Bardawil was founded in 1945 by Philip H. Bardawil, after having lived and worked in Manchester (U.K.) and Ghana in the 1920s and 30s. Bardawil & Co was started modestly in Beirut, Rue de Tripoli in the L’Orient Le Jour building, trading in a wide variety of goods. It rapidly focused and became known for its specialised machinery and equipment.
With the passing away of the founder in 1948, his son Fouad P. Bardawil first joined the business straight out of university followed in the 1950s by his brothers Habib and Labib.
The group started expanding into a number of Middle Eastern countries in the late 40s and early 50s: Syria, Kuwait and Iraq. It became known throughout the Middle East for its high-quality products & services.
In the 60s, the group established operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabian markets and started expanding its product range into new areas such as construction materials, specialised contracting services and aviation equipment and services.
With the commencement of the civil war in Lebanon in 1975, the group shifted its focus abroad, to strengthen its already existing foreign operations which had been established since the early 1950s and 60s. They were thus well positioned to take advantage of the massive construction efforts being undertaken by GCC countries in the late 1970s. Meanwhile, the home base operation kept on going despite all the difficulties faced during the war years.
The group expanded into the UK and manufacturing sectors in the early 80s through the acquisition of a small UK based construction chemical manufacturer Building Chemical Research Ltd.
The third generation started in the family business in the 80s. Philip F. Bardawil joined the group in the mid 80s, followed by Marwan F. Bardawil in the early 90s and then Albert F. Bardawil in the late 90s.
Expansion evolved in a decentralized mode with an open “architecture??? to maintain flexibility in a challenging environment through numerous legal entities each focusing on specific territories or activities.
As of the late 80s, the group undertook expansion into a number of significant new ventures:
Restructured in 1988, the already 30 year old operations in Kuwait through the establishment of Al-Bahar & Bardawil Specialities (B&B)
Started in 1993 a specialised contracting operation in Lebanon, Bardawil Specialities sal, which eventually became focused on geotechnical contracting
Started in 1997 a UAE based factory, Speciality Engineering Chemicals-SpEC, focusing on the manufacture of construction chemicals
Started in 1997 a specialised concrete repair business in Saudi Arabia in JV with a leading general contractor
Started in 1999 a new trading and specialised contracting business in Qatar (Bardawil Specialities-Qatar)
In the first decade of the new millennium, the group continued to expand into new areas such as:
Life Support Services-started by the B&B operation in Iraq in 2003
Re-entry into the Iraq market with a variety of construction services in 2003
Establishment in 2005 of a JV with Viking by Bardawil Aviation in the UAE for the manufacturing of trailers for baggage handling
Setting up in 2007 a unit for the manufacturing of expanded metal products in the UAE
Establishment of a JV in 2008 by SpEC with Juffali for the manufacture of construction chemicals in Saudi Arabia
Establishment of Bardawil G Systems Ltd. focusing on government systems and aircraft such as Bell Helicopters in the area
Establishment of a silicone sealant plant in Qatar in 2011
The company prides itself in the highly competent and loyal staff that has been with the organization for many years. The fourth generation of family members have started now joining the business with Fouad P. Bardawil II joining the group in 2012.
With its main base in the Middle East, the group has weathered over the last seven decades the impact of severe political risk and upheaval ranging from nationalisations to wars, invasions, revolutions etc.-in addition to the normal changes in the economical cycles. This was made possible through the diversification of risk by having operations in different countries and sectors and the prudent and relentless efforts of the employees, executives and owners of the business.
As it stands today, the group is well established in Lebanon, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UK with over 1,000 employees.