Arabtec Holding has appointed Sami Asad as CEO for its newly created subsidiary in Egypt.

Asad, who has over 25 years in real estate development and construction, joined Arabtec in 2013 as CEO of its construction group. Prior to joining Arabtec, Asad held the post of CEO at Abu Dhabi-based developer Aldar.

He will lead the company’s new subsidiary, Arabtec Egypt for Real Estate Development, which will be constructing one million housing units across Egypt under a $40bn deal with the Defence Ministry.

“Mr Asad’s strong background, proven experience in managing mega construction and engineering projects make him the natural choice for leading our new subsidiary which will focus on the real estate sector in Egypt and launch a number of mega projects,” said Arabtec Holding managing director and CEO Hasan Ismaik. “The Egyptian market holds lucrative opportunities in a host of areas, including infrastructure sector. The creation of this subsidiary will further consolidate our drive to diversify our business into other high-margin segments.”

In March, Arabtec reported net profits of AED468m ($127m) for 2013, an increase of 149 per cent on the previous year. The firm’s soaring profits are in part a result of the rebound in the UAE’s real estate and construction sector, as well as due to efforts by the company to put in place a new growth strategy.

The company’s total value of projects to date surpasses AED200bn and it recorded a 22 per cent increase in its backlog of work in 2013.

Arabtec made several acquisitions in 2013 to expand its presence in different construction-related industries. It acquired a minority stake in the local Emirates Falcon Electromechanical Company (Efeco) in an effort to strengthen its mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) capabilities. It also acquired the local Target Engineering to support its expansion into the oil and gas industry.

The firm also launched operations in Jordan and Kazakhstan. This year to date, Arabtec’s subsidiaries have already signed several major contracts totalling AED180m.

In addition to the $40bn housing deal with Egypt, the company signed an AED22bn deal – the largest ever in the UAE – to design and build 37 towers across Dubai and Abu Dhabi for Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments.