Construction Week Power 100: 91-100

CW's inaugural list of the GCC's most powerful people in construction

Eddie Foster.
Eddie Foster.
Jawed Khan.
Jawed Khan.
Ahmad Matar.
Ahmad Matar.
Merkel Tabanlioglu.
Merkel Tabanlioglu.
Joseph Kleindienst.
Joseph Kleindienst.
Chris O'Donnell.
Chris O'Donnell.


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91. Adel Mohammad Hamad Al Mojil Chairman Mohammad Al Mojil Group

Adel Mohammad Hamad Al Mojil is chairman of the Mohammad Al Mojil Group (MMG), established in 1984 and a licensed general contractor specialising in onshore and offshore oil and gas projects.

The group’s scope of work includes construction activities involving civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, instrumental and maintenance work, while the responsibilities entrusted to MMG embrace design, procurement, equipment supply and labour provision and supervision.

Under Al Mojil’s stewardship, the company goes from strength to strength as it maintains its focus on remaining one of the largest and most successful industrial contracting companies in the Middle East. The company also continues its investment in strategic assets.

“Mohammad Al-Mojil can be proud of a rich history spanning 50 years
of operation in the Kingdom. It is gratifying to see the permanent
progress of our company’s status in maintaining our position
as one of the most successful industrial construction companies
in the oil and gas sector in Saudi Arabia.”

Adel Mohammad Hamad Al Mojil

Next: Alain Rossetto, VSL


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92. Alain Rossetto
Middle East & Inda VSL

Alain Rossetto, director of VSL in the Middle East and India could be described as a bit of a nomad. He first joined VSL in 1996, when he was based in the US. He then opened a company office in Mexico City to cover Central America and the Caribbean.

In 2005 he moved to the UAE, to work on the construction of the Dubai Metro and its eye-catching viaducts. In January 2009, VSL began operating a structural repair and maintenance business in partnership with an American company, then set up an office in Qatar, followed by another in Saudi Arabia this year.

Among the notable projects won on Rossetto’s watch is Abu Dhabi’s Hodariyat Island Bridge. It beat out some 30 competitors for this major development with a technically innovative project.

“I would tell young engineers not to be afraid of moving around.
That’s how I discovered many different ways of communicating
and solving problems. I work with men and women from
more than 20 countries.”

Alain Rossetto

Next: Eddie Foster, Scott Wilson


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93. Eddie Foster
Regional director, Bahrain
Scott Wilson

The Scott Wilson group is a global integrated design and engineering consultancy within more than 6000 staff members in 80 locations. Key regions include the UK, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India and the Middle East, with regional centres in London, Hong Kong, Warsaw, New Delhi, Bahrain and Dubai. The Bahrain office was set up in 2005.

Foster was born in Yorkshire in the UK, and studied civil engineering at Sheffield Polytechnic, graduating in 1970.

He spent four years in the UK consulting on motorway work before leaving for Hong Kong in 1974 where he worked for the government on several large airport contracts.

In 1980, Foster switched jobs to US consultancy firm Wilbur Smith to work on island projects around Hong Kong, including reclamation, transport and infrastructure. He spent nine months in Vanuatu, conducting studies on inter-island transport improvements.

He returned to the UK in 1989 and joined Scott Wilson. Foster was MD of Scott Wilson’s Indian office from 1998 until 2005 when he moved to Bahrain.

“As a consultant you are right at the front end,
and some people are still prepared to spend
money on consultancy to get the project on the
shelf and a design ready to move.”

Eddie Foster

Next: Jawed Khan, Idama


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94. Jawed Khan
Senior Account Manager

As senior account manager at one of the GCC’s most well-known FM companies, Jawed Khan ranks number 94 on the CW power list both for his influence in the region and his outstanding achievements across his sector.

Earlier this year, he beat several strong candidates to win the Facilities Manager of the Year 2010 title, having stood out for his initiatives which his clients AED30 million through energy conservation.

In his current role, Khan, who joined Idama in 2004, is responsible for the overall delivery of contracted service level agreements for FM services across Tecom Free Zone in Dubai.

He is involved in managing services and processes that support the core business of the organisation and ensure that it has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities.

His co-workers say he has proven to be an outstanding team player, organising and facilitating continued team management to achieve remarkable service delivery, not to mention always displaying exemplary character and achieving the ‘best in class’ corporate targets.

The TECOM Free Zone is a key client in Idama’s portfolio of clients which also includes Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Healthcare City and Dubai International Financial Centre.

“I can’t believe it – but I can’t take all the credit.
The team worked very hard, and this award belongs
to them too – it has been a real team effort.
I’m really excited about winning.”

Jawed Khan

Next: Ahmad Matar, Al Arrab Electro Mechanical Engineering


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95. Ahmad Matar
Al Arrab Electro Mechanical Engineering

The CEO of Al Arrab Electro Mechanical Engineering Ahmad Matar is listed as one of the most powerful in the GCC due to his leadership role within one of the most successful contractors in the region.

With a wide variety of high profile projects within its portfolio, including the US $6 billion, first phase of the new rail system in Saudi, and the Pearl Qatar where it has been appointed to fit out seven towers, Al Arrab Electro Mechanical Engineering has a large number of well-known clients and thus a real influence in the industry.

Ahmad Matar himself is focused on developing projects to speed and to quality.

“In 2010 there have been very few tenders,
in a way it is a harder year than 2009. So we
were pleased to have set up early quite early
in Qatar when the market in Dubai still needs time to recover.”

Ahmad Matar

Next: Merkel and Murat Tabanlioglu, Tabanlioglu Architects


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96. Merkel and Murat Tabanlioglu
Founding partners
Tabanlioglu Architects

The partners behind Turkey’s biggest architecture firm do not have many Gulf or Middle East projects under their belts, but their resume is undoubtedly impressive.

Tabanlioglu is behind high-profile projects in Libya, Kazakhstan and its home country of Turkey, and the firm’s upcoming presence at Cityscape Dubai marks a willingness to dip a toe into the Gulf market.

The son of renowned Turkish modernist Hayati Tabanlioglu, who designed the Ataturk Cultural Centre – one of Turkey’s most famous buildings – Murat Tabanlioglu and his wife, Merkel, have continued a family tradition of modernism, recently designing Europe’s tallest tower in Istanbul.

Most recently the pair have spread their wings into Astana Kazakhstan, designing a football stadium, and Tripoli, Libya, where they designed the Tripoli Conference Centre.

At home, the Tabanlioglu’s most famous building is the critically acclaimed Istanbul Modern, the first contemporary art gallery in the heart of the city.

Next: Hisham Youssef, Gensler Idama


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97. Hisham Youssef
Senior International Design Manager

Hisham Youssef, AIA, is Senior Associate at the architecture and planning firm, Gensler. He joined Gensler in 1997, with extensive project experience internationally in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He is currently a lead client contact for projects in the Middle East. He moved to Dubai in 2006 where he has led several projects in the region.

Youssef is a dual Egyptian USA national. He currently splits his time between New York, Dubai and Cairo. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Youssef completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University, graduating with a liberal arts degree in 1983, and earned his Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 1989.

He continues to be active in the design community. He is a guest critic at the American University of Sharjah, and a frequent contributor to several publications in the region on design and architecture. He also served as a Teaching Fellow at Columbia University School of Architecture, and Harvard University’s Carpenter Center.

Youssef is a founding member and an officer of the Middle East chapter of the American Institute of Architects, established in September 2010. He is also co-founder of The Architectural Association of the UAE (aaUAE), and became its first president from 2007-2009.

Next: Joseph Kleindienst, Kleindienst Group


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98. Joseph Kleindienst
Kleindienst Group

Major construction deals are all about balancing risk – and nothing, it seems, is more risky than being the first to jump in to a significant project, particularly when it’s an offshore development with the eyes of the world on you.

Joseph Kleindienst is the first property developer to begin work on The World – a mass of islands sitting 4km off the Dubai coast – with the ambitious six-island Heart of Europe project which will showcase German green technologies and Arabic building techniques.

The islands may be only a short distance from the mainland, but they will not be serviced with a fresh water pipeline or power services by DEWA. Instead, they will have to produce and generate their own using innovative and advanced techniques.

Kleindienst is certain of the success of the Heart of Europe project, and says that it will highlight the way in which environmentally-focussed living needn’t mean a reduction in a luxurious lifestyle.

Certainly, with plans to build air-conditioned streets and systems that provide a regular drop of rain, plus a shopping mall (Sweden) and specialist islands (Monaco for parties, Austria for weddings, Switzerland’s family oriented hotel, St Petersburg ‘s hotel villas), that will be a considerable challenge.

He says the need to adopt green principles on the project is not driven by desire but by need.

“You have to do it out here. If you don’t build with ecological ideas and concerns here, then you are stupid,” he said.

Next: Chris O’Donnell, Nakheel


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99. Chris O’Donnell

Chris O’Donnell has been one of the most high-profile chief executives over the last four years in his role overseeing one of the Gulf’s most famous developers.

He has also proven himself a survivor, holding onto his position in March when the government of Dubai dismissed Nakheel’s entire board of directors, though it did see him step down as a board member.

The ongoing restructuring plan that Nakheel has been initiating this year with contractors and creditors has been unprecedented in size, though few people have his previous corporate experience to make big changes, With a background in project development, fund management and asset management, O’Donnell spent five years as managing director of Investa Property Group in Australia, a period which included a steep rise in funds undermanagement, hostile takeovers and acquisitions.

O’Donnell has also held other senior executive positions with prominent Australian organisations including Lend Lease, Leighton and Westpac Banking Corporation. In 2004 he was appointed a director of the Green Building Council of Australia and, during that year, was recognised by the NSW Government Department of Energy Utilities and Sustainability named as the Green Globe Ambassador.

Next: Ilham Kadri, Dow Advanced Materials Division


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100. Ilham Kadri
General manager
Dow Advanced Materials Division

As concepts such as building efficiency and sustainability evolve in the GCC market, Dr Ilham Kadri’s position as one of the leading exponents of advanced materials is set to rise still further.

Such is her track record that the Dow Chemical Company in March created a new Dow Advanced Materials Division and installed Kadri as general manager.

Today she covers Middle East and Africa. A firm believer in the drive towards sustainable design and building she was previously responsible for developing and executing the strategy for the EMEA region.

Kadri holds a doctorate in reactive extrusion from the Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. She earned her engineering diploma grandes-écoles in chemical engineering from l’école des Hauts Polymères de Strasbourg, and she has a masters degree in chemistry from Université Claude Bernard in Lyon.

“Sustainability needs to be ‘inside’ everything we do
and should become a part of our DNA.”

Ilham Kadri

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