According to the survey, CCC booked $1,422 million in new contracts last year – a 6 per cent rise on 2000 – with the bulk of new work coming from the Middle East. Its Abu Dhabi-based affiliate, National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), also saw its ranking improve – by three places to 92nd – on the back of an 8 per cent increase in total orders, to $428 million.

CCC’s nearest regional competitor, Cyprus-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P – Overseas), reported a 43 per cent hike in new orders to $696 million, placing it 27th in the ranking.

ENR ranks companies according to revenue generated outside their home market. Contractors are included only if they respond to an ENR questionnaire. This means many of the region’s largest construction firms, such as Saudi Binladin Group and Kuwait’s Mohammed Abdulmohsin Kharafi & Sons, do not appear in the listing.

Of the top 225 companies assessed in the report, Skanska of Sweden has moved into the number one slot, ousting Germany’s Hochtief as the biggest contractor in 2000. Skanska’s growth has been propelled by its acquisition of the civils arm of the Kvaerner Group.