This title was clinched by a firm that has juggled the demands of sustainability, health and safety and its own growth to complete some of the biggest projects in the region. Sponsored by Zabeel

Zabeel Properties
Sponsored by Zabeel Properties

Zabeel Properties

Zabeel Properties is a boutique developer of luxury projects that enhance the environment and communities within which they are situated. The Dubai-headquartered company is a responsible developer with a reputation for not only meeting, but also exceeding expectations. This strategy has helped it to establish an emerging track record for delivering work with an uncompromising focus on the highest standards of quality and finish.

The winner: Al Futtaim Carillion

Al Futtaim Carillion’s client list reads like a who’s who of Gulf development, which is just as it should be for one of the industry’s foremost contractors. In 2007, it undertook new initiatives in safety and sustainability, simultaneously achieving solid growth and completing major projects, including the £200m Intercontinental & Crowne Plaza Hotels, Conference Centre and Festival Tower at Dubai Festival City (pictured). The firm’s accident frequency rate was an enviable 0.02 over the year, thanks no doubt to the health and safety training it has been giving its senior staff. Furthermore, it has reduced CO2 emissions and initiated waste management plans on all its sites, which is impressive given the company has more than 50 buildings on the go in Abu Dhabi and Dubai alone. With its reputation for innovation and deliverability Al Futtaim Carillion is a company everyone wants to employ.

Runners up

Al Jaber L.E.G.T Engineering & Contracting (ALEC)

ALEC may be the new kid on the block, having started out as recently as 2001, but it has grown rapidly since then to become a serious player in the Middle East. To employ 1,400 staff and build a turnover of Dh2.8m in just seven years is one thing, but to win such high-profile jobs as phase one of the Dubai Trade Centre District and the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi are truly noteworthy achievements for such a young firm. Its new design-and-construct division means it is contributing to a high standard of architectural elegance to the region as well as delivering projects on time and to budget.

Arabtec Construction

Having made a name for itself in the Gulf, Arabtec now has its eyes on an international future. Its impressive 140% rise in net profit last year meant it could make some smart acquisitions in the form of civil engineer Target Engineering and steelmaker Gulf Steel Industries. This growth has allowed it to consolidate its place as one of the Middle East's most successful global firms. A milestone was reached this year with Arabtec's largest overseas win, the high-profile Dh10bn-contract to build the 400m Gazprom Tower in St Petersburg, set to be one of the tallest buildings in Russia.

Dubai Contracting Company (DCC)

Making it big in Dubai is tough for even the largest international contractors, which makes the Dubai Contracting Company's arrival on the scene even more impressive. Its growth in the region has been almost unstoppable, with its contract to build the first phase of the Mall of Arabia in Dubailand helping it to add enormous projects in Dubai Marina and in Meydan City to its portfolio. It is well placed to see out any instability in the Dubai market, having secured the backing of Amwal AlKhaleej, one of the region's best-known private equity firms.