Among a diverse range of entries for this award, an established and inventive player stood out

Majid Al Futtaim
Sponsored by Majid Al Futtaim

Majid Al Futtaim

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties is proud to be associated with the Gulf States’ Building Awards 2008, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the region that recognises excellence in the regional construction industry. As a significant business within the MAF Group, MAF Properties focuses on developing shopping malls, hotels and mixed-use community projects across the Middle East and North Africa.

The group’s ambitious growth and marketing strategies have enabled it to create and maintain a leading market position, welcoming over 90 million customers a year to its premier retail and leisure developments. MAF Properties continuously explores new opportunities that will further consolidate its regional penetration, allowing it to take its 20 years of experience in creating first-class shopping and recreational facilities to new countries within the region.

Winner: Atkins

Atkins is fast installing itself as the pre-eminent engineering consultancy in the Middle East. With as many as 2,000 staff in seven countries throughout the Gulf region, it has its fingers in almost every major piece of construction you can think of in the UAE – from the landmark Burj Al Arab tower to the rapidly-emerging Dubai Metro. It has not rested on its laurels though, and current projects such as the recently-completed Bahrain World Trade Centre (pictured) and the low-carbon Dubai International Financial Centre Lighthouse show that Atkins is ahead of the game when it comes to its sustainability ambitions and iconic concepts. Judges praised Atkins for its breadth of experience, and for forging a hard-won reputation of excellence in structural, utilities and infrastructural engineering.

Runners up

Buro Happold

Buro Happold's Gulf CV is packed with exciting projects and big names - for instance it is working on Pritzker prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel's exciting designs for the Louvre Abu Dhabi and designing building services for the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Buro Happold is clearly in the sector for the long haul. It is providing environmental assessments for the Pearl City in Kuwait, a project on which it has broadened its sustainable experience and demonstrated its commitment. Buro Happold has also consolidated its long-term presence in Saudi Arabia, playing a key role in masterplanning the future redevelopment of Jeddah. It is truly a multidisciplinary player.


To many, Halcrow is the quintessential UAE engineer, having played a key role in the infrastructural development of Dubai and Abu Dhabi from the fifties onwards. It has continued to play a central role in the region, employing 1,500 people in the Middle East, with 1,300 in the UAE alone. Its outstanding project this year has been the second phase of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, the sixth largest such building in the world and a landmark project for worshippers and residents of Abu Dhabi. Its Palm Jumeirah subsea tunnel was another success characteristic of this dedicated and professional firm.

Pell Frischmann

The British engineer may not be as large as some of its shortlisted rivals, but it more than holds its own when it comes to working on large-scale projects. Its subsidiary Conseco International has worked on landmark schemes like Dubai Airport, the Palm in Jebel Ali, the Tiger Woods golf course in Dubai and the Al Zeina beach resort, the gateway to Aldar Properties' Al Raha Beach development. Pell Frischmann has expertise across many different sectors, from fire engineering to waste management and whole-life sustainability. Known as a problem-solver within the industry, Pell Frischmann will continue to provide solutions in the Middle East for years to come.