2018 Construction Week Power 100: 21-30
Construction Week’s annual ranking of the Middle East’s most influential construction leaders
21. Gurjit Singh, Dubai World Trade Centre
An integral part of the team developing some of Dubai’s most high-profile projects, Gurjit Singh is among the new entrants in the 2018 Construction Week Power 100. However, as a veteran of the UAE’s property sector, Singh was featured in the list’s 2014 version. He is currently the senior vice president of real estate at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Singh has been an instrumental part of the team driving the expansion of DWTC’s exhibition facilities, as well as the development of projects within One Central and for Expo 2020 Dubai. Between June 2017 and May 2018, Singh has overseen the completion of DWTC’s new Convention Centre halls, named Zabeel Halls 4, 5, and 6. In the coming months, his team will be busy with Expo 2020 Dubai projects, such as Phase 1 of the Expo Village, Dubai South Mall, and its convention and exhibition centre. The development of One Central in DWTC as a “polycentric destination for Dubai” is also a significant growth opportunity for his team, Singh tells Construction Week.
22. Osama Bishai, Orascom
Throughout his long history with Orascom, chief executive officer Osama Bishai has been instrumental in the development of the Cairo-headquartered contractor.
As the firm continues its investment in infrastructure in Egypt, Orascom is committed to community engagement and enhancing education in the communities it serves. The firm’s Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Programme sponsors the studies of Egyptian students at higher education institutions in the US.
Under Bishai’s leadership, Orascom has been involved with several key projects in the past year, including the Cairo Airport runway upgrade. Orascom also holds a 60% share in the joint venture that is implementing the Fujairah International Airport expansion programme in a $180m (AED661m) deal.
23. Hussain Sajwani, Damac Properties
Hussain Sajwani is the founder and chairman of the UAE’s Damac Properties. The firm saw its full-year revenue rise to $2bn (AED7.5bn) in 2017, after another productive year of real-estate delivery, buoyed by international demand for high-end properties in the UAE.
The developer posted $762.3m (AED2.8bn) in net profit for 2017 and reported at the time that its project operating margin in the UAE remained strong and healthy, helped by the leadership of Sajwani. On the ground in its core market, Dubai, Damac continues to make good progress on a range of new projects that are currently at various stages of construction. For example, a $163m (AED600m) contract was recently awarded to build one of the six towers at Damac’s Aykon City.
24. Ali Rashid Lootah, Nakheel
Nakheel boasts the iconic man-made Palm Jumeirah island among its portfolio of completed works, but with multimillion-dollar projects ongoing in Dubai and Sharjah, chairman Ali Rashid Lootah has evidently led the UAE developer to expand its portfolio in the last 12 months.
Nakheel’s latest Palm Jumeirah project, The Pointe, has gone from strength to strength, and the 13ha food and retail hub, worth $217m (AED800m), will open in Q4 2018. The developer also continues to expand its 1km2 China-themed Dragon City in Dubai.
This year started well for the developer, with net profit rising by 5% in Q1 2018. This followed Nakheel’s sale of all 934 homes in its Warsan Village community project. Also during Q1, construction contracts worth almost $1.4bn (AED5bn) were signed, including a $1.1bn (AED4.2bn) deal for Deira Mall at Deira Islands.
25. David Welch, Bechtel
David Welch is the president for international and government affairs at US-based construction, engineering, and project management firm, Bechtel.
Bechtel’s global headquarters are to be consolidated in Washington by the end of the year. While this board-level process moves along behind the scenes, the company has built up a head of steam in the UAE, winning a notable contract for gas supply in the country. In February, Bechtel won a front-end engineering and design contract to work on the Hail and Ghasha sour gas fields that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is currently developing.
In the Middle East, the company has a good track record of working on high-profile regional construction projects, including the Riyadh Metro, and extensive infrastructure works for Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The firm was also involved in a decade-long upgrade programme at Dubai International Airport, which ran from 1990 to 2000.
Since the company was founded in 1898, Bechtel has completed more than 25,000 building projects in more than 160 countries.
26. William Haddad, MACE
Abu-Dhabi headquartered Mechanical and Civil Engineering Contractors Company (MACE) has been providing services to municipalities and oil and gas companies since 1968. The company has built a strong reputation for delivering on projects covering sewage network operation and maintenance; civil construction services in utility infrastructure; mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control, and automation (MEICA); and the relining and rehabilitation of pipelines.
Spearheaded by owner and chairman, William Haddad, MACE has built a highly trained team of about 230 engineers that deliver all the company’s mechanical and civil engineering contracts to the satisfaction of its customers. In its effort to deploy the right business processes to fulfil its contractual commitments, MACE is implementing enterprise resource planning software in 2018. It is expected that this business process management solution will enable the firm “to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back-office functions related to technology, services, and human resources,” according to Haddad.
MACE is currently engaged as main contractor on asset enhancement schemes in Abu Dhabi, in the areas of Samha, Shahama, and Al Ain City. It is also handling the operation and maintenance of sewerage networks, pumping stations, and sewage treatment plants in the east of the emirate. The company has already secured project revenue of $200m (AED734.6m) and is yet to secure a further $200m.
27. Imad Gholmieh, Nesma
Imad Gholmieh, president and chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian business Nesma & Partners, has retained his place in the Power 100. The construction and engineering division of Nesma Holdings has been a big part of Saudi Arabia’s building scene since its formation in 1981, when it established itself in the oil and gas, petrochemical, and power sectors. This year, ground was broken on an 800,000m2 residential camp for workers at the greenfield Fadhili gas plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The project is a collaboration with Masic Investment Company.
28. Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, MAG Lifestyle Development
MAG Lifestyle Development (MAG LD) is part of the Moafaq Ahmad Al Gaddah (MAG) Group – a multinational conglomerate based in the UAE. As chief executive officer, Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, oversees MAG LD’s interests, which range from affordable housing to high-end luxury developments. The project developer has enjoyed strong performance of late, reporting revenue for the period from January 2017 to January 2018 of $600m (AED2.2bn). This success is expected to continue, with MAG LD projecting $3bn (AED11bn) in revenue over the next three years. The firm has recently completed projects such as the Polo Residence in Dubai’s Meydan development and MAG 5 Boulevard Villa. In the next 12 months, the $1.3bn (AED4.7bn) MAG Eye development is a top priority for the company.
29. SN Subrahmanyan, Larsen & Toubro
With more than three decades of experience at Larson & Toubro (L&T) under his belt, chief executive officer and managing director, SN Subrahmanyan, has established the Indian company as a trusted contractor in the Middle East’s engineering, procurement, and construction sector.
Over the years, Subrahmanyan has led L&T to several major project wins in the region, including in Abu Dhabi and Oman, as well as in Saudi Arabia. The business is working on one of the kingdom’s largest projects to date – Riyadh Metro.
30. Mark Andrews, Laing O’Rourke Middle East
Laing O’Rourke’s Mark Andrews has continued his steady climb up the Construction Week Power 100 this year. The company’s managing director enjoyed another impressive 12 months at the helm of the UK construction firm’s business activities in the Middle East.
The contractor was picked in 2017 to design, build, and fit-out data centre provider Khazna’s Data Centre Pods 4, 5, and 6 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and Andrews says that data centres are among the most important regional business sectors that the company will be targeting in 2018. Laing O’Rourke is also involved with projects in the UAE for Expo 2020 Dubai.