governmental authorities to participate in projects in the country’s commercial sector.

John Ferguson
Executive chairman
Brookfield Multiplex Middle East

As executive chairman of Brookfield Multiplex Middle East, John Ferguson is responsible for the firm’s construction, facilities, project and development management operations across the region.

With an international career spanning almost 40 years, Ferguson has been instrumental in the contractor’s regional success and growth.

After eight years working at the company’s Perth, Australia office, and seven years based in Kuala Lumpur, he joined the core team that established Brookfield Multiplex’s Middle East operations in 1997. Since then, the business has grown rapidly, and has developed its footprint to become one of the region’s better-known contractors.

During his time in the Middle East, Ferguson has overseen – and been responsible for – a selection of iconic projects, especially in the UAE. Emirates Towers (office tower and retail area) was the first GCC project undertaken by the company, and this was followed by The Gate Building (DIFC), JW Marriott Marquis and IRENA Headquarters in Masdar City.

Brookfield Multiplex recently undertook an extensive structural re-design, which it claims has provided significant cost-savings due to time and materials-usage reductions.

The firm is currently working on a number of projects in the UAE and Qatar. At Dubai’s The Opus, for example, Brookfield Multiplex is fulfilling a design-and-build contract, and is set to deliver the building for handover by Q1 2016.

PNC Menon
Chairman and founder, Sobha Group

A first-generation entrepreneur, PNC Menon began his professional career by setting up an interior decorating firm in Oman in 1976. He has since then incorporated several companies in the Sultanate, United Arab Emirates and Qatar and also expanded into construction and real estate development.

He founded Sobha Developers in Bangalore in 1995. Menon recently said that work on Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) City – District One project is making headway, with Phase 1 villas units scheduled for a mid-2016 handover.

Ayman Hariri
Vice chairman & deputy CEO, Saudi Oger

Saudi national Ayman Hariri is vice chairman and deputy CEO of Saudi Oger, one of KSA’s biggest construction companies. As the figurehead of company operations, he has handled the construction and FM of various major projects such as the Academic & Administration Buildings of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, selected as the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.

“We have demonstrated our increased ability to tackle complex engineering challenges positioning ourselves as the company of choice when it comes to challenging projects,” said Hariri.

Gulabsi Ratansi Khimji
Managing director, Al Turki Enterprises

Gulabsi Ratansi Khimji is the 75-year-old MD of Al Turki Enterprises, has spent almost 40 years in Oman’s construction industry – a feat recognised at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2014, where he was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

During that time, he has grown the business from a hardware store into a huge group with more than 20 concrete batching plants, ready mix concrete depots, concrete block factories, steel fabrication depots and a range of other related construction businesses generating revenues of more than $500m.

SN Subrahmanyan
Head of construction, Larsen & Toubro Construction

SN Subrahmanyan is senior executive vice president of L&T Construction – part of the $12.8bn Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro conglomerate.

His notable achievements include playing a pivotal role in securing and managing EPC contracts for the construction of four major international airports in India at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

The contract for the Delhi International Airport is one of the largest secured by L&T to date. In international markets, he helped secure a major order for the construction of Salalah Airport in Oman.

Sheikh Abdulrahman Abdulkader Mohammed Fakih
Chairman, Makkah Construction and Development Company

Saudi Arabia-based Makkah Construction & Development’s (MCDC) latest financial results released in April show an operating profit of $91.4m (SAR343m) compared to $90.3m (SAR339m) for the previous year, an increase of 1.2%. Fakh has been with MCDC since 1987.

It is currently engaged in building hotels and infrastructure around the Grand Mosque, and is also a shareholder in the Jabal Omar Development Company which is behind the $2.7bn Jabal Omar project.

Andrew Elias
CEO and board member, Kele Contracting

Andrew Elias is the CEO of Dubai-based, Australian firm Kele Contracting. The company has, under Elias’s guidance, won several big-name contracts and currently has some 30 projects under construction.

In 2014 it delivered more than $2bn-worth of work and won a contract from developer Omniyat to build Amwa, the new 50-storey, $163m tower at Dubai Maritime City. Kele is the MEP and construction contractor for Nakheel’s Dragon Mart Hotel, expected for imminent delivery – part of the 177,000m2 expansion project that will double the size of the existing complex.

Fatima Obaid Al Jaber
Chief operating officer, Al Jaber Group

Fatima Obaid Al Jaber was the first Emirati woman to be elected to sit on the board of directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, and she is currently the chief operating officer of one the region’s most reputable firms, the multi-billion dirham industry giant, the Al Jaber Group.

In 2014 she was listed as the 94th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, and named Businesswoman of the Year by Arabian Business, as well as achieving a host of other accolades. From 2001-2006 she worked for Abu Dhabi Municipality as assistant undersecretary for the building project sector.

Mohamed Ali M K Al Kubaisi
Chairman, Midmac

With involvement in some of Qatar’s biggest projects, Midmac boasts an annual turnover in excess of $500m and a workforce of more than 6,000. The company claims it is poised for growth in line with the substantial development plans in Qatar and neighbouring countries.

Chairman Mohamed Ali M K Al Kubaisi is one of the driving forces behind Midmac, which has been involved in key projects, including the Doha Convention Centre and the iconic Tornado Tower. The company has a JV with Tarmac, which produces and lays asphalt for roads; a block factory; a plant and equipment hire arm; and a steel fabrication arm.

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