First of all, how was the listing compiled? Well, we have defined power as influence. Put simply, the more people you can influence, the more powerful you are. Earlier this year the CW team initiated the process of deriving at the ultimate Power 100 with a long list that almost twice its current length. We looked at every sector: developers, contractors, consultants, engineers, architects, designers, captains of industry and material suppliers.
Our editorial team closely studied the work they have been doing – the number of staff employed, revenues generated, profits earned, recent contracts won and projects in the pipeline, and overall presence and level of activity in the market. We also looked at how these individuals and companies responded to the continuing exigencies of the global economic crisis, what strategies they have adopted in order to continue to grow, and how flexible and adaptable they have been in the face of new challenges and obstacles.
We also examined the impact of technology and innovation, and leadership qualities and status, both in the region and on a global scale. Thereafter we refined our initial long list. The positions from 11 to 100 were chosen by the CW editorial panel. However, for the exact placing of the top ten, we used a voting system, with each member of our panel scoring 10 points for the individual they felt should be No.1, and so on. The more points, the higher the placing. We should make it clear, however, that the Power 100 is not a scientific survey, and purely represents our analysis and breakdown of power in the construction industry.
This year’s number one is Bakr Bin Ladin, chairman of the Saudi Bin Ladin Group (SBG), billed as the most successful construction company in Saudi Arabia, a market that is booming as it strives to meet its development goals, particularly in terms of housing and social infrastructure.
SBG made the spotlight this year with the announcement that it had been awarded the construction contract for Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, destined to be the world’s tallest building upon its completion in 2017. In addition, SBG has made a significant investment in the project itself, thereby putting its money where its mouth is, and also ensuring that this development will be the most closely followed of the next few years.
At number two this year is entrepreneur and philanthropist Said T. Khoury, chairman and president of Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), which distinguished itself with its performance at the mammoth Princess Noura project in Riyadh. The company’s influence and geographical reach are formidable, with projects from Kuwait to Papau New Guinea.
Third on the listing this year is Arabtec chairman Riad Kamal. Arabtec is part of the JV that has been awarded the $3.2bn contract to build the Midfield Terminal Building at Abu Dhabi International Airport, one of the largest construction contracts awarded in the region to date. The UAE’s largest construction company by market value, Arabtec more than tripled its Q1 net profits, thereby showing considerable promise for future growth.
The Power 100 research team and editorial panel: Ed Attwood, Anil Bhoyrul, Stuart Matthews, Gerhard Hope, William Skidmore, Cathal McElroy, John Bambridge, Stian Overdahl, Hannah-Farah-Abdulla.