How has Rafik El-Khoury & Partners developed since its establishment in 1967, particularly in terms of the geographical expansion of its operations?
From the outset, the firm has, on the one hand, been involved in the structural designs of delicate architectural projects where only the full interchange of ideas between architect and engineer could lead to the success of the venture. On the other hand, it has been involved in important engineering and structural designs per se. To satisfy the demands of its clients, the services of the office were extended early on to include architectural and electro-mechanical design, and working drawings. The firm has been closely involved in major projects both in Lebanon and in the Middle East. From the start, we decided to establish branch offices in the UAE (Abu Dhabi in 2006) and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Al-Khobar in 2010), to be able to undertake first hand our activities locally.
In which main sectors are you involved?
Structural design, road and bridge design, infrastructure design, the design of industrial installations and maritime works, preparation of tender documents, and project control and supervision (including cost control and project/construction management) are some of the firm's major fields of activity. The firm has also been extensively involved in structural steel and prefabricated concrete design, and the preparation of fabrication and shop drawings for these industries. Also, to keep up with market developments, the firm has entered into the field of solid waste management. This includes the design and supervision of wastewater treatment plants and sea outfalls, industrial equipment and power station maintenance, and preparation for the privatization of the water and electricity sectors, cultural heritage projects, and environmental work.
How did your company build up such a multi-disciplinary portfolio?
The firm has over 250 engineers and technical staff and maintains full-time specialists in our main fields of activity. For the more highly technical aspects of work, we maintain close relationships with major international consultants in the various fields of engineering. In certain domains, the firm has long-term arrangements with major international consultants to exchange and second staff. The firm has built-up a multi-disciplinary portfolio, in particular to deal with projects funded by major agencies such as the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund, and the Islamic Development Bank.
What are the most significant tenders that you are working toward at the moment?
Some of the prominent tenders under preparation at present are, for Lebanon, a water treatment plant, a dam in South Lebanon, and waste water treatment plants in Keserwan. For Saudi Arabia, we have the military airport, a hospital in Riyadh, supervision of a 1,500-villa project in Riyadh, and design work for parts of the Riyadh metro project. We also have a hotel and a mall project in Dubai, along with a high-rise apartment building in the UAE.
What are the most significant projects that you are currently working on at the regional level?
We are doing detailed design of infrastructure works in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The project covers the construction of roads, tunnels, and overpasses, including utility services and tunnels in the Holy City. We also have the “Mussallah in Mecca" project, which is a 150,000 sqm, 75,000-person mosque built on eight levels. Then, we have an administration building project in Riyadh consisting of office buildings and related utilities, such as a data center, general administration, and conference hall, with a built up area of 40,000 sqm. In the UAE, we are working on the upgrading of an urban road in Ras Al Khaimah. That project includes a dual carriageway with three lanes in each direction, with parallel side road parking, and sidewalks. The upgrade is 9 kilometers long, and includes road and pedestrian bridges. We are also engaged in an interesting project being built on the Littoral Nord site, which is a reclaimed plot of land north of Beirut. Our present involvement there comprises the design and supervision of a business park, a hotel, and a residential building.