ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
Hamish Tyrwhitt outlines his long-term strategy to expand Arabtec Holding’s presence and market share in the UAE, and beyond
If the Middle East’s most influential construction leaders were to be judged by their achievements, then Hamish Tyrwhitt would stand out for the steady growth trajectory on which he has set his organisation.
Tyrwhitt, in April and November 2016, was named group chief executive officer (CEO) of Depa Limited and Arabtec Holding, respectively. He has been at the centre of a quiet but impactful campaign that has turned around the fortunes of both firms.
Earlier this year, Arabtec Holding revealed that it ended 2017 in the black, with $33.5m (AED123.1m) in net profit. According to the company, its revenue for the 12 months ending 31 December, 2017, reached $2.5bn (AED9.1bn), while its backlog stood at $4.7bn (AED17.2bn). Last year also saw the company and its subsidiaries winning work on notable developments across the UAE, such as Wasl Tower, Akoya Oxygen, and Expo 2020 Dubai’s UAE Pavilion. Arabtec Holding’s turnaround is self-evident, but an amused Tyrwhitt only hesitatingly agrees when asked if he feels ‘comeback king’ is an appropriate term to describe his role at the company. “I would love to be able to take the credit, but the reality is that construction is a team sport,” he told Construction Week.
“We’ve all worked together [and been] very focused on achieving results and creating a culture of accountability […and] performance. Certainly, both Depa’s and Arabtec Holding’s teams have stepped up to that.” Tyrwhitt is also optimistic about the industry’s future: “I think the sector is incredibly resilient. We have no control over [external factors], but it’s our ability to navigate through those issues, if they have an impact on us, that’s important.
“We have a visibility of a really good market at the moment, and we will tender for work. Hopefully, we’ll win our share […], and if we do, we will focus on delivering those jobs.”