2015 Construction Week Power 100: 51-60

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


Naif Al Harbi
General manager, Al Harbi

Saudi-based Al Harbi Trading & Contracting Company has gained vast experience from its many civil engineering, residential and commercial building projects as well as electrical and mechanical, water and wastewater, airports, military and maintenance contracts.

In the first quarter of 2015, the company signed a deal with Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thunayan, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, to work on an academic campus in Jubail Industrial City to accommodate 18,000 students, teaching and student support staff.

Rami Khalid Alturki
President, AlTurki

Leading this investment and development holding company that has been operating in Saudi Arabia since 1975, Rami Khalid Alturki is the president and CEO of Khalid Ali Alturki & Sons (Alturki).

Its subsidiaries and joint venture companies are focused broadly on the building materials, infrastructure, information and communication technology, industrial, oil field services, renewable energy and real-estate sectors in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Arab countries. “There is not a single project in Saudi where we are not involved in some way or the other,” said Alturki in an exclusive interview with Construction Week.

Dr Hamed Al Dhahab
CEO, Al Watanyiah United Engineering & Contracting company

Oman-based Al Watanyiah United Engineering & Contracting Company, formerly the National United Engineering & Contracting Company, was rebranded in 2013 in line with its new vision and ambitions to become better known.

Dr Hamed Hashim Al Dhahab, the chief executive officer, leads a company with 3,700 employees and major clients including government departments such as the Ministry of Defence, Royal Oman Police, Public Authority for Electricity & Water, and Ministry of Transport & Communications, and private clients including Octal Petrochemicals and Salalah Methanol.

Youssef Al Shelash
Chairman, Dar Al Arkan

Yousef Al Shelash is head of Saudi Arabia’s biggest listed property development company, Dar Al Arkan, which was founded by six families in 1994. The company’s project portfolio includes numerous residential projects in and around Riyadh.

“We are a purely private company, and at the end of the day we would like our relationship with the government to be stable,” Al Arkan told Construction Week. But he is not afraid to offer constructive criticism where he feels it is required, including the view that not enough is currently being done to meet the growing need for new homes in the Kingdom.

Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair
Chairman, Al Ghurair Group

Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair is chairman of one of Dubai’s oldest and best-known organisations, Al Ghurair Group. A member of the group’s founding family, Al Ghurair is also a director at Dubai Economic Council and Mashreq Bank.

Al Ghurair Group has a diverse range of business arms from a foundations and piling specialist, which worked at Dubai International Financial Centre last year, to a ready-mix concrete business that has delivered more than 13million m3 of concrete to projects since it began in 1985. MEP operator ETA Star is also a significant part of the group’s construction activities.

Joseph Daher
CEO, Al Mabani General Contractors

Founded in 1972 by the late HE Sheikh Kamal Adham, a prominent political figure during King Faisal’s reign, Al Mabani General Contractors has largely focused on government projects, including major infrastructure works such as roads and utilities, airports and military projects.

Consequently, Joseph Daher, CEO of the company, is a busy man. He takes pride in the fact that the contractor built the Kingdom’s borders with Yemen, Oman and Qatar. Al Mabani even built a border between Oman and Yemen. One of the firm’s largest projects at present is ADA Package 1 of Riyadh Metro, due for completion by October 2018.

Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri
General manager, Union Properties

You certainly couldn’t excuse Ahmed Khalaf Al Marri’s Dubai-based developer Union Properties of not being busy, with a plethora of projects launched in the past 12 months as well as several new ventures entered into.

It is due to hand over the Ribbon at end of July, a new retail development which will extend over three buildings in Motor City and provide 19 retail units and one supermarket; and phase one of its Uptown Mirdiff new development, an expansion which will include 51 retail units and one supermarket.

Meanwhile, Union has signed an MoU with Naif Al Rajhi Investment to extend its footprint into the Saudi Arabian market.

Richard Beard
Managing director, Ramboll Middle East

Prior to joining engineering, design and consultancy company Ramboll as managing director, Richard Beard held various leadership positions over a 21 year career in the Middle East, including at CH2M Hill. “Ramboll is a company with some unique offerings, sustainability objectives and great people, and the potential to grow and expand the business across the region is clear,” Beard said.

Ramboll’s operations comprise integrated and multi-disciplinary solutions in structural engineering, MEP, infrastructure, building services, sustainability and environmental services, transport and oil and gas.

Ramboll’s $70m (€63m) Middle East turnover in 2014 was achieved with the help of more than 500 regionally stationed international experts, serving customers such as Saudi Presidency for Meteorology and Environment, Qatar Foundation/Mshereib Properties, Government of Fujairah, Damac Properties and Al Naboodah National Contracting Group.

From the Shining Towers to Ferrari World, and from the new Cleveland Clinic to the Yas and Rotana Hotels, Ramboll has worked on some of the most forward-thinking buildings in the world.

In the past year, Ramboll completed the ecologically friendly infrastructure work for the Fujairah 2040 Master Plan, and the Jeddah Environmental Assessment and Social Master Plan, a series of engineering, environmental and social activities to resolve current and future environmental problems. The company was also tasked with the conceptual landscape design of Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, labelled as the “world’s most sustainable city”.

Ramboll has been appointed the design verification engineer for the Doha Metro Green Line, and to provide the structural engineering, MEP services, facade engineering, fire safety, waste management, acoustics and site supervision of TECOM Commercial Building 1.

Dr Ravi Pillai
Chairman, RP Group

Dr Ravi Pillai is an Indian entrepreneur, a recipient of numerous national and international awards, and the head the RP Group of companies. In 2014 Forbes listed him in The World’s Billionaires at 988th in the world and 30th in India.

Based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, RP has earned a Grade ‘A’ general contractor rating from the Saudi government, and has developed a presence in eight other countries.

The RP Group of companies is one of the largest employers in the Middle East with more than 85,000 employees, which is set to increase to 100,000 by the end of 2015.

Brian Johnson
Founder, Godwin Austin Johnson (GAJ)

GAJ celebrated its 25 year anniversary last year and, although the company has offices all over the MENA region, the HQ is in Dubai, where there are now 200-plus employees from more than 20 countries.

The scope and scale of the company’s projects – architectural, MEP and interior design – are evidenced by the many awards and trophies displayed in its reception area. GAJ has been involved in the architectural and interior design of hotels and resorts, sports and leisure facilities, educational establishments, residential, commercial and cultural projects across the region.

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