Khoury is an entrepreneur and philanthropist like his cousin and brother-in-law Hasib Sabbagh, with whom he jointly established the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) in Beirut in the early 1950s. Khoury is known for developing CCC’s family corporate culture in hugely successful construction projects throughout the region and is also a significant supporter of philanthropic activities in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere.
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 Washing DC, to projects in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Africa and the Gulf.
CCC is looking to expand its operations in the UAE and in April 2008 was one of six companies bidding to build a natural-gas pipeline across the UAE, as part of a contract tendered by Dolphin Energy Ltd.
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. In addition to securing this relationship, Khoury and Sabbagh built strategic partnerships with other important players in the markets they entered as the company expanded.
Khoury, who owns 60 percent of CCC, and Hasib Sabbagh, who owns the rest, took a $37.5m dividend in 2004, leaving $462m of shareholder equity in the company. Kamel Abdul Rahman, CCC’s third founder, who died in 1980, sold his stake to his partners before retiring.
Khoury currently holds or has held, among others, the following positions: governor of Arab Monetary Fund, chairman of the Palestinian Businessmen Organisation, chairman of Palestine Electrical Company, Gaza, member of the Board of Trustees for the Bethlehem Foundation (Washington DC), member of the Board of Trustees — Institute of Palestinian Studies, Beirut and Member of the Board of Trustees — Parish of Greek Orthodox of Europe. Khoury is also an honorary chair of The Aspen Institute’s Middle East Strategy Group.
Khoury was born in 1923 in Safad, Palestine, to a wealthy landowner father who held fishing rights for the Sea of Galilee. Khoury returned to Safad after graduating in 1946 to start his own construction company but was forced to leave in May 1948, when hostilities broke out.