2017 Construction Week Power 100: Top five Saudi entries
The following article contains details of the five highest-ranking individuals on Construction Week’s 2017 Power 100 whose companies are headquartered in Saudi Arabia
The following article contains details of the five highest-ranking individuals on Construction Week’s 2017 Power 100 whose companies are headquartered in Saudi Arabia...
1. Khaled Musaed El Seif, Chairman, El Seif Engineering Contracting Co (Power 100 ranking: 8)
As chairman of Saudi Arabia-based El Seif Engineering Contracting Company, Khaled Musaed El Seif presides over one of the largest contracting companies in the kingdom.
The company, which employs more than 40,000 construction professionals in total, completed an impressive number of projects between June 2016 and May 2017.
In Saudi Arabia, the firm acted as the main contractor for the Haramain High Speed Rail Project’s passenger stations in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC); the Millennium Hotel in Ha’il; a sports hall and athletic stadium in Jeddah; and junctions, underpasses, travelators, tunnels, and land bridges for Thumamah Road in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD).
El Seif’s current project portfolio, meanwhile, includes a series of large-scale developments in both its domestic market and the neighbouring UAE.
At present, the company is supporting the construction of 10 residential cities in the kingdom’s Southern Region, and a five-star hotel in the city of Tabouk. In the Emirates, El Seif is working on Dubai’s Entisar Tower, and a 2,200-villa Meydan residential development.
The Saudi Arabian contractor is also facilitating the development of a security-related special forces project, and a building that will be used in the pursuit of international cooperation, both within the Middle East region.
2. Bakr Bin Laden, Chairman, Saudi Binladin Group (Power 100 ranking: 10)
It’s been another difficult year for Bakr Bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s ailing contracting giant, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG). Shortly after publication of Construction Week’s 2016 Power 100, reports emerged that SBG planned to sell property and other assets to pay its mounting debts.
In October 2016, UAE daily The National reported that payments to SBG from Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry had started to filter through, and were helping to alleviate the contractor’s financial pressures.
In February 2017, Reuters reported that Bin Laden and his colleagues had secured fresh payments from Saudi Arabia’s government as part of further efforts to pay monies owed. The move, according to the news wire’s anonymous sources, was intended to provide a boost to both SBG and the kingdom’s economy.
Nevertheless, SBG’s financial woes have resulted in public criticism from numerous segments of the market, including expatriate employees who claim to have been left unpaid and stranded in Saudi Arabia, and construction companies from elsewhere in the supply chain. The former board of kingdom-based contractor Mohammad Al-Mojil Group (MMG), for example, accused SBG of non-payment in July of last year.
Nevertheless, Bin Laden remains an influential figure within the Middle East’s constructions sector, with historic projects spanning the aviation, healthcare, and education segments, not to mention a series of high-profile developments in the holy cities of Makkah and Medina.
3. 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.”
4. Imad Gholmieh, president and CEO, Nesma & Partners (Power 100 ranking: 27)
Climbing nine spots on the list, from 36 in 2016 to 27 this year, is the president and chief executive officer of Nesma & Partners, Imad Gholmieh.
Under Gholmieh’s leadership, the Saudi Arabian firm recorded $1.1bn (SAR4bn) in revenues in 2016, and – as of 31 December, 2016 – had a remaining contract backlog of approximately $4.4bn (SAR16.5bn).
The company, which expects its revenues for 2017 to hit $1.47bn (SAR5.5bn), has three major projects lined up for the next 12 months, one involving the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) development. For that project, the company’s scope of work includes design, construction, testing, and commissioning of infrastructure works.
Nesma has also been brought on board by Saudi Arabia National Guard Health Affairs (SANGHA) for its hospital projects in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Taif, and Al Qassim. Its scope of work covers the construction of five specialised hospitals, including a 300-bed maternity hospital, a 176-bed neuroscience and trauma care centre, and a 350-bed children’s hospital.
Moreover, the firm will be handling the design and implementation of Riyadh Metro’s Package 2, which comprises Line 3, or the Red Line. According to Nesma, the contract covers civil works on a 40.7km alignment, including 22 stations, electrical and mechanical equipment, and rolling stock. Nesma is responsible for the construction of all of Package 2’s underground stations, as well as all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP), and finishing works for above-ground stations.
Despite recognising that challenges like delayed payments are present in the market, Gholmieh and his team are cognisant of existing opportunities, especially in its four biggest markets: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Oman. One such opportunity is the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services project in Ras Al-Khair.
5. Fakher Al Shawaf, CEO, Al Bawani (Power 100 ranking: 28)
Low liquidity, delayed payments, and an overall challenging market may be a reality for a number of construction firms operating in Saudi Arabia, but Fakher Al Shawaf remains positive about Al Bawani’s foothold in the country.
The chief executive officer of the Riyadh-headquartered, 100% Saudi-owned and managed construction company, noted that Al Bawani continues to recruit workers every month, having secured contracts worth $933.3m (SAR3.5bn) in 2016.
Moreover, last year saw the company complete the enabling and structural packages for Cayan Group’s 14-storey CMC Tower. The group’s portfolio also includes King Abdullah Financial District Museum, a project being developed by Al Raidah Investment Company; and the King Abdulla Center for Cancer and Liver Disease, by King Faisal Hospital and Research Center.
For the latter, Al Bawani’s scope of work covers the preparation of the shop drawing, the procurement and delivery of construction materials, and the testing and commissioning of the project.
Al Bawani is also carrying out works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Riyadh, a project that is nearing the 90% completion mark. According to the company, its scope of work includes quality finishing, facade works, and extensive landscaping.
The new ministry building will reportedly comprise an auditorium, lecture halls, a library, classrooms, and a hall for visa applicants, among other features. The building is also expected to be able to accommodate a number of shared facilities, such as a cafeteria and prayer rooms.