This feature is part of a series highlighting the most prominent engineering and design consultancy firms with headquarters in Jordan or that have a significant presence in the Kingdom.
CEO: Talal Shair
Offices: 45 across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe
Having so far worked on projects worth a combined total of $270 billion, Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners) is easily one of the world’s leading construction consultancies. It has ranked among the world’s top 10 engineering and architectural consultancies for over 25 years, according to weekly magazine Engineering News-Record, with clients spanning 100 countries.
In November 1956, four professors from the American University of Beirut led by Jordanian pioneer Kamal A. Shair, opened a specialized engineering firm in the Lebanese capital. Two years later, the firm received its first big commission in the form of a power station in Kuwait. From there on the firm grew steadily, winning projects across the Middle East and Africa. It now boasts design centers in Amman, Beirut, Cairo, London, and the Indian city of Pune.
In the wake of the 1970s oil boom, the firm started winning major industrial infrastructure contracts in countries like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. These included roads, hospitals, airports, water and sewage systems, housing, and telecommunications projects.
The company rose to prominence on the world stage following the acquisition of several important names in the engineering, management and architectural field such as Perkins+Will (Chicago, United States) in 1986 and Penspen (London, UK) in 1990.
Dar Al-Handasah spearheaded the planning of Lebanon’s post-war reconstruction in the 1990s, including the Central Beirut District, the capital’s Rafic Hariri International Airport, and the Port of Beirut.
Earlier this year, Dar Al-Handasah‘s Egyptian arm successfully bid to develop a huge industrial and logistics hub around the Suez Canal, under the supervision of the country’s armed forces.
Plans for the project include a 72 kilometer bifurcation to the Suez Canal as well as the creation of infrastructure in the region. Expenses for digging the bifurcation are expected to reach $4 billion.
The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and rakes in around $5 billion in revenues per year. Dar Al-Handasah will provide consultancy services and develop a master plan for the Suez Canal area spanning Port Said and Al Arish in the North to Al Ain Sokhna and Gulf of Suez in the South.
Kamal Shair Bridge – Jordan
Cukurova Metropolitan Region Urban Development Project – Turkey
Beirut Central District Reconstruction – Lebanon, Beirut
Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus Syria, Damascus
Sungai Prai Bridge- Malaysia
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Lebanon – Lebanon, Beirut
Palm Jumeirah Marina Apartments – UAE, Dubai
Erbil-City Center – Iraq, Erbil
Makkah Hills KSA, Mecca – Madinah
International Airport of Catumbela – Angola
Lagos Mainland Central Model City Masterplan – Nigeria, Lagos
Dubai International Airport – Concourse 2 and terminal 3
King Abdul Aziz International Airport – KSA, Jeddah
Articles in the series of the engineering and design firms shaping Jordan:
Consolidated Consultants Group
Associated Consulting Engineers (ACE)