A leading publication covering the Middle East’s construction and infrastructure sectors, Construction Week highlights some of the most prominent companies and executives in the Middle East on its Construction Week Power 100 and Top 50 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Developers lists. For the past 15 years, Construction Week has presented these businesses and individuals with best-in-class awards at its year-end award ceremony.
Held at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai on December 4, the 2019 Construction Week Awards included more than a dozen award categories, such as Contractor of the Year, Project Manager of the Year, Sustainability Initiative of the Year, and the brand-new category Sub-Consultancy of the Year. The following are the major winners and other things to know about the Construction Week Awards 2019.
ALEC Repeats as Contractor of the Year
For the second time in as many years, UAE-based ALEC won Contractor of the Year. Throughout 2019, ALEC played a significant role in the development of noteworthy projects such as Expo 2020 Dubai’s Mobility Pavilion; Dubai Hills; Ithra Dubai’s One Za’abeel; and Jumeirah Living at Marina Gate. The latter, a luxury hospitality community, encompasses 389 private residences, 104 serviced apartments, and 15 villas.
ASGC Construction finished second in the Contractor of the Year category, earning Highly Commended distinction, while the shortlist included China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East, Arabian Construction Company, and Voltas Oman.
Sean McQue, ALEC’s director of construction, was also awarded for his work in the past year. The 26-year industry veteran earned the Construction Executive of the Year Award for his complex project delivery in the UAE. In addition to the Expo 2020 Dubai Mobility Pavilion, McQue directed efforts for Phase 1 of the Deira Waterfront Development and concourses D and A at Dubai International Airport.
ALEC CEO Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award
McQue wasn’t the only ALEC executive to earn recognition for his professional success. The company’s CEO, Kez Taylor, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award after serving in this capacity for the past 18 years. A native of South Africa, Taylor has also ranked No. 1 on the Construction Week Power 100 list for two years running. Since joining ALEC in 2001, he has played a key role in securing contracts for major projects and guiding the firm’s efforts in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D printing, and modular construction.
“Coming to this part of the world, we’ve been fortunate to take up massive projects that have had to be built,” he told Construction Week. “We uphold the record of pulling off all our jobs on time, all the time, within budget, and succeeding as teams. I think the greatest thing has been getting a group of people to work together and deliver on these tough jobs.”
JLW Middle East Claims Sub-Contractor of the Year
Headquartered in Australia, James L. Williams (JLW) Middle East delivered multiple noteworthy projects in 2019, including the Bluewaters Hospitality District, the Masdar Neighborhood 2 community, and the Expo 2020 Dubai Sustainability District. Overall, it completed more than $404 million in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing value in 2019. Acknowledging difficult market conditions over the past few years, JLW Middle East chairman Michael Boufarhat said the award confirms the company is on the right track.
Meanwhile, India-based Voltas Limited earned Highly Commended status for the Sub-Contractor of the Year Award. Others shortlisted included ALEC subsidiary Alemco and Mirodec Gulf Glass Industries, LLC.
Shafa General Manager Named Rising Star of the Year
In addition to recognizing the premier contractors and executives in Middle East construction, the Construction Week Awards 2019 highlighted Mohammed Nasser, general manager of Shafa Al Nahdah Building Contracting, as its Rising Star of the Year. The Aston University alumnus earned the distinction for his efforts in establishing the firm’s long-term strategic goals and contributions to other areas such as budget control and construction project management.
The UAE-based Shafa specializes in port and marina development as well as historical site rehabilitation and renovation.
The first-ever Sub-Consultancy of the Year Award went to Black & White Engineering, while Tenable Engineer Consultancy earned Highly Commended status in the category. Other major award winners included Edge Architects for Residential Project of the Year, ASGC Construction for Commercial Project of the Year, Cundall for Sustainability Initiative of the Year, and Kier Construction for Health and Safety Initiative of the Year.
Winners were selected in the award categories two weeks prior to the ceremony by a panel of four esteemed construction professionals. Judges were Sachin Kerur, Reed Smith head of Middle East; Aaron Chehab, head of strategy and business development for Arabian Construction Co.; Lyndon Hives, pre-construction director at McLaren Group; and Marcus Taylor, managing partner at Taylor Sterling.
The judges evaluated entrants in 14 different categories based on their project delivery record over the past year as well as their corporate growth, signs of commercial strength, and their health, safety, and environment record.