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2017 Construction Week Power 100: Top 10 new companies

The following article contains details of the 10 highest-ranking individuals representing companies on Construction Week’s 2017 Power 100 that were not present on last year’s list

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The following article contains details of the 10 highest-ranking individuals representing companies on Construction Week’s 2017 Power 100 that were not present on last year’s list...

1. HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, founder and chairman, KBW Investments (Power 100 ranking: 21)

Despite having only established his portfolio group, KBW Investments, four years ago, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal has already started to set out long-term growth strategies for the conglomerate. Investment in human capital forms a major part of his vision.

“As a fairly young company, we’ve now taken measures to institute a better human capital schema,” said Prince Khaled. “The larger the company gets, the more we feel that building our human capital segment is integral to a smooth, productive, and pleasant workplace. We invest in sending our people with potential to relevant training, and we encourage participation in relevant industry events.”

Prince Khaled, who is also the chairman of the Saudi Green Building Forum’s (SGBF) trustee board, told Construction Week that he intends to cultivate “impact-driven businesses”, which will benefit communities on a grand scale.

“I have gradually moved towards impact-driven businesses, meaning start-ups with social good as a core element,” he explained.

“With our Jordan portfolio, for example, we have committed – as part of the overall solar photovoltaic (PV) and light-emitting diode (LED) implementation initiatives – to provide power to 12,000 homes of Amman’s lower-income residents. This impact investment represents a win-win scenario for the constituents, the respective governmental bodies, and for KBW, as the project driver.”

Prince Khaled is also making his presence felt in the UAE’s property sector with Nasma Residences. The Sharjah project is being developed by Arada, an enterprise formed jointly by KBW and Basma Group.

“Nasma Residences is a [development] valued at $408m (AED1.5bn), with several large-scale projects to follow in the UAE and further afield,” said Prince Khaled.

KBW’s other business units are reportedly exhibiting solid performances as well. “KBEC, our mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) endeavour, recently landed a large-scale contract for one of the [UAE’s] premier developers,” Prince Khaled noted, adding: “Our real shining star this year, in the specialty sub-contractor [segment], is TTM’s Australian arm, [which has secured] a substantial portfolio of 30 concurrent projects in the past 12 months.”

2. Abdulla Lahej, CEO, Dubai Properties (Power 100 ranking: 36)

As chief executive officer of Dubai Properties, Abdulla Lahej has enjoyed a fruitful 12 months. During the past year, the UAE-headquartered real estate developer has launched a string of projects, including Bellevue Tower 2, and Phases 1 and 2 of VillaNova. Lahej’s team has also achieved a series of construction-related milestones during this period, including the commencement of work on Marasi Business Bay’s marina. Located on Dubai Water Canal, the $272m (AED1bn) Marasi Business Bay megaproject will feature water homes and floating restaurants, among other amenities, upon completion. In 2016, Lahej and his colleagues successfully handed over more than 3,000 units.

3. Waqas Al Adawi, vice chairman, S&T Group (Power 100 ranking: 41)

A new entry on the list, Waqas Al Adawi has been with S&T Group for more than 10 years, having started as director in 2006. He was appointed to his current position of vice chairman in 2012.

Headquartered in Muscat, S&T Interiors and Contracting is part of S&T Group and has completed more than 150 projects across the globe, a number of which are in the UAE. These include Dubai International Airport; Lapita Hotel, Dubai Parks and Resorts; and Kempinski Hotel in Dubai, making the UAE its second most strategic market, next to Oman.

Speaking about the opportunities he sees for his business in the regional market, Al Adawi told Construction Week: “[The] Middle East is seeing significant growth with Vision 2021 and Vision 2020 for the UAE and Oman, respectively. With the focus on infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism, and mining in the region, we [see] significant opportunities [in] the market.”

He noted, however, that companies need to address certain challenges first, before they can benefit from existing opportunities.

“The opportunities in construction are growing, but so is project complexity,” he said, adding: “In view of the current market scenario, companies are operating under razor-thin profit margins with limited cash flow. Hence, it becomes a huge challenge for companies to complete the project within the project timeline. However, as an organisation, we need to always work towards improving our internal systems and procedures to achieve cost efficiencies, and deliver all our projects to the satisfaction of our clients.”

According to S&T, the next 12 months will see it completing a number of projects in the region. One of these will be The Waterfront, Muscat, which is a contemporary mixed-use development with a gross internal built-up area of 40,000m2. It will consist of eight levels, including three basement levels with 375 covered parking spaces, two levels of retail shops and restaurants, and three levels of commercial office space.

4. Ibrahim Saeed Lootah, chairman, Lootah Group of Companies (Power 100 ranking: 42)

Ibrahim Saeed Lootah’s involvement in the UAE’s construction sector is not limited to his role as chairman of the Lootah Group of Companies. He also works with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) as a committee member of its Building and Civil Construction Group.

Under the Lootah Group umbrella, Lootah Building and Construction (LBC) has completed infrastructure and large-scale developments for both the public and private sectors. Its project portfolio includes the palace for Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, located in Djibouti, for which it was awarded a contract worth $24.4m (AED89.6m).

One of its ongoing projects is a Lulu Hypermarket being built in Sharjah, valued at $115m (AED422.4m).

5. Dr Kamiran Ibrahim, Middle East CEO, Arcadis (Power 100 ranking: 46)

A new entry on the list, Dr Kamiran Ibrahim’s promotion to chief executive officer of Arcadis’s Middle East business was announced last week. Prior to this appointment, he was managing director of the consultancy’s operations in the UAE and Oman.

Dr Ibrahim has replaced Graham Reid, who has left Arcadis to join UK-headquartered RES Group.

The last 12 months have seen Arcadis chosen as the lead consultant and designer for Tilal Mall, an upscale retail destination to be developed in Sharjah’s Tilal City. The Netherlands-headquartered design and consultancy firm has also been appointed by Al Hosn Gas to conduct a health, safety, and environmental impact assessment (HSEIA) study on a gas project in Abu Dhabi.

6. Navin Valrani, CEO, Al Shirawi Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (Power 100 ranking: 49)

As the chief executive officer of Al Shirawi Electrical & Mechanical Engineering, Navin Valrani is responsible for a workforce of 2,000 employees. The company, which offers complete building and facilities management services, completed the fit-out of the Medcare Women and Children’s Hospital in Dubai in the third quarter of last year, through its interiors business unit.

“An integral part of the group’s construction engineering discipline, Al Shirawi Interiors has differentiated itself from competitors in terms of quality, in-house manufactured wood products, and through the excellent service it offers,” said Valrani. “We remain committed to exceeding industry standards for interior works.”

7. Ali Mohammed Sadeq Alblooshi, chairman, Ghantoot Group of Companies (Power 100 ranking: 50)

In his role as chairman, Ali Mohammed Sadeq Alblooshi has led Ghantoot Group’s growth in civil construction, electrical projects, transportation, and marine engineering trading, among other fields.

The Abu Dhabi-based group, under which Ghantoot Gulf Contracting operates, plans to establish a wider regional presence for its building division by increasing its involvement in the development of the UAE. A recent addition to its project portfolio is Aldar Properties’ Mayan development, for which it won a contract worth $136m (AED500m) this April.

8. Saeed Mohammed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar Development (Power 100 ranking: 57)

UAE-based developer, Deyaar Development, is heading for imminent completion on two mixed-use projects in Dubai – a residential and hotel-apartment project called Mont Rose in Al Barsha South, and a residential tower and luxury serviced apartments project called The Atria in Business Bay. Saeed Mohammed Al Qatami is the company’s chief executive officer.

The schemes, being developed under a memorandum of understanding (MoU), with global hotel group Millennium & Copthorne, and scheduled for completion in Q3 and Q4 of 2017 respectively, form part of the company strategy to diversify its portfolio and will “help meet rising demand for quality residential and hospitality space in the city”.

Company revenues grew by 67% in 2016, rising to $116m (AED428.3m) from $70m (AED257.1m) in 2015, contributing to operating profits of $59.5m (AED218.9m), up from $38.4m (AED141.4m) the previous year.

This year started strongly for Deyaar, with Q1 revenues of $38.66m (AED142m) compared to $16.33m (AED60m) in the same period in 2016.

Al Qatami said: “The measures taken by Deyaar to generate efficiencies, optimise our business model, and deliver great products to the market, continued to produce results in 2016. While there is no doubt the market faced challenges in 2016, real estate remained a standout asset class for investment.

“With key projects like The Atria and Mont Rose scheduled for delivery in 2017, the commencement of work on the Midtown master development – our ambitious plans for the hospitality sector, with around 1,000 keys under development, – and the intention of launching new projects, as well as our recently announced plans for Dubai South, the Deyaar team is cautiously optimistic about prospects for the year ahead.”

Following recent corporate social responsibility (CSR) work with victims of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the company is planning a trip to Senegal with the Dubai Cares charity, to build a school there. The company has also developed the Deyaar Accommodation Maintenance Program, through which it visits the homes of underprivileged families in the UAE and conducts maintenance work for free.

9. Marc Heerink, vice president, Energy and Chemicals, Fluor (Power 100 ranking: 60)

Appointed as Fluor’s vice president of energy and chemicals for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in October of last year, Marc Heerink has been with the company for 20 years. Prior to taking on his new role, he served as the business development director of energy and chemicals for Europe.

For fiscal year ending in December 2016, Fluor recorded $19bn in revenues, of which $281.4m was profit. According to the company, its backlog, at the close of 2016, stood at $45bn.

Its ongoing projects include Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s Al-Zour Refinery, for which Fluor was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for Packages 2 and 3. The same client has also appointed the company to work on its Mina Abdulla Clean Fuels Project.

10. Faisal Bouzo, co-founder and managing partner, Construction & Planning Co (Power 100 ranking: 64)

Faisal Bouzo is the co-founder and managing partner of Construction & Planning Co Ltd (C&P), a Riyadh-headquartered firm that has grown from an ambitious start-up to a multimillion-dollar contractor in little more than a decade. Established in 2004 by two young Saudi entrepreneurs – Bouzo and Tarek Al Ajlani – C&P started life as a three-person outfit performing small-scale construction and fit-out works within the kingdom’s residential sector. Today, the contractor boasts a 500-plus workforce, and has completed large-scale fit-out, construction, and landscaping projects – in a diverse range of market segments – for some of the largest conglomerates on the planet. “Our mission was to deliver quality creations with high-end execution by joining forces,” Bouzo told Construction Week. “We identified a niche in the market: to deliver projects within Saudi Arabia according to the highest international standards.”

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