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Arabtec for sale?

Local contracting giant, Arabtec, is up for sale, company officials confirmed this week to <i>Construction Week</i>.

Local contracting giant, Arabtec, is up for sale, company officials confirmed this week to Construction Week.

“The company has not yet been sold,” said Thomas Barry, Arabtec general manager and director for construction. “The company owner is considering selling.”

Arab Technical Construction Co. (Arabtec) was established in 1975 just a few years after the UAE was formed in 1971. The company has played a key role in the development of the infrastructure of the country.

Arabtec general manager would not comment or provide any further details as to why the company was being sold off.

Barry, however, did confirm that the owner, Riad Kamal, is in talks with prospective buyers. “Yes, he is in talks,” was his short reply to questions posed by Construction Week.

Asked if he could identify the buyers, the company general manager said it was “slightly premature” and that he could not really comment on it. But he did say that talks are on with buyers from both within the Arab world as well as with international majors.

Arabtec boasts a large multinational workforce in excess of 3500, an array of the latest plant and equipment and a highly qualified and professional management team.

Asked how a potential sale would affect the company, Barry said the process of the sale had nothing to do with the prospects of the company.

“If and when Arabtec is sold, it would not change its present form. We will continue to perform as we have done. In fact, we probably will expand further,” Barry said.

Industry circles said that this could be likely with the injection of fresh equity in the company. Talk had been going around that the company was being sold off. But equally, it is also true that the sale was to effect a changeover of ownership and not of the present management or operations.

Company staff has been informed of the plans to sell the firm. It has also been assured that there will not be a change of management or operations.

Since its establishment in the UAE in 1975, Arabtec has been involved in the construction of major development projects in as diverse fields such as hotels and resorts, commercial and residential buildings, cultural landmarks, offshore oil and gas installations, cinemas and entertainment facilities and airport developments.

It has done several large projects at Dubai International Airport, and was involved in developments such as the Ajman City Centre Cineplex, Ghantoot Horse Racing Stadium, the Sharjah Art Gallery, Lexus Tower, Fairmont Hotel and Al Maha Resort.

Its client list is a veritable Who’s Who of UAE developers and includes Adco, Gasco, Adnoc, Adoc, Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Abu Dhabi Ship Building, Al Fattan Properties, Al Rostamani Group, Carrefour, Dubai Civil Aviation, Dubai Ports Authority, Emaar Properties, Emarat, Emirates airline, Eppco, governments of Dubai and Sharjah, Hoerbiger, Jumeirah Hotels, Majid Al Futtaim Group, Public Works Department, Abu Dhabi, Rotana hotel group, Sharjah Oil Refinery, Turner International, UAE Armed Forces, Union Properties and WS Atkins.

Couple of major projects that the company has in hand include the Al Yamamah Building tower near Deira City Centre. The Al Yamamah Building is a 13-storey residential tower, with basement parking. Work has already started. The organisation is also thought to be well placed with its bid for the planned underwater hotel off the coast of Jumeirah.

Arabtec has also been awarded another major project of the Al Fattan Towers, which comprises three basement floors, two podium floors, and twin residential towers of 51 floors each.

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