Company snapshot

  • Date established: 1975
  • Main business area: Construction
  • Main business regions: Gulf, Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia and Russia
  • Chairman: Riad Kamal

Structure

With about 52,000 employees, Dubai-headquartered Arabtec is one of the Gulf’s top five construction groups and the UAE’s largest contractor. The parent company Arabtec Holding, which owns Arabtec Construction, has been listed on the Dubai Financial Market since 2004. It was the first privately-held company in the UAE as well as the first construction firm in the country to go public. 

Arabtec has an extensive overseas footprint, with offices in Qatar, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, and Russia, as well as an office in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.

Arabtec Holding recently called off a proposed takeover by Abu Dhabi government-owned Aabar Investments.

In January 2010, Aabar offered to buy a 70 per cent stake in Arabtec through the purchase of mandatory convertible bonds, in a deal worth almost AED 6.4bn ($1.74bn). 

Projects won by Arabtec in 2010
Project Location Revenues ($m)
Bridge Towers in Doha Qatar 191
Water Loss Reduction West Bank 5
P-17 tower in Dubai UAE 193
Sources: MEED, Sico

Operations

Arabtec’s core activity is construction, civil engineering, electromechanical installations, onshore and offshore oil and gas works. It has good track-record for managing challenging and complex schemes in the region.

Arabtec has worked on iconic projects in Dubai including Burj Khalifa, Fairmont Hotel, Al-Fattan towers, and Jumeirah Beach Resort towers. In Abu Dhabi, it has built the Emirates Palace hotel, the Exhibition Centre for Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and the new headquarters of state-owned Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Beyond the UAE, Arabtec is building the Al-Waab City in Doha, the Okhta Tower in St Petersburg, the Karachi Financial Towers in Pakistan, the Abdali Heights towers in Amman, and the Eighth Gate in Syria, as well as a part of a large university in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Arabtec continued its external push for new projects in 2010. Key overseas contracts won this year include a $67m deal to build Syria’s largest hotel, the Yasmeen Rotana in Damascus, featuring 338 rooms, including three executive floors. Arabtec and the Palestinian Al-Muwilon Contracting won a $12m contract to build infrastructure for the second phase of a water loss reduction project for the West Bank city of Nablus.

Arabtec revenues

Arabtec revenue break up

Ambitions

With the domestic outlook constrained by Dubai’s property downturn, Arabtec is moving swiftly to target new markets such Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria. The firm anticipates revenues from overseas projects by next year as it looks to diversify its portfolio away from Dubai. In March, Arabtec launched a bid to build a major property development in Azerbaijan, and is also looking to Libya and India as possible markets in the future.

Arabtec is expecting backlog and revenue growth from the non-Dubai Gulf markets of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi over the next two to three years, anticipating AED1bn in revenues from the kingdom alone in 2010.   

As it seeks out overseas opportunities, Arabtec will continue with strategic partnerships with local companies. In Qatar, it teamed up with Nasser bin Khaled Ready Mix Company, and in Pakistan, it entered into a joint venture with the local Enshaa Holdings for Karachi Financial Towers scheme. 

And Arabtec Saudi Arabia – a partnership with CPC Services Company, part of the Saudi Binladin Group, and Prime International Group Services – is one of the  bidders for a contract to build a 1-kilometre-high tower in Jeddah for the local Kingdom Holding.