MISSION CRITICAL

Kuwait 2019 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

Ahmadiah has always been and remains a reflection of Kuwait's growth, commitment, and proud tradition.

Faisal Al Thuwaini
BIOGRAPHY
Faisal Al Thuwaini graduated from the American University of Washington DC, majoring in international relations and economics with a minor in anthropology. He started his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later on moved to the Council of Ministers, where he advanced to become Second secretary in the diplomatic core. From there, he decided to continue in the family business and joined Ahmedia as Assistant General Manager, subsequently becoming General Manager.

What key factors have helped Ahmadiah become one of Kuwait's leading contractors?

When it comes to the construction field in Kuwait, Ahmadiah has gained a competitive edge thanks to its hard-earned reputation for quality, know-how, and respect of its clients' time constraints. Achieving a leading position is difficult, maintaining it even more so. But we have succeeded and been able to build a record of customer satisfaction second to none in both the public and private sectors. Since its founding in 1954 on a handshake of trust between the Al Thuwainy and Al-Najjar families, our company has held an unwavering belief in the potential of Kuwait and its people. We have always regarded our human capital as our most important asset and a source of great pride. We focus on recruiting and retaining the very best people. Our employees tend to stay with us on average for 15-20 years and are a major factor in our long-lasting sustainability in such a fiercely competitive industry. We work closely with our clients, who are assured by the transparency, integrity and accountability of our corporate governance. Our high number of repeat clients trust us for our professionalism, reliability and ability to deliver quality projects on time, on budget. Today's construction projects are increasingly challenging in scale, complexity, and technique, and we continuously invest in the newest technologies and make sure the younger generation is ready to combine new ideas with Ahmadiah's values, identity, and experience.

What types of projects and sectors is Ahmadiah involved in?

Ahmadiah is behind many of Kuwait's milestone and landmark projects in the civil, commercial, industrial, energy, and utility sectors. The growth of the company has gone hand-in-hand with the development of Kuwait. Some of the most prestigious organizations in Kuwait have come to rely on Ahmadiah's extensive experience and complete range of specialist skills. Our portfolio includes skyscrapers, palaces, hotels and coastal developments, in addition to government and office buildings, and leisure, retail and industrial complexes. It also features numerous crucial national infrastructure projects, such as airport terminals, hospitals, power stations, bridges and highways. High-profile examples include the Bayan Palace, Kuwait Airways' headquarters, and the 414-meter 80-story Al Hamra Tower—Kuwait's tallest building. In 2019, I expect infrastructure to be the sector with the greatest activity, as this forms a large part of the New Kuwait Vision 2035 development plan. Our main focus is to deliver our national projects currently underway. There are many local companies that try to target projects abroad; however, we are proud of our decision to concentrate on large or specialized projects in Kuwait.

Speaking of Vision 2035, what will be essential for Kuwait to achieve its national plan?

It will be crucial to believe in our human capital, use it to its full potential, as we do in Ahmadiah, and make Vision 2035 a reality with the experience of our local companies supported by the knowledge of international partners. All companies are eager to be part of this vision, and the Supreme Council for Planning and Development is monitoring the evolution of New Kuwait to ensure we are on the right track. It will also be essential to maintain stability and continuity at the government level and reduce lengthy bureaucracy that can discourage foreign investors. In addition, companies that will be involved in Vision 2035 should have a certain level of quality of work and experience as well. We might need a more stringent grading of the companies between first, second, and third grades. Currently, only first-grade companies are invited to bid on megaprojects; however, these grades should be better defined, and the requirements should be properly set and respected. Thus far, not all companies classified as first grade are actually capable of working on mega-projects. This grading should be reviewed every three or four years, and a company should not be allowed to tender until it meets the required classification.