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2018 Construction Week Power 100: Top 10 contractors

The following article contains details of the 10 highest-ranking contractors on Construction Week’s 2018 Power 100

Power 100, Alec, Asgc, Construction, Construction Week, Contractors, CSCEC, Middle East construction, Power 100 2018, Six Construct, Top 10 contractors, Top contractors middle east

The following article contains details of the 10 highest-ranking contractors on Construction Week’s 2018 Power 100...


10. Pierre Sironval, managing director, Six Construct (Power 100 ranking: 11)

Six Construct,a subsidiary of the BESIX Group, is the largest Belgian construction company operating in the GCC.

The multi-services company operates in the construction of commercial and residential buildings, sport and leisure facilities, infrastructure and marine-related projects, and currently employs a workforce of 12,000 in the Middle East, and a total of 15,000 staff worldwide.

Under the direction of managing director, Pierre Sironval – a 23-year veteran of company – Six Construct enjoyed revenues of more than $895m (AED3.29bn) in 2017. This figure is projected to grow in 2018, to reach approximately $1.07bn (AED3.94bn).

Last year, Six Construct completed various projects, including Safi, located in Ajman, UAE, which is the first branded water station in the world supplying recycled water for industrial and commercial applications; the Bluewaters Pedestrian Bridge project in Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence area; and a Jumeirah Private Island project for Dubai Municipality, for which BESIX constructedthree marinas for private yachts and leisure crafts, and 317 piles for the water villas.


9. Patrick McKinny, area director Middle East/ Gulf states, BAM International (Power 100 ranking: 10)

During his 30-year career with BAM International, Patrick McKinney has worked in the Middle East for 22 years. He has served eight years as the company’s area director for the Middle East / Gulf States, and has built a reputation as a leader in the regional construction industry, especially within the contractor’s core market of civil and marine engineering projects.

In the last 12 months, BAM International completed Phases 1a, 1b, and 2 of Jebel Ali Container Terminal 4 in Dubai; and Phase 2 of Al Ain Stadium and Mixed-Use Development, which comprises seven five-storey apartment buildings, a 172-bed hotel, and associated infrastructure, and was named Residential Project of the Year at the Construction Week Awards 2017.

Looking ahead, BAM International will be involved with various projects, including Phases 1 and 2 of the Saqr Port expansion in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE; the Container Terminal 4 Connection Project Packages 1 and 2 in Jebel Ali; the Jebel Ali Landfill Project for Dubai Municipality’s Drainage Lift Station; and the construction an 18,000-seat, multifunctional arena located within Abu Dhabi’s Yas integrated destination resort.


8. Stephen Flint,  group general manager, Khansaheb Civil Engineering (Power 100 ranking: 9)

Group general manager for UAE-based Khansaheb Civil Engineering, Stephen Flint, and his team of construction professionals, have completed a host of projects in Dubai the past 12 months, including the 249-unit Serenia Residences on the Palm Jumeirah; Gate Village Building 11, known as The Exchange, at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC); and Phase 1 of a refurbishment project at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. It also completed Phase 1 of Majid Al Futtaim’s City Centre project in the emirate of Ajman.

During the coming year, Khansaheb will be working as main contractor on projects such as the Ajman City Centre Expansion and Refurbishment; Phase 2 of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s refurbishment project; and the Gate Building Refit and Coffee Zone development at DIFC.

While Flint says that lack of liquidity remains a major challenge in the marketplace, Khansaheb is strengthening its offering by investing in technology, with a budget this year of $2m (AED7.35m).

The company plans to continue to migrate its core business services to cloud hosting, improve its disaster recovery for all IT systems, and roll out additional system and network security across its IT environment.


7. Ghassan Merehbi, chairman, Arabian Construction Company (Power 100 ranking: 7)

Arabian Construction Company (ACC) saw revenues of $1.3bn (AED4.78bn) in 2017, tackling projects such as the37-storey Link Tower residential project in Abu Dhabi, the Address Residence Sky View Towers in Downtown Dubai, a Strategic Water Storage Recovery Project in Liwa for Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, and Al Meena Residential Towers in Abu Dhabi.

Other projects for which ACC is the main contractor include Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, located in the Western region of Abu Dhabi; the mixed-used skyscraper development Fountain Views in Downtown Dubai; and Al Dabb'iya Surface Facilities for Adco, a unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

As chairman, Ghassan Merehbi oversees the Lebanese company’s large workforce, which comprises about 25,000 unskilled labourers and approximately 1,000 qualified engineers. ACC is very particular about the competencies of its manpower, says Merehbi.

“Different types of training programmes are proposed and carried out at various levels. Training programmes are classified into multiple levels and are often carried out based on the needs and skill-set requirements of a specific project or department.”

The various training programmes offered by ACC include training for senior management; process or system implementation training; health, safety, and environment training; third-party certifications; training on specific tasks; induction training; and university internships. “The training programmes conducted […] are often carried out as part of a project-specific requirement, and as needed for departments and particular positions,” Merehbi explains.


6. Samer Khoury, president of engineering and construction, CCC (Power 100 ranking: 6)

For another year, the president of engineering and construction at Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Samer Khoury, has made it into the Construction Week Power 100 list.

The company, which describes itself as the largest construction enterprise in the Middle East with more than 100,000 staff, enjoyed another stellar year of business.

Demonstrating its forward-thinking approach to engineering and construction, the contracting giant entered into a tie-up with Immense Technology Labs this year to create a cutting-edge digital warehouse, as part of extensive plans to embrace and incorporate disruptive technology.

It will allow the contractor to create a digital inventory of its spare parts and components, both of which it will subsequently produce using 3D printing on an ad hoc basis.

This will help CCC to cut its carbon footprint by reducing the requirement to transport goods internationally, and combat waste by ensuring only the exact number of parts are made.


5. Dr Eng Sani Sener, president and chief executive officer, TAV Group (Power 100 ranking: 5)

TAV Group has once again seen a busy year under the leadership of president and chief executive officer, Dr Eng Sani Sener. Revenue in the last financial year reached $2.1bn (AED7.7bn), and the total value of TAV’s ongoing construction projects is estimated at $6.5bn (AED23.9bn).

In 2017-18, TAV has been involved numerous high-profile projects in the Middle East, particularly in its core market of aviation.

In addition to the Emaar Square Package 3 (hotel and shopping mall), TAV has worked on the development of Muscat International Airport in Oman in a joint venture (JV) with CCC, and as the main contractor on an airport hotel project at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Ongoing projects in TAV’s portfolio include the Midfield Terminal Building at Abu Dhabi International Airport, as part of a TAV-CCC-Arabtec JV; Bahrain International Airport’s modernisation programme, in an Arabtec-TAV JV; and the Yanbu, Qassim, and Hail airports in Saudi Arabia, where TAV is the developer, contractor, and operator.


4. Emad Azmy, president, ASGC Construction (Power 100 ranking: 4)

As president of ASGC Construction, Emad Azmy is leading the company’s continued endeavours to expand and invest in its more than 11,000-strong workforce.

“The key initiative for 2018 is the launch of the ASGC Labour Training Academy,” Azmy tells Construction Week.

“The academy delivers training and knowledge upgrades for all of ASGC’s workforce. It hosts new joiners for job training; offers health, safety, and environment training; and delivers development training programmes that lead to career progression for workers and supervisors.”

Indeed, prioritising professional development is a strategy that appears to be delivering results for the firm. ASGC’s recent portfolio of projects, for which it was engaged as main contractor, includes an $81.7m (AED300m) contract for the Green Community Expansion Phase 1, and a deal worth $398m (AED1.5bn) for the Bluewaters Island project in Dubai.

This is in addition to a $165.4m (AED608m) contract for Bloom Marina in Abu Dhabi; and contracts in Cairo, Egypt, worth $17.2m (AED63.1m) for the Mivida Park Residence and $26.7m (AED97.9m) for the Festival Living Apartments.


3. Hamish Tyrwhitt, group CEO, Arabtec Group | Depa Holding (Power 100 ranking: 3)

As group chief executive officer of Arabtec Holding, Hamish Tyrwhitt has successfully capitalised on the momentum the business began to build in Q1 2017, securing revenues of $2.5bn (AED9.2bn) in the last financial year.

The UAE-headquartered construction giant worked as the main contractor on projects including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s Damac Heights and Oud Muteena Villas, and Aramco Villas in Saudi Arabia.

The company’s ongoing portfolio includes work on Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal Project in a joint venture (JV) with CCC and TAV, Bahrain International Airport in a JV with TAV, and Jordan’s Saraya Aqaba in a JV with CCC.

Tyrwhitt says that Expo 2020 Dubai is proving crucial for the local sector: “Expo-related development projects are expected to exceed $33bn (AED121.2bn), with more than 2,000 new structures being built in the UAE. [The event] is one of the single biggest opportunities for Arabtec Group within the next [year].”



2. Yu Tao, President and CEO, CSCEC ME (Power 100 ranking: 2)

President and chief executive officer of China State Construction and Engineering Corporation Middle East (CSCEC ME), Yu Tao, heads up the contracting giant’s regional operations. 

With 2017 revenues of $750m (AED2.8bn), the company has been engaged in projects such as the 150,000m² Silicon Park, a smart city project at Dubai Silicon Oasis; the steel works at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Midfield Terminal Building; the new headquarters for National Bank of Kuwait, located in Kuwait City’s central business district; and the UAE’s iconic, newly opened Dubai Water Canal. 

Over the next 12 months, CSCEC ME will be busy with notable UAE schemes, such as those for Arenco Hotel, Namaa Properties’ Paramount Tower, Expo Village, and Dubai Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) R881/3C2 Parallel Road Project. CSCEC ME received the RTA’s letter of acceptance for the project in January. The company said its contract for the road development is valued at $218m (AED800m). 

In addition, the contractor is working on the administration facility of Kuwait University’s Sabah Al-Salem University City. And, this January, Ajman Holding signed an agreement with CSCEC ME to develop and construct Mirkaaz, a shopping destination in Ajman. Valued at $136m (AED500m), Mirkaaz will be the first mall in the UAE to feature an atrium roof of more than 7,900m2, and natural ultraviolet light. The project is expected to receive more than 10 million visitors in its first year. Construction work is due to be completed in Q4 2019.

Furthermore, in September 2017, Union Properties signed an agreement with CSCEC ME to develop a $2bn (AED8bn) masterplan for its flagship Motor City community in Dubai. The five-stage project was scheduled to break ground in January, with overall completion set for 2021. Each stage of the project will take 48 months to complete, Nasser Butti Omair bin Yousef, chairman of Union Properties, told Construction Week at the time. 


1. Kez Taylor, CEO, ALEC (Power 100 ranking: 2)

Taking the top spot in the Construction Week Power 100 for the second year in a row is Kez Taylor, chief executive officer of ALEC Engineering and Contracting. In the 17 years that he has held the role, Taylor has led ALEC’s work on some of the Gulf’s most high-profile projects, especially in its home market, the UAE.

With its focus firmly on commercial, hospitality, retail, and exhibition projects, the firm saw revenue of more than $1bn (AED3.7bn) in the last financial year and expects income of $1.1bn (AED4bn) for 2018–19, with a backlog worth over $2.72bn (AED10bn).

In the past year, Taylor’s team has worked as principal contractor on some of Dubai’s most high-profile projects, including the Bluewaters Island retail district; the Bulgari Resort, Dubai; Holiday Inn, Dubai Festival City; the expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport; and Marina Gate I Residences. ALEC’s pipeline of ongoing developments, meanwhile, includes Emaar’s Dubai Hills Mall, One Za’abeel, and the Deira Waterfront Office & Hotel at Ithra Dubai.

This is in addition to the Conference & Exhibition Centre Campus and Emaar’s Mobility Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai.

The growth of the contractor’s workforce demonstrates its success in the UAE market. ALEC currently employs 252 full-time qualified engineers, 2,656 unskilled labourers, and a total of 205 women.


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Construction Week - Issue 732
Mar 10, 2019