x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arabtec wins Dh1.9bn Jeddah contract

Arabtec Saudi Arabia wins a contract worth Dh1.9bn to build The Lamar Towers project in Saudi Arabia.

Arabtec Saudi Arabia has won a contract worth 2 billion riyals (Dh1.95bn) to build the Lamar Towers project in Jeddah, the company said yesterday. Developed by Cayan Investment and Development, Lamar Towers will be located on the seafront of the Saudi Arabian city and consists of two towers of residential and commercial units and a shopping mall. Arabtec Holding, the UAE's largest construction firm, formed its Saudi Arabian subsidiary in March with two local partners: CPC Services, a member of the Saudi bin Laden Group, and Prime International Group Services. Arabtec has a 45 per cent stake in the partnership, while CPC has 35 per cent and Prime 20 per cent. Riad Kamal the chief executive of Arabtec Holding, said at the time that projected turnover in the subsidiary's first year would be more than Dh1.47bn and between Dh2.9bn and Dh4.8bn in three to five years. The company is also working on the Dh1.4bn contract for the construction of Princess Noura University in Riyadh, bringing the value of its projects in Saudi Arabia so far to Dh3.3bn. Arabtec made preparations for an entry into Saudi Arabia, the largest construction market in the GCC, not long after the economic downturn hit the UAE's construction sector in October. The move has helped to compensate for lost contracts in the Emirates, which shaved Dh4bn off the company's order book. "Saudi is a positive development for the company in the long run," said a report released yesterday by Al Mal Capital, an investment bank. "In the long term, the strategy to tap the relatively stable market of Saudi Arabia could help the company establish a strong foothold in the region, thereby enhancing the growth profile of the company." Arabtec is also bidding for work in Egypt and is in talks with four partners for projects in Libya. The slowdown and a steady stream of construction projects in Saudi Arabia has prompted a number of construction companies in the UAE to seek work there. In the first three months of this year alone, contracts worth Dh57.6bn were awarded in Saudi Arabia, according to figures from MEED magazine. Last month, Al Habtoor Leighton Group won its first Saudi project through a partnership with Al-Rajhi Projects and Construction, a Saudi Arabian firm. The contract, worth Dh2.5bn, was for construction of the first phase of the Information Technology and Communication Complex in Riyadh. agiuffrida@thenational.ae