Company: Al Bawani
Fakher Al Shawaf, unlike his other counterparts, did not leave the Kingdom to study abroad, instead choosing to complete his civil engineering course at King Saud University. He was already working on projects in Riyadh during his degree course.
He joined his father in business at Al Bawani in 1997. At that time the firm took on small projects as a main contractor and worked on larger schemes as a subcontractor to Dutch company, Ballast Needham.
By 2000, the firm had grown in size too the point where it was handling contracts on its own and continued to cater to its niches, healthcare, military and airport projects. The firm has also built embassies and consulates.
Fast forward another decade or so, and Al Bawani has completed more than 45 healthcare projects and was involved with the King Abdullah Cancer and Liver Disease Centre, at the new $900m (SAR3.4bn) King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre.
More recently Al Bawani, in a JV with Italian contracting giant Salini Impregilo, won a pair of contracts to build two huge medical cities for the Ministry of Health – the 1,000-bed Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz City and the 1,350-bed King Faisal Medical City in Abha – with a combined value of $2.75bn (SAR10.3bn).
The company has also completed a couple of key Riyadh schemes over the past 12 months. Earlier this year, it delivered projects for Riyadh Investment Corporation – the government backed investment body behind the capital’s King Abdullah Financial District.
In the schools sector, it has been appointed on to a panel of contractors charged with delivering a $10.7bn (SAR40bn)school building and refurbishment programme by Tatweer Building Company (TBC) – an agency commissioned by the government to open around 1,000 new schools per year.
Meanwhile, Al Bawani chose not to bid for any of the Riyadh Metro projects, but like everyone else in the city, Al Shawaf remains an interested bystander. “We were approached, but I said ‘it is not for now’. It’s better to be on the side, see how it is going on and to learn more,” he said.