CW Awards 2017: Lifetime Achievement Award winner revealed

ConstructionWeekOnline reveals the recipient of the Editor’s Choice: Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented at the Construction Week Awards 2017 in Dubai

Find out who was presented with the Editors Choice: Lifetime Achievement Award at the <i>Construction Week</i> Awards 2017.
Find out who was presented with the Editors Choice: Lifetime Achievement Award at the <i>Construction Week</i> Awards 2017.

Hamish Tyrwhitt, group chief executive officer of Arabtec Holding and Depa, received the Editor’s Choice: Lifetime Achievement Award at the Construction Week Awards 2017.

In identifying a suitable candidate for this accolade, Construction Week’s editorial team looked for an individual with a proven track record of leadership, measurable contributions to the success of his or her company, and a demonstrable ability to thrive in the most challenging of markets.

With more than three decades of senior leadership experience in the global engineering and construction sectors, Tyrwhitt has established a strong reputation among his industry peers.

During the course of his career, he has supervised the delivery of multibillion-dollar megaprojects in a diverse array of international markets.

WATCH: Judges meet in Dubai to discuss the CW Awards 2017 shortlist

Tyrwhitt, who came out of retirement to take the helm of Arabtec, has also demonstrated an impressive ability to identify areas for improvement, and transform the fortunes of struggling construction businesses within the most difficult of circumstances. In little over a year, he has succeeded in bringing Arabtec Holding back into the black after eight consecutive quarters of losses.

In H1 2017, the group recorded a net profit of more than $15m (AED55m), a significant improvement compared to the net loss of more than $63m (AED230m) registered during the corresponding period of 2016.

Commenting on Tyrwhitt’s strengths as a leader, his colleagues described him as an individual focussed on building the business from within by instilling a strong performance culture and accountability, balanced with the empowerment of his employees.

“Receiving this award is an honour, but it also makes me feel old,” Tyrwhitt quipped upon collecting his trophy. “On behalf of the team and everybody I work with, it’s so much appreciated.

“I think the one thing that everybody needs to understand about construction [is that] it’s a people industry,” Tyrwhitt continued. “All you need is a team; you need people. [Projects are not delivered] by one person. All I’ve done is work with the board, the chairman, and the team.”

Commenting on Arabtec Holding and Depa’s priorities for 2018, Tyrwhitt said: “Our aim is to continue doing what we started this year. Our desire is to keep building and contributing to the UAE. Going forward, we will be especially focussed on Expo 2020 Dubai.

“We have a big responsibility. We’ve been here for a long time [and] we’ve helped to build the UAE. It’s all about the future, and delivering on the vision of the nation. Our job is to build that vision,” he concluded.

The event was supported by Gold Sponsors ALEC, HPBS, HBF, EB, National Engineering Bureau (NEB), and Union National Bank (UNB); Silver Sponsors Arabtec, Depa, Future Metro, and WME Consultants; Category Sponsors Construction Computer Software (CCS), DeSimone Structural Engineers, JLG, Kone, Multiplex, and Ramboll; Social Media Partner, WSP; and Post-Event Celebration Sponsor, BAM International.

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