Mohamed Ali Alabbar

Position: Chairman, Emaar Properties

Biography: Mohamed Ali Alabbar is founder and chairman of Emaar Properties, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Dubai. Alabbar founded the real estate company in July 1997, and over the past 12 years it has been responsible for some of Dubai’s most successful projects, including Dubai Mall, Downtown Burj Dubai, and Dubai Marina. Emaar is listed on the Dubai Financial Market and has more than 60 active companies. It is present in markets spanning the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe and the US. It has also established operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, India, Pakistan, Turkey, China, the US, Canada and the UK. Alabbar is one of Dubai’s most high-profile business leaders and has held roles at organisations such as the Investment Corporation of Dubai and the Department of Economic Development.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 367 333

George Efstathiou

Position: Managing partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Biography: George Efstathiou is managing partner at Chicago-based architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which worked on the Burj Dubai project during its design stages in 2002 and 2003. As a managing partner, he is responsible for the delivery of the company’s services, including the co-ordination and management of all the professional disciplines required for each of his clients’ projects. As the firm’s main contact with the client, he ensures that all services are delivered by the team to schedule and on budget. He has a wealth of experience working on complex architectural projects and has worked closely with client and construction teams to complete projects world-wide, including 60 State Street and 75 State Street in Boston, US, the Plaza Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the 30-storey international headquarters for BankBoston in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Contact Tel: (+1) 866 296 2688

Andy Davids

Position: Director, Hyder Consulting

Biography: Andy Davids is a director at UK-based Hyder Consulting, the structural engineer on the Burj Dubai, where he leads the team responsible for building structures. He is the chief engineer at Hyder Consulting Middle East’s high-rise design studio in Dubai. Davids is responsible for many of the high-rise projects undertaken by Hyder around the world, including projects in the Gulf, such as Dubai’s Emirates Towers. He is an Australian citizen, holds a doctorate in engineering and is a professor of architecture at the University of Sydney, Australia. He also serves on several international building code committees. In 2007, he was appointed by the Council for Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat as its leader in high-rise construction in the UAE. Hyder is headquartered in London and employs 3,000 people in 20 offices world-wide, including about 800 in the Gulf region.

Contact Tel: (+9714) 324 2532

Ahmad Abdelrazaq

Position: Vice-president, Samsung Corporation

Biography: Ahmad Abdelrazaq is a vice-president at South Korean conglomerate Samsung Corporation, the company leading the contracting consortium, which also comprises the local Arabtec and Belgium’s Besix, in building the Burj Dubai. He is executive director of Samsung’s high-rise building and structural engineering division. Since joining the company in 2003, he has been involved in the construction planning and structural design of several local and international projects, including the Samsung Seocho Project and Y22 projects in Seoul, South Korea. Before joining Samsung, Abdelrazaq was an associate partner and senior project structural engineer with Chicago-based architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He has worked on Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, China; Tower Palace III and LG Kangnam Tower in Seoul, South Korea; and Chicago Place and the Millennium Park Project in Chicago, US.

Contact Tel: (+82) 22 145 2114

Riad Kamal

Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Arabtec Holding

Biography: Riad Kamal is the founder of Arabtec Construction, part of the contracting consortium building the Burj Dubai. The company is one of the largest contracting firms in the UAE and has been involved in many of the country’s most high-profile projects, including Jumeirah Beach Residences, Lake Hotel at Downtown Burj Dubai, Emirates Palace Hotel and the Burj Dubai. The contractor has also worked on projects in Saudi Arabia, such as Riyadh’s  Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University for Women, and is working on the Okhta Centre Tower in St Petersburg, Russia. Kamal began his career in London in 1966 as a civil engineer, before working on construction projects in Jordan and Spain. In 1974, Kamal moved to Dubai and started Arabtec, which 30 years later became the first private company to go public in the UAE, listing on the Dubai Financial Market in 2004.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 340 0700

Johan Beerlandt

Position: CEO, Besix

Biography: Johan Beerlandt is CEO of Belgium-headquartered Besix, which, through its construction company Six Construct’s joint venture with the local Bel Hasa, is part of the contracting consortium that built the Burj Dubai. Six Construct is one of the busiest international contractors in the region, and through Bel Hasa it has worked on other high-profile projects in Dubai such as the Lake Hotel and Emirates Towers. Having joined Besix in 1974 as a junior engineer at the company’s headquarters in Belgium, Beerlandt moved to the UAE the following year. He became managing director of Besix in 1998 and was appointed CEO in 2001. He is based in Belgium, but before that gained extensive international experience, which includes working on projects in the Middle East. In 1978, he left the UAE for Iraq, where he worked as deputy project manager at the Alkaim Fertilizer Complex.

Contact Tel: (+32) 2402 6211