The Business Year

Walid Salman

UAE, ABU DHABI - Real Estate & Construction

Scaffold Is High

Regional Managing Director of Operations, UAE of Consolidated Contractors International Company S.A.L. (CCC)

Bio

Walid Salman joined CCC in 1977 after having obtained his degree in Engineering from the University of Beirut. Currently, Walid holds various executive positions including: Regional Managing Director — Operations UAE, CCC President, The Morganti Group Inc. – UAE, Managing Director, CCC Construction Management Division — Jordan, and JV Board Member and JV Representative with Client, Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Project.

TBY talks to Walid Salman, Regional Managing Director of Operations, UAE of Consolidated Contractors International Company S.A.L. (CCC), on the company's reputation in the region, expansion, and meeting the challenges of Abu Dhabi's growth.

CCC has a well-known reputation in the region as the largest construction company in the Middle East. What factors make CCC one of the top 25 international contractors here?

The owner of the company’s message has always been to maintain integration with the people in each country where we do business, using the local resources, materials, and companies in all of our projects, in order to build relations with each community. The culture at CCC has a family feel. In each country we operate, we have developed good relations with people from politicians to those working in the construction field. We always start with the aim of building good relationships and delivering on what we have committed to. This is why CCC has become a strong construction company in the Middle East. The UAE in particular has been one of the main areas where we have grown and expanded in the GCC.

Are there any new areas where you are looking to expand?

We expand wherever the market is hungry for our existence. We are considering Brazil. We are bidding for some projects in Canada. We have diversified our experience in many fields, including oil and gas, infrastructure, heavy and light civil projects, and we are able to diversify from sector to sector depending on market needs.

Are you looking for any future JVs or partnerships here in the UAE?

One of our main interests is to work with others, primarily with local contractors in areas where they can add value such as in equipment, supplies, and manpower. Today, we are also bidding with many European companies for the museum series, the Guggenheim, and Khalifa Medical Care City, where we are bidding with Chinese and Italian companies. We are always looking to gain experience from others to continuously develop and improve our capabilities. We work with others to get a sense of how they handle issues. In an international market, we need this kind of diversified experience.

In the UAE market, what type of projects are you focusing on?

In the wider UAE, our main focus is oil and gas, heavy civil works, and infrastructure projects. As an experienced contractor, we know that the money is in engineering and procurement—construction is the low margin side. We created an EPC arm to handle our EP for the company. It is a venture between CCC and the Japanese company Chiyoda CCC Engineering Ltd. (CCEL), and we have succeeded in winning projects in the oil sector. This is where we try to cover areas that we believe will improve our capabilities in EPC roles. For infrastructure projects, we are bidding for the next phase of Etihad railway projects. We are bidding for Metro Abu Dhabi in a joint venture with Bechtel and Zublin Construction, and we are also bidding for the Guggenheim Museum—both major projects. We are one of the main contractors starting the road, highway, port, and airport construction projects within the UAE.

Looking ahead five years, in what areas do you envision CCC playing a key role in Abu Dhabi?

We always have internal sessions to discuss future expectations, how we plan on developing our capabilities, and what our goals are in each country and region. We study each sector and we focus on each field depending on the development needs in each country. With the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, one of the main goals is to heavily invest in power and electricity, and this is one of the major sectors that we are focusing on now in addition to contributing to the infrastructure projects, industrial zones, and the water sector.

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