The UAE’s Arabtec Holding has announced it has appointed the former head of Aldar Properties, Sami Haidar Asad, as the new chief of its group of construction companies.

Reporting directly to Arabtec’s managing director and chief executive officer Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, Asad will be responsible for the global operations of Arabtec’s Construction Group and will focus on leading the current pipeline of major projects and driving the company’s growth vision.

He joins Arabtec from Aldar, where he served as chief operations officer then as CEO. At Aldar, he led a massive strategic growth plan that saw the development of Yas Island, with the creation of such iconic attractions as Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Yas Mall, Yas Links, Yas hotels.

Prior to Aldar, Asad worked in the oil and gas industry for Dolphin Energy and for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

Arabtec recently reported a net profit of AED155m ($42.2m) for the first half of this year, up 114 per cent from a year earlier. Quarterly net profit totalled AED92m, significantly higher than analysts’ estimates of about AED50m. It marked a quarter-on-quarter increase of 84 per cent after the company struggled with higher construction costs in previous quarters.