2018 Construction Week Power 100: 31-40
Construction Week’s annual ranking of the Middle East’s most influential construction leaders
31. Marcus Truscott, Multiplex
Having been with Australian-headquartered Multiplex since 2003, Marcus Truscott is the managing director for the company’s Middle East operation.
The contractor’s recent regional projects include the Etihad Eco-Residence, developed by Masdar. The Abu Dhabi-based complex, Multiplex says, is among the most resource-efficient buildings in the region, thanks to its use of solar thermal water heaters, its low window-to-wall ratio, and the adoption of solar-reflective index coatings that can deliver an estimated 63% reduction in total energy consumption.
Late last year, Multiplex won an award to build the Address Residences Jumeirah Resort and Spa in Dubai. The contractor is also part of the joint venture building Dubai’s ICD Brookfield Place.
32. Grant Porter, Atkins
Grant Porter is the chief operating officer of UK-headquartered consulting giant, Atkins. The business became part of the SNC-Lavalin Group on 3 July, 2017, and has since set about creating a new corporate vision in which sustainability features prominently.
Porter says Atkins is helping clients and cities to transition to low-carbon economies by using digital and artificial technologies that can increase the efficiency and sustainability of its engineering designs. Last year, Atkins increased its utilisation of digital tools by rolling out mixed-reality technology that allows users to remotely rope in members within a project’s ecosystem. Looking ahead, the biggest opportunity for Atkins is project work in Saudi Arabia, Porter tells Construction Week.
33. Pietro Salini, Salini Impregilo
Chief executive officer of Italian engineering contractor Salini Impregilo, Pietro Salini, is a new face on Construction Week’s Power 100 ranking this year, following a busy 12 months in the region.
The Italian civil infrastructure giant has been particularly busy in Saudi Arabia and recently won a $1.3bn (SAR4.9bn) contract from the Saudi Arabia National Guard to deliver 6,000 villas across a 700ha area to the east of Riyadh. At the time of the win, Salini called the award an “important milestone” for the business in the Middle East, which has seen its turnover generated by the region increase from 3% in 2013 to 23% in 2017.
The company also announced in May that it had been prequalified to work on Phase 1 of The Avenues in Riyadh. At the time, Salini Impregilo said the project would strengthen its involvement “in the building and urban mobility sectors in Saudi Arabia, where $88bn of investments are set to be spent on infrastructure during the next five years”.
The firm also revealed that it is bidding on projects worth $3bn in the Middle East.
34. PNC Menon, Sobha Group
PNC Menon began his professional career by establishing an interior decorating firm in Oman in 1976. Since then, he has incorporated several companies in the sultanate, the UAE, and wider Gulf region, and has expanded into the fields of construction and real-estate development. Having founded the Sobha brand in India in 1995, over the years he has expanded Sobha Group’s operations into key global markets, including Dubai.
In the emirate, the developer is busy with its Sobha Hartland development, a freehold community covering an area of more than 222,000m² in Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City. Set along the Dubai Water Canal, Sobha Hartland comprises contemporary L-shaped villas with 12 floor-plan options, as well as semi-detached villas, townhouses, and modern high-rise apartments. The development also features two international schools, nurseries, malls, cafés, sports and leisure amenities, mosques, and healthcare facilities. The developer’s $6.8bn (AED25bn) Firdous Sobha resort is also progressing rapidly.
35. Abdulla Al Habbai, Meraas
Dubai-based developer Meraas is striving to build locations for a creative urban culture in the emirate. Led by HE Abdulla Ahmed Al Habbai, the group chairman, Meraas has continued to deliver new projects over the past 12 months.
One such recent project, rolled out in January 2018, is The Yard, in Dubai’s rapidly growing Al Khawaneej area. Construction also continues to gather momentum on the developer’s Bluewaters development, a family-oriented destination located on a man-made island off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence.
This May, Meraas and Carnival Corporation signed an agreement to transform Dubai into regional centre for cruise tourism. Dubai Cruise Terminal will become the centre of maritime tourism in the emirate, with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, backing the project.
The terminal will have capacity to simultaneously accommodate six cruise liners, and is slated to launch in October 2020. It is part of the multi-phase 1.8km² Dubai Harbour development in Mina Seyahi that will boast the biggest yachting marina in the Middle East, and a 135m-tall lighthouse, as well as a shopping centre, apartments, and restaurants.
Dubai Harbour will have two cruise terminal buildings across a 30,000m² area, joined by a 1km-long quay.
This April, it was announced that Meraas would represent Dubai Municipality in its operator liaisons for the newly launched Dubai Safari, and also be in charge of general supervision and performance management work for the park. Over the past five years, Meraas has invested in a portfolio of lifestyle and entertainment assets worth approximately $4.9bn (AED18bn).
36. Yousuf Shelash, Dar Al Arkan
Saudi Arabian property developer Dar Al Arkan is the largest listed real-estate company on Tadawul, the kingdom’s stock market. Led by chairman Yousuf Bin Abdullah Al Shelash, the company announced plans this year to sell off a 30% stake of its subsidiary, Dar Al Arkan Properties Company.
Away from its divestments, the real-estate developer strengthened its high-end credentials through a relationship with Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli. Dar Al Arkan launched its $160m (SAR600m) Mirabilia residential villas in Riyadh, in partnership with Roberto Cavalli for interiors. Located within the $2.6m (SAR10bn) mixed-use Shams Ar Riyadh Development, the project will include residential, commercial, and mixed-use spaces, integrating gardens, parks, and walkways.
Al Shelash says the development will “redefine luxury living” by combining “meticulously curated urban indulgence” from the Italian fashion house “with the alluring Wadi Hanifa” location.
37. Devaki Khimji, Al Tasnim Group
It has been another strong year for the executive director of Al Tasnim Group, Devaki Khimji, who was on the shortlist for the Construction Executive of the Year category at Construction Week’s Oman Awards 2018.
The group’s track record in Oman is impressive, especially when the list of major projects that Al Tasnim Group has had a hand in is taken into account. The Royal Opera House, the National Bank of Oman headquarters, Al Mouj Muscat, and the new Muscat International Airport are just a few of the company’s completed projects.
Its work on such prestigious sites has seen Al Tasnim Group grow from a family business to become a big-hitter on the national stage. And Khimji, who joined the business in 2012, has played a significant role in the recent success of the firm.
Moving forwards, the company plans to expand its operations in the Middle East and beyond the region. In addition to a geographic expansion, Al Tasnim Group is pushing its ‘Project 10:10’ policy, which it says aims to make the company 10 times better than it is today in terms of profit and structure.
38. Waqas Al Adawi, S&T Group
Having first appeared on the Construction Week Power 100 list last year, when he debuted at number 41, Waqas Al Adawi, the vice chairman of S&T Group, has once again enjoyed positive results in the past 12 months.
S&T Interiors and Contracting has already secured 70% of its project revenue, and revenue in the last fiscal year stood at more than $424m (OMR163.2m). This is expected to rise to approximately $471m (OMR181.3m) in 2018.
“The Middle East is [witnessing] significant growth with Vision 2021 and Vision 2020 for the UAE and Oman, respectively,” Al Adawi tells Construction Week.
“With our focus on infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism, and mining in the region, we envisage significant opportunities to tap the market.”
In the UAE, the Oman-based conglomerate is currently involved with the Royal Atlantis Resorts & Residences on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, where it is carrying out interior fit-out of the 219 luxury apartments and all back-of-house areas. The company is also conducting fit-out works at the Fairmont Hotel and Al Maryah Central mall projects in Abu Dhabi.
In Oman, meanwhile, S&T Interiors and Contracting is also handling real-estate development; construction; joinery; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP); and interior fit-out works at the mixed-use Waterfront, Muscat. Other ongoing projects include civil and gypsum works, MEP, and fit-out works at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat, and complete joinery works at the JW Marriott, Muscat.
The S&T Group had a prominent presence at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2018, which was held in Muscat this March. The company’s CARE (Creating Awareness for a Risk-free Environment) programme was named this year’s Highly Commended Health and Safety Initiative at the event’s gala ceremony. The firm was named Contractor of the Year at the Construction Week Oman Awards in 2017.
39. Richard Beard, Ramboll
In 2017, Ramboll’s revenue reached $1.6bn (AED5.9bn), “of which Ramboll in the Middle East’s revenue was $57.8m (AED212.3m),” Richard Beard, Ramboll’s managing director for the Middle East and Asia, tells Construction Week. “The gross revenue forecast for 2018 in the Middle East is $67.1m (AED246.5m), or 16% of growth.”
According to Beard, the construction industry has seen some interesting disruptive trends of late. These have challenged the “traditional methods of procuring and delivering projects, both in the private and public sectors”, he says. “This is providing great opportunities for those companies that are embracing innovation through digitalisation initiatives and also through alternative contracting models.”
He continues: “At Ramboll, we see the world of virtual design and engineering as a fast-growing field with rapid developments. As an example, we have several initiatives in place to incorporate digital design into the way we plan and design buildings of the future.”
Ramboll’s recent portfolio has included the super-tall high-rise project Damac Heights in Dubai Marina, and Dubai Internet City’s Innovation Hub initiative. Phase 1 of this latter project was delivered in 2017 and saw Ramboll provide multidisciplinary services including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services; structural engineering; fire and life safety; waste management; acoustics; and site supervision.
In Abu Dhabi, Ramboll’s façades and innovation design team was commissioned to provide façade design and engineering for the Abu Dhabi cruise terminal building. The company also provided multidisciplinary services in areas such as civil and structural engineering, MEP engineering, fire and life safety, sustainability, acoustics, traffic impact studies, and environmental services for the Emirates Advanced Investments Group headquarters building project in the UAE capital.
40. Kamiran Ibrahim, Arcadis
Dr Kamiran Ibrahim returns to Construction Week’s Power 100 ranking, following his debut in 2017 – the same year that he was named chief executive officer of Arcadis’ Middle East business. Prior to his appointment, he was managing director of the consultancy’s operations in the UAE and Oman.
Arcadis started this year with a less-than-desirable regional financial performance, as its net revenue in the Middle East declined by 11% in Q1 2018. However, overall organic net revenue increased by 3%, and the firm is confident about delivering sustainable, long-term growth in a number of international markets. In the UAE, Arcadis is working on Emaar’s Dubai Creek Harbor Retail District as lead consultant.