Dr Jawaharlal Gangaramani
Dr Gangarami arrived in the UAE from India in 1974 to work as a project engineer on the construction of Dubai’s World Trade Centre, which at the time was the tallest modern building in the Middle East.
He worked on the Al Ain flyover project using precast, pre-stressed concrete technology – revolutionary at the time in the Gulf – then decided to start his own business.
Dr Gangaramani poured his life savings into the formation of Al Fara’a Construction Company, which was set up in 1980 with Adel Saleh. Af first, it focused on general contracting but has since widened its interests. It is now a much broader trading group with subsidiaries trading in property development, MEP, concrete, aluminium, glass, steel and interior fit-out and joinery work.
The business has worked on some of the UAE’s best-known projects throughout its 33-year trading history, including Nakheel’s Palm Jumeirah, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge outside Abu Dhabi and the Garhoud Bridge in Dubai. The company employs around 18,000 people and has operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India.
In recent years, the company has developed a niche in building social infrastructure projects such as schools and hospitals – often in joint ventures with leading UK construction management specialist Wates.
Given that spending on infrastructure projects is on the rise across the GCC as nations seek to develop healthcare and education facilities as sophisticated as anywhere in the globe, the influence held by Al Fara’a in this market is likely to grow.