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Construction titan to cement its place in the GCC

Architecture, Building, Cityscape Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism
Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi is among the projects contracted to the Besix Group
  • Besix Group tenders for PPP projects in UAE, Saudi and Bahrain
  • Projects range from museums in Egypt and Abu Dhabi to parts of Neom
  • Sustainable energy contract includes Ajman sludge-to-energy project

Construction company Besix Group has revealed plans to further expand across the GCC as the region embraces public-private partnerships for key projects.

The Belgian-French group, which is based in Brussels, is one of the world’s leading international contractors and announced on Wednesday a 20-year high in turnover of over $3.7 billion in 2022.

Bexis said it is to tender and prepare for more PPP projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

The group closed last year with a record order book of more than $5.7 billion, with a geographical spread including 12 percent in the Middle East.

The results come as experts forecast PPPs will become more important across a wider range of sectors in the GCC as countries continue to diversify their economies.

In contracting, Besix signed contracts including the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi with the Department of Culture and Tourism, and quay walls in Oxagon City port, part of the Neom giga project in Saudi Arabia.

“Our concessions in the Middle East, specialising in private-public partnerships in water and waste, and our western Europe infrastructure and utilities entities, as well as our real estate development division, have performed exceptionally well,“ said Besix CEO Pierre Sironval.

Blazer, Clothing, CoatBesix Group
Besix Group CEO Pierre Sironval (right) with Johan Beerlandt, executive vice-chairman

The company’s concessions and assets segment continued to realise a growing contribution to its revenues through PPPs that are delivering above-target results including the Zayed City school campus in Abu Dhabi, which has a capacity of 5,000+ students and is set to open for the school year 2024-2025.

In 2022 Besix also delivered the Infinity Bridge to Dubai’s Road & Transport Authority as well as a deep tunnel storm water system to the Dubai Municipality which drains 40 percent of the city’s urban area. 

The company also booked major progress in Abu Dhabi on two museum projects, which are part of the emirate’s development strategy to be a cultural epicentre – the Sheikh Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Museum. 

In Dubai, The Royal Hotel & Residences was delivered while Besix was also responsible for the engineering and construction of the Dubai Uptown Tower, which stands at 340 metres.

In North Africa the Grand Egyptian Museum is nearing delivery, while in Morocco the Mohammed VI Tower has reached its final point at 250 metres above ground.

Besix GroupMinistry of State for Antiquities
The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo was another Besix Group PPP contract in the region

“Despite the challenges posed in 2022, we navigated the turbulent times and played an active role in stimulating economic growth in the regions where we operate,” said Sironval.

“We remain vigilant in the face of ongoing economic challenges. Our focus stays on expanding our recurring income business and pursuing high-quality projects with healthy margins and balanced risk-distribution.”

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE see PPPs as a means to accelerate major projects, Sarah Al-Shawwaf, senior vice president of Albright Stonebridge Group, previously told AGBI.

“Saudi Arabia sees PPPs as crucial to meeting its foreign direct investment targets and transitioning some of the financial burden of its giga-projects to the private sector in the long term,” she said.

“The UAE, and particularly Abu Dhabi, is also focused on promoting PPPs, but its motivations are somewhat different. It sees PPPs more through the lens of industry collaboration, knowledge sharing, and building local capabilities.”

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