Arabtec, the UAE’s largest-listed contractor, has appointed Mubadala Investment Company’s deputy group chief executive Waleed Al Muhairi to lead the firm as chairman, as the construction firm continues to stabilise its business amid difficult market conditions.
Mr Al Muhairi replaces Mohamed Al Rumaithi who has stepped down from the post, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade.
Arabtec's board said the outgoing chairman helped guided Arabtec through “a tough market environment and challenging period ... [and] was instrumental in stabilising the business and building a sustainable strategy in the interest of Arabtec Group and its stakeholders”, according to the statement.
Mr Al Muhairi currently serves as Mubadala’s deputy group chief executive and chief executive of the sovereign fund’s Alternative Investments & Infrastructure platform. He has strategic oversight of Mubadala’s broad investment portfolio and special projects at the group level.
Mr Al Muhairi also leads the healthcare, real estate & infrastructure and capital investments portfolios of Mubadala, which has over $232 billion (Dh852bn) of assets.
A graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University, Mr Al Muhairi also serves as a board member of Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate's international financial hub.
Arabtec, which is behind some of the most iconic projects in the UAE, including the Burj Khalifa, has reshuffled its top management as the company looks to steady its business amid the coronavirus-induced slowdown.
In April, the company promoted Wail Farsakh from group chief operating officer to chief executive and appointed Najeh Awad as acting chief financial officer.
Mr Wail who joined Arabtec in September last year had primarily focused on restructuring Arabtec’s construction business until his promotion.
Arabtec, which has a workforce of more than 45,000, reported its first full-year loss last year since 2016, mainly due to weaker income from its construction business. A slowdown in the real estate sector resulted in fewer contracts being awarded. The settlements and recovery of claims and losses from an investment in an associate company also reduced profitability.
However, Arabtec's industrial, infrastructure and mechanical, and electrical and plumbing business lines remained profitable last year.