Dubai's Drake & Scull shifts focus to UAE for turnaround

Company CEO says it is owed $2.18bn as of March 2017

Ahmad Kilani, CEO, Tabarak Investment, DSI CEO Wael Allan and Feras Kalthoun, acting CFO, DSI, addressing a press conference on Sunday.

Ahmad Kilani, CEO, Tabarak Investment, DSI CEO Wael Allan and Feras Kalthoun, acting CFO, DSI, addressing a press conference on Sunday.

Dubai contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI) will focus on bidding for more projects in the UAE, particularly schemes with high profit margin, according to chief executive officer Wael Allan.

The company, which is owed $2.18 billion [AED8bn] as of March 2017, is currently bidding for several projects in the UAE.

“We have submitted bids for huge volumes, but we have now reduced it deliberately. We don’t want that anymore as that’s meaningless. What we are doing [now] is that we are reducing the amount of bids so we save money upfront and create focus to win [projects],” Wael Allan told Arabian Business.

“So we have become selective and will bid for projects where we feel we can obtain good margins,” he added.

Allan said they are in the final stage of negotiation on three projects in the UAE.

“One is in the wastewater treatment area and other are in MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing),” Allan said, without giving any project details.

On Sunday, the company said Tabarak Investment, a UAE-based investment firm, acquired the majority shares of former chief executive officer, Khaldoun Tabari, becoming the largest shareholder in the company.

Ahmad Kilani, CEO, Tabarak Investment, said it now owns nearly 30 to 40 percent stake in DSI.

Asked about the progress of legal claims against Saudi Aramco, Allan said they were vigorously pursuing these claims.

“We are really at different stages for those five different claims, but we are working diligently with Aramco to finalise some of these claims. We are still in communications and meetings. But at least, we have a high level of engagement with Aramco,” Allan said.

In May, Drake and Scull, in a statement to Dubai Financial Market, said it expects to get a response from Aramco on some of the claims amounting to 1 billion Saudi Riyals.

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