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Company History

Arabtec’s roots lie in the construction boom of the 1970’s, when the company was established to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the UAE’s emerging market. In 1979, Arabtec was awarded its first construction contract for three cold stores, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. Their successful completion in 1980 was followed by the Al Ain Student Accommodation project. This large-scale development was completed in eight months by applying a rigorous, 24 hours a day, seven days a week schedule.

Eleven years later, Arabtec again demonstrated its fast-track capabilities when it completed three residential blocks for the Girls Student Accommodation of UAE University in Al Ain in just four months.

Between April 1981 and September 1988, Arabtec engaged a Swiss company, Cablex, to assist the company in a number of 132KV oil-filled cable installations for DEWA in Dubai. With a collective value in excess of AED 60 million, these projects carried Arabtec safely through the depression that marked the construction market in the late 1980’s.

The 1980’s also saw Arabtec involved in the construction of a number of private villas, warehouses and office facilities in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. The Abu Ghazaleh Building in Sharjah, completed between 1982 and 1984, marked Arabtec’s first turn-key project involving design and construction. This notable residential structure featured tunnel form, a formwork system and technology, used for the first time by Arabtec. The company went on to employ this technology on many projects and in 1989, Arabtec successfully adapted this system for developments of 2,200 villas in Dubai, and has, since then, utilised it in numerous residential projects.

After developing a relationship with the Al Futtaim family in Dubai, in July 1983, Arabtec won the contract to construct their Automobile Distribution Centres in Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. The construction of the Al Futtaim Commercial and Residential Building in Dubai followed in the same year.

Thirteen years later, the relationship continued with the award of Ajman City Centre Complex, a one-year fast-track project comprising a shopping mall, a large Carrefour hypermarket and a cinema complex. The expansion of Deira City Centre followed in 1999, which involved the construction of the Al Futtaim Lexus Tower plus two multi-storey car parks, retail expansion and an 11-screen cineplex.

In 1983, Arabtec began its long involvement with the oil and gas sectors in Abu Dhabi. This phase commenced with new accommodation buildings and offices for Abu Dhabi Oil Co. (Japan) Ltd. (ADOC). ADOC went on to become a major client, awarding us further projects such as the residential and office development on Mubarraz Island, laboratories and control centres and jetty projects. In 1988, Arabtec completed the West Mubarraz Oil and Gas Processing Plant, with a value in excess of AED 120 million, one of its biggest projects for ADOC. In more recent years, Arabtec was awarded the New Jetty and Power Project on Mubarraz Island.

Arabtec also undertook extensive work for GASCO and ADCO in Abu Dhabi, in the inland oil and gas fields – mainly in the western area of the Abu Dhabi Emirate. This included residential projects, clinics, sewage treatment plants, concrete repair and civil projects in their live plants in Bu Hasa, Asab, Ruwais and Bab. The projects spanned from 1983 to 2004 and had a collective value in excess of AED 500 million.

In 1995, Arabtec made its mark on the aviation world, beginning with the Emirates Airline Engineering Store. Despite being a small design and build project, its accomplishment led Arabtec to be awarded the largest project ever commissioned by Emirates Airline – the Emirates New Technical Centre, which was valued in excess of AED 150 million. The expansion of Dubai Airport for Dubai Civil Aviation gave Arabtec its first exposure to an international project management group, International Bechtel Inc. Valued at approximately AED 450 million, Arabtec’s diverse airport work has played a key role in the company’s expansion and its rise to the top of the construction field in Dubai.

In 1992, Arabtec expanded into the villa sector with the Al Garhoud Residential Complex. This was soon followed by a number of other villa projects, including in 2001, Arabtec’s first villa contract for Emaar, which marked the beginning of a permanent relationship that continues to this day. All of these projects were completed to high standards, handed over on, or ahead of time and have led to the creation of a new division called Arabtec Living, which marked a key milestone in the expansion and growth of the company. This division boasts a workforce in excess of 13,000 labor and staff, as well as state-of-the-art plant and equipment.

The high-rise buildings synonymous with Dubai’s skyline have also proved a fertile ground for Arabtec’s growth.

Today, Arabtec is one of the leading contractors in this field. As early as 1976, the company made its first foray into high-rise construction with the 17-storey Pearl Building. Fourteen years later, the company re-entered the field with the construction of the 22-storey Lagoon Tower in Sharjah.

This was followed by the Mansoori Tower in Abu Dhabi, the Fairmont Hotel project 1997, the Lexus Tower for Majid Al Futtaim Group in 1999, and the 21st Century Tower for Rostamani Real Estate in 2001. After its completion in 2003, the 55-floor 21st Century Tower was identified among the world’s tallest skyscrapers and as the tallest residential building in the world.

Arabtec continues to play a major role in redefining the skyline of Dubai. In conjunction with Samsung and Six Construct, it was involved in the construction of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 metres tall. Nearby, the Burj Lake Hotel, now called the Address Hotel, has recently been completed, in a joint venture with Six Construct. This earned recognition in the world as The New Hotel of 2008.

With our diverse projects as well as international recognition, we continue to demonstrate our commitment towards the company’s vision to be the leading provider of quality construction and engineering services in the Middle East, North Africa and across the globe.

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