2017 Construction Week Power 100: Top five Kuwaiti entries
The following article contains details of the five highest-ranking individuals on Construction Week’s 2017 Power 100 whose companies are headquartered in Kuwait
The following article contains details of the five highest-ranking individuals on Construction Week’s 2017 Power 100 whose companies are headquartered in Kuwait…
1. Riyadh Al Saleh, CEO, Kharafi National (Power 100 ranking: 44)
Under the leadership of its chief executive officer, Riyadh Al Saleh, Kuwait-based construction firm, Kharafi National, bagged one of its biggest projects to date – the expansion of Kuwait International Airport. Valued at $4.2bn (KWD1.3bn), the airport terminal project was awarded to Kharafi National and its Turkish partner, Limak Construction, in 2016. Kharafi and Limak laid the foundation stone for the project, said to be progressing according to schedule, in May 2017. With the expansion project, the Kuwait International Airport is expected to see its capacity triple in the next six years, to 25 million passengers a year.
2. Bob Hope, CEO, SSH (Power 100 ranking: 48)
Bob Hope has been the chief executive officer of SSH for four years. In this role, he supervises and manages a workforce comprising 1,316 full-time employees, 481 of whom are either engineers or architects.
The company, which identifies Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman as its most important markets in the region, recorded around $100m (KWD30.3m) in revenue for fiscal year (FY) 2016. SSH is expecting this figure to go up to $120m (KWD36.4m) at the close of FY 2017.
Between June 2016 and May 2017, SSH delivered design and site supervision services for four projects, namely Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Cultural Centre; Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre; Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Xavier Cartron; and KOC Exhibition in Kuwait.
The next months will see the company working on the Kuwait Children’s Hospital, Dubai Creek Harbour, the Wave in Oman, and the Kuwait New Maternity Hospital.
3. Donna Sultan, president and CEO, KEO International Consultants (Power 100 ranking: 51)
Donna Sultan has played a huge role in getting KEO International Consultants to where it is today, having been with the company for 34 years – the last 26 of which in the role of president and chief executive officer.
Under her leadership, the company – which counts 2,431 employees in its roster of full-time staff, 716 of whom are qualified engineers – completed 20 projects in 2016.
Included in the 20 is the Oman National Railway, for which it provided infrastructure, geotechnical and topographic investigation, and environmental services.
Sultan’s team was also involved in the development of the Al Othman Complex in Kuwait, for which its scope of work covered architectural design, structural engineering, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering, interior design, construction management, construction supervision, landscape architecture, and quantity surveying.
For the next 12 months, KEO will continue providing consultancy services to active projects numbering in the hundreds and spread across the region.
Identifying big events like Expo 2020 as opportunities for the construction sector, Sultan told Construction Week: “KEO’s growth continues, particularly in the UAE […], where we are seeing some very positive trends towards new opportunities in the private sector in these markets.”
Her expectation of continued growth is reflected in the company’s projections for its 2017 revenues, which KEO said should rise by 10% compared to 2016 figures, despite challenges in the market.
“Our biggest challenge is how to gauge the uncertainties that are linked with the economic slowdown, and how to best plan for it as we witness uncertain adjustments being played out in all our markets due to changed economic drivers, like the price of oil or changing patterns in real estate development and tourism,” said Sultan.
In the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR), KEO has launched several initiatives, such as KEO Kares.
Elaborating on the initiative, Sultan commented: “KEO Kares has created a feeling of spirit and community throughout KEO whilst supporting selected causes ranging from sustainability and recycling to literacy and disaster relief programmes.”
4. Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Al Marouf, chairman, Combined Group Contracting (Power 100 ranking: 63)
Sulaiman Al Marouf is the chairman of Kuwaiti firm, Combined Group Contracting (CGC), which was established in 1965 as a limited liability company, with a total paid capital of $24,735 (KWD7,500). The company recorded $817.8m (KWD248.4m) as revenue in 2016, of which 1.27% was profit. The firm expects $850m (KWD258.2m) in revenues this year, of which 70.5% has already been booked. CGC lists Kuwait’s ongoing Sabah Al-Ahmad Housing, College of Arts & College of Education, and AlSalam Palace developments in its portfolio. Its completed projects include Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s Al Ain Cow Farm in the UAE, and in Kuwait, the Ministry of Public Works’ Manpower and Government Restructuring Program building.
5. Mohammad Al-Shaye, chairman, Al Mabani General Contractors Company (Power 100 ranking: 66)
Al Mabani General Contractors Company has registered a positive performance in 2016, despite a slowdown in the GCC’s construction sector. This April, the company announced that it holds a 32% share in all of Kuwait City’s real estate. According to state news agency KUNA, Al Mabani’s chairman, Mohammad Al-Shaye, said that the company’s market value in the capital’s realty sector is estimated at $7.8bn (KWD2.4bn). Investment in the country’s The Avenues shopping mall contributed to raising Al Mabani’s asset value to $10.5bn (KWD3.2bn) in 2016, Al-Shaye added. Construction of Phase 4 of The Avenues is underway and, upon completion, the shopping centre is expected to be Kuwait’s largest.