By Yamurai Zendera
The firms who have been awarded some of the kingdom's biggest projects
10. Al Harbi Trading & Contracting
The Riyadh-based company was awarded a deal for developing an area of 500 hectares in Mardooma Quarter last November, which was one of two contracts worth $80 million handed out by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.
The scope of the works includes roads, water drainage and waste water, drinking water and wastewater treatment, as well as the construction of a communications building.
The company has carried out a large number of government projects since its establishment in 1965. Apart from being involved in massive infrastructure jobs such as King Abdullah Economic City, Al Harbi Trading and Contracting has worked on major civils projects, including a $19.1 million job to upgrade runways at Kuwait’s airport, a $53 million sewage tunnels project in North Jeddah and a $104 million contract to build nine 50-bed and 100-bed hospitals across the Kingdom.
It is part of Al Harbi Group, which also has an mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) arm, Hemco, a rock-blasting business and a new cement business, United Cement, which has been set up at Al Sadiya in the Western Region.
9. Al-Kifah Contracting Company
Al-Kifah Contracting Company (KCC) is one of the largest family-owned companies in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
The contractor, run by chairman, Eng Osama Al Afaleq, has been boosted by mega-projects like Jubail Industrial City II and Ras Al Khair Industrial City.
Al-Kifah has also been working on projects such as the Sadara petrochemical complex due to complete next year.
In May, the company was named by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu as one of the top 10-performing contractors working within its cities. It finished in first place in a ranking of larger contractors (capable of carrying out $100 million-plus works).
8. Abdullah AM Khodari Sons & Co
Saudi’s biggest publicly-quoted contractor with a market capitalisation of around $570 million.
The contractor carries out 95 percent of its work on government contracts, and in the year to 31 December it achieved a turnover of $400 million (SAR1.5 billion).
Profits more than halved to $17.2 million, which the company blamed on higher costs – most notably the costs of meeting Saudisation requirements, with levies of $640 (SAR2400) placed on every expat worker above a certain ratio adding $6.9 million (SAR26 million) to its annual work permits bill.
More recently, however, Al Khodari has said that the cost of meeting these requirements was beginning to fade which, coupled with an improved backlog of around $980 million – due largely to the firm securing $720 million of new work last year – should see its margins improving.
The firm has also announced plans to set up new business units dealing in telecoms and data equipment, which will allow it to enter into the market to build new data centres. In addition it has announced plans to into the nuclear and solar project sectors earlier this month. Khodari said that its nuclear offering would include contractor services, maintenance and other operations.
7. Drake and Scull International
Drake & Scull has secured AED5.1 billion ($1.3 billion) worth of project awards year to date.
It is currently involved in several high profile projects in Saudi Arabia, including the AED3 billion ($816 million) KAPSARC project, the AED1.7 billion ($462 million) contract for construction and MEP works for the Lamar Towers in Jeddah, the AED1.3 billion ($353 million) Jabal Omar development in Mecca, and the AED321 million ($87 million) MEP works for King Saud University in Riyadh.
Within the healthcare sector, the company is undertaking the MEP works on the AED255 million ($69 million) National Institute of Neurosciences, and the Cancer & Cardiac Centres in the King Fahd Medical City, Riyadh and the MEP works for the AED170 million ($46 million) 400-bed hospital in Dammam.
Recently it announced that it had been awarded a SAR487 million ($129.8 million) main construction contract from real estate developer Gulf Related to build its signature Saudi Arabian residential project, Antara.
6. Al Rashid Trading & Contracting Co.
Riyadh-based Al Rashid Trading & Contracting Company (RTCC) is owned by the Al-Rashid family and chaired by Abdullah Saad Al-Rashid.
It is one of the Kingdom’s biggest contractors, having carried out projects such as the $1 billion (SAR3.8 billion) Northern Border Security project for the Ministry of Interior. This five-year project, awarded in 2009, involves the installation of a high-tech network to monitor smuggling activities, which included housing complexes in five cities.
The firm has been responsible for the delivery of a $606 million housing project for a foundation set up by King Abdullah, which is building 10,000 new housing units on the outskirts of the city of Jazan. RTCC handled phase one, which incorporated 2,249 villas, 11 mosques, medical centres and supporting buildings.
Perhaps its biggest deals in recent years have been on the North-South Railway project, where it was appointed to deliver civil and track works worth over $750 million in 2010. Two years later, it secured a contract worth around $420 million to build five major stations. Work on the railway is expected to complete this year.
5. El Seif Engineering Contracting Company
One of the oldest and biggest construction companies in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, with more than 20,000 members of staff.
Its long list of prestigious projects includes Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, the Jewels Twin Towers project in Dubai Marina and Qatar’s Silhouette Tower.
More recently, it has completed the $373 million (SAR1.4 billion) Package 3 for tower work at the King Abdullah Financial District and the $346.6 million (SAR1.3 billion) Samba Tower, which will be the headquarters for Samba Financial Group.
It has also picked up a project to build an 11,000-capacity sports hall and athletics stadium at the new King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah for Saudi Aramco and a package of works for Phase II of the King Abdullah Project for the Development of Security Headquarters. This involves building two training “cities” with building complexes and emergency camps housed in Hail and Tabuk.
El Seif has branch offices in Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut and provides a full range of construction services – from complex civils work to major buildings, MEP and operations and maintenance.
Chairman Khaled Musaed El Seif said: “El Seif Engineering Contracting continues to grow as a leading force in the regional construction industry.
“With our growing resources, expanding activities and increasing involvement in regional property and infrastructure developments, the group’s role as an instrument in the region’s progress can only get better.”
4. Al Fouzan Trading & General Construction Company
One of the most remarkable recent achievements for Al Fouzan Trading and Contracting was the construction of a ministries’ complex in a record time of five months.
The $300 million project included 50 buildings, in addition to six mosques, a health centre, and a civil defence building. While the project was scheduled to be completed in seven months, the efforts of 12,000 workers contributed to cutting down the time to build it. That is not to mention the several huge projects that the company has executed, mainly in the Kingdom’s healthcare sector, such as a university hospital in the King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah, and three medical tower projects at King Saud Medical City, Prince Salman Hospital and Al-Iman General Hospital.
Ongoing projects include phase 3 of a $56 million housing facility for Al Imam Muhammad Ibn Saudi Islamic University, as well as a $59 million medical tower.
Al Fouzan was founded in 1974 and is run by chairman Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al Fouzan.
3. Al Arrab Contracting Company
The Riyadh-based company is working on some of the biggest infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia.
Al Arrab is part of the consortium that is working on the first phase of the $14 billion Haramain Railway line that will connect the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah.
The company, which is part of the Al Rajhi Holding Group, has been busy on airport projects, working on Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Makkah and the Terminal 5 in King Khaled Inernational Airport in Riyadh with TAV. It has also built aircraft hangars at KAIA in Jeddah.
Al Arrab Contracting was set up in 1983 to carry out simple contracts, but has since expanded to become a major Kingdom contractor, with 16 subsidiaries and 12,000 members of its workforce.
2. Saudi Oger
One of the giants of the Saudi market, having completed huge projects in recent years like King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal and Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University for Women in Riyadh.
The firm is busily attempting to build its presence in the facilities management sector, and it is continuing work on a number of ongoing mega-projects such as the $480 million King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture in Dharhan and the first privately-financed airport in the Kingdom – the new $1.4 billion Madinah Airport being built in a consortium with Turkey’s TAV and Al Rajhi Group.
It is also building a pair of towers (one office and one hotel) at King Abdullah Financial District, where it has subcontracted Bombardier to carry out the electrical and mechanical elements for a six-station monorail system.
Meanwhile, in the UAE it is continuing its work as part of a joint venture with Arabtec and Constructora San Jose on building the Louvre Abu Dhabi at Saadiyat Island.
Saudi Oger recently opened two institutes in Riyadh to provide training to young Saudi men and women.
1. Saudi Binladin Group
The family-owned firm was started in 1931 and has been the trusted builder for the Saudi Royal family for over 60 years. It has a hand in many of the Kingdom’s biggest civils projects and is currently handling the $21 billion expansion project at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
At the same time, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) is continuing to progress with works at the $7.2 billion King Abdulaziz International Airport expansion in Jeddah, due to open next year. Also due to finish next year is Haramain High-Speed rail, for which it is building the major stations.
SBG has recently started work on the world’s tallest building – the 1km-high Kingdom Tower in the family’s home city of Jeddah. It is not only the project’s main contractor, it has a 16.6 percent share in its developer, Jeddah Economic Company.
Longer term projects include the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, where it has carried out infrastructure works.
Although absent from the list of firms that won work on Riyadh Metro, the company is part of a consortium building the Green Line on the Doha Metro and will be looking to get involved in several other light rail projects in the Kingdom.
Its biggest project win over the last year has been a $3.5 billion contract to build 12 towers for the Abraj Kudai mixed-use project in Makkah. Ten of these towers will be 30 storeys and two will be 45 storeys.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.