The UAE’s Arabtec Holding says it plans to be one of the 10 largest construction companies in the world by 2018.

“By 2018, we will be in the top 10,” said Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, CEO of Arabtec Holding, at the company’s annual general meeting in Abu Dhabi on 30 April.

The company was ranked 117 in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) list of the world’s largest contractors in 2013. In 2012, it was ranked 187. Ismaik says he expects Arabtec to take a big leap in the rankings in 2014.

The current top 10 global contractors are:

  • ACS (Spain)
  • Hochtief (Germany)
  • Bechtel(US)
  • Vinci (France)
  • Fluor (US)
  • Strabag (Austria)
  • Bouygues (France)
  • Saipem(Italy)
  • Skanska (Sweden)
  • China Communications Construction (China)

In February, Arabtec won the largest construction contract ever awarded in the UAE. The AED22bn ($6bn) deal involves the design and build of 37 towers across Dubai and Abu Dhabi for Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments.

In Abu Dhabi, the towers include nine mixed-use buildings at the City of Lights development on Reem island, 14 other towers in various locations in Abu Dhabi, and a Hard Rock Hotel on Abu Dhabi corniche.

In Dubai, the contract involves building six hotel and service apartment buildings together with two staff accommodation blocks in the Jadaf area, close to the Culture Village development on the banks of the creek. The hotels will be managed by the US’ Hilton, Swiss Hotel, the US’ Park Inn and Fraser Suites.

To facilitate further growth, Arabtec Holding is planning to start listing new firms. The plans, which will start to be implemented in 2015, involve listing its construction subsidiary, Arabtec Construction, so that it can merge and partner with local players, strengthen its presence in markets outside the UAE, and become the region’s largest construction company.

“I have five or six IPOs [planned]. This is the new business plan,” Ismaik told MEED recently. “I will IPO these companies to grow more and to merge, because I cannot merge with Arabtec Holding.”

The location of the first IPOs in 2015 and 2016 has not been finalised. There are various options available on international markets such as London, New York and Hong Kong, as well as on regional bourses where Arabtec is already operating as a construction company.