In construction and other industries alike, the ideal chief executive officer is one that personifies their company’s products and services.

Apple’s avant-garde product designs were emblematic of the bold business approach preferred by Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg’s unwavering drive for connectivity helped Facebook become the communications giant it is today. In that respect, it’s easy to see how Kez Taylor, a seasoned personality in the regional construction sector, has led ALEC’s evolution into one of the UAE’s top contractors since he took the helm almost two decades ago.

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ALEC’s portfolio includes some of the region’s most high-profile projects, such as Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Concourses A and D of Dubai International Airport in the UAE, and the Jabal Al Akhdar Anantara Hotel Resort and Spa in Oman. In August 2017, it was announced that Select Group had awarded ALEC a $163.3m (AED600m) contract to develop the Jumeirah Living Marina Gate project in Dubai.

While the company's portfolio already comprises some of the region's most iconic developments, Taylor has his sights set firmly on the future of both construction in the UAE, as well as ALEC, which is currently busy with the Expo 2020 Dubai and the Dubai Hills Mall schemes. 

“We’re working [for] Expo 2020 Dubai on two projects,” Taylor tells Construction Week.

“This includes the Mobility Pavilion, which is a technically challenging project, and the Conference and Exhibition Centre (CoEx) Campus, which is going to be the conference facility [of] Expo 2020. We’re also working on a project along the Deira Creek.”

CoEx will be the centre for Expo 2020 Dubai’s events, with Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) acting as the project’s client. Meanwhile, Emaar Properties is developing the Mobility Pavilion. ALEC announced its contract win for the pavilion on 30 April, 2018.

Mobility is only one of ALEC’s contracts with Emaar, for which it is also developing the Dubai Hills Mall. Structural work on the mall is 60% complete, and the 650-shop retail destination is on schedule, Taylor tells Construction Week. Spanning 185,806m², the mall is located within Dubai Hills Estate, a mega-development joint venture between Emaar Development and Meraas. This February, ALEC Energy – a subsidiary of ALEC – announced it had been picked to provide a 6.5 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar power plant for the retail project.

Adding value

Dubai Hills Mall's solar power facility will feature 24,000 solar panels on the mall's roof, and is expected to generate 10.5m kwh/units of electrical energy within a year of operational commencement. As a result, the project will record an offset of 4.62 million kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year – the equivalent of offsetting the annual CO2 emissions of 1,673 passenger vehicles the same time period. ALEC Energy will provide system design, local approval, and construction services for the plant, which will be built and commissioned in line with Dubai Hills Mall's programme.

Taylor says ALEC’s work on the Dubai Hills Mall scheme exemplifies how contractors can add value to both a project and its developer. He explains that collaboration across the supply chain, from clients down to sub-contractors, is essential, and a contractor’s early involvement can ensure that efficiency gains are accumulated across the construction life-cycle.

NEXT PAGE: The significance of early involvement, and going 'paperless' on Dubai Hills Mall