Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is the Middle East largest construction company specializing in oil, gas, heavy civil engineering, air, and water. Founded in 1952 by Said Elkhoury in Beirut Lebanon it ranks 13th in the world of largest construction companies with a Net Revenue of $8.7 Billion in November 2017. Boasting a vast project portfolio such as the Dubai mall, Muscat Airport (Oman) & achieving completion of 23 liquid natural gas (LNG) trains which are equivalent to 30% of LNG in the world as they are predominately in the Arab world. With 142,000 employees and offices in 37 countries, it has become the favourable contractors’ company among the Arab royal families and in the middle east.
Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) was founded in 1952 and had completely different aims to 2018. It originally started as a trading company of commodities such as fish, fruits, and vegetables and aimed to become the largest trading company in the middle east. (CCC) known as Khoury’s trading in 1952 was venturing with the trade to Israel, Syria, and parts of Lebanon but due to political situations such as the Arab-Israeli war, Syrian occupation of Lebanon and the Lebanese civil war Khoury’s trading suffered major financial consequences due to the instability of Lebanon. Fruit, vegetables, and Fish were no longer a commodity to people as they required basics as bread and water due to war. Said Elkhoury became bankrupt with the trading company just sending goods to nearby Lebanese villages. The solution was to escape Lebanon and seek immigration in Greece and carry on his business to trade, after seeking immigration in Greece he did not know he had to face supermarket giants like Bazaar and Proton as this was not Lebanon where people relied on each other for the shipment of goods as supermarket chains had that possession in Greece. Said Elkhoury then went to his homeland of Lebanon to study engineering where he met Hassib Sabbagh a well-known politician’s son who both had a passion for starting their own construction company, with the help of Sabbagh’s father they were able to open consolidated contractors company, their aim was to construct projects in Lebanon but their dreams became wilder as in 1953 with the help of the Lebanese government (CCC) ventured its first project of constructing the pipelines in Kirkuk Iraq, a $3 million venture but then nothing after that was achieved.
Kirkuk pipelines proved successful, but the Arab world had still not benefited from the oil/gas boom we see today, implicating wealth only to the royal family since the Oil boom started in 1938 with the Saudi royal family occupying 93% of it. In 1954 prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud married a Lebanese woman named Mona al Solh who was Hassib Sabbagh’s aunt, this made CCC on the Saudi Royal families’ radar. For the third time, CCC changed its aims and strategies to become the largest construction company in the middle east, with the help of the Royal family.
In 1965 during the Arab Israeli war Hassib Sabbagh decided to go to Israel and join the army to fight for a Jewish free state which is when he gave 100% of the company to Said Elkhoury, Said was now alone, and the Saudi Royal family were occupied with the Arab-Israeli war, he decided to leave Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and return to Athens Greece, now the company went completely down again. He now aimed to only rely on himself.
CCC decided to undertake projects around the world due to the political instability in the middle east but did not prosper because the western world and East Asia had mega giants and did not need anymore. CCC stayed out of business for 8 months with no projects whatsoever and cut its employee count from 23,000 to 2,400. Since the middle east political situation started to simmer down between the Gulf states with many peace treaties signed CCC decided to venture again to the middle east. In 1966, Said read that the UAE had discovered oil, he travelled straight to Abu Dhabi to negotiate. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi had offered CCC major projects such as the $1 billion Abu Dhabi palace, the landmark Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Mall (talks with the Dubai crown prince later on) and construction of the Khalifa port (middle east’s largest port), now CCC had become a large construction company doing business only with the Arab royal families.
CCC was doing business with Qatar now, building the Doha international airport and inserting all the LNG trains in the state of Qatar, CCC was flourishing with projects. Said Elkhoury was now put in an awkward position, with political relations between Qatar and the other gulf state satisfactory, gulf members doing business with Said Elkhoury wanted no relation with CCC and the state of Qatar.
Said was now unfit to negotiate which is when his children Wael and Samer took over the business and negotiated with Prince Walid Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia (who was Hasib’s cousin) to negotiate peacefully with all the other Gulf states that CCC does not participate in politics. After Wael and Samer took over they had close ties with Walid Bin Talal who is the wealthiest Arab man with a net worth of $18 billion as of November 2017 according to Forbes. Walid gave CCC his full trust and allowed CCC to venture on multibillion-dollar projects like the Abraj Al-Bait (world’s most expensive building) project in the holy city of Mecca Saudi Arabia, the project cost $15 billion with CCC alongside Saudi Binladin group responsible for completion providing its contractor services. Due to the September 11 attacks in New York, Saudi Arabia wanted no affiliation with the Saudi Binladen group whose owner is Mohammed bin Laden (father of the infamous Osama), the House of Saud appointed CCC to become their main Contractor Service.
In my judgment, I believe that CCC ventured at the wrong place at the wrong time leading to multiple failures, in the brink on Arab independence and wars in an unstable region construction was the last thing on any states mind in the early 50s and 60s. I believe that CCC was incredibly lucky to acquire business relations with the royal families. I also believe that Wael and Samer increased the company’s value by acquiring shares in major oil and gas companies, as well as business links with the wealthiest Arabs. CCC now worries as Arab construction is simmering down with oil projected to run out in 55 years according to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). CCC should start venturing into Europe and start small not expecting multimillion-dollar projects.
CCC was originally a middle eastern based contractors company but has ventured across the world because of Wael and Samer Elkhoury. Now with 53 offices in 37 countries, 142,000 employees and a revenue of $8.7 billion, CCC will hold its place for the largest construction company in the middle east for a while.