MEED names best companies in the GCC

29 November 2018
The region's best companies and business leaders have been announced at the MEED Awards 2018

MEED has announced the names of the best companies and business leaders in the GCC at the MEED Awards 2018.

Four individuals and 16 companies were recognised for their business achievements and contribution to the region over the past year at a gala awards ceremony held at Dubai's RitzCarlton Hotel on 28 November.

The award winners were recognised for their achievements in environmental sustainability, worker welfare and innovation, as well as the performance of their business over the past year.

Winners included Saudi Arabia's AcwaPower, which was named Renewables Company of the Year 2018, Dubai-based ASGC, which was named Contractor of the Year 2018, and international law firm Clyde & Co, which was named Law Firm of the Year 2018.

Four individuals received recognition for their achievements, including a special award for Eng. Maitha bin Adai, CEO of the Traffic & Roads Agency of Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), who received the MEED Editor's Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The MEED Awards

The MEED Awards recognise the best companies in the GCC across all sectors.

The awards aim to promote best practice in business and showcase outstanding performance in key areas of operation such as innovation, worker welfare and sustainability.

The MEED Awards 2018, which are delivered in association with UAE construction giant Arabtec, international healthcare giant NMC and consultant SNC Lavalin, comprise 16 award categories and saw hundreds of entries from companies across the region.


The judging process comprised two rounds of shortlisting and a presentation by the entrepreneurs or business leaders to the judges.

The judging panel featured senior executives from leading local and international companies including: CBRE; Matthews Southwest; Godwin Austen Johnson; Atkins; Siemens; DLA Piper; The Kanoo Group; Hill & Knowlton; Mott MacDonald; IHCC; Charles Russell Speechlys; NMC Healthcare; Emaar Hospitality Group; Charles Russell Speechlys; PwC; Perkins + WILL; Deloitte; GE Power; Hill & Knowlton; Riyadh Chamber of Commerce; RAK Hospitality Holding; Inspired Results; EDB Bahrain; Sanofi; Colliers International Mena; Acwa Power; and KPMG.

The MEED Awards 2018 winners

Contractor of the Year: ASGC

What the judges said: “ASGC stood out in this very competitive category. Judges were hugely impressed by the company’s commitment to driving continuous improvement across all areas of activity. Its adoption of cutting-edge technologies, outstanding commitment to meeting the highest standards of sustainability, and impressive safety performance have set a new benchmark for contracting in the region that others must aim to match.”

Highly Commended: Multiplex

What the judges said: “This all-round strong entry stood out for its progressive approach to responsible construction and bold initiatives to promote staff welfare, particularly with regard to migrant workers.”

Developer of the Year: Five Real Estate Development

What the judges said: “The judges praised Five’s imaginative and beautiful building designs that provide desirable, high-quality outdoor living space in a high-rise context that is underpinned by a commitment to sustainable, energy-efficient design principles. A very impressive achievement.”

Highly commended: Dubai World Trade Centre

What the judges said: “The judges described DWTC as ‘leading by example’, providing clear vision and outstanding execution to deliver destination developments that support national objectives to encourage visitors to stay and spend. DWTC also impressed with its trail blazing of innovative ways of operating through the introduction of new technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts and advanced building information modelling [BIM].”

Renewables Company of the Year: Acwa Power

What the judges said: "Acwa Power has become a flagship company for the region. Its commitment to excellence in the development of renewable energy in the region is breathtaking, showing that utilities-scale renewable energy can be an effective source of energy as well as a viable commercial investment. Its long list of achievements includes at least two world records and an impressive track record for safety and project delivery.”


Architect of the Year: Distance Studio International Civil Engineering Consultancy


What the judges said: “Two or three good USPs: sustainability, designs and green projects.”

Law Firm of the Year: Clyde & Co


What the judges said: “Clyde & Co has consistently grown in the region for 29 years. Localisation efforts are good and they are focused on it."

Highly commended: Support Legal

What the judges said: “Disrupting. Win win situation. Flexible for everyone.”


Energy Company of the Year: Siemens


What the judges said: “Siemens set a new world record when it developed 14.4GW of power capacity in Egypt in only 27.5 months. The fast-track project assisted Egypt with its urgent need for electricity and its plants will provide power for up to 40 million people. In addition to its fast delivery, Siemens maintained an excellent health and safety record, and also trained 600 Egyptian engineers to operate and maintain the plants."

Technology Company of the Year: CTM360

What the judges said: "The impressive revenue growth that CTM360 has delivered has been underpinned by exciting innovations and new patents for industry changing technology, the judges expect big things in the future for these guys."

Business Innovation of the Year: Ecocoast


What the judges said: “The biggest reason why they stand out: they are a local company truly going global.  Not only did they display innovation throughout the organisation with a number of different products and initiatives, but they were instrumental in contributing to The Ocean Cleanup with their solution – designed, tested and produced in the UAE.  The fact their mission and vision are so powerful and impactful not only to the region but the world is nothing short of amazing."


Consultant of the Year: Black & White Engineering


What the judges said: “A fantastic MEP consultant with a history of working and advising on some of the largest projects in the region.  Truly investors in its people with a real passion and commitment to the UAE and the region as a whole.  Fantastic recent growth shows the future is very bright for Black & White, and the fact all employees are rewarded and feel part of the growth story is testament to the culture within the organisation. A very well-deserved winner in a tough category.”

Highly commended: Linesight

What the judges said: “Linesight is a great business with great people.  Made the category highly contested and generated debate among the judges. Ten years of brilliant work in the UAE and a very strong company culture and CSR initiatives.  The bold approach to expanding during the recession was appreciated by the judges and highlights the strength of the business.”

Sustainability Initiative of the Year: Ecocoast


What the judges said: “Ecocoast has demonstrated through its products and services that it has played a key part in protecting marine and coastal areas throughout the region and beyond. It has also shown a commitment to developing and investing in people, with a number of initiatives to train and hire staff from developing countries.”


Bank/Financial Institution of the Year: Samba Financial Group


What the judges said: “Samba has maintained a strong performance in a tough macro-economic environment, while addressing key issues and giving back to communities through initiatives such as the low-income housing programme.”

Manufacturer/Supplier of the Year: Dulsco


What the judges said: “Dulsco continues to excel in the provision of services and products that impact positively on our day-to-day lives. A worthy winner once again.”

Highly commended: Ducab

What the judges said: “A hugely impressive performance in tough market conditions in 2017, coupled with impressive commitment to CSR and green energy initiatives merit a highly commended award.”

Logistics/Transport Company of the Year: Pentagon Freight Services


What the judges said: “Judges were impressed by the well-thought-out and comprehensive training plan that was implemented with the launch of the new order management software.  They also appreciated the transparency of the client portals, which are individually set up for each project cargo movement. Judges also noted praise for their focus on company-wide CSR initatives and their further objectives and wanted to celebrate their commitment to allowing every member of staff two paid days off work annually to volunteer.”

Healthcare Company of the Year

Joint winners: Royal Bahrain Hospital; Sanofi

Royal Bahrain Hospital

What the judges said: “A stand out feature of the Royal Bahrain Hospital is that they are currently the only provider in Bahrain to offer Patient Portal services, with their RBH mobile app integrating services further, whereby patients are free to book their appointments with their choice of doctors and timings. The application also generates a queue number, thus further reducing the patient's waiting time. In addition, the application is also being utilised to deliver push notifications on patients' cell phones.”


What the judges said: “Sanofi have to be congratulated on the realisation that they urgently needed to reinvent their business model for the ever-evolving Gulf market.  The team got to work through adapting the business model and setting itself for the future with the 2020 roadmap. A large emphasis was put on strengthening innovation within Sanofi and in 2017 Dupixent was launched in the treatment of dermatitis.  Before Dupixent, and for many years, patients struggled to effectively control their disease with the treatment options previously available. Patient feedback includes: "It's like magic" and "I can finally see my face".

Specialist Contractor of the Year: Sterling & Wilson International Solar


What the judges said: “What they have done has set a benchmark. Their timeframe management is impeccable. Their technology is not new, but it is effective.”


Female Leader of the Year: Hibah Shata, Child Early Intervention Medical Centre


What the judges said: “Visionary. Motivated to expand and make changes in Saudi as well.”

MEED Editor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement: Maitha bin Adai , CEO of the Traffic & Roads Agency, Road & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai


“In a professional career spanning 21 years, Eng. Maitha bin Adai has played a pivotal role in delivering some of the most innovative transport projects in the region.

"Through a series of key positions with various UAE government entities, she has helped position the UAE as one of the world’s most innovative and competitive economies.

"Over the past 14 years alone, as a leader within Dubai’s RTA, she has delivered over 170 projects costing over AED60bn that have resulted in more than 5,000km of new roads, 450 new bridges and 54 new tunnels.

"Among a very long list of pioneering projects, flagship achievements have included the introduction of smart road systems in Dubai, the Dubai water canal and Corniche Jumeirah.

"It is almost impossible to quantify the enormous contribution to society of these projects. But one vital measure is road safety. Over the past 14 years, Eng. Maitha has overseen a huge reduction in road accidents in the UAE, while at the same time the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report has ranked the UAE’s road network as the best in the world for the past four years. "

Male Leader of the Year: Waqas al-Adawi, S&T Interiors and Contracting


What the judges said: “Waqas demonstrated great acumen in transforming a family owned enterprise into an extremely successful and high-growth, multinational and multi-faceted business.”

Rising Star of the Year: Katherine Borge, NMC ProVita International Medical Centre


What the judges said: "Katherine started as patient admissions co-ordinator and quickly impressed with her management skills and her business brain for growth and diversification. The judges were particularly impressed by Katherine's growth strategy, revenue generation and passion for rehabilitation care.”


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