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JULY 2015




contents 6 news 16 in person Mark Phoenix,


Managing Director of Omniyat, talks about the young company’s strategy of developing buildings that reflect art and are completely functional. He also talks about how to maintain a steady growth in the market and shares his keys to success

22 ANALYSIS Decades of

development have seen bridges bold and beautiful spring up across the region. Construction Business News ME looks at how techniques and technologies have been refined in the region


25 TAKE 10 Landmark bridges

are features that draw the eye and demand great engineering to achieve deceptively simple forms. Construction Business News ME has picked its ten favourites demonstrating the best in design, engineering and construction achievement and all completed since the year 2000

cover story



the top 60 players in the construction and real estate industry as accounted by construction business news me

construction business news me JULY 2015 1



Managing Director Walid Zok


Director Rabih Najm Director Wissam Younane Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley Group Editor Melanie Mingas


Editor Lorraine Bangera Business Development Director Rabih Naderi

56 IN THE FIELD This month we visit UAE’s first significant restoration site, the Heart of Sharjah. Construction Business News ME looks into the progress at the cultural space and speaks with the project’s architect, Khawla Al Hashimi, about the importance of sustaining heritage in this region

60 Q&A Karim Helal, CEO of, talks to us about the growing role of technology and online media in the construction market

62 COMMENT Cynthia Corby writes about the key issues that need to be considered to avoid disappointment in a time when the construction industry is crucial for the economy

64 editor’s pick We look into Qatar Friendship Fund and Japan’s Sweet Treat 311’s collaboration to restructure a school that has been around for almost a century

Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon

c o n t ribu t o rs


Stuart Matthews

Marlow McGuinness Ltd

SUBSCRIBE PO Box 502511 Dubai, United Arab Emirates P +971 4 4200 506 | F +971 4 4200 196 For all commercial enquiries related to Construction Business News ME contact T +971 55 339 5097 All rights reserved © 2015. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Construction Business News ME and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Construction Business News ME. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Images used in Construction Business News ME are credited when necessary. Attributed use of copyrighted images with permission. All images not credited courtesy Shutterstock. Printed by International Printing Press

2 construction business news me JULY 2015

700+ Projects Delivered

LEED Platinum, LEED Gold and LEED Silver Capability

ns o i t u l o S d e t a r g e t End to End In

project experience

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ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certiďŹ ed

Pioneering Engineering Construction since 1881

For over 130 years, Drake & Scull International PJSC has been shaping skylines and transforming the lifestyle of communities around the world.

Drake & Scull is an industry leader, with a proven history of delivering more than 700 projects through its General Contracting, Engineering, Rail, Oil & Gas, Water and Wastewater Treatment and Infrastructure development business streamlines across the region.

editor’s note TOP OF THE LINE

Not quite there yet

Behind the scenes with the big chiefs of construction

As we move into the third quarter of the year 2015, we think it’s time to undertake our first annual ranking. This month marks our very first edition of the Power Hour, a countdown of the top companies in the construction and real estate industry. Power Hour features a list of 60 companies in the market who we consider, in our humble opinion, regional A-listers. With a lot of hard work and a drive to be fair, we have tried our best to cover all companies big and small. Our ranking is based on an analysis of each company’s overall performance, reputation, and project delivery. We have tried our best to give you, our readers, an insight into these top companies and their stories. Our selection for number one is, without a doubt, the Saudi Binladin Group, a group that is considered to be a torch-bearer to the rest of the industry in the region. For our monthly site visit, we decided to break away from regular construction sites and head to the Heart of Sharjah restoration site. This feature contrasts with our cover story which focuses on power, development, and construction. Restoration, on the other hand, uncommon in this region has been forgotten by most

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GCC countries who are pushed by the West to keep up. Young Emirati architect, Khawla Al Hashimi, tells us about how it is equally important to preserve our past. As a construction magazine, we take a different look at the project and try to showcase, how Shurooq, developers on the project, wisely intergrated new concepts into old heritage. We also look at how decades of development have included the construction of mighty bridges across the region. We look at the technology behind some of the top bridges in the world since the year 2000 and how they came into being. For our exclusive interviews we talk with Managing Director of Omniyat, who talks about how art and functionality are equally important in construction, and CEO of who talks about the importance of digital media in construction in this day and age.

Could do better...

A little more colour?

Lorraine Bangera Editor



Damac awards AED2.8 billion in contracts Damac Properties awarded more than AED2.8 billion in construction contracts in the first five months of 2015. Awards include the work packages on more than 1,500 villas within its luxury lifestyle community, Akoya Oxygen, three new apartment blocks at Akoya by Damac and the main contracts for three of its hotel apartment projects, Damac Maison Privé, Naia Vantage and Naia Celestia. Ghantoot Gulf Contracting has been awarded the package to build 981 villas at Akoya Oxygen, while Lootah Building & Co. will start work on building the 547 villas. Seidco General Contracting LLC has been awarded the contract to build three complexes at Akoya by Damac,

with Pivot Engineering receiving a main works package for the 239 villas in Akoya Park. Civilco Civil Engineering & Contracting Co. LLC has been awarded the main package to build Naia Celestia in the Dubai World Central District, Damac Maison Privé will be built by Seidco General Contracting LLC and Naia Vantage has been awarded to Reem Capital Contracting LLC. Mohammed Tahaineh, Senior Vice President – Commercial of Damac Prop-

GCC increases research on the scale and structure of groundwater resources

Mohammed Tahaineh, Senior Vice President, Commercial of DAMAC Properties and Ali Mohamed Sadek Al Baloshi, Chairman of Ghantoot Group

erties, said: “These awards go a long way to showing our confidence in the Dubai real estate market and they will ensure a strong pipeline of deliveries.”

Abu Dhabi’s goal


use of TSE within

5 years

Gulf States face water revolution According to regional experts, the GCC will be undergoing radical changes to attain sufficient water resources by mid-century. Currently, the water industry’s supply chain is addressing possible opportunities and major challenges. The issues were addressed in this year’s MENA Water Forum organised by MEED. Edmund O’Sullivan, chairing the forum, 6 construction business news me JUly 2015

said that when it comes to water, Arabia is one the world’s poorest regions. “The event will concentrate on the organisational and technological developments that could finally reverse the negative trends in the GCC’s water balance.” The forum highlighted three key water issues in the GCC: decoupling of power generation from desalination production, increasing use of treated sewage

effluent (TSE), and water resource management. Currently all GCC states are investing in processing systems and pipeline networks, as well as intensifying research into the large scale and structure of their groundwater reserves. Bahrain, for example, has already taken firm steps to half further depletion of its reservoirs.


Bayti Homes in final stage of construction

Esam R. Al Mazroei, MD of BMTC

One of Al Hamra Real Estate Development’s luxury homes project, Bayti Homes at Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah, is nearing completion. Finishing works are scheduled to begin once structural and block work is completed. This November, part of the project (around 80 homes) will be set for the residents to move in a month ahead of time. The entire development comprises of 162 villas which include green features and district cooling facility. Benoy Kurien, General Manager of the development company, said that Bayti in Arabic means ‘my home.’ He explains that the development has enabled the surroundings of Bayti to reflect a home with swimming pools, tennis courts, a football pitch, and children’s play areas. The developers crafted a focus group organised for local residents to visit mock-up Bayti villas, after which information and suggestions were collected by the project team and incorporated into the final stage of construction.

GI Conduits enters UAE markets Bahri & Mazroei Trading Company (BMTC), a regional solution provider for building and infra-development segments, presented a new range of GI Conduits. The presentation was conducted on cable management systems in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with the company’s supply partners and manufacturers of the product, Saudi-based International Tube and Conduit Company (ITCC). Managing Director of BMTC Esam R. Al Mazroei talked about BMTC’s diverse expertise in providing cuttingedge solutions in the areas of safety, security, energy and automation for different business models. And ITCC, according to him, uses latest technologies to produce defect-free and high quality products and services meeting the needs of customers across different segments. Hatem H. Mawlawi, General Manager of ITCC, said that the six-metre conduit is ideal for long run application projects like airports, warehouses, data centres, and hypermarkets. “With this,” he said, “contractors can cut 50% of coupling and save connection time by half.” He added: “ITCC conduits are subjected to several tests as per the UL Specifications including quality checking, copper sulphate test, bending test, weight, diametre, thickness and galvanising test.” 8 construction business news me JUly 2015

Bayti villas under construction in Al Hamra Village





Life safety of buildings simplified in Dubai Major General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defence, launched the Dubai Life Safety Dashboard this June. The dashboard is set to be implemented in every building in the city and will allow decision-makers such as government officials, stakeholders, building owners and its occupants to view the life safety status of Dubai in real time. According to the Civil Defence team, the dashboard helps decision-makers to identify and determine their role and responsibility in a transparent manner.

Al Matrooshi said the dashboard allows readers to understand complex data in less time than it would take to read similar material in a full report. In Al Matrooshi's opinion, by using the dashboard the Civil Defence can now track the key performance metrics of both individual buildings and Civil Defence activities. The initiative is said to enable other government departments to facilitate innovative services to building owners and occupants in Dubai.

McFadden International Construction Group awarded contract

McFadden awarded contract for Avenue 353 Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Real Estate has awarded a contract to McFadden International Construction Group, to lead the ongoing development and construction of Avenue 353. The Sharjah-based general contracting firm works across numerous domains including residential, commercial and institutional construction. Launched in March this year, Avenue 353 is set in a gated com-

munity in the heart of the City of Arabia, the freehold property situated at the gateway of Dubailand. A representative of Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Real Estate said the community at Avenue 353 is designed to represent a symbiotic balance between nature, space and technology while reflecting the sensibility of its discerning clientele.

New Suez Canal to open in August SCA’s annual revenue prediction







Facts & Figures

New Suez Canal

72km 150 yearsold waterway

Suez Canal

Suez Canal Zone Enables access to


global customers

This June, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) in partnership with a WPP consortium launched its campaign leading to the opening of the New Suez Canal on August 6, 2015 by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The Chairman and Managing Director of SCA, Admiral Mohab Mameesh said that the project is more than just a new waterway and is an astonishing feat of engineering. The project was enabled through funds raised by national subscription. In just six days, the Egyptian people raised around US$8.5 billion and the work began on August 6, 2014. Despite initial estimates indicating the works on the project would take three years, the project is well on course to be completed in less than 12 months. The New Suez Canal is at the heart of a vision to construct a fully developed industrial area along the canal known as the Suez Canal Zone. The zone will see the creation of a huge industrial area catering to a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, logistics, and ship repair. construction business news me JUly 2015 9


UAE hospitals raise the bar in patient care The annual Building Healthcare Awards held at the Building Healthcare Middle East Exhibition & Congress in Dubai awarded four UAE-based hospitals in nine categories. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi won two notable construction awards including the Best Hospital Design Award and Best Sustainable Hospital Project Award. The awards, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, recognised leaders in the healthcare industry who have raised the bar in providing world-class patient care. Simon Page, Managing Director of Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, said: “The winners come from the UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, and were chosen from more than 70 nominees who have excelled in the region’s hospital build and infrastructure sector.”

HMG Properties attains ISO 9001 certification

HMG Properties team

International property developer, HMG Properties, was awarded the ISO 9001 certification this June. The ISO certification is recognised worldwide as a quality management standard. According to the property developer the standard is not just for quality management systems in particular, but management systems in general. It provides guidance and tools for companies and organisations which want to ensure that their products and services

consistently meet customer’s requirements. Raed Bourjass, CEO of HMG Properties, pointed out that attaining the certification would assure HMG’s clients, customers and partners that the company was committed to an excellent management of its resources and consistent improvement of its services. He said: “HMG consistently offers its clientele and investors properties which meet their budget, trustworthy and qualified.”

10 construction business news me JUly 2015

Marble entrance of Emirates Palace

Attendees cast their vote for People’s Choice Award

Other regional winners include:

»» Best Laboratory Design Award - Qatar Bio Bank, Qatar »» Best Hospital of the Future Award - Al-Taif Children Hospital, KSA »» Best Facilities Management Service Strategy Award - Clemenceau Medical Centre, Lebanon

Future Concrete highlights building green This year’s Future Concrete conference was staged by consulting firm, Advanced Construction and Technology Services (ACTS) in Le Royal Hotel Dbayeh, Lebanon on June 11. The conference, attended by local and international industry experts, discussed the latest advances and challenges in the construction industry with special focus on sustainable building practices. Although new development projects offer great economic benefits, they come with serious environmental price tag, especially in the Middle East where energy and water are considered serious challenges. Engineer Khaled Awad, Chairman of ACTS, said

that the construction affects the environment in all stages of a building's lifecycle. According to Awad, if there is inadequate infrastructure planning and management, construction will aggravate environmental degradation. “Thus there is the need to move towards ecologically sound technologies to achieve continued growth and sustainable development.” He explained that the concept requires special attention to the quality control and sustainability aspects in order to enable buildings and facilities to have a longer life. “Environmental sustainability can be considered as the core of technologies in the construction field.”

Sustainable projects in Lebanon

»» Waterfront City »» Medical Center in American University of Beirut

Nakheel reports Q1 2015 net profit of AED1.35 billion This June, Nakheel announced its financial results for the first three months of this year. The net profit of AED1.35 billion is more than double of last year’s Q1 net profit, AED629 million. The 115% increase in the net profit for the first quarter of 2015 is the result of a strong performance by the development business, with ongoing handovers of properties to customers. Officials from the company have said that retail, leasing and leisure businesses will continue to improve and contribute to overall financial results. Commenting on the results, Nakheel

Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said that they expect to build upon the first quarter results throughout 2015, and will continue to remain focussed in contributing to the real estate sector in Dubai in a positive and effective manner in line with the government’s 2021 vision. He said: “With our significantly reduced level of debt, we are well positioned to pursue our strategy of creating more cash generating assets and strengthening Nakheel’s asset base to further boost our business and financial results in the coming years.”

Nakheel’s aim AED7.5 bn/year in recurrent income

Nakheel’s Palm Jumeirah

ICMP to enhance Al Reem Island

Venetian apartments completed

Bunya in Al Reem Island

Venetian apartments ready for handover at DSC Dubai Sports City (DSC) initiated the handover of apartments of its latest flagship development, Canal Residence West’s Venetian Building, this June. The handover followed the successful completion of the first phase of handovers including Canal Residence West’s European and Mediterranean Buildings. DSC reportedly expects an extra 5,000 residents to move in over the next 12 months. During the course of the summer the Canal Promenade retail outlets will be completed, as well as a health centre

and restaurants, further enhancing the environment for residents. DSC Chief Financial Officer Vijay Sajjanhar said that Dubai Sports City is going from strength to strength and the latest handover of Venetian apartments is the latest illustration of that fact. He added: “With a fantastic road and transport infrastructure around our location, situated on the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road corridor, and just minutes from the Al Maktoum International Airport and the site of Expo 2020, Dubai Sports City really is the place to be.”

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) announced its approval of the Integrated Concept Master Plan (ICMP) for Al Reem Island this June. The ICMP will enable the island’s developers to complete their own master plans, which will help the UPC and other agencies better manage the existing developments on Al Reem Island. The plan will also help forge future developments of optimal quality that meets current regulations and standards. The plan benefits Abu Dhabi as a city as well as provides the North Bay mangroves protection and enhancement. It will also help facilitate a number of new transport links connecting Abu Dhabi to other areas via Al Reem Island. H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, UPC’s Director General, said: “The integrated master plan for Al Reem Island forms an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s path toward sustainable urban growth in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and is a core component of Plan Capital 2030.” construction business news me JUly 2015 11


Arco to work on Downtown Jebel Ali project

Downtown Jebel Ali

Limitless, UAE-based master developer, has awarded a contract worth AED285 million for infrastructure works at its flagship development Downtown Jebel Ali. Under the contract, signed in the first week of June, UAE-based Arco General Contracting will carry out complete community infrastructure work – including roads, sewerage, utilities and lighting – in all four zones of the development, to prepare land plots for handover to third party developers. Mobilisation will begin immediately, with work due for completion by the end of 2017. The development is a mixed-use project based in Dubai spanning 200 hectares and stretching to around 11 kilometres along Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road. Located between Jebel Ali Free Zone and Techno Park, the development is easily accessible from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The project has more than 300 third party plots, on which investors will build a mixture of apartments, hotels, offices and retail developments.

European Games’ Baku National Stadium

Technology boosts GCC’s sport projects Industry experts say the technology used to construct the centrepiece stadium for the 2015 European Games could ensure that the GCC’s upcoming sporting projects are completed on time and on budget. Baku National Stadium in Azerbaijan, is a prime example of the benefits of building information modelling (BIM), showcasing the speed and design qual12 construction business news me JUly 2015

ity at every level of its development. The 68,000-seat, retractable roof stadium hosted the opening ceremony of the first European Games held in June this year. The team behind the project took just 24 months to design and build the venue. It was agreed from the very beginning that the only way to achieve maximum efficiency in 24 months would be imple-

menting BIM in all structures. Precast, reinforced concrete, main and secondary steel structures were all modelled using Tekla Structures. “Tekla gave us huge advantage in terms of productivity as we had to deliver structural drawings for 17,000 tonnes of complex steel within eight months,” said Alparslan Gure, President of Tekfen Engineering.


This month, Lorraine Bangera sits down with Mark Phoenix, Managing Director of Omniyat, to talk about the young company’s strategy of developing buildings which reflects art while being completely functional. He also talks about how to maintain a steady growth in the market and shares his keys to success


ark Phoenix joined the Omniyat team seven years ago as a development manager, which he quirkily says is basically “a managing director (if you will) over a number of projects.” When asked about his quick climb to the top and becoming managing director (MD), he jokes, “You will have to ask my chairman why he chose me, I won’t say it’s because I’m brilliant!” With his trademark humour, Pheonix recalls days as a fresh graduate from college when he began to work for a big construction company in the UK. His last job before Omniyat included delivering community projects for retired citizens. Gaining a lot of practical knowledge from his past 20 years

16 construction business news me JULY 2015

of experience in construction, the MD manages to incorporate all of it in his current position. His previous experience enables him to know what he is doing and how to do it. Since taking over the role, Phoenix has ensured a steady growth within the organisation and among projects with meticulous management while implementing new strategies. He believes his team, a group of experienced industry professionals, don’t need to be instructed about how to carry out projects. Confident about his team, Phoenix emphasises that their knowledge about the industry is a major reason why they

have done so well. He says that it all began in 2008 when they began to change the way Omniyat did business. He says changes occurred during and because of the financial crash in the same year. Omniyat restructured and analysed its current projects and concentrated on the most lucrative projects that were located in the centre of Dubai. Driven by art Pheonix says that art is very important to the group. “You should provide something that enhances someone’s lifestyle when they use it, rather than just building boxes in which people live in.” He says that they try to infuse art into their projects

Ongoing construction at The Pad

Mark Phoenix, Managing Director of Omniyat

“We don’t just expect our contractors to build buildings floating in the sky.” and provide something different, and aim to enhance lifestyle whether they are building a residential project or an office. He says that without art, projects would be meaningless and would kill the drive to deliver excellence. Thus, the group collaborates with renowned designers across the world to execute high-end buildings in the UAE. While there is tremendous emphasis on Omniyat’s buildings to look beautiful, it is still functional. The MD says that even though Omniyat tries to build iconic buildings, that doesn’t have to be the mandate. He also says that they aren’t unreasonable with their design. “We don’t just expect our contractors to build buildings floating in the sky.” Even though the group is noticeably driven by art and design, it also concentrates on constructability. “Yes,

our buildings are beautiful,” Phoenix says, “But that doesn’t mean we are building monuments, these buildings have to work as well.” “No point of building a twisty building that nobody can use,” he adds. Phoenix says that even though the team is open to integrating extravagant design, they also make sure the design can be incorporated. Confident about his team’s knowledge on the subject, Phoenix says that this doesn’t mean that they have to necessarily consider outside parties but could do it themselves. He further explains his point with the example of upcoming project, The Opus, which looks complicated to construct but isn’t. He says that another important consideration is to hire the best contractors you could work with. In case of The Opus, Ommiyat is working with Brookfield Multiplex

who, Phoenix says, know what they are doing. Omniyat’s conditions on choosing the right contractor include capability, track record and speed. Phoenix adds: “Price should not be a consideration as the project might take twice as long and it wouldn’t be what you wanted it to be.” Talking about maintenance While it is essential to build a building that is usable, it is equally important to make sure it is easily maintainable. He says: “We look at three different aspects of a development when we begin: the investment required to build a project, the development part, which is design and constructability, and the post management aspect.” Phoenix says that at Omniyat, maintenance is considered before setting construction business news me JULY 2015 17


Upcoming project, The Opus

up i.e. during the design brief in the initial stages of the project. “It’s in an obvious consideration as we have our own facilities management (FM) team within the organisation.” Phoenix says that this decision was made in 2008, when the company was still growing and none of the developments had started. “We made a conscious decision to build projects that could be maintained to avoid chaos from the very beginning.” He explains that building a project that is “unmaintainable” and/or “expensive to maintain” is pointless. In property sales, according to Phoenix, buyers always consider the service charge. “It is important to not build a building that is just easy on the eyes but is a nightmare to maintain.” By including the FM profession-

als from the beginning, Phoenix says that now his design team has a better understanding about how to design something that could maintain a reasonable service charge later. Phoenix considers including FM input in the beginning a no brainer. He says, “You just cannot expect people to pay up later.” He explains that by being inconsiderate toward maintenance a developer can eventually be negatively affected. He says that buyers would come back and say, ‘Your building looks good, but costs me a fortune!” Even though including FM teams in the design phase is agreed to be productive for the overall lifecycle of the building, it is not done a lot in this region. Phoenix says that this is probably because most developers do

“We made a conscious decision to build projects that could be maintained to avoid chaos from the very beginning.” 18 construction business news me JULY 2015

not have an in-house FM team like they do. Involving FM teams is much easier when they are all working under one umbrella. Of course this doesn’t mean it is a smooth and easy road, Phoenix admits that when several teams come together it is a good debate and finding a balance is tough but not impossible. He says the teams always find the right balance as they are working for a common goal—a functional and welldesigned building. He says: “We as a team have a genuine drive to make a building great, so it comes to us naturally to work well together.” Funds, funds, funds Phoenix says that when he first came to Dubai in 2008, developments usually worked around presale collection. “That’s the way buildings were built here.” In 2010, however, Omniyat changed its approach towards funding. “We decided to over-capitalise our buildings, which is basically less risky in the long run.” By over-capitalising, the group made sure they have enough funds to build a building before properly selling it. He says: “Our aim was to start only those projects that we know we could complete.” This was done by

The Binary in Business Bay, Dubai

The One by Omniyat

The Binary, Omniyat’s third and most recently completed project in Business Bay, received its Building Completion Certificate in May earlier this year. The project will be 500,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The project is completely sold with offices ready to be leased. The 29-floor structure comprises two connected 21-storey and 24-storey towers sitting above five podium levels, offering unique amenities including 15 ground floor retail shops and three basement levels with 1,218 parking bays.

a mixture of funds: a three-pronged strategy of equity, debt and collection. This means that funding was drawn out of in-house cash, bank loans, investor’s cash and some sale. “We didn’t want to solely depend on sale, because if customers pulled out it would stop construction.” Currently, Omniyat has AED12 billion in development across 13 projects, and still follows the same strategy. Phoenix explains how they sort their projects under green and red categories. Green being completely funded and ready to go, and red being not completely funded yet. “We don’t start a development unless it is in the green category.” The green category makes sure that a project has enough funds to go ahead “no matter what.” Phoenix says that this is the time the group goes ahead and signs the construction contract and already has land secured for construction. Stable growth in Dubai “The development sector is difficult anywhere in the world,” says Phoenix, “which is probably why the rewards are quite high.” He says that the difficulties vary in different regions, in London for example the main problem would be that there is a finite amount of land that could be purchased to develop and it is very expensive. In Dubai, on the other hand, there is comparatively more opportunity. “Right now, what we need to consider is how fast we want to grow,” says

Phoenix. The group’s current land bank will be exhausted by the end of 2018 or early 2019, and all the projects under construction right now would be completed by then. “It is now time to look at the next projects that would come up after 2018,” he says. In terms of future projects, Phoenix expresses interest in developing a big masterplan as it is something the group hasn’t done yet. The steadiness in the real estate and construction market is all that Phoenix wants. He says that he would prefer if it didn’t shift or jump up and down. He adds that there are many positive factors that contribute to the steady growth including the rise in population and increase in tourism. In his opinion, if the tourism target is met, which is a rise of 10 million tourists from 2010 to 2020, then the need for more buildings will definitely increase. Phoenix says that the rental market is strong with a good demand for property, this would lead to a gradual rise in prices. However, he notes that Omniyat does not consider the market when it comes to setting prices. He believes that they need to set prices based on what they are providing rather than to compete with a rival in the market. The key to do well in this industry, according to the MD, is keeping a long-term approach, looking at business plans and market growth in the next five years. He says: “If you have a monthly approach or worse a weekly one, you will drive yourself crazy.” When you have a long-term

view, you tend to be steadier. He says that a short-term player has a tendency to wobble by the shifts in the market. The success behind the young and small team at Omniyat is credited to its Executive Chairman and CEO, Mahdi Amjad. Phoenix says that his team is centrally driven by their chairman’s vision who is actively involved with them on a daily basis. “He makes sure we deliver the best we can.” “The key behind our quick success,” he says ironically, “is that we don’t rush our projects.” construction business news me JULY 2015 19

ANALYSIS Construction at Hodariyat bridge, Abu Dhabi. Copyright of VSL

Full deck B Decades of development have seen bridges bold and beautiful spring up across the region. Stuart Matthews looks at how techniques and technologies have been refined in the region

Ghassan Ziadat, Director of Planning and Infrastructure for Atkins

22 construction business news me JULY 2015

ridges of all kinds are a chance for the engineers and architects who work in the civil sphere to show off. Whether they are a small and functional crossing or long-spanned centrepiece, clever and elegant bridge design is one area where the general public gets a chance to appreciate the work that goes in building the cities around them. Over a decade of development in the region, sweepingly complex intersections, show piece crossings and kilometre after kilometre of viaduct have all sprung up, showing a bridge’s power to transform transport and put on some show-stopping design at the same time. The extended and intense period of development in the Gulf has seen new techniques and technologies prove their worth in the tough local working conditions. “In the last ten years there has been a steep change in the way bridges are designed in the region, mostly driven by the metro and rail construction that is happening,” says Dr Ghas-

san Ziadat, Director of Planning and Infrastructure, Middle East and UAE Director of Bridges for Atkins. “Bridges were built very conventionally because the tradition was to build in greenfield sites and basically to divert traffic away, put up some scaffold and cast in situ, then reinstate the traffic as it was before. This was okay when the cities were not as built up as they are now.” Ziadat suggests this had to change as the economies of the Gulf countries became stronger, populations increased and their cities became much more dense. “Building bridges conventionally is no longer practical,” says Ziadat. Citing the example of building large urban viaducts in an already built up environment, Ziadat points to the building of the Dubai Metro as a standout example of where more advanced technologies for construction were successfully deployed. Segmental construction techniques and precast decking saw the viaducts that are now busy with trains assembled at

a great pace around the city. Similar scenes of rapid deployment are likely to be seen around other Gulf cities as Doha and Riyadh develop their own much needed metro systems. “[These techniques] are advantageous in many respects because they increase the rate of construction,” says Ziadat. “You can precast all the segments at the same time as you’re building the sub structure and you can precast all the decks in parallel, then launch them very quickly.” Mechanised construction has been key to the speed of development in the region, especially on sophisticated projects such as light rail systems. Not only do they proceed with a very visible pace, they help to limit disruption to the traffic below, as they require less space on the ground. Ziadat predicts that its the kind of construction that is likely to continue in cities around the Gulf, as they look to move their populations from a reliance on cars to greater use of public transport. “It’s not sustainable in Middle Eastern cities to continue relying on the car and there’s only so many roads you can build,” he says. “You need to invest in public transport. But the challenge is how do you build it all and keep the cities moving at the same time. “It’s not something that is going to happen overnight; the investment will

Ongoing construction at Hodariyat bridge. Copyright of VSL

go on for decades. But it’s important to use these techniques, so that you can operate systems while keeping the city moving, without causing too much disruption to people’s lives in the process.” Mechanised methods have placed new demands on contractors and the teams of sub-contractors and consultants who support their work. When the construction techniques have a significant influence on the design getting projects built successfully means a bit of teamwork is required to integrate the design and construction. In turn this has encouraged the adoption of design and build contracts, where there is a much greater need for collaboration between consultant and contractors and which have become a new and growing method of procurement within the industry. “Within the Middle East we are seeing a great deal of highway infrastructure clients engaging in design and build style contracts,” says Mark Essam, Head of Bridges and Tunnels, WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff. “This is particularly evident in Qatar, where it is leading a change in the design approach. A key to the success of a design and build project is the timely delivery of a project and because of this we are approaching the designs with a construction mind-set.

“This means the design is being driven by the construction timescale resulting in significant offline pre-casting and use of alternative construction techniques. We ensure we advise our clients on the most cost-effective solution by incorporating pre-cast or alternative construction methods into the design.” Essam notes that when working on design and build style contracts, designers need to remain aware that they are effectively working for two clients, the contractor and the ultimate client. He also believes that this kind of contract will naturally prioritise function over form, placing the onus on the design teams to generate concepts that achieve this while also providing elegance, good value and speedy construction. “Where there is an urgency to deliver a piece of highway infrastructure, design and build is often seen as a neat solution,” he says. “This style of contract puts the responsibility for the whole of the works on the designbuild contractor, minimising the levels of coordination that are necessary.” Essam suggests that this eliminates the traditional staged approach to a project and allows overlap between the design and construction phases. Early contractor involvement also enables the design to be influenced by construction activities, which can further reduce the length of the construction programme. “Studies have shown that project durations can be reduced by up to 30 percent using design and build practices over traditional design-bid-build methods,” he says. While speed may be of the essence for some of Qatar’s swathe of construction projects, the fact that a number of road works are primarily greenfield is also leaving room for tried and tested methods of bridge construction to be deployed on highway jobs. Companies such as RMD Kwikform, a formwork specialist, are still seeing plenty activity in bridge work that is of a traditional cast in situ variety. “Most of the bridges we’re doing in Qatar are box girder concrete strucconstruction business news me JULY 2015 23


Hodariyat bridge, Abu Dhabi. Copyright of VSL

“The construction phase is a very small element of the structure’s design life, so I’m all for creating beautiful structures; something elegant that you can look at and think it’s attractive.” - Stephen Burke, Deputy General Manager of VSL tures, which have been across the Middle East,” says Darren Ellwood, Managing Director Qatar for RMD Kwikform. “Design in the time I’ve been in the Middle East has been consistent throughout, so physical designs haven’t changed a great deal.” With plenty of practise in the regional civil market helping to build bridges and ramps for highway infrastructure, Ellwood has seen the business get faster and more demanding of the teams doing the hard yards. “Time constraints on contractors are sharp to say the least,” he says. “The penalties for not completing are significant, so any gains or assurances they can get through a product or service is usually welcome. Given the size of Qatar there is a huge concentration of infrastructure work going on at the moment.” While much of the work being done around the Gulf is by its nature primarily functional, there have been plenty of opportunities for form to take centre stage in recent years too. The use of post-tensioning technology and its skilful application has enabled bridge designs to evolve into thin elegant structures that can create notable landmarks. “Post-tensioning, while not a new technology, is one that consultants 24 construction business news me JULY 2015

are using skilfully to give lighter weight structures longer spans and more aesthetically pleasing shapes,” explains Stephen Burke, Deputy General Manager of VSL, a post-tensioning specialist. “Structures have been well designed and executed by very competent local contractors who know the area well and know-how to handle the traffic diversions. [The result is] that interchanges especially and very high-visibility areas are pleasing to look at. Once the area around them is landscaped they’re a bit of a local landmark; almost a work of art in themselves.” VSL has proven the worth of the technology and the aesthetic balance it can bring on projects such as Abu Dhabi’s Hodariyat Bridge. The company suggested an alternative design from the one originally called for in the tender documents, as it spotted an opportunity to create a landmark structure within the specified project budget. Through the use of pre-casting, stay cables and post-tensioning, the company was able to create a dramatic structure that added to the local environment. “One of the advantages we want to give clients is the opportunity to build a landmark,” says Burke.

“The structure is going to be around for 100 years, so let’s try to make something that’s functional and aesthetic. The construction phase is a very small element of the structure’s design life, so I’m all for creating beautiful structures; something elegant that you can look at and think it’s attractive.” Deploying stay cable technology has a long history of creating iconic structures. When combined with advances in concrete technology and techniques using precast segmental construction, they can allow bridges to traverse large areas with long spans, with much of the work done off site in factory-like conditions. Advances have lead to the move to use external post-tensioning, where the tendons are located inside the voids within a bridge deck. This leaves them free for maintenance teams to examine during the bridge’s operational life and also allows for enhancements, should the load capacity of the structure need to be increased at a later date. Selective use of such techniques, in combination with tried and tested technologies, will see cities in the Gulf continue to expand their stock of bridges, while creating the occasional icon too.



Engineered to connect breathtaking landscapes, bridges appear deceptively simple in form but demand the most sophisticated construction techniques. Construction Business News ME picks its favourite 10 bridges to open since 2000


Chaotianmen Bridge, China


Apollo Bridge, Slovakia

The Apollo Bridge in Slovakia’s Bratislava crosses one of the world’s most famous rivers, the Danube; but that is not what makes the bridge a notable achievement. Weighing in at 5,240 tonnes the bridge, which was completed in 2005, deserves credit for its construction technique. The six-span steel structure, which is some 518 metres long and has a steel arch main span of 231 metres, was built on the river bank. Designed by Slovakia-head quartered Dopravoprojekt, with Aecom and Czech company Pontex as consultants, the tied-arch bridge with inclined hangers was completed on shore and then slowly swung into place across the river. The road bridge project also included built-in cycle lanes and required the reconstruction of just over a kilometre of the street adjoining the bridge from the left bank.

Six of the 10 biggest steel arch bridges in the world are in China and all have been completed since 2003 as the country has developed a taste for these simple, clean structures. The record for the longest span goes to the Chaotianmen Bridge, which pips its nearest rival the Lupu Bridge by just two metres at 552 metres in length. Although some might say the Chaotianmen Bridge lacks the aesthetic appeal of the Lupu Bridge, its sparse structure makes for a revealing design. The total length of the bridge, including viaducts is 1.7 kilometres and it has two levels for traffic. The upper deck is 36.5 metres across and contains two sets of three traffic lanes and a 1.5 metre pedestrian lane on either side. The width of the lower deck is 29 metres and includes room for light railway traffic.

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take ten The River Tyne in the English city of Newcastle has a long history of ship building and seafaring associated with it and the bridges that cross it have always had to accommodate that industry. When the Gateshead Council wanted to add a pedestrian and cycle bridge to the city’s collection of crossings a crucial aspect of the design would be the ability to let ships pass. A competition to find the perfect solution was won by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Gifford & Partners, with a design that tilts. Formed by a pair of steel arches, one provides a deck for cyclists and pedestrians, the other from an arch over the river. Opened to the public in September 2001 the bridge’s pedestrian and cycle deck is an almosthorizontal curve, held above the river by a series of suspension cables. When it is time to let a ship pass, the bridge tilts as a single, rigid structure, each arch counterbalancing the other.


Gateshead Millennium Bridge, UK


Helix Bridge, Singapore

Sometimes the design of a bridge has to let the destination do the talking. When creating a new pedestrian jetty, which gives access to the thousands of tourists who visit Mont Saint-Michel in France each year, Dietmar Feichtinger Architects had to take a delicate approach. The resulting design connects the island to the mainland over a 756 metre jetty that blends into the landscape by virtue of it slender profile. A total of 134 pillars just 24.4 centimetres in diameter hold the jetty above the water and are set only 12 metres apart. This approach optimises water flow beneath the structure, tackling the sediment build up the area had suffered in the past. Materials were kept low-key and where possible the combinations of concrete, steel and timber were applied untreated. Even lighting was kept sparse, leaving the medieval structures on the island to be the main feature of the area.

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Opened in April 2010 the Helix bridge is a pedestrian crossing that traverses the Singapore River in the citystate’s Marina Bay area. The project was the product of an international collaboration between Australia’s Cox Rayner Architects, Arup and Singaporean firm Architects 61. The design is based on human DNA, a factor represented by the mesh of slim steel work that forms the structure and support of the design. A canopy is included in the structure and is formed from segmented panels of glass and perforated steel. The result is a 280 metre bridge made up of three 65 metre spans and two 45 metre end spans. If all the steel used was laid end to end it would measure some 2.25 kilometres. As with other feature bridges, LED lighting plays a key part in accentuating the curves and structure of the design.

New bridge of Mont-SaintMichel, France


The elegant form and flat deck of the Lupu Bridge in China’s Shanghai belies its considerable size. As the second-longest steel arch bridge in the world it has a total length of 3900 metres, including spans and crosses the Huangpu River. Opened in 2003, the bridge was a centrepiece of Shanghai’s hosting of Expo 2010. Designed by the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute the bridge’s inclusion of an observation deck atop its spans has made it a tourist attraction in its own right. More than 35,000 tonnes of steel went into building the bridge, which was erected using a cantilever method and temporary cable stays. Its longest span is 550 metres, while it rises to 100 metres in height.



Lupu Bridge, China

Meydan Bridge, UAE

The staggering Millau Viaduct makes much of its impact through scale and the contrast of its pastoral setting. The cablestayed bridge crosses the valley of the river Tarn in France, claiming the record as the world’s tallest bridge as it does so. Designed by high-profile British architecture firm Foster & Partners, in conjunction with a well-known specialist bridge engineer Michel Virgloux, the design and construction of the spectacular structure claimed a host of other records too. As the tallest structure in France its tallest pier is 245 metres, with the others ranging in height down to 75 metres. Each of its sections spans 342 metres, while the masts above the bridge deck climb a further 87 metres. Completed in 2004 the design includes a split in the columns below the level of the roadway to accommodate the expansion and contraction of the concrete deck.

The Meydan Bridge is a VIP centrepiece in the overall design of the Meydan racecourse and hotel facilities. Made most notable by its use of LED lighting to highlight its wave-like form, the bridge’s good looks managed to secure it a role in a Mission Impossible movie partly filmed in Dubai. With its role as an entrance for VIPs, the bridge has to deliver a sense of arrival and its lighting is a key component in this function. The bridge was built as part of a wider RTA project providing access to Meydan that included a total of 2025 metres of bridging.

Millau Viaduct, France


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take ten The Russky Bridge makes a statement with its size, its design and with its timing. Opened to support the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation Conference that took place in 2012, the bridge connects the Russian city of Vladivostok with Russky Island. As the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge, with an 1104 metre long central span, the massive bridge has a slight and elegant form. With massive pylons rising to 324 metres in height its look is reminiscent of the Millau Viaduct, but its design also had to cope with severe temperature variances and the high winds of winter storms. As such the central span structure has an aerodynamic cross section that underwent significant wind tunnel testing. Including viaducts the bridges total length is some 3100 metres, with a total of four lanes available for traffic. The bridge was built by USK MOST, with design done by NPO Mostovik.

Russky Bridge, Russia



Sheikh Zayed Bridge, UAE

The journey into the capital city of the UAE has changed a lot over the last decade, with the most striking addition marking the start of the city proper being the Sheikh Zayed Bridge. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects the bridge is the third crossing linking the island of Abu Dhabi to the mainland and does so via an 842 metre deck. The twoway four lane highway bridge is 64 metres tall at its highest point and 61 metres across at its widest. The bridge’s cantilevered road decks are suspended from a spine of asymmetrical steel arches and it’s these arches that give the structure its defining form. Described by its designers as a ‘sinusoidal waveform’ it is visible above and below the road level and is said to mimic the shape of sand dunes. Opened in November 2010 the bridge is also notable for its use of a dynamic lighting design, which makes it a dramatic night time feature of the cityscape.

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Countdown of the construction and real estate industry’s top 60 A-listers This month, Construction Business News ME brings you the inaugural edition of Power Hour, an annual feature that recognises the top players in the industry. Our feature looks at the 60 companies that have impacted economic development in the region. We showcase each companies’ profiles and projects, looking at its story, leaders and influence. We ranked each company based on overall performance, project delivery, and

market reputation. The Power Hour feature to give you, our readers, the opportunity to gain insights into the top companies in the Middle East. We have covered all fields of the construction and real estate industry from contractors to facilities management, similar to our magazine model. We aim for this to be a useful reference for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals in the market.

construction business news me JULY 2015 29



Saudi Binladin Group Bakr Bin Laden, Chairman Leader:

PROJECTS: »» King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia »» Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia »» Police Headquarters in Sharjah, UAE »» American University of Sharjah, UAE »» Cairo International Airport, Egypt The company was originally formed by Bakr Binladin’s father, Mohammed Binladin, as a general contracting company in 1931. The company gradually expanded over the years across Saudi Arabia and added a number of operating divisions to its portfolio. To push the company to go global, Saudi Binladin Group was established to incorporate various divisions into a corporation. Diversified into construction activities in UAE during 1971 and Saudi Arabia in 1981, the company has played a key role in the region’s development especially in terms of

major civil development projects. The most active division, Public Buildings and Airports Division (PBAD), is highly competitive and has undertaken Bakr Bin various Laden, Chairman of airports, Saudi projects in building roads, bridges, Binladon Group hospitals, universities, large housing projects, residential and commercial buildings, and high-rise towers among others. The division is well known for its speed in mobilising and executing projects. The yearly turnout of the division is around $US800 million and has ISO9001:2008 certification and maintains efficient quality programmes. SBG also led the way in Forbes’ recent Top Private Companies Making an Impact list which included a number of companies from the Middle East especially Saudi Arabia. SBL’s current manpower strength is over 55,000 which includes engineers, architects, technical

and administrative staff, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. The group is often ranked as one of the top construction companies in the region and is surely part of the A-list player. The group is currently working on the $21 billion expansion project at the prestigious Grand Mosque in Makkah.

SAKSheikh Holding Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman Leader:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Al Shamal Hotel in Doha, Qatar White Square Tower in Doha, Qatar Ezdan Mall in Doha, Qatar Burj Al Khayarin in Doha, Qatar Al Wakra Mall in Doha, Qatar

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SAK Holding is on its way to becoming one of the leading companies in Qatar, with major investments in building and expansion to keep up with the Qatar National Vision and Development Strategy. The company has focussed on capitalising on market variables, the progression within the country, the growing demands, and contributing to Qatari society. SAK Holding includes the SAK Real Estate, SAK Trading and Contracting, SAK Partnerships, and SAK Security Services. SAK Partnerships Company, on the other hand, serves real estate investors, and was established under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of SAK Holding, as part of his vision. The company serves all types of real estate investors, and develops the best investment opportunities, that will achieve the highest revenues; to benefit the real estate sector and the economy. SAK Trading and Contracting Company is the Group’s executive arm and most

successful company. The sole proprietorship company (SPC) of QAR100,000,000 is owned by H.E. Sheikh Al Thani. The trading and contracting company includes practices such as general construction of buildings, contracting, electrical work, general maintenance, and trading in electrical tools, furnishing, household furniture, carpet trading and construction equipment, H.E. Sheikh Al Thani is a leading Qatari businessman with diverse business interests and unparalleled contributions in the banking, real estate, insurance, healthcare, media and sports sectors in the region. In October 2012, H.E. Sheikh Thani was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the development of the real estate sector and the economy of the State of Qatar over the years, at Ernst & Young’s “Growing Beyond Summit 2012.”

China State Construction Engineering Corporation

Emaar Properties Mohamed Alabbar,


Chairman PROJECTS:

»» Downtown Dubai, UAE »» Arabian Ranches in Dubai, UAE »» Dubai Marina, UAE Dubai’s pioneer of master-planned communities, Emaar Properties, is one of the most renowned real estate developers in the region. The group’s reputation has grown through the successful delivery of innumerable properties including shopping malls, retail, and hospitality and leisure outlets. The group was established in 1997 as a Public Joint Stock Company listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Today, Emaar extends its expertise internationally with its presence in several key markets. Its worldclass projects have raised the bar especially when talking about its assets in Dubai. Emaar also places emphasis on managing environmental risks and impacts arising in business activities. Its environmental policy adheres to strict operating guidelines to ensure minimal impact on the ecosystem. The group also seeks to educate and spread awareness among employees, contractors, suppliers and communities. Earlier this year, Emaar also won the Best Developer of the Year at the RLI Global Awards 2015. Chairman and Founder, Mohamed Alabbar, is known to be a global entrepreneur with interests across retail, luxury, hospitality, mining and commodities. Apart from Emaar, he keeps his hands full working with numerous national and international organisations. He is also the founder and chairman of Africa Middle East Resources (AMER), a board member of Eagle Hills, on the board of Noor Investment Group, a member of the Dubai World Expo 2020 Preparatory Committee, and the founding director general of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED).

(Middle East)

Leader: Yu Tao, President and CEO PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Palm Jumeirah Garden Home Villas in Dubai, UAE City of Lights in Abu Dhabi, UAE Wafi City Interchange Bridge in Dubai, UAE Central Bank of Kuwait Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, UAE

Founded in 1957 as a state company in Beijing, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCHQ), is China’s premier construction company with an established presence across the globe. The company is among the top 500 famous brands in the world and has achieved A certificates issued by the Chinese Ministry of Construction in fields of roads, infrastructure and housing construction. China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East (CSCME), instituted by CSCHQ, is an established contractor that provides multi-disciplinary engineering and construction services in the UAE. Its

services include building, infrastructure and MEP works. CSCME entered Dubai in 2003, after being awarded the Palm Jumeirah Garden Home Villas project. Now the company has ventured into neighbouring emirates and has been awarded a total of 35 projects within the country. The projects value that had been awarded since the company’s first assignment exceeded AED12 billion in a time frame of less than nine years. While the contract value of the on-going projects is more than AED6 billion. President and CEO, Yu Tao, has been awarded the Top 100 Executive Management in MENA by Forbes Middle East last year. Yu Tao expressed that as an integrated part of and one of CSCHQ’s major overseas operational entities, CSCME has comprehensive capabilities of undertaking a number of landmark projects including high-end hotels and resorts, airports, bridges, and more.

Sumou Real Estate Company LEADER: Dr Ayedh Bin Farhan Bin Al

Mubarak Al Qahtani, Founder and Chairman PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Murooj Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Sumou Avenue in Dammam, Saudi Arabia Business Oasis in Dammam, Saudi Arabia Indus-Comm in Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Founded in 2008, Sumou Real Estate Company has become one of the most distinguished and successful real estate development company in the Saudi Arabia market. Through its unique vision, Sumou aims at developing the best construction projects that serve the society and the

country. The establishment is inspired by its Founder, Dr Ayedh Bin Farhan Al Qahtani, who has significantly made his mark in the local market. With deep insight into the market, a great reputation and lessons from past experiences, Dr Al Qahtani has led his company to success. Sumou focuses on quality for all as its main objectives and seeks to establish a solid foundation in the market. It has managed to offer many successful and creative projects in short period of time such as Al Jodi, Rofan and the Makkah Gate project. construction business news me JULY 2015 31


DarYousef Al-Arkan A. AlLEADER:

Consolidated Contractors Company Samer Said Khoury,


President for Engineering and Construction PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

New Doha International Airport, Qatar Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE Muscat International Airport, Oman King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia »» Nile Corniche Towers in Cairo, Egypt In 1952, Kamel Abdul-Rahman, Hasib Sabbagh and Said Khoury came together to create one of the first Arab construction companies. Decades later, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) still follow the same principle of mutual trust with clients, ease of communication, and smooth collaboration across locations and departments. Today, it leads the industry in the adoption of new technology to improve construction efficiency and enhance project controls. CCC has more than 120,000 individuals employed worldwide. According to the Engineering New Record listing, CCC ranks 18th amongst the largest international contractors. The group’s revenue last year was in excess of US$5 billion. The construction activities of CCC cover fields including heavy civil construction, infrastructure projects, housing and high quality buildings, pipelines, marine works, and green designs. Samer Said Khoury, current President of Engineering and Construction at CCC, worked his way up the ranks of his father’s company. He started with handling the total operations of CCC in Kuwait from 1987 to 1990. The branch had an average turnover of $50 million per year and over 1,000 permanent staff. Before taking over his current role in 2011, Khoury has worked in various departments gaining a wide range of experience in the engineering and construction field.

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Shelash, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dar Al-Arkan

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Al Qasr Mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Al Manar Residential project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Shams Al-Arous project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Al Tilal project in Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia Qasr Khozam in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh-based Dar Al-Arkan is a real estate development company that specialises in residential properties. The company concentrates on the master-planned lifestyle residential communities offering developed land parcels, apartments and villas. Dar Al-Arkan was established in 1994 by six prominent business families with previous real estate development experience. The main reason behind the establishment at the time was the increasing demand for quality housing from the rapidly growing population in Saudi Arabia. The shortfall in the supply of housing units enabled Dar

Al-Arkan to grow rapidly in the market especially among middle-income segments. With the constant and steady population growth in Saudi Arabia, Dar Al-Arkan management expects the rate of new household formation to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Chairman Yousef A. Al-Shelash is also the Chairman of Bank Al Khair in Bahrain and the Chairman of Saudi Home Loan Co. in Saudi Arabia. Al-Shelash draws from his formal training in financial management and evaluation of investment projects and also has earned diplomas in both Banking and Combating Financial Crimes. The company believes that it is well placed to implement its business plan due to an experienced management team, successful track record in land/site procurement in strategic locations within the Kingdom.

TAVDrConstruction Engineer Mustafa Sani sener, Group President & CEO LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »» »» »»

Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey Hamad Airport in Doha, Qatar Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal, UAE Damac Tower by Paramount in Dubai, UAE Emirates Financial Tower in Dubai, UAE Muscat Airport Infrastructure Works, Oman Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah, KSA King Khaled Airport Terminal 5 in Riyadh, KSA

Established in 2003, TAV Construction had an aim to become a leading brand in airport construction. A decade later, its vision was successful when it received the ranking as the World’s Largest Airport Contractor Engineering News Record’s report. The company has undertaken projects worth US$16.2 billion in contract value. TAV Construction focuses on building airports and related facilities as their main area of expertise. Its portfolio includes innovative and ultramodern airports which are functional and aesthetically attractive. They have also drawn from

their technical knowledge in aviation and applied it to non-aviation projects, expanding their portfolio to futuristic tower projects as well. Its services include design, construction, project financing, procurement, and project management. The company is a member of the TAV Group Company that was founded by two leading Turkish construction companies, Tepe Construction and Akfen Construction, in 1997. The main reason the two companies decided to collaborate was because of the acquisition of the build-operate-transfer tender of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Group President and CEO, Dr Engineer Mustafa Sani Sener, has led the company since 1997, drawing from his past experience managing many national and international projects. He is also currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Airports Council International (ACI) World and was elected as the President of Foreign Economic Relations Board’s Turkish-French Business Council in 2012.

1 Meraas Holding H.E. Abdullah Ahmed Mohammed Al

Jumeirah Bay Island in Dubai, UAE


Habbai, Group Chairman

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

City Walk in Dubai, UAE Jumeira Bay Island in Dubai, UAE Ras Al Khor in Dubai, UAE Pearl Jumeira in Dubai, UAE Bulgari Resort and Residences

Meraas was purposefully established to contribute to the national economy of UAE. The group has created a huge portfolio of investments in numerous sectors to generate long-term wealth enhancement and social development of Dubai. To capitalise on opportunities, Meraas has introduced several initiatives in sectors including tourism, leisure, real estate, development and asset management.

Falling under the group is Meraas Development, a Dubai-based real estate developBakr Bin Laden, of Saudi ment company that focuses Chairman on sustainable Binladon Group urban planning by utilising innovative architecture and design. Meraas Development is committed to building projects of the highest quality, and are known to be delivered on time. The company seeks to create exceptional buildings and communities in the UAE. From infrastructure and transportation management to the distribution of office and residential buildings, hospitals, clinics and schools, it has addressed every aspect of the urban landscape. Meraas Estates is the asset management arm of Meraas Holding, formed to manage assets held both by Meraas, and by partner companies. With an experienced and highly

committed team, Meraas Estates is committed to become a leading property management company in the UAE. The company is dedicated to ensuring tenant satisfaction and retention, whilst constantly providing the highest quality of services. Meraas Holding’s Chairman, H.E. Abdullah Ahmed Mohammed Al Habbai, also holds the post of CEO of the Engineer’s Office since 2005. With a background in engineering, he has more than 20 years’ experience in the property and real estate sector, including 16 years of service at Dubai Municipality focussing on urban planning. He is a leading figure in Dubai serving on the board of several entities including Noor Islamic Bank, Industrial & Investments Land Committee, and Deira Investment Board Committee.

Drake & Scull International : Khaldoun Rashid Tabari, CEO and Vice Chairman LEADER

PROJECTS: »» Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, UAE »» King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia »» Dohaland, Qatar »» Cayan Tower in Dubai, UAE »» Drake and Scull International (DSI) spreads across six sectors to deliver top-notch projects and solutions. The six sectors include: general contracting, engineering, rail, oil and gas, infrastructure development, water and wastewater treatment. Through these operations DSI provides integrated design, smooth functionality and efficiency from start to finish. Active for over 130 years, the group aims to constantly push the boundaries of innovation with its solid record and diverse range of services and solutions. The group delivers exceptional value across all business streamlines and is recognised as one of the best end-to-end integrated engineering solutions providers in the global market. DSI oversees a notable series of projects across

varied sectors in numerous locations around the world. The team places great emphasis on sustainability with a strong will to endure a legacy of excellence. It aims to not only act responsibly but also run a practice that is transparent. The company recognises its people, passion and innovation to be its three pillars driving them towards new opportunities. Among DSI’s construction companies are Drake and Scull Engineering (DSE) and Drake and Scull Contracting (DSC), both of which have established a notable presence here in the Middle East. DSE, an industry expert with mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and water and Power, has experience that dates back to 1881 in the UK. Today DSE and its subsidiaries oversee a wide variation of projects across the GCC, Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Europe. Whereas, DSC was established in 2006 and has grown to be part of the region’s most monumental

and iconic landmarks. DSC also has solid LEED project experience along with a highly innovative approach, state-of-the-art equipment, skilled workforce and a commitment to quality.

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POWER 60 Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar

HillMohammed International Al Rais, Regional President LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE Jabal Omar Development in Makkah, Saudi Arabia Bahrain International Airport Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Complex, UAE Muscat International Airport, Oman

Hill International’s current portfolio includes several prestigious undertakings including the Midfield Terminal Complex at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE, the expansion and modernisation of the Salalah and Muscat airports in Oman, the 57-acre Jabal Omar development in Saudi Arabia, and the Doha Metro Green Line in Qatar. In addition, Hill International is also enjoying renewals and repeat projects from many of its existing

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customers – for instance, in February this year, the company announced that it had received three new project management and site supervision contracts from the Civil Projects Division of one of its long-term clients, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which were estimated to be worth a total of US$25 million. With more than 35 years of experience in the management of construction projects around the world, Mohammed Al Rais, Regional President of Hill International, is extremely well placed in his role as regional president for the Middle East for the New York Stock Exchange-listed construction consultancy, Hill International. Al Rais said that the Middle East is the biggest region for Hill International, both numbers-wise and revenue-wise. “We are doing something in the region of, I think, 62 projects today, with value worth about $82 billion of construction costs.”

Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE

AECOM David Barwell, CEO for LEADER:

the Middle East

PROJECTS: »» Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, UAE »» Al Rayyan Stadium, Qatar »» King Abdullah Port, Saudi Arabia AECOM is a fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for global public and privatesector clients. The company has nearly 100,000 employees which include architecture, engineering, design, planning, management, and construction professionals. AECOM is ranked as the first engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News Record’s annual industry rankings. The company’s Middle East division has been around for 60 years and has over 4,000 employees. It covers a broad industry in the region including buildings, transportation, infrastructure, water and urban development. AECOM professionals in this region are said to be the only consultant capable of delivering a fully integrated offer – from feasibility study, design, programme management, construction management, through to operation and maintenance. These offers exist across all market sectors of oil and gas, energy, retail, leisure, sports, healthcare, education, hospitality, water, rail, highways, ports, aviation and defence. AECOM focuses on the importance of safe, efficient and sustainable ways to move people across nations through its projects in road, airports, ports, metros and railways. Whether introducing freight rail to the UAE with Etihad Rail, programme managing Qatar’s Hamad Port, or providing construction management of Abu Dhabi’s new airport, AECOM is entrenched in the region’s infrastructure. On the buildings side, AECOM has seen significant advancements in healthcare, education, residential and hospitality developments. For example, Al Raha Beach Development, for which AECOM provided infrastructure design, introduced the first luxury waterfront mixed-use development to Abu Dhabi. With the GCC witnessing an increasing focus on environmental standards, the company has also made sure to contribute and add to these standards. For example, in Qatar AECOM was the architect for the experimental Passivhaus project, Qatar’s first low-energy villa that is advancing sustainable building research for the region.

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Palm Jumeirah, Dubai


Leader: Ali Rashid Al Lootah, Chairman PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE The World in Dubai, UAE International City in Dubai, UAE Jumeirah Islands in Dubai, UAE Veneto in Dubai, UAE

One of the world’s largest developers, Nakheel has been an influential part of Dubai’s evolution in the 21st century. It boasts of renowned projects that span a range of sectors – residential, commercial, retail and leisure. With tremendous developments and expansions coming up soon, the group has been on an upward trajectory this year. In April this year 2015, it announced its financial results for Q1 with a net profit of AED1.35 billion – more than double that of last year’s net profit.

Aldar Properties Mohamed Al Mubarak, CEO LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Shams Abu Dhabi, UAE World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi, UAE Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE Lulu Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties is one of the largest developers in the Middle East and North Africa region, with over US$12 billion of assets. With a land bank of over 77 million square metres, Aldar Properties is focussed on serving the growing demand in the UAE for high-quality and professionally managed property. The net profit of AED620 million for this year’s first quarter was released earlier this year stating a 36% increase since 2014. CEO, Mohammed Al Mubarak said: “We have seen a strong first quarter driven by the growth in recurring revenues from our investment property portfolio.”

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Commenting on the results, Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “There is a 115% increase in our net profit for the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. We expect to build upon these impressive first quarter results throughout 2015, and will continue to remain focussed in contributing to the real estate sector in Dubai in a positive and effective manner in line with the Government’s 2021 vision.” Nakheel has also launched a number of projects in the retail, hospitality and residential leasing sectors, including a vast new community at Deira Islands and huge extensions to Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall, announced earlier in June. When operational, these projects will generate cash revenue for Nakheel and further strengthen the company’s overall financial position. Nakheel is aiming for AED7.5 billion per year in recurrent income in the subsequent years.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi

Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE

Egyptian Steel Ahmed Abou Hashima, Leader:

Chairman and CEO

The Egyptian Steel Group has successfully penetrated the steel industry in Egypt since its establishment in 2010. Under the holding company are three well-established companies, Industrial Investment Company (IIC) for Steel Plants Management, National Port Said Steel (NPSS) and Egyptian Steel for Building Materials Trading. Steelmaking alone is considered to be an essential sector to add to an economy, which is why Egyptian Steel believes that it plays an integral role in the success of Egypt’s economy. The group focuses on meeting international and domestic demand for steel while enabling export policies that increases productivity continuously. The group is dedicated to enhancing its presence in the market through regular upgrading and development. Group CEO and Chairman, Ahmed Abou Hashima, is often recognised as a rising star in Egypt. The 40-year old entrepreneur has received accolades for his dynamic leadership skills. Some of his achievements include being awarded the Young Arab Entrepreneur by Murex D’or Institution, winning the Rising Star Award at the Platts Global Metals Awards in 2015 and the Responsible Leadership Award from Entrepreneur magazine, our sister publication at BNC Publishing. The CEO was also awarded the recognition trophy for being one of the distinguished CEOs in Africa from the CEO Africa Forum, honoured by President of Al Fayoum University, Dr Khaled Hamza. After which the university organised a visit for Hashima to inspect and discuss new ways of cooperation between the university and businessmen in various sectors. Students of Al Fayoum University engaged with the CEO for insights into his success story and the importance of entrepreneurship in society. He pointed out that waiting for government employment should not be their main goal instead, and they should rise up and dig for opportunities in a country that is full of great ones.


Shapoorji Pallonji Shapoor Mistry, Chairman LEADER:


PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) in Muscat Amity International School in Abu Dhabi, UAE Green Community extension Phase III in Dubai Investments Park, UAE Landmark HQ building in Dubai Marina Hilton Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Al Reziza Tower in Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Shapoorji Pallonji has been around for 150 years, and in its long history it has not only made its mark in its native country, India, but also internationally. The name now is synonymous with trust and quality, and has a rich legacy that it stands by.

Arabtec Construction Leader: Raja Hanmi Ghanma, CEO

Today, the group has over 23,000 employees and a turnover of US$2.5 billions. Its interests cover construction (including residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructure), real estate, infrastructure (comprising coal mining, power, ports and roads), biofuels and agriculture, consumer products, electromechanical and MEP services, facades and interiors, engineering, textiles, business automation and shipping and logistics. Shapoorji Pallonji International was formed in April 2008 in Dubai to monitor and control all the international operations of its parent company. Since its inception, it has opened offices in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and plans to expand further in African continent.

Al Futtaim Carillion Leader: Derek Lewis, Managing Director

PROJECTS:Raja Hanmi Ghanma – CEO Leader:


Arabtec Construction has been in the industry since 1975 when the company was established to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the UAE’s emerging market. Today the company has a vast array of major projects, with a reputation as one of the most respected players in the region. Its portfolio spans across sectors including high-rise developments, hotels, residential, commercial developments and industrial projects, airport developments, stadiums, villa communities, mixed developments, entertainment and offshore oil and gas installations. Industry recognition has also validated our success, with many accolades bestowed on the company including the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MRM) Business Award for Construction in 2008. Arabtec continues to play a major role in redefining the skyline of Dubai. In conjunction with Samsung and Six Construct, it was involved in the construction of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Al Futtaim Carillion commenced back in the mid-1950s under the name George Wimpey & Co., the group has changed names several times and has worked across the UAE and Middle East establishing a strong network for itself. Initially the company undertook civil and infrastructure projects, creating landmarks that have lasted decades in this young country. The leading contractor now is a joint venture between UK-based contractor Carillion and the UAE-based Al Futtaim Group. Today the company continues to apply its substantial experience, knowledge and capabilities on major projects, so continuing to help create the new vision of UAE.

»» »» »» »» »»

Al Shamal Hotel in Doha, Qatar White Square Tower in Doha, Qatar Ezdan Mall in Doha, Qatar Burj Al Khayarin in Doha, Qatar Al Wakra Mall in Doha, Qatar

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»» »» »» »» »»

Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital in Dubai, UAE New York University in Abu Dhabi, UAE Dubai Festival City, UAE Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar


Leader: Wael Allan, Middle East CEO

The globally renowned natural and built asset design and consultancy firm, Arcadis, works in partnership with clients to deliver sustainable outcomes through the application of design, consultancy, engineering, projects and management services. The firm employs over 28,000 people that generate more than EUR3 billion in revenues. It also supports UNHabitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. In June this year, Arcadis announced that it has been appointed to provide architectural, branding, design and construction

consultancy services for the Gold Line metro line in the city of Doha in Qatar. The appointment follows an earlier involvement on comparable activities on the Red Line South metro line, also in Doha. For the Gold Line project Arcadis will work on behalf of the contractor, ALYSJ JV, a joint venture of several international and local construction and engineering firms. The value of the project to Arcadis is almost EUR20 million. The ultimate client for the project is the Qatar Rail Company. Earlier this year, Arcadis also announced its new Middle East regional

leadership following the acquisition of Hyder Consulting in October 2014. Wael Allan took the role of CEO for the Middle East region, previous working as Hyder Consulting's group operating officer and chairman for the Middle East. Wael Allan, CEO of Arcadis Middle East said: “The strength of ARCADIS and Hyder capabilities enables the combined business to deliver evolving client demands and allows ARCADIS to provide its full range of design and consultancy services to clients in the Middle East. I am looking forward to leading the combined business to future success.”


PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

NBK Headquarters in Kuwait City Al Salam Palace in Kuwait City Oman Convention and Exhibition Center in Muscat Marina Waterfront in Kuwait City

Founded in Kuwait in 1961, SSH has expanded to become one of the region’s largest architecture and engineering firms. It specialises in the delivery of construction projects in the MENA region, with 50 years’ expertise in architecture, engineering, infrastructure and construction. SSH employs over 800 people with offices in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Iraq, Bahrain, Algeria and South Africa. SSH has been ranked within the top 100 global consultancies by World Architecture Magazine and in the top five in the MENA region for 2014. The company places a strong emphasis on design integrity and combine it with their working knowledge of the region. SSH also recruits people of high caliber who bring expertise and innovation to every project. Collaboration is at the heart of every SSH project, nurturing and maintaining strong partnerships with clients, government ministries and their established network

of subcontractors. The company applies its design expertise to protect the project’s design integrity and to seamlessly apply extensive local knowledge into the project delivery. CEO Bob Hope joined the company in 2012. Drawing from his experience as a major contractor as well as a leader of a consultancy operation, he offers a clear insight into all aspects of design and delivery chain. In the 2015 World Architecture 100 survey, SSH ranked third in the Top Ten Architecture Practices in the Middle East and, globally, it topped the charts at number one for Culture and number eight for Heritage Architecture, followed by third spot in Infrastructure and Construction Management. The survey, conducted by BD Online, collects data such as the number of architects employed, signature projects, fee income and plans for 2015.

construction business news me JULY 2015 39



Goldline Group Navjit Singh Anand, Chairman LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Prime Hospital in Dubai, UAE Citymax Hotel Mankhool Dubai, UAE Citymax Hotel Barsha in Dubai, UAE Springdales School in Dubai, UAE

Established in 1991, Goldline Group was established in a small yard in Sharjah to buy and sell metal scrap. Today however, it is a US$500 million group and has over 3000 employees of over 23 nationalities. The company specialises in metal

scrap supply chain management and has a presence in 14 different nations across Africa, Asia, UK, North Amercia, Russia and Ukraine. It has maintained a steady annual growth rate of 16% with a team of highly experienced professionals ensures the quality of metal scrap as per clients’ requirements. The company sources its requirements from diverse locations, adhering to the international standards of quality. It also has its own warehouses and yards in every location it operates from. Also, Goldline has partnered with the top shipping lines and logistics leaders in moving cargo to clients. Goldline Building Demolition LLC established in 1999, is one of the major demolition company in UAE. It has been responsible in executing numerous landmark projects in the country valued over AED 100 million. The construction division has executed building technically complex and high valued projects across various segments. The portfolio extends from construction of high rise buildings and hotels to clusters of villas, commercial and residential developments.

UrbaCon Trading & Construction Moutaz Al Khayyat, Executive Director of UCC LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »» »»

The Island project in Doha, Qatar Anantara Doha Island Resort in Doha, Qatar Lekhwiya Sports Club in Doha, Qatar Souq Wakif Theme Park in Doha, Qatar Lusail Office Tower in Doha, Qatar Mall of Qatar in Doha

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Qatar-based UrbaCon Trading & Contracting (UCC) offers turn-key design, build, finance and operative services. Through fast-track methods, most of its projects are executed in short durations by coordinating parallel activities for design, procurement and construction process. This method results in short time periods at less cost compared to conventional development programmes. The company has been involved in several projects over the last few years and has become one of the most respected building contractors in Qatar. The company has been ranked the fourth best contractor in the Arab world and 184 globally in the list compiled by Engineering News Record. One of UCC’s key to success is its investment in human capital. With respect to skilled labour, Urbacon maintains investment through training and development, and it has a special division for labour training and development at different

levels, ranging from ordinary labour to project managers. According to the Executive Director Moutaz Al Khayyat, the availability of skilled resources is the key challenge in the GCC construction and infrastructure market. He said in a report: “We find that specialist subcontractors are becoming very busy and as a consequence unreliable, hence our strategy is to expand our own heritage and develop in depth resources in all fields.” He said that the contracting market needs trained labour to implement the urgent projects planned to be achieved on time. “Effective value engineering,” he said, “depends upon the technical expertise and training of employees. “At UCC, we have the resources to provide the experience and the staff required, allowing us to make informed decisions that will make best use of the client's programme requirements and budget constraints.”

Sobha Group PNC Menon, CEO Leader:

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Time Group Production Facility in Dubai, UAE Yacht Club in Dubai Marina, UAE IT Plaza in Dubai Silicon Oasis, UAE Manipal University in Dubai, UAE Sobha Hartland in Dubai, UAE Meydan Sobha in Dubai, UAE

Sobha Group was established in 1976 by PNC Menon as an interior decoration firm under the name of Services and Trade Company in Muscat. Today, it is one of the most respected multinational groups with developments and investments across the GCC, India and Brunei. The group includes real estate development, contracting, metal works, building services, manufacturing of construction materials, and architectural and engineering design, and consultancy. PNC Menon, the Founder and Chairman of Sobha Group, is known for his commitment

to excellence and passion for quality. As he dedicated quality work to customers, he soon rose up the ranks as one of the leading market players in the construction industry. He has been ranked fourth in the Top 100 Indians in the UAE by Forbes Middle East, while the group has received the Top Indian Real Estate Company by Dun & Bradstreet. Sobha LLC - Dubai, was formed three years ago to carry and support Sobha's real estate future developments across the GCC and the Middle East. Currently the company is working on significant mixed use developments in Dubai. Sobha Engineering and Contracting is the construction and contracting division of Sobha Group in the UAE and has completed over 100 projects including residential and commercial high rise buildings, industrial projects and an extensive range of villas for reputed clients.

RP DrGlobal Ravi Pillai, CEO Leader:

PROJECTS: »» RP Heights in Dubai, UAE »» RP One in Dubai, UAE »» RP Global is a recently established real estate development company of RP Group of Companies, a US$4 billion group than extends across the MENA region, Africa, Asia and Australia. RP Global has ambitious plans for Dubai’s real estate market, with heavy investments made in two signature projects in the city. The company is building on the solid reputation of RP Group earned in the last 35 years by delivering over $20 billion worth of projects. RP Global’s approach to real estate is captured with its theme, Live Beyond, which basically stands for offering a lifestyle that is beyond customers’ expectations. The company aims to redefine benchmarks in the Dubai real estate market, similar to the RP Group’s track record of bringing mega industrial projects to life. Dr Ravi Pillai, Chairman and CEO of RP Group of Companies, leads the group with extensive insight about the market.

He has been ranked in the top league in the Forbes International India’s 100 Richest People last year. With a net worth of $2.8 billion, a sharp increase of 65% compared to $1.7 billion in 2013, the CEO has managed a strong growth in his business, particularly in construction, infrastructure development and mining. Dr Pillai says that the RP Group will always continue to focus on its business model of strategic diversification and geographic expansion. He has always dreamed of being an entrepreneur with a strong commitment to the community.

Doka Middle East

LEADER: Peter Vogel, Director PROJECTS: »» Al Shamiya Holy City of Mecca expansion project »» Amman Rotana luxury hotel in Jordan »» Al-Jamarat bridge reconstructon in Saudi Arabia »» Hodariyat Bridge in UAE »» King Abdelaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia »» Wadi Adai in Oman Austria-based Doka Group is one of the leading suppliers of modern system formwork technology, and one of Austria’s biggest exporters. The group has helped construction firms around the world to safely carry out their in-situ concreting operations faster and more efficiently. With the massive development going on in the Middle East, Doka has established a good reputation in the region with impressive references which equip them for an even larger number of challenging projects ahead. Since its establishment in the Middle East, Doka has run over a thousand projects and has major references. In the high-rise sector, Doka remains the market leader in climbing formwork with Burj Khalifa as its leading example. According to Peter Vogel, Director Doka Middle East, the primary factor for continuing success is to keep the continuous and deliberate focus on the customer. He said the challenges upcoming are phenomenal, ranging from an entire GCC rail network to stadiums. “Our methods ensure that via daily contact with the client Doka technicians, formwork instructors, engineers, commercial and supply-chain operations play a vital cooperative role to get the job done economically and with the highest safety.” construction business news me JULY 2015 41


Mulk Holding Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk,

LACASA Emad Jaber, Managing



Chairman & Founder


Multinational conglomerate, Mulk Holding, has diversified business interests primarily spanning four sectors - construction, renewable energy, plastics and healthcare. Its net worth spans around AED2 billion. Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman and Founder of Mulk Holding, manages a group of 20 companies in the Middle East for the past 20 years. After various strategic partnership including one with Saudi Arabia’s Zamil Group, ENPAR Group in Europe, Sri Lanka and India, Al Hamed Group in Abu Dhabi and H.E. Sheikh Majid Al Nuaimi for Healthcare and Interior Fit-outs, Mulk Holding has successfully turned into a diversified industrial power house. With headquarters in Hamriya Freezone Sharjah, its work spreads across Europe, USA, Russia, Africa, Turkey, India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Mulk Holding's flagship brand Alubond UAS Metal Composites has grown into the world's largest metal composite brand with operations in 11 countries and a market reach to 90 countries in the world. Last December the group announced its entrance into global retail segment by investing US$40 million in developing a landmark Duty Free shopping centre in Lagos, Nigeria. The company has signed a contract with retailer Suzanne Group for developing the Duty Free shopping centre at the National Theatre of Nigeria. After signing the contract, the chairman said: “Mulk Holdings is adopting aggressive strategies to expand its core business, while diversifying into other sectors like retail, commodities, healthcare, and energy solutions. Our vision 2020 is an ambitious initiative, which involves serious investment into both our existing businesses and diversification into sustainable industries.”

SKAI Holding

LEADER: Kabir Mulchandani, Group CEO PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Viceroy Dubai Jumeirah Village, UAE Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, UAE SKAI Residency in Dubai, UAE Bahar 4 in Dubai, UAE Villa Heights in Dubai, UAE

Launched in 2011 by entrepreneur Kabir Mulchandani, SKAI Holdings is an integrated and holistic real estate company based in the UAE. It offers a wide range of services across five key sectors including investment, restructuring, development, brokerage and hospitality. The Dubai-based group, will upgraded its upper upscale property in Dubai's Jumeirah Village Circle to a five-star luxury property and rebrand it Viceroy Dubai Jumeirah Village following the signing of Viceroy Hotel Group as its hotel operator last year. This was after the launch of its flagship US$1 billion Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah

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hotel which also won the Hospitality Project of the Year at the seventh annual Middle East Architect Awards 2014. Kabir Mulchandani, Group CEO of SKAI Holdings has developed a reputation of successfully identifying the right market opportunities, consistently entering and existing investments at the right time with an unrivaled understanding of market movements, both long and short term. In just a few short years, SKAI Holdings has established itself as a leading real estate and hospitality player in the UAE with strong regional and international alliances. The firm works with some of the leading financial and hospitality institutions in the world, including China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Abu Dhabi's investment vehicle Mubadala and Viceroy Hotel Group.

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Dubai Wharf, UAE Waldorf Astoria in Doha, Qatar Hilton Garden Inn in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Madain Al Emarat in Dubai, UAE Maram Residence - Dubai Properties

LACASA is a multidisciplinary architectural firm based in Dubai with offices across the region. Founded in 2006 by Emad Jaber & Nabil Al Khaja, the firm currently employs 250 architects, engineers, and other support staff. It offers complete architectural design services including concept, structural, MEP, and interior design, as well as construction supervision. The firm's management believes that the best investment a company can make is in its human capital. Hence it constantly encourages its architects and engineers to learn, experiment, and evolve. What sets the firm apart is its emphasis on talent development. While it is said that nothing is perfect, LACASA’s management believes that perfection in design can be achieved by cultivating extraordinary talent. The firm strives to recruit the most talented architects and engineers, as well as contribute to the education of regional students. It has done so by bridging the gap between academia and the professional world through internships and a regional design competition aiming to provide students with the practical hands-on experience as well as a job placement.

Dubai Properties

Dubai Wharf, one of DP’s latest and upcoming projects

Leader: Abdulla Al Shamsi,


PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Vision Tower in Dubai, UAE Mudon in Dubai, UAE Dubai Wharf, UAE Arabella in Dubai, UAE Manazel Al Khor in Dubai, UAE Remraam in Dubai, UAE

The Dubai-based real estate developer oversees varied development portfolio of residential, commercial, retail and hospitality projects across Dubai. Dubai Properties Group (DPG) is a member of Dubai Holding and master developer of world class destinations that support the long-term development of Dubai including Business Bay, Dubailand, The Walk at JBR and Culture Village. DPG invests in its communities and aspires to become the best partner in pro-

Bakr Bin Laden, Chairman of Saudi Binladon Group viding a reliable service through the creation of quality, value for money lifestyles, and by creating a world class organisation. It recently revealed ‘The Prime Collection’, a selection of finest units within its impressive project portfolio across Dubai. The event recorded an overwhelming response from investors and buyers in popular developments like Rahat Villas and Arabella Townhouses in Mudon, and Dubai Wharf in the heart of the Dubai creek. The collection is a unique and exclusive assortment of residential units released for customers who

desire premium views, choice location and timeless elegance for their homes. Also the recently launched residential tower at Dubai Wharf, a multi-million dirham mixed-use project in the heart of Dubai Creek, followed the tremendous investor interest. The prime waterfront property offers an excellent value proposition in terms of both a contemporary architectural design and an exclusive address. The completion of major infrastructure works around the master development was also a decisive factor in driving investments.


LEADER: Rizwan Sajan, Chairman PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Emirates Hills in Dubai, UAE Burj Al Arab in Dubai, UAE Shangri La hotels in Dubai, UAE Grand Hyatt hotels in Dubai, UAE

From a two person team in 1993, Danube has grown to one of the largest materials companies in the region with more than 1,300 employees. Today the Danube group is a conglomerate with an AED2 billion annual turnover. Danube Building Materials FZCO has more than 25,000 products and value added services in-house, and operates from its head office in Jebel Ali Free Zone, UAE. Danube has offices in Sharjah, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India and China, along with its procurement office in Canada. The company’s investments comprise a manufacturing facility in China, a production plant in Ajman, a ceiling manufacturing hub in Sharjah, and a steel factory in Oman. In addition, Danube has also made sizeable investments within the major subsectors of the construction industry, including the UAE steel, aluminium and glass markets, and the Bahraini steel market. Danube Building Materials has set a target of attaining US$1 billion revenue by the year 2015.

Last year marked the launch of Danube Properties, the re-branded version of Danube Buildmart - that offers a great value chain in real estate, construction and home comfort. “The launch of Danube Properties comes following a careful study of the needs of the UAE's property market where the combination of quality, affordability, developer's commitment and timely delivery is a rarity,” Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman of Danube Group, said. In January earlier this year, Danube Properties marked the official start of the construction work of its first two projects, Dreamz by Danube and Glitz by Danube. Sajan said: “At Danube, it has always been our commitment to provide a range of innovative, value-added services for our customers to foster mutual success and growth.” construction business news me JULY 2015 43


Arab Engineering Bureau 1

Leader: Ibrahim M. Jaidah, CEO PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Gulf Tower in Doha, Qatar Barzan Tower in Doha, Qatar MOFA Building in Doha, Qatar Al Sadd Tower in Doha, Qatar, Lusail Visitors’ Centre in Doha, Qatar HSBC Headquarters in Doha, Qatar

Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) was formed in 1966, as the first architectural and engineering consulting firm in Qatar. The awardwinning firm consists of architects, urban and master planners, interior, landscape and structural designers, engineers, quantity surveyors and project and design managers with a truly inimitable portfolio. The firm had six employees, when the firm was acquired by its current CEO

Ibrahim M. Jaidah, after which it grew to the current figure of over 500 highly qualified professionals. Ibrahim M. Jaidah ranks asBakra Bin pioneer Laden, of Chairman of Saudi a new architectural movement which comBinladon Group bines the far-reaching influences of Islamic art with modern style to create memorable landmark structures that are shaping the developing State of Qatar. AEB draws on the strengths of a unique architectural methodology, established by Jaidah himself. Its focus is on the present development of the country, and, where appropriate, the firm preserves and articulates traditional architecture while ensuring that each design offers the client a functional space tailored to their needs and design brief.

Damac Ziad El Chaar, LEADER:

Managing Director

PROJECTS: »» Akoya by Damac in Dubai, UAE »» Akoya Oxygen in Dubai, UAE »» Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels and Resorts »» Ghalia in Dubai, UAE »» The Heights in Amman, Jordon In the region since 2002, Damac Properties was established as a private residential, leisure and commercial developer in Dubai. Since then, the company has expanded rapidly into North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The company believes in delivering a luxury vision for customers. From the selection of its development partners such as architects, designers and contractors, to the handover of keys, the company tries to make sure every detail is uncompromised. Damac also has a highly experienced management team of directors and senior managers with significant experience in the real estate and construction industry. Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director (MD)of

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Damac, joined the team 10 years ago as vice president of international sales. He was then promoted to general manager after which he became MD in 2011. As of May this year, Damac Properties had awarded contracts worth AED2.8 billion across its projects. Awards include the main works packages on more than 1,500 villas within its luxury lifestyle community, Akoya Oxygen, three new apartment blocks at Akoya by Damac and the main contracts for three of its hotel apartment projects, Damac Maison Privé, Naia Vantage and Naia Celestia. In addition to the main work packages awarded, Damac Properties has also awarded contracts for construction of the clubhouse at the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai, in the Akoya by Damac master development in Dubailand. By March this year, Damac Properties had delivered almost 14,000 homes and has a development portfolio of over 37,000 units at various stages of progress and planning. Included are more than 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments under development, which will be managed by its hospitality arm, Damac Hotels and Resorts.

AEB aims to implement environmental concepts in its development and construction operations. In 2011 the firm officially became a founding organisation of the Qatar Green Building Council. During an event in May 2015, hosted by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) about Doha's current architectural transformation, Jaidah said: “In line with the current global architectural trends, Qatar is striving to ensure that its unique heritage and culture continues to live, grounding the foundation of the development on the adaptation of microclimatic techniques with an inspiration that attempts to recapture what made the original so special. There are different and interesting things on the horizon in Qatar's architecture and its quality.”

Burj Al Arab, one of HLG’s projects

KEF Holding Leader: Faizal Kottikollon,

Chairmanand founder

Habtoor Leighton Group José Antonio Leader:

López-Monís, CEO and Managing Director

PROJECTS: »» Kempinski Hotel & Residence Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE »» Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, UAE »» Saadiyat Link in Abu Dhabi, UAE »» Burj Al Arab in Dubai, UAE »» Al Shaqab Equestrian Academy in Doha, Qatar One of the largest construction groups in the region with over 20,000 employees, Habtoor Leighton Group is part of Australia’s largest project development and contracting company, Leighton Group. HLG focuses on five core areas including infrastructure, building, rail, oil and gas, and mining. The group has an extensive track record of undertaking large-scale projects in the region since 2007. The group was formed through a merger between UAE’s Al Habtoor Engineering and Leighton Group’s regional company Gulf Leighton. CEO and MD José Antonio López-Monís joined HLG in 2012 with an extensive experience in international construction and previously worked for one of the world’s largest construction companies, Dragados, S.A. HLG’s presence has been growing the GCC region and this year the group was awarded two largescale projects in Qatar including a road project and the construction of Mega Reservoir PRPS 3. López-Monís said that Qatar's a key market for HLG. He said: “Securing repeat business from key government clients demonstrates that HLG remains a preferred contractor for clients to whom we have demonstrated our ability to deliver complex projects, safely, on time and on budget.”

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Palm Jumeirah Garden Home Villas in Dubai, UAE City of Lights in Abu Dhabi, UAE Wafi City Interchange Bridge in Dubai, UAE Central Bank of Kuwait Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, UAE

Established in 2007, KEF Holdings was founded by Faizal E. Kottikollon and currently operates across India, the Middle East and Singapore. The group is guided by the philanthropic vision of its Founder and Chairman Faizal E. Kottikollon and his wife Shabana Faizal, the Vice Chairperson. The company, in close collaboration with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, actively drives, funds and supports high-impact social activities undertaken by the Faizal and Shabana Foundation. KEF Holdings provides innovative industrial

Al Shafar General Contracting Emad Azmy, President LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Dubai, UAE City Walk in Dubai, UAE Golden Mile in Dubai, UAE Business Central Towers in Dubai, UAE Marina Bloom in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Since its foundation in 1989, Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC) have provided general contracting solutions for more than 250 construction projects. Although historically known for its residential and commercial projects, it has recently started to diversify its offerings and has secured key contract wins for projects in other market sectors, including hospitality, healthcare, industrial, oil and gas, and social infrastructure. In addition, ASGC was one of the first construction companies within the UAE

technologies, products and processes designed to create shared value by increasing productivity, quality and sustainability. The company has six business verticals - KEF Infra, KEF Health, KEF Education, KEF Agri, KEF Metals and KEF Investments - that focus on the infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, metals and investment sectors respectively. KEF's industrial forte lies in its ability to create integrated business processes and deliver cutting-edge off-site construction technology and solutions, including precast, prefabricated bathrooms, joinery and aluminium glazing. The company applies this expertise to the creation and upgrades for essential infrastructure, such as educational, healthcare, commercial and residential facilities. to be awarded the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Accreditation, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System Accreditation. ASGC has a rich history in the UAE spanning over a quarter of a century – which has enabled it to develop a deep understanding of both the local and regional construction industry. It has earned a good reputation for delivering high-quality and iconic projects both on time and within budget. In addition, as part of its business, ASGC is also able to leverage its Construction Products and Services division. The division comprises of five subsidiaries that collectively provide MEP services and steel structure, ready-mix concrete and pre-cast products, as well as interior fit-outs. The vertically-integrated nature of the Group also encompasses a workforce, as highlighted previously, of approximately 10,000 staff, as well as an extensive ASGC owned asset base. Supplying own equipment and dedicated staff enables the company to closely monitor project costs and expenses, which in turn gives ASGC a competitive advantage.


Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar


Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi, UAE

LEADER: Kez Taylor, CEO PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Dubai International Airport, Concourse A, UAE Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi, UAE Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE Bulgari Resort Hotel & Marina Village in Dubai, UAE Bluewaters in Dubai, UAE

Al Jaber LEGT Engineering & Contracting (ALEC) LLC, a subsidiary of the Al Jaber Group, has consistently evolved and grown, since its inception in 1999, to become a preferred contractor for the execution of major construction projects across the GCC. ALEC currently operates in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, and Qatar with a workforce in excess of 9,300 employees. With a proven track record in delivering complex multi-faceted projects, ALEC has built its reputation of successfully executing contracts within budget, on time and to the satisfaction of all significant stakeholders.


LEADER: Mahmood Rasheed, Chief Operating Officer

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE Techno Park in Jebel Ali FreeZone, UAE Owners Association’s Buildings at International City in Dubai, UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment in Dubai, UAE

Imdaad commenced operations back in 1986 as a Civil Engineering Division of the Ports Customs & Free Zone Corporation. As the region became aware about the benefits of the facilities managemnt industry and demand for specialized FM operators increased, it was made into the UAE’s first integrated FM company in 2007. In a span of 25 years, it has built a strong reputation as a provider of quality-driven facility and waste management solutions with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It remains committed to contribute towards the region’s social,

46 construction business news me JULY 2015

ALEC believes that it is its people that differentiate it from its competitors. People are the main ingredient in the success of the business and without a well aligned, competent and committed workforce, the company would not have achieved the success it has. This is recognised at all levels of the business and reinforced by demonstrable commitment of its employees. It values its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan and considers it an essential part of the company, understanding that a responsible business is a sustainable one. ALEC takes responsibility seriously with a CSR committee driving activities based around four key pillars - people, community, environment and health and safety. ALEC continually strives for improvement in all aspects of its operations – the company’s brand promise is “Building Excellence” which is reflected in the continuous successful completion of projects to repeat key clients in the region. The business is ISO accredited for business systems, quality and environmental management systems as well as receiving many awards over the years for its projects.

Town Square in Dubai, UAE

economic and environmental development by providing innovative, green and affordable solutions in its markets of operation. With a team of over 4,200 highly qualified and multicultural professionals, Imdaad has successfully implemented its Emiratisation programme to offer talented and nationals with suitable employment. Aside from winning several prestigious awards, the company has been awarded ISO and OHSAS certifications. With an ambitious and structured regional expansion strategy, Imdaad already has a significant presence in Qatar through its subsidiary firm Imdaad Qatar and will soon commence operations in Saudi Arabia and Oman. Imdaad is the pioneer in launching sustainable and green services that make a remarkable impact in reducing carbon footprints. It became the only FM company in the UAE to operate garbage collection trucks on bio fuel and is the first company to have trained staff for green building FM services.

1 NShama LEADER: Fred Durie

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Zahra Townhouses – Town Square in Dubai, UAE Zahra Apartments – Town Square in Dubai, UAE Hayat Townhouses – Town Square in Dubai, UAE Safi Apartments– Town Square in Dubai, UAE

Newly established in 2014, private developer Nshama offers integrated lifestyle communities with value propositions for aspiring home-owners. Bringing the expertise of project development professionals from around the world, backed by strong domain knowledge, Nshama aims to create master-planned neighbourhoods that are smart, interconnected, networked, tech-driven and sustainable. Fred Durie, CEO of Dubai-based Nshama, oversees the successful delivery of projects including Town Square, Nshama’s flagship development. Durie has been associated with several mega-developments in the region, including multi-billion dollar projects such as Downtown Dubai and Arabian Ranches. His experience in the region spans several years, as he first started off as a civil engineer for Dubai Municipality in 1986. Before Nshama, Durie was the CEO of Emaar International and also served as its Executive Director of Development. Nshama’s trendy flagship development, Town Square, redefines the concept of integrated neighbourhoods in the city. Fred Durie said that Nshama is ushering in a new development approach to Dubai that draws on the Dubai Plan 2021 and supports the key theme of establishing the city as a ‘preferred place to live, work and visit.’ He said: “Meeting the demand for value homes from professionals and families along the city's major growth corridor, Town Square distinguishes itself across all aspects of its design, development and after-sales service. It also meets the significant demand for middle-income value housing with quality and affordable price points as our prime consideration.”

BASF Construction Chemicals

Leader: Julian Pritchard, General


PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, UAE King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Nakheel Mall in Palm Jumeirah Dubai, UAE

The 150 year old company originally started as the Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik (Baden Anilin - and Soda Factory in English) producing dyes. Now BASF has successfully evolved to become a premier chemical company with more than 113,000 employees around the world. Since its establishment, the German chemical company has been guided by a knowledge of chemistry and technology. The company’s portfolio ranges from performance products, plastics, crop protection products to oil and gas field solutions, desalination solutions and construction chemicals. BASF’s Construction Chemicals division plays a central role in tackling challenges in the region and celebrates five decades of

successful sustainable construction practice. Articulating this commitment to sustainability, BASF is also a founding member of the Emirates Green Building Council in the UAE. According to the team, solutions enable buildings to be more durable and cost efficient through the life cycle. Using chemistry to enhance energy efficiency across buildings, and thus protect the environment and reduce maintenance expenses in the long run. Construction Chemicals operates production sites and sales centers in more than 50 countries and achieved sales of about EUR2.1 billion in 2014. The portfolio under Master Builders Solutions – BASF’s brand for the construction industry – includes concrete admixtures, cement additives, chemical solutions for underground construction, waterproofing solutions, sealants, concrete repair, protection solutions, performance grouts, and tiling and performance flooring solutions. The brand provides advanced chemical solutions for quality infrastructure and tries to meet every need in projects from tunnels to roofs.

Atkins Middle East LEADER: Simon Moon, CEO Middle East PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Doha Metro Gold Line, Qatar Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia Suites in the SKAI in Dubai, UAE Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort Hotel, UAE Baku White City, Azerbaijan Bahrain World Trade Center

Atkins Middle East is the Middle Eastern division of Atkins Global which is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. Atkins has a focus to build long-term trusted partnerships and provide advice and engineering design for both public and private sector clients. The multidisciplinary nature of the company’s skills allows it to draw on expertise

from across the business to deliver complex projects across the region, drawing as necessary on more than 17,400 staff worldwide. It delivers engineering and technically integrated design, together with project and cost management services, to a wide range of clients. With areas of operation including transportation, buildings, environment, energy, defence and infrastructure design. It is the 15th largest global design firm according to Engineering News Record in 2014. CEO of Atkins Middle East, Simon Moon, joined Atkins in 1996 from British Aerospace (BAe Systems). He joined the Middle East regional business in November 2011 as chief operating officer before assuming his current role at the end of 2013. construction business news me JULY 2015 47


Cayan Group : Ahmed Alhatti – Group ChairmanO Leader

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar

Cayan Tower in Dubai, UAE Dorrabay in Dubai, UAE Cayan Business Center in Dubai, UAE Layaly Compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Samaya in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Broumana Lands, Lebanon

The Cayan Group is currently one of Middle East’s leading real estate developers and has a reputation for developing projects that are internationally recognised. Since its formation in 2004, the group has concentrated on developments within the GCC with offices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Cayan Development’s portfolio features high-rise buildings such as residential complexes, commercial towers and centres, hospitality projects and multi-purpose gated communities. Its highly qualified team adds value and quality together with unmatched customer satisfaction. Cayan Group enjoys a superior market reputation which will drive continued improvement and success. The group’s prestigious real estate project, Cayan Tower, officially declared by the Guinness World Records in 2015 as the globe’s tallest twisted tower standing at 307 metres high, has become one of the most important architectural landmarks in the Gulf region. In June 2015 the Group Chairman Ahmed Al Hatti was honoured as one of the top companies in the region at the ‘Forbes Top Companies in the Arab World 2015’ hosted by Forbes Middle East.

Saadiyaat Development and Investment Company Leader: Mounir Haidar, Managing Director PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Murooj Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Sumou Avenue in Dammam, Saudi Arabia Business Oasis in Dammam, Saudi Arabia Indus-Comm in Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The Saadiyat Development and Investment Company (SDIC) is an Abu Dhabibased real estate development company currently planning the development and construction of a prestigious project within Saadiyat Island, Hidd al Saadiyat. The team works closely with a select group of contractors and consultants, on the detailed planning and delivery of this unique and pristine development. SDIC is focussed on the target market, and because of the well-experienced management group, the ongoing recepevelopment of Hidd Al tion to the developSaadiyat, SDIC’s project ment has surpassed most expectations.

Hidd Al Saadiyat development extends on a land area covering nearly 1.5 million square metres of natural waterfront land within Saadiyat Island. With nearly seven kilometres of waterfront, the development enjoys an island feel and a remarkable landscape. The exclusive 488 villas are designed and developed to respond to the unique location and surrounding oceanscape. Mounir Haidar, Managing Director, has more than 30 years of experience in real estate spanning a wide range of heavy infrastructure developments, programme and construction management, and business development in USA, Europe and the Middle East.

KELEAndrew Elias, CEO LEADER: PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

Marina Promenade in Dubai, UAE Al Duaa Marina Tower in Dubai, UAE Salman Bay in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Deira City Center in Dubai, UAE Hydra Towers in Dubai, UAE Dragon Mart Hotel in Dubai, UAE

The strength and success of Kele is in the projects that have been completed around the world which have sparked the passion for achieving excellence. Kele’s expertise includes the design and construction of large-scale developments, low and high-rise buildings, residential and commercial developments. Established in Australia over three decades ago, Kele has continued to develop a wide range of construction capabilities and expand operations within Australia and globally throughout the Gulf, Middle East and Africa. Kele’s platform for growth is based on specialist construction techniques backed with customised design, engineering and management services. The key strengths of Kele have evolved through the adoption of industry leading practices combined with the latest Australian construction techniques and processes. This background combined with an ISO certified management system continues to ensure the successful delivery of projects for all clients worldwide. Kele has the experience and ability to create and achieve high quality and cost effective construction solutions for all types of projects. This is achieved by a vast knowledge of the value engineering and design process to drive value without compromise, all of this is then executed to completion by a highly skilled management team with a diverse range of experience both locally and globally. With a solid foundation successfully in place Kele continues to combine the best engineering and management practices to offer a range of construction solutions which are constantly pushing the boundary of what can be achieved. Kele focuses on a complete 360 degree approach to the design and execution of every project through the unique “think, design, build” philosophy which continues to propel Kele forward as a significant force in the construction industry.

Omniyat Mahdi KMJ Amjad, Chairman and CEO Leader:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »»

One At Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE The Sterling in Dubai, UAE The Opus in Dubai, UAE The Square in Dubai, UAE One By Omniyat in Dubai, UAE Bayswater in Dubai, UAE

Omniyat approaches design, development and management of each of its properties as if it were a unique work of art. It believes in nurturing and maintaining close partnerships with the world’s leading architects, engineers, interior designers and artists. Every project is driven by artistic sensibilities where design and art are at the centre piece of the development. The company has collaborated with high profile designers including Zaha Hadid, Steve Leung and Super Potato. Each designer, world-renowned for their award-winning designs, brings a distinct artistic look and feel to every individual property.

Seven Tides Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» Anantara Residence in Dubai, UAE »» Dukes Oceana in Dubai, UAE »» Oceana Residence in Dubai, UAE

Each of its signature project design is planned after studying the lifestyle aspirations of potential residents. It believes in consistent delivery on the design promise, to create a superior return on investment and give every home owner the fulfilling experience of living in a unique space that reflects their personality. Mahdi KMJ Amjad, Executive Chairman and CEO of Omniyat, is a dynamic leader, self-starter and has an eye for identifying valuable opportunities. He founded Omniyat in 2005 with a vision to contribute to UAE’s rising skyline by developing modern commercial and residential buildings. He has led

Omniyat to put design and art at the heart of every development and has been instrumental in large-scale collaborations with award-winning and globally respected designers. Amjad has also ensured that Omniyat maintains consistent high quality across the board and is committed to provide a superior value proposition for all stakeholders. The company’s consistent, bespoke approach in the design and delivery of all its projects to generate a superior value proposition in a variety of investment environments is widely recognised as an industry benchmark in the Arab region.

Seven Tides was launched in 2004 as a privately owned luxury property developer and holding company. Since then the company has focussed on its portfolio to include exceptional properties in the finest locations. Seven Tides has developed and owns a variety of projects spanning residential, commercial and resort properties. Five star developments on the Palm Jumeirah and a landmark hospitality acquisition in London showcases the company’s originality.

During the launch of Dukes Oceana, the CEO Abdulla bin Sulayem also emphasised how Palm Jumeirah (where most of the company’s projects are based) is an exceptionally good location within Dubai. He said: “Palm Jumeirah is also the only development in Dubai that has experienced an increase over its fourth quarter 2008 highs, with rates up by 4% in 2014 alone. Its unique and exclusive villa community positioning ensures its competitive edge in a fluctuating market.” In terms of risks and the effect of the dip in oil prices he said: “When it comes to risks, to put it simply: everything in life is a risk. We manage our risks on a monthly basis, to make sure we take calculated safe risks.” With experienced professionals from around the globe and areas of expertise, Seven Tides is uniquely able to focus its collective experience to developing world-class offerings in any location. construction business news me JULY 2015 49


CPCMu'tazHolding Sawwaf, CEO Leader:


Jeddah-based Construction Products Holding Co. (CPC) is a manufacturing company that provides customers with “a complete solution to build” facilities. Apart from its centres in Saudi Arabia including Riyadh, Bahra, and Dammam, it has been established across with branches in Qatar, UAE, Syria, Egypt and even India. The company provides vital building materials specialist ranging from precast, glass, aluminium, iron and ready mix concrete, electrical cables, wood and plaster works, marble and granite, adhesive, leasing, construction equipment, finishing, steel, transport and electromechanical structures, and renewable energy, as well as logistical support to serve the construc-

tion industry all under one umbrella. Earlier this year, CPC signed an agreement with Ayadi Company for Development and Investment to build five small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) for US$500 million. The agreement is under the Egyptian government Bakr Bin Laden, Chairman of Saudi agenda to support local SMEs. Binladon Group Last year, CPC acquired 100% of Egypt's Sphinx Glass’s shares for around $180 million. Mu’taz Sawwaf, CEO of CPC, is also a major contributor to the creation of a master’s degree in Islamic art and architecture in Lebanese American University. He is also a board member for several companies including the Saudi Bin Ladin Group, Roots Group Arabia, and Al Wared Logistics.

Jeddah Economic Company Mounib Hammoud, CEO LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »» »» »»

Kingdom City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. • Kingdom Tower • Financial District • Business District • Old Town • Water Edge

Co-founded by Kingdom Holding Company, Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) was established in 2009 with the purpose to develop the Kingdom City, Jeddah. The project will feature the soon-to-be tallest building in the world, 1,000-metre Kingdom Tower, to attract business and tourism. The tower aims to be an iconic marker of Jeddah’s historic importance as the gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The Kingdom Tower Jeddah has been the vision of HRH Prince Alwaleed, who was closely involved in all facets of the planning, design and the selection of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects (AS+GG) as principal architects. The entire Kingdom City project on the Red Sea coast includes residential units, commercial units, an international hotel, business offices, educational centres, a diplomatic area, commercial centres, entertainment and tourist facilities, and water sports activities, all within a modern city located in a to be determined strategic location set to be an attraction for business and tourism.

50 construction business news me JULY 2015

Principal JEC financiers are Kingdom Holding Company, Abrar Holding Company, owned by Samaual Bakhsh, Qila’a Jeddah Company, owned by businessman Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly, as well as Kingdom Tower’s primary contractor, Saudi Bin ladin Group. JEC's assets have a book value of nearly SAR9 billion. CEO, Mounib Hammoud, has over 30 years’ experience in city making, land development, real estate development, retail and tourism projects development, strategic planning, corporate finance and financial architecture, sales and marketing of real estate projects; in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Farnek Avireal Markus Oberlin, CEO


Eastablished as Farnek Middle East in 1980, the company is part of Zurick-based Priora Group, an international full service property management company. Farnek Avireal has won maintenance contract together with its international partners, for the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. This achievement combined with its strategic client partnerships with a wide variety of industry leaders in the UAE solidifies its role as one of the leading FM companies. The company has offices in most cities of the UAE. With a skilled workforce of more than 2,500 people, Farnek maintains over 2,500 properties on behalf of international and regional companies. The company believes in sustainability and is a member of the US Green Building Council, has exclusivity with international organisations such as Green Globe and myclimate and has already been presented with the prestigious Emirates Energy award for producing the Middle East's first hotel energy consumption benchmark survey. CEO, Markus Oberlin, highlighted the need for green and sustainable FM solutions within Hospitals at this year’s Building Healthcare Middle East Exhibition, held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). He said: “Incorporating sustainable design in hospitals can reduce not only its overall carbon emissions, but also its utility bills can be significantly reduced, in some cases by as much as 20%. Imagine making those sort of savings when your total annual healthcare budget is US$56 billion?”

Philips Middle East andRoyTurkey Jakobs, CEO Leader:

Mohamed Alabbar, Philips Lighting project Chairmanin ofAl Emaar Meydan Bridge in Dubai, UAE

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

The Change Initiative in Dubai, UAE Sunset Mall in Dubai, UAE Al Meydan Bridge in Dubai, UAE Hibis Temple in Aswan, Egypt Parliament Building in Cairo, Egypt

Philips Middle East and Turkey is part of Royal Philips, a diversified health and well-being company, focussed on improving people's lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR23.3 billion and employs approximately 112,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. Philips Lighting Middle East is headquartered in Dubai and serves the other Middle Eastern countries including the GCC and Levant, with local offices in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt. Philips Lighting provides advanced energy-efficient solutions for all segments i.e road lighting, office and industrial, hospitality and home - and has been instrumental in enhancing sustainability through innovations in lighting technology. Philips is also a leader

Select Group LEADER: Rahail Aslam, CEO PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Bay Central Towers in Dubai, UAE West Avenue in Dubai, UAE Botanica in Dubai, UAE The Torch in Dubai, UAE Marina Gate in Dubai, UAE

Select Group is an award winning, real estate investment and development company with an asset portfolio spread over multiple jurisdictions and verticals. With development at its core which includes residential, commercial, and mixed-use, the group has interests expanding to hospitality and investments within the real estate industry whether its acquisitions of projects or prime land bank.

in shaping the future with exciting new lighting applications and technologies such as LED technology, which, besides energy efficiency, provides attractive benefits and endless new ‘never-beforepossible’ lighting solutions. Roy Jakobs, current CEO of Philips MEA and Turkey, joined Philips in 2010 as Lighting’s Chief Marketing Officer, which focused on driving leadership in LED Lighting and capturing the opportunities of the lighting industry transformation. In two years, he was appointed as the regional CEO. “Philips also plays a big role in the reduction of energy and carbon footprint,” Jakobs said. “Today, approximately 22% of the electricity used in the Middle East is spent on lighting, which is a higher rate compared to the rest of the world. With LED technology quickly set to become the industry norm, Philips has the insights and capabilities to make a significant difference in driving down energy consumption, while enhancing life with light, through its innovations as the world’s largest lighting provider.”

Since inception in 2002, Select Group has delivered some of Dubai’s most sought after projects - Bay Central Towers, West Avenue, Botanica and The Torch in Dubai Marina and the award winning Nottingham One in UK to name a few. Around 5.5 million square feet of development (3000 homes) has been delivered to 5300 customers from 62 Nationalities. Another 6.3 million square feet is currently under various stages of development across the Middle East and Europe. The dynamic, market led group has a proven track record of delivery with a strong development pipeline. Currently marketing its flagship project, The Residences At Marina Gate, this development once ready will set a new

standard in luxury real estate. Marina Gate is water front residential tower complex at the original gateway to Dubai Marina featuring over 1500 residential units and 50 plus retail outlets. With expertise in development, redevelopment and regeneration, Select Group has an internationally diversified portfolio. Focussed towards a value investing approach, the group seeks out assets where it can leverage its core skillset to accelerate value and increase net income production. InterContinental & Radisson Blu are two of the prestigious hospitality brands that form part of the group’s investment portfolio.

construction business news me JULY 2015 51


Msheireb 1 Properties

Leader: Eng. Abdulla Al-Mehshadi, CEO Msheireb Properties, is a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation, and was established to transform Qatar and get it ready for its 2030 Vision. Its flagship project, Msheireb Downtown Doha aims to be a leader in sustainable development as it employs a new approach to urban planning by combining traditional methods and modern technology aimed at preserving the environment as well as the cultural identity of Qatar. With Msheireb Downtown Doha, the company is developing a blueprint for sustainable urban regeneration, and believes in sharing its knowledge and experience with the industry. The QAR20 billion development will revive the old commercial heart of the city through a new architectural language that is based on community living, across a 31 hectare site. The Msheireb project will blend traditional Qatari heritage and aesthetics with modern technology, and focus on sustainability and harmony with the environment.

The mixed-use development will comprise more than 100 buildings, with a combination of commercial and residential properties, retail, cultural and entertainment areas. The first phase, referred to as the ‘Diwan Amiri Quarter’, currently under construction, features three major government buildings, heritage sites, a museum, cultural forum, National Archive and Eid Prayer Ground. All buildings within the development will target an average gold rating under the internationally recognised LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system developed by the US Green Building Council, while several buildings will aim for a [latinum rating. The company receives most of its guidance from Eng. Abdulla Al-Mehshadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties, who has held a number of senior positions within the engineering and construction fields prior joining Msheireb Properties.

General Electric Agostino Renna, President and CEO EMEA LEADER:

General Electric (GE) is an international conglomerate headquartered in Fairfield, USA. The company operates through various segments including power and water, oil and gas, energy management, aviation, healthcare, transportation and capital. GE Lighting part of GE, is known for its commitment towards energy-efficient solutions in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employees about 13,000 in more than 100 countries. President and CEO of GE Lighting EMEA Agostino Renna joined the regional the team in 2013. Prior to his current role he was the vice president of Growth and Market

52 construction business news me JULY 2015

Strategy for GE Canada. Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of GE Lighting, said: “Agostino Renna's experience, leadership and significant sales and marketing background make him an outstanding person to continue the transformation of the lighting business in the region. He has demonstrated outstanding management qualities and has the ability to sharpen our strategic focus to lead GE Lighting Europe, Middle East and Africa to achieve strong, sustained growth in 2013 and beyond.” Earlier this year, GE Lighting announced its new organisational structure for the MEA and Turkey with a focus on enhanced customer service delivery and

promoting sustainable lighting solutions. The structure will promote energy efficiency and rational use of power through sustainable lighting solutions for diverse requirements as well as comprehensive lighting solutions support for projects. Renna said: “There is a significant focus on driving sustainability and energy productivity through the application of LED technology. With LED lighting quickly becoming an innovative jump off point for various smart applications, this new organisational structure will allow us to augment our focus on delivering lighting enabled outcomes to customers through multiple channels.”

ETAGiuseppe – Facilities Management Matassi, Chief Financial Officer LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »» »»

Dubai Chamber, UAE Al-Ghurair City in Dubai, UAE Dubai Healthcare City in Dubai, UAE Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai, UAE

ETA Facilities Management (FM) provides fully integrated and comprehensive services to clients coming from various industry verticals. Established over 35 years ago under the umbrella of the ETA Group of Companies, the company has managed to position itself as an industry leading FM services provider with strong footholds in the UAE and Qatar and backed with a workforce of more than 17,000 employees. In the UAE, the company maintains key offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Northern Emirates and the Western Region. The company offers FM solutions for both commercial and residential properties, while its hard services cover maintenance and operations of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) as well as mechanical, civil and electrical systems for residential and commercial buildings and industrial facilities. The company also provides soft services like cleaning, business support services, pest control, landscaping, height solutions, security solutions, and waste management. ETA FM is also having presence in waste management through standalone operating company, Zenath, and this ventures through which it manages waste collection, landfill, and crushing plan for construction, incineration of medical waste and fallen stocks. Over the years, ETA FM has created and developed FM business model based on self-delivery for integrated facilities management services, it also acted as benchmarks for the industry. To date, the company offers a diverse and unique portfolio of smart FM services that have been developed to help in the region’s move towards smart transformation. These new services integrate crucial FM processes and analytics to help keep track of important asset information such as space and facility utilisation, density, vacancy rates, and security.

Autodesk LEADER: Carl Bass, CEO

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of 3D software for global markets. Earlier this year, Autodesk announced the release of the new Autodesk 2016 Design Suites that offer more control than ever over all aspects of the designto-make process through a connected

desktop and cloud user experience. Autodesk design and creation suites provide customers with expanded toolsets, unique interoperability and a consistent user experience. Customers in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) and natural resources & infrastructure industries can look forward to enhanced software capabilities, increasingly powerful cloud services and flexible subscriptions options.

KONE Antii Herlin, Chairman LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, UAE Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Saudi Arabia International Finance Tower Shanghai, China

Kone is a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, committed to vertical transportation for over 100 years. It provides industry-leading elevators, escalators and automatic building doors, as well as innovative solutions for modernisation and maintenance. The company aims to offer the best people flow experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in a rapidly urbanising world. In 2014, Kone had annual net sales of EUR7.3 billion along with having 47,000 employees by the end of the year. It has over 1,000 offices around the world and services over one million elevators and escalators globally. Customer and user experience are at the core of Kone’s research and development efforts. In accordance with the vision of delivering the best people flow experience. It has global research and development centres in Finland, Germany, India, Italy, China, Mexico and the United States. Kone’s history of innovation is one of its success factors. In striving towards serving customers to perfection, it explores technologies in other industries and monitors changing markets, trends, customer needs, and working methods. It has introduced a wide range of major innovations throughout the years and has over 3,000 elevator and escalator industry related patents. Some of its innovations include the Kone MonoSpace elevator, the Kone EcoDisc motor, the Kone UltraRope, and the Kone MiniSpace among others. Antti Herlin, Kone’s Chairman, has been a member of the Board since 1991 and served as the Chairman for 12 years. construction business news me JULY 2015 53


DC Pro Engineering George Berbari

Al Hamra Real Estate Development


LEADER: Barry Ebrahimy, Head of



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Motor City in Dubai, UAE ISF Camp in Al Duhail, Qatar Education City in Doha, Qatar Danet in Abu Dhabi, UAE The Wave in Muscat, Oman Salalah Airport, Oman Dubai Investment Park, UAE

DC Pro Engineering is a recognised regional leader in the fields of district energy, co-generation and tri-generation. The firm is also a renowned sustainability leader in Green Building MEP Designs. DC Pro’s services include engineering design, consulting, and project management in District Cooling, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Cogeneraion and Tri-Generation, Green Building MEP Design and Renewable Energy. Other services include engineering reviews, feasibility studies, efficiency monitoring and recommendations for

Commercial Department

energy performance improvement. The company has several international projects in its portfolio starting from Sydney Barangaroo South, Singapore Marina Bay Sands, Several Hilton Hotels in Kampala, Chad, Abuja, Seychelles, Iraq, Lebanon and the GCC. CEO of DC Pro George Berbari said: “District cooling systems reduce power consumption as compared to traditional and predominantly used air cooled airconditioning systems by around 50%. It also reduces peak power demand by 60% when thermal storage is utilised.” George Berbari started his journey in 1995 with a natural gas fed district cooling scheme in Zayed Military City, Abu Dhabi. Having set up this one-of-a-kind system in the Middle East at the time, he jokingly calls himself the “Godfather” of the district cooling industry.

Bentley Systems Greg Bentley, CEO LEADER:

PROJECTS: »» »» »» »»

Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Falcon Island in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Bayti in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Bentley Systems is dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owneroperators with comprehensive software 54 construction business news me JULY 2015

solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Bentley Systems applies information mobility to improve asset performance by leveraging information modelling through integrated projects for intelligent infrastructure. Founded in 1984 by Keith and Barry Bentley, Bentley has more than 3,000 colleagues in 50 countries, more than US$500 million in annual revenues, and since 2005 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions. Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, joined his brothers in 1991. Previously, he founded a financial trading software firm, which became part of SunGard Data Systems, Inc., an S&P 500 company on whose publiccompany board Greg served from 1991 through 2005.

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Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Falcon Island in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE Bayti in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Al Hamra Real Estate Development is the leading property developer in the northern emirates and, as part of Al Hamra Group, has become one of most influential and respected real estate companies in the GCC. Having started building Al Hamra Village – its flagship development – in 2003, it is responsible for some of the most luxurious residential and retail properties in the region. With assets in of AED2.7 billion and over 3,000 employees, landmarks in the company’s impressive history include investments in the luxury and hospitality industry that brought the first Waldorf Astoria to the UAE. The arrival of such an iconic brand has directly contributed to the growth of tourism in Ras Al Khaimah; more than 21% of hotel stays in the emirate during the first quarter of 2015 were spent at hotels in Al Hamra Village. Located on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the integrated community spans an area of 77 million square feet and includes 1.5 kilometres of pristine beach, over 1,000 villas and town homes, and nearly 2,500 residential apartments and many guests return to invest in properties after visiting hotels. An 18-hole golf course, a marina, and shopping mall have also played their part in the popularity of the village; its affordability and the unrivalled returns on investment on offer. As a result, Al Hamra Village boasts full-time occupancy. This has prompted the property developer to concentrate its energy on business segmentation and expansion, its expertise in managing master-planned communities, and developing competencies across four core areas: real estate, construction, hospitality, and leisure. Al Hamra Village offers a unique opportunity to buy freehold property in the emirate. Two projects are currently under construction namely the Falcon Island and Bayti.

AziziAli Omer, Developments CEO LEADER:

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Azizi Feirouz in Dubai, UAE Azizi Yasamine in Dubai, UAE Azizi Liatris in Dubai, UAE Azizi Orchid in Dubai, UAE Azizi Iris in Dubai, UAE

Azizi Developments is devoted to the principle that everyone deserves affordable, quality housing. As experienced developers, the company has increased its land and income producing property inventories, thus strategically positioning itself to maximise future growth

while reducing financial risk. It has also begun to diversify geographically by extending into growth markets around the country and by broadening its product mix into additional market segments and price points. Azizi Developments is involved in acquisitions, site selection, market analysis, zoning, permitting, architectural planning, financing, and construction, management, marketing, leasing and sales. Earlier this year, the company revealed that it has invested an estimated AED4.5

billion into Dubai’s real estate sector to date driven by robust local demand for affordable luxury and value homes. The company launched five large-scale residential projects in 2014 – including the sold-out Azizi Iris, one of its prime luxury properties. Azizi Developments has bounced back strongly from the 2008 financial slowdown after cancelling its previous projects in order to help clients that were facing financial difficulties failing to continue the payments of the already invested projects. In 2015, Azizi Developments is expected to sustain its upward trajectory as it plans to launch more new luxury residential and hotel projects and develop elite hotel apartments across Dubai.

HMG Properties LEADER: Raed Bourjass – CEO PROJECTS: »» A Las Rosas in Valencia, Spain »» Paradise Island in Canary Islands, Spain »» Cordelia Golf Resort in Cadiz, Spain Founded in 2009, HMG Properties aims to understand the need of owning a dream property with sustainable features at a reasonable price. After the financial crisis of 2008, the company was inspired to provide a decent property for people regardless of their income or position. HMG is the first group in the Middle East to offer fully managed, refurbished and rented villas and apartments in the US, Europe and the Middle East which are carefully selected and inspected. The group is also the first to be selected as a member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) in the UK and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the US. The company has also been awarded the membership of Asociación Profesional de Expertos Inmobiliarios (APEI) or the "Professional Association of Real Estate Experts" in Spain further underlining the company’s growing profile in the international real estate industry. The APEI awards membership to companies, institutions and groups who consistently set the benchmark in real estate services and have contributed positively to the global property industry. The selection process reviews the business’ contribution, quality of customer service, market innovation and the depth and penetration the business has in markets by country and regional cities. construction business news me JULY 2015 55


Heart of


Heart of Sharjah - Shurooq

This month, we break away from our regular visits to construction sites and take a look at the much anticipated restoration project in the UAE, the Heart of Sharjah. Lorraine Bangera looks into the progress at the cultural space and speaks with architect on the project, Khawla Al Hashimi, about the importance of sustaining heritage in this region


very major city in the world has a space dedicated to its heritage and its roots, a site that reflects where the city comes from and how it was built. Some exalt these spaces by turning it into museums or heritage centres, which is exactly what the emirate of Sharjah aims to do with the Heart of Sharjah. Heart of Sharjah is a space that will define Sharjah itself and mirror its spirit as a whole. Located in close proximity to Sharjah Corniche and Sharjah International Airport, the location surprisingly is placed right in the centre of the city. The project is said to be the largest historical preservation and restoration project in the region. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has set up a joint committee – comprising representatives from leading governmental and private bodies – to oversee the implementation of this project. It will be planned over a period of 15 years and is said to be completed by the end of 2025. It primarily aims to revitalise the heritage district as a vibrant cultural destination for tourists, displaying the city’s glorious past. The project includes restoring historical buildings, constructing new structures inspired by the city’s traditional architecture, and transforming these structures into hotels, restaurants, cafés, art galleries and markets. It aims to be a space where current and future generations can experience Sharjah’s culture. Miniature model of Marina Gate

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Khawla Al Hashimi, Architect at Shurooq

The project is said to involve a lot of restoration rather than just construction of new buildings. Khawla Al Hashimi, Architect at Shurooq, points out that there is a difference in constructing a building with a traditional design and restoring a traditional building. She says that both processes come with their own set of challenges. “That being said, restoration is perhaps more challenging simply because of how delicately these structures have to be treated.” Looking back in history Sharjah itself is built on a strong foundation with rich history and tradition that dates back to 6000 years. Over two centuries ago, the Heart of Sharjah area was where the first families took up residence in their stone-built homes. It used to be a rich cultural milieu with narrow alleyways cutting through old school buildings, market places and traditional homes sparsely scattered across the 2,500 square metre area. The Old Sharjah was divided into four main districts, and each district was divided into neighbourhoods or freej. The Al Hisn Fort (now part of the project) in Sharjah was built in 1804 along with the wall of Sharjah and a number of towers in the middle. It was the seat of the governing Al Qasimi family during the formation and settlement of the emirate. Al Hashimi says that the past provides a strong foundation for the future. “As we all already know foundations are the single most important aspect of any structure,” she quips. According to Al Hasimi, in this modern era, things change quite quickly. She says that new developments tower over the old every single day, and thus in this ever-changing environment it is more important to hold on to a city’s history. “Heritage has always been a focus for us at Shurooq,” she says, “as it defines who we are and where we come from and acts as a guide to where we are going.” To progress, she emphasises, it is important to learn from the past. She also says that the Heart of Sharjah is an important platform from which Shurooq sets to initiate and take off all its projects. Restoration in young cities “Restoration projects aren’t very common in the GCC,” says Hashimi. However, she admits that this is changing. She says that it is important to remember that most of the GCC nations are relatively still young. “Thus, the first priority of any young nation is to progress and develop as quickly as possible.” She observes that it is inevitable that these countries feel pressured to play ‘catch-up’ with their more established counterparts. The game of catch-up then translates into a mind-set where “new” and “modern” is considered to be better, especially in terms of architecture and infrastructure. “Basically, heritage restoration tends to take a backseat when future development is planned.” However, she acknowledges that things seem to be getting better for heritage sites. Recently, restoring and preserving physical heritage is starting to get more attention. She explains that this is probably because so much of it has been lost in the quest for modernisation.

Old structures at Heart of Sharjah

One of the last remaining round windtower in the country

She states: “Sadly so, it was only after many precious traditional structures were gone that we truly came to realise their importance to our identity as a nation, which is why heritage preservation is now starting to gain real traction.” Present-day project update Heart of Sharjah reflects the social, political and military culture left behind by the nation’s forefathers. The space highlights the significant stages of Emirati cultural history. The upcoming restoration and development in the area will feature diverse commercial, cultural and residential projects, including a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail shops, art galleries, traditional and contemporary markets, archaeologiconstruction business news me JULY 2015 57


cal sites, museums, play areas and commercial offices. Most of these will be situated in renovated old houses, as an act to integrate the city’s modern elements with its history and to protect its national bygone character. The restoration at the Heart of Sharjah has been divided into five phases. Al Hashimi says that the first step was launch of a discovery centre which acts as a starting point and guide for visitors. The house restored for the centre was specifically chosen for its strong central location and historical significance. This has been followed by the revival of souqs located around the centre as an act to bring back life in the area with increasing visitors. Al Hashimi says: “We have just completed and successfully handed over Souq Al Shanasiyah which acts as a link between the covered souq in Merraija area and Souq Saqir in the Shwaiheen area.” She explains how this project is a key example of following traditional planning. “We started off with a geographical survey, followed by excavation to reveal foundations which were our guide for development.” The next step, Al Hashimi says, is currently under construction. It is the establishment of a hotel onsite to help ensure visitors could plan to live in these areas. The boutique hotel, Al Bait Hotel, will be the main focus for this year. It will be the region’s first traditional Emirati hotel and will spread over almost 10,000m2. Upcoming phases would involve continually evolving operations rather than a fixed plan. Al Hashimi says: “Consider Heart of Sharjah as a live project with many external and internal influences.” This sort of organic development is intentional as that is how the area would have evolved in the past as well. The development at Heart of Sharjah aims to maintain open areas and courtyards similar to the ones existing in the 1950s. Al Hashimi says that we are trying to build on old foundations while simultaneously respecting the original layouts and orientations. For example, with open areas comes the question of cooling agents, and Al Hashimi says that they are taking wind into consideration. “Wind was an integral aspect of how our grandparents oriented their houses.” When it comes sustainability, Shurooq adheres to a strict set of sustainability guidelines that have been designed to be on par with best practices globally. Al Hashimi says that in addition to following these guidelines, they have also taken great care to rebuild on old foundations. “We are using materials that are from the region while also taking into consideration factors such as sun direction, heat gain, and wind in order to minimise the footprint of the restored structures.” Integrating the new and the old In developing the Heart of Sharjah project, Al Hashimi says that they have constantly strived to find a balance between preserving and restoring the old, while utilising the best of the new. On one hand, she says that they are going to be maintaining the core architectural and planning features like 58 construction business news me JULY 2015

Shurooq’s discovery centre at the Heart of Sharjah

scale, sikkas or alleyways, proportions of rooms, materials, and finishes. On the other hand, she states that they will be introducing modern amenities that were not necessarily available in the original houses. She also points out that unlike the original Heart of Sharjah, restored site one would not be a home to the majority of Sharjah’s families. By restoring heritage sites in the Heart of Sharjah, Shurooq seeks to reflect what Sharjah was like half a century ago. The project will revamp the city’s traditional areas to create a tourist and trade destination which still has the feel of the 1950s with contemporary touches.

Restoration work at Heart of Sharjah

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Karim Helal, CEO of

Build-up to the digital age It’s time to get updated, and online. Karim Helal, CEO of, talks to Lorraine Bangera about the growing role of technology and online media in the construction market and how companies need to keep up to be noticed In an age where every solution is found on Google and online media is the best networking platform, the construction industry is not far off embracing the change. In this region, private construction companies might be slow to adopt the new technology but that doesn’t mean progress has been minimal. Websites like help bridging the gap between the old and the new. The UAE-based company acts as an e-bidding and marketing platform for the construction industry. It has been used by banks, developers and consultants from 2009 to process bids worth more than US$12 billion. The launch of its mobile version last month aims to push the industry to enhance company profiles on the platform and help find better partners. Karim Helal, CEO and Co-founder of, is thrilled about his website now having a mobile ver60 construction business news me JULY 2015

sion. It enables the website’s users to consolidate their search and activities in one platform. Helal says that they chose to launch the mobile product as a response to the increasing amount of traffic has received from mobile search queries. “At least 25% of search is now done through mobile.” He admits that launching the mobile version was encouraged by Google’s recent updated algorithm which ensures mobile optimised sites rank higher in their search results. Boosting the digital platform “Most construction companies have outdated websites,” says Helal. These websites use obsolete technology such as flash, which don’t adapt to the mobile device. “Thus, you lose potential business.” Helal says that if a company hasn’t adapted to the new mobile landscape,

even advanced searches won’t be able to find its website unless it upgrades or has a profile on websites such as According to ProTender’s recent Global Construction Survey, 80% of construction companies are regularly looking for partners. Most companies admitted to be constantly trying to drive business growth. Helal says the majority of these companies still use word of mouth or recommendations to find their partners. Traditionally this would be executed by business development staff or by distributing paper-based profiles to potential clients. Thus making the search for the right construction partner and subsequent engagement with them, very time-consuming, in addition to requiring a lot of information collection from different platforms. Helal says that exponentially increases the competitiveness of an organisation by eliminating manual and laborious tasks distributed over people and systems. “We’re also adding value to the industry as a whole by providing a single platform where you get consistent and welldesigned information, whenever you want and on any device.”, Helal says, makes it much easier and more efficient for companies to be found and to scale their business growth objectives by creating online profiles. “By using websites like ProTenders, companies

don’t have to worry about maintaining their own websites, listing on dozens of different directories, and restrict growth based on cost of human resources.” offers companies a central place from where they can quickly build their profile and reputation, be found by issuers and manage their tendering and bidding process. Helal says: “The profiles are visually stunning and optimised for search queries on Google, Yahoo and Bing.” Although companies have profiles on that need to play an active role to reap maximum benefits. According to Helal, companies who maintain their profile and take the time to fill in comprehensive information, receive four times more profile views than others. Rise of the digital age Helal says that even though the construction industry has been slow in adopting technology, he has noticed many starting to see the efficiencies that technology can bring to all parts of the value chain. In terms of other sectors within the construction industry, he says that they are currently seeing an upstick in the use of building information modelling (BIM), smart systems being used in facilities management and a lot more green technology to make buildings more sustainable. In construction, Helal says, there are a lot of risks as projects are worth millions or billions of dollars. “Anything that can help in increasing the value of a project whilst reducing risk and reducing delays in the timeline is going to be adopted quite quickly.” Helal observes that previously in this region cash was abundantly available to finance construction and so was the demand for the end product. “However, after the financial crisis in 2008 and as the market matures, companies have shifted and now are adopting technology to ensure they remain profitable and competitive.” 18,000 company profiles 100,000 page views per month


Of online searches are on mobile phones In terms of embracing technology, the region is not too far behind. Helal says that technological advancements in the UAE public sector are particularly ahead of the public sectors in the West. The private sector on the other hand has been slower compared to global markets. He says that this is probably because it is not quite as competitive here as it is in international markets, though that’s changing. “The advantage we have here is that the public sector is seen as a trusted authority so any change in direction there will cause ripple effects to the rest of the industry.”

“Companies who maintain their profile and take the time to fill in comprehensive information, receive four times more profile views than others.” construction business news me JULY 2015 61


Critical delays In a time when the construction industry is crucial for the economy, Cynthia Corby writes about the key issues that need to be considered to avoid disappointment


large and possibly persistent decline in oil prices, and slower-thanprojected growth in the euro area, China, Japan, and Russia, have substantially altered the economic context for countries in the Middle East. Most regional governments will run fiscal deficits this current year but they are continuing to invest in social housing, transport, education and healthcare to meet the needs of their citizens. Construction plays an important role into GCC countries long-term economic development plans or national visions that point unanimously to diversification of their economies, away from the dependence on income from oil and gas. Population is forecasted to grow significantly in the coming years, increasing the need for spending on social infrastructure and creating job opportunities for the future. Per MEED Projects, the value for projects in the planning and execution stages in the GCC is US$2.8 trillion, and the volume of projects to be

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awarded this year is expected to be the highest on record forecasted at $172 billion. The increasing number of tender opportunities and contract awards - being the UAE, KSA and Qatar the top three countries - and the preparation for the upcoming Expo and World Cup events, seen very much as a catalyst for capital project spend, contribute to the optimism sentiment within construction companies for the next 12 months. The three major projects that are expected to be awarded in the UAE in 2015 are the Al Maktoum International Airport Expansion budgeted at $32 billion, the Tacaamol Chemicals Industrial City at $20 billion, and the large scale mixed use development MBR City at Dubai Creek Harbour with a budget value of $17.7 billion. Saudi Arabia’s share of the GCC projects market is 44%, with huge mixed-use developments and economic cities planned and under construction which will take several years to be completed. And in Qatar, the focus is mainly on the preparation of the mega event and transport related projects. The two largest projects in pre-execution stage and expected to be awarded in the following months are from QRail. There is a large amount of work to be awarded and completed in the coming years but projects and contractors who take on these projects are not without risk. Based on a survey that Deloitte has conducted, targeting C-level executives of regional

construction companies in the region, the following is a summary of the key issues impacting the industry. The key priorities for construction company CEOs are winning new contracts, effectively managing projects and strengthening the relationship with key suppliers and subcontractors, whilst the main challenges that they face include cash flow management, delivering work on time and within budget and the availability of skilled and qualified workforce. The priority for the majority of construction companies is winning new work and while for most of them bidding at an appropriate commercial margin is a focus, there is still a large portion which are willing to accept little or no margins at the tender stage to secure the project, even if running the risk of project losses given unexpected complications or unknown costs which may arise during the life of the project, especially on projects in this region. The timely management of cash flows is critical for construction companies; Business and collection delays remain a key concern for a majority of them, with contractors indirectly funding these capital programmes. The collection period is around 225 days and that leads to financial difficulties; employees need to be paid and materials need to be procured, putting an immense amount of strain on the working capital of contractors who then resort to back to back arrange-












ments to ensure the main contractors are not exposed. Continued delayed payments affect contractors’ liquidity and make it more difficult for them to take new projects, and interestingly, 62% of the surveyed respondents do not expect a favourable change in regards to this issue in the short term. Around 82% of contractors questioned agree that project deliveries are delayed, considering financing and the lack of skilled resources the main causes, and state that this will be a priority focus area for their business in the forthcoming twelve months. Delivering projects on time and within budget has been an apparent challenge for several years, but the increase in project activity, owners changed focus on feasible projects with whole life cost of the asset now being considered, is making it more critical to deliver on budget. The survey, also found that only 34% of respondents state that they have periodic meetings to discuss project status and updated forecasts on projects at an executive level. One of the industry challenges is of course cost control, and it is of utmost importance during the execution of projects, not only budgetary control but also open dialogue and actively discussing project related issues in periodic meetings. This allows executive management to make critical decisions on the financial position of the project and also to deal with commercial risks and mitigate any issues to ensure they are not exposed under the terms of their contract. Whilst external factors have a strong impact on businesses of all sizes, there is an appreciation for the need to focus on traditional challenges in the construction industry in the GCC market that seem to impact contractors’ profitability and future expectations. Also of critical importance is to get the balance of risk between the contractor and the developer owner right and only pass on risk that a contractor can be reasonably expected to manage. Cynthia Corby is an Audit Partner and Head of Construction Middle East at Deloitte. construction business news me JULY 2015 63


Eastern bond Four years after the devastating tsunami in Ogatsu, Qatar Friendship Fund and Sweet Treat 311 are work together to restructure a wooden school that has been around for almost a century. Lorraine Bangera writes


atar Friendship Fund (QFF) introduced an innovative project halfway across the globe in February this year. In the small Japanese town of Ogatsu, 450 kilometres north of Tokyo, a 92 year old abandoned school is set to be transformed into a modern sustainable learning centre for children. As part of the agreement, QFF will be providing a US$4 million grant to support the renovation of the Kawahama elementary school’s external structures, classrooms, and staff rooms. Once completed, the project aims to be a centre for children throughout Japan to educate and expose them to cultural diversity. The centre could be used as a sustainable learning centre where local, domestic, and international children could gather and communicate with international visitors. Qatar’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Youssef Bilal says that the project will build experiences in Ogatsu and increase interactions with the local community.

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Ongoing renovation at the school in Ogatsu

Ogatsu 2011 %80 Damage:

of houses

Population drop:

4,300 to 1,000 After the renovation, it will be managed by Sweet Treat 311, a Japan-based public interest corporation, set up initially to aid the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake four years ago. The centre will be named Moriumius Lusail in the honour of historically significant city of Lusail in Qatar. Standing since 1923, the restoration of the school is symbolic of the regeneration currently happening in Lusail. Lusail will be at the centre of the 2022 Qatar World Cup as the Lusail Stadium will be hosting most of the tournament’s key matches. Sweet Treat 311 Director Gentaro Yui says that Lusail signifies the development of a new futuristic city, Lusail City is being built on the grounds of abandoned land just like the centre in Ogatsu. The word, Lusail, could mean the rare flower that grows in Qatar, but it could also symbolise the authenticity of the place where the late Sheikh Jassem Bin Mohammad Al Thani built the Lusail Castle. Yui says, “Lusail is innovative and blends Qatari traditions and Islamic

architecture. Moriumius Lusail will be a reformed and modernised old school building, while also protecting its history – for example the original wooden beams and teacher’s room, as well as other original features will remain intact. Many other parts of the original features will help in creating a more modern facility, along with protecting the long history of the building and neighbouring community. “

Gentaro Yui, Director of Sweet Treat 311

Construction Business News ME July 2015  

Countdown of the construction and real estate industry's top 60 A-listers