'Give it to Bill'

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Haddad says the 2008 crash was good for his company:

Haddad says the 2008 crash was good for his company: "We had work in place and the cost of raw materials actually fell".

After the Colonel Gaddafi led the overthrow of the monarchy in 1969 he soon set about getting rid of the US and British influence on his country’s oil industry.

As he went between oil contractor’s sites in the desert ordering people to leave he came upon the the engineering compound for William Haddad’s fledgling company.

“He saw that around the perimeter we had planted trees and he decided that if this company was prepared to plant trees then it must be there for the long haul and not simply to take from the economy,” said Haddad, recalling a story that he learned many years later.

Consequently, the business that Haddad had started just 18 months before was left to get on with its contracts, building long distance pipelines for the Libyan oil industry.

Haddad was born in Jerusalem in 1936 and by 1948 he and his family, headed by his father who had worked for the British Civil Service and the United Nations, moved away.

Haddad graduated as an engineer from the American University of Beirut in 1960 and joined CCC, part of the Wimpey group laying various pipelines for the growing oil industry, working first in Aden then moving to Libya in 1964.

Over the next four years the young Haddad earned himself a good reputation among oil explorers like Esso, Oasis and BP. “If you want to get a job done, give it to Bill Haddad,” was what they used to say and that gave the young man the confidence to consider setting up on his own.

No one calls him Bill anymore – apart from friends who have known him more than 40 years - but his new business was a success and oil explorers seeking reliable pipelines ensured he had plenty of work.

Forty five years on Haddon, now 77, remains diplomatic about his bosses at the time: “I was responsible for our desert operations and the owner of that company may have been a person who saw the results but failed to hear the voice of the person responsible.

“In 1968 I quit working for them and set up on my own with fewer than a dozen people and we began supplying the same services.”

He recalls the contract that was the turning point. “It was a job I got from Esso laying an oxygen pipeline from the refinery to the incinerator,” said Haddad. “It took me a month to lay the pipeline and I received for that month what I would have expected to earn in a year – that was the money I invested to get my business off the ground.”

He describes the Libyan oil as being “like honey”, a sweet and light oil without the impurities or sulphur content you find in oil from much of much of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. In the 1960s Libyan producers just wanted pipelines laid quickly that took the sweet oil from the wells in the desert to separation plants.

“They wanted reliable, safe pipelines and were not afraid to pay for it,” said Haddad, smiling at the memory. “Life was full of zest, I had camps in several places that were very remote but that is the nature of the oil business.”

Among those pioneers in the desert Haddad explained how a second income stream would present itself for his new company the Mechanical and Civil Engineering Contractors Company Ltd (MACE Contracting Co).

Article continued on next page...

Related:
Topics
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Bojendhar

Mr William Haddad is a very good talented man. A true Gentleman and a One of a Kind Company Good luck to you all

Posted by: David Mc Connell

A pioneer Engineer and a pioneer Engineering Company !

Posted by: Shain Ashgot

A true Gentleman and a One of a Kind Company, that Gets the job DONE!!! Total Respect

Posted by: Joe Cassidy

Mr William Haddad can be summed up in two words "TRUE GENTLEMAN" I worked for Mr Haddad for a short time, during this time I was having some personal problems and even though I was a newcomer to his business he helped me in many ways to sort out my issues, unfortunately my problems forced me to leave the UAE and MACE which I was devastated over, I have never in 35 years of working overseas seen a company that looks after its staff the way that Mr Haddad insisted his company looked after its people. a magnificent gentleman and a great company, Good Luck to you all!

Posted by: Saadallah Hadba

Mr. William Hadad is one of the most soft people that I met in my life and I'm thankful to him that he gives me a job in his company without a previous experience

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Mall talk

Mall talk

Plans for Dubai’s Mall of the World have made headlines all over...

1
Qatar's labour requirements

Qatar's labour requirements

Qatar’s Supreme committee has published worker welfare standards...

2
$40bn housing deal may signal Gulf investment push into Egypt

$40bn housing deal may signal Gulf investment push into Egypt

Egypt's economy is recovering only slowly from the turmoil that...

Most Discussed
  • 16
    Baby NOT on board?

    The people commenting here were all 20 years old when they were born, never cried, never screamed and never ran etc etc.
    more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:30 AM - Amer
  • 2
    European court backs French ban on full-faced veil

    well said John Harte, it is the total opposition to freedom of expression, it degrades and dehumanizes women into objects that need to be wrapped up and... more

    Friday, 22 August 2014 6:38 PM - Polly Nicoll
  • 1
    Damac says first Akoya Oxygen homes sell out 'in record time'

    You have to be desperate to buy anything from Damac and that in the furthest farthest outposts of Dubai Land. Stay near the main Drag the SZR! more

    Saturday, 23 August 2014 1:29 AM - Special K
  • 23
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held accountable...so thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 17
    UK looks to close tax loophole on expat landlords

    UK taxes too much and too complicated and time taking and confusing and continuous. Returns, lawyers, HMRC, taxes too much for too little. Not worth the... more

    Sunday, 17 August 2014 12:40 PM - AbdolRahman
  • 16
    Baby NOT on board?

    The people commenting here were all 20 years old when they were born, never cried, never screamed and never ran etc etc.
    more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 8:30 AM - Amer