With cousin Hasib Sabbagh, in 1952 Said Khoury(right) founded Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), one of the first Arab construction companies.
The company sees sales of $4bn a year and manages projects in 40 countries, with a focus on Middle East and North Africa. Born in Safad, Palestine, Khoury moved to Lebanon in 1948 after the Arab-Israeli war and got his first job helping to build Tripoli Airport. He is now based in Athens. CCC has built landmark projects in everything from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison (built in 1969, before the ascent of Saddam Hussein to the presidency of the country), to the Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.
The company has undertaken major projects in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Africa and the Gulf. The success of CCC is rooted in the early 1960s, with Sabbagh and Khoury securing a contract related to oil pipe storage facilities for the Iraq Petroleum Company, which entailed working with the Bechtel Group, the world’s largest construction company. That deal cemented a long and lasting relationship between CCC and Bechtel and it defined CCC’s scale of operations across the world.
9. The Binladin Family-$7.5bn; Country: Saudi Arabia
Two years ago, the Binladin Group won deals to construct Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Tower and the expansion of the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. Between then the contracts are worth over $20bn. Adding to those deals was a bumper contract to help build the first phase of the Haramain railway link.
The family fortune is based on a construction business that paid immense dividends when decades ago it was awarded contracts for major renovations in Makkah and other religious buildings in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Founded by Mohammed Binladin, the family also built several palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah for the royal family and carried out restoration work following an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Salem, Mohammed’s eldest son, ran the empire left behind by his father upon his death in 1968 until he died when his private plane crashed in Texas in 1988.
Thirteen of Mohammed’s sons sit on the board of the family’s firm — the most prominent being Bakr, Hassan, Islam and Yehya.