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May 2016


Demand side energy management could open up new opportunities for contractors

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contents 6 Editor’s Note 8 News 14 Cover Story


Demand side energy management offers opportunities for savvy contractors, Stuart Matthews writes

20 Analysis

How UAE government initiatives to revitalise stalled construction projects are bearing fruit

24 In Person

David Clifton of Faithful+Gould offers his insight into the latest developments in the region

28 Project Review

The Tower: Emaar unveils its spectacular Dubai Creek Harbour centrepiece

34 Supplier News 36 Building Materials 38 Comment Martin Haupts, CEO of Phanes Group explains why capital investors should feel bullish about solar opportunities


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28 Managing Director Walid Zok Director Rabih Najm Director Wissam Younane Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley Business Development Director Rabih Naderi +966 50 328 9818

Group Editor Melanie Mingas Editor Jason O'Connell Art Director Aaron Sutton Sales Manager Mostafa Abdo +966 56 6695 333


Sales Manager Vishvanath Shetty +971 52 6745378

Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon

c o n t ribu t o rs

42 Analysis

Eversheds on resolving construction arbitrations in the UAE and Qatar

46 Take 10

Construction Business News looks at 10 building designs by the late architect Zaha Hadid

52 Event Review

Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2016 drew investors and buyers alike

56 Comment

Portacool’s Bob Mangiaforte provides tips on how construction workers can avoid heat stress

58 Event Preview

The 13th edition of Project Qatar takes place from 9-12 May

60 Save the Date 62 Editor’s pick

Stuart Matthews

Marlow McGuinness Ltd --------Abhi Shek Photography

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editor’s note

A Fresh start


ne minute you’re reporting on thousands of workers being laid off, the next minute that Dubai has launched another glamourous multi-billion dollar property development, no less than twice the size of Downtown. It’s certainly not a dull time to be taking charge of a regionally focused construction magazine. Perhaps there could be no better illustration of the contrasting fortunes of the GCC’s two economic powerhouses – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Then again, the same contrast exists within the UAE itself – between its two major emirates. This is where the benefit of having a less oil dependent, more diversified economy comes into its own. If anything the weakened oil price has strengthened Dubai’s resolve to get jobs done while there is still cash in the bank. Expo 2020, Emaar’s Dubai Creek Harbour, the soon to be launched theme parks and the upsizing of Al Maktoum airport are all testa-

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ment to the emirate’s resolve to forge ahead with projects that will raise its profile internationally and draw millions of extra visitors to these shores each year. To a certain extent, Dubai will always be affected by the economic state of its nearest neighbours, but current strategy suggests it is determined to diversify its offering so that future oil price shocks will have even less of an impact than they are having now. At the same time Saudi Arabia clearly has no intention of taking the current slump lying down. While some details remain to be ironed out, its recently announced economic reforms are ambitious and far reaching. Only time will tell what the impact of those will be, but the Kingdom has taken the first steps down the path towards a shakeup that will be felt for many years to come. Whatever the contrasts currently exist between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, there is one thing they both surely have in common: Towering ambition.

Jason o'Connell Editor


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DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts tops out DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels and Resorts

DAMAC Properties has announced that its luxury hotel and serviced residences, DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, is topped out. Façade work on the $1.3bn four-tower complex is 60% complete while the interior fit out is progressing well with a significant acceleration in construction in recent months, executives revealed at the opening of the 2016 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai last month. DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts is currently one of the single largest projects under construction in Dubai. The towers, expected to be completed in 2017, will each stretch more than 250 metres into the air, with 10 podium levels and 58 additional storeys. The total number of floors in the development and combined height of the four towers will exceed those of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties, said: “Today is a significant breakthrough for this project and we are pleased with how construction at DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts is progressing. “The 1,200 luxury serviced residences in three of the towers will offer luxurious living with a Hollywood flavour. 8 construction business news me May 2016

The fourth tower, the Paramount Hotel, will house more than 800 rooms and suites. “When the residences are handed over, they will offer contemporary and stylish facilities with a host of amenities to enjoy, including a high-end shopping destination at owners’ doorsteps as well as the finest luxury service standards.” Ghassan Aridi, chairman, Paramount Hotels & Resorts, was present at the topping out ceremony and said: “We are very excited to be here today to mark what is the most significant milestone in the project, apart from its completion, with the towers having reached their full height. “This is a much-anticipated achievement for us, as it will be the world’s first-ever Paramount Hotel and Paramount Residences, and it will also represent the premiere of the Paramount Hotels & Resorts brand in the UAE.” The companies are also collaborating on the Paramount Hotel Dubai Jumeirah Waterfront, Paramount Tower Hotels & Residences Dubai, DAMAC Tower by Paramount Hotels & Resorts Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and DAMAC Villas by Paramount Hotels & Resorts in the AKOYA by DAMAC master development off of Umm Suqeim Road in Dubai.

Sobha group unveils $6.8bn Umm Al Quwain megaproject Sobha Group has teamed up with the Government of Umm Al Quwain to launch a new AED25bn ($6.8bn) resort and residential island development in the emirate. Firdous Sobha will be spread over 53 million square feet and will have a villa community, terraced apartments, hotels and resorts, retail outlets, an 18-hole golf course, sea front villas and apartments, a wellness destination and an array of recreational and entertainment options. H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain and Chairman of Executive Board said: “Our strategic partnership with Sobha Group brings an exciting new dimension to our commitment to developing Umm Al Quwain. “Both the Umm Al Quwain Government and Sobha Group are committed to quality and share a common vision for the island. Firdous Sobha is a flagship project, which has been launched in line with the vision of transforming Umm Al Quwain into an active tourism and commercial destination.”

Atlantis hotel to get $100mn facelift

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid and Sobha Group’s PNC Menon

Firdous Sobha is located on Al Seniyah Island, along with Khor al-Beidah, one of the largest areas of undisturbed and varied coastal environment remaining anywhere in the UAE, a statement said. PNC Menon, Founder and Chairman, Sobha Group said: “Our latest project announcement represents our commitment to the UAE. In line with our aim to fully leverage the opportunities present in this highly dynamic market, we have partnered with Umm Al Quwain Government, and are jointly to transform the island into a world class destination and a hot spot for iconic properties. “By combining our capabilities and expertise, we are confident “Firdous Sobha” will be a proud testament to our commitment to quality.”

TDIC hands out $340mn Mamsha Al Saadiyat contract Abu Dhabi master developer Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has awarded the $340m (AED1.25bn) main construction contract for Mamsha Al Saadiyat to a joint venture between San Jose Contracting and Pivot Engineering & General Contracting. The project is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2018. Work on the development’s foundation has been completed by Nael & Bin Harmal Hydroexport (NBHH) and included excavation, shoring, dewatering and piling works. Mamsha Al Saadiyat is a 1.4km beachfront mixed-use project featuring nine low-rise residential buildings with a total number of 461 units, of which 414 are apartments ranging from one to four-bedroom apartments as well as five-bedroom duplex penthouses and 47 townhouses. The complete project, which will be developed in phases, will also encompass a servicedapartment building and a retail destination offering approximately 5,000 square metres of leasable area, for both retail and dining outlets. Future residents of Mamsha Al Saadiyat, who will be the first residents of the Saadiyat Cultural District, will benefit from access to a wide range of hospitality, leisure and retail offerings currently available on the island.

The Atlantis hotel on the Palm Jumeirah is set to undergo a $100mn renovation. Serge Zaalof, president and managing director of Atlantis, said the revamp will include a full renovation of the hotel’s rooms, as well as the launch of a new “family and children activity project” of 2,200 square metres within the existing Atlantis site. The hotel is currently in the mock-up stages to finalise the new room designs, which are being upgraded eight years after the Atlantis opened in 2008. There are also plans to upgrade the hotel’s Aquaventure water park although details have not been revealed yet. The extensive refurb to the original hotel is in addition to the $1.4bn Royal Atlantis expansion which will add villas and hotel apartments and nearly 800 more guest rooms when it opens adjacent to the existing Atlantis Hotel in 2018.

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UAE chooses Calatrava's Falcon design for Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion

Superstar architect Santiago Calatrava has won another prestigious design competition in the UAE. The National Media Council selected the Spaniard to design the UAE Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. It follows just weeks after Calatrava was awarded the deal for The Tower at the centre of Emaar’s Dubai Creek Harbour megaproject. The design – which is inspired by a falcon in flight - was approved by a jury including representatives from the NMC, Expo 2020 Dubai team, Masdar and Emaar. Calatrava’s proposal was formally selected following a seven-month design competition managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. The contest saw nine of the world’s most renowned architectural firms submit 11 concepts. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State (Chairman of the Board 10 construction business news me May 2016

of Director of NMC), said: "The proposed design of the UAE Pavilion captures the story we want to tell the world about our nation. "Our late founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan used falconry expeditions to forge connections between tribes and to create a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates. "Now, the falcon design will symbolise how we are connecting the UAE to the minds of the world and how as a global community we can soar to new heights through partnership and cooperation." Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, added: "The pavilion will be one of the Expo's greatest icons. The design will evoke the pioneering spirit and power of connections that transformed the UAE from a collection of small, desert communities, into a global connec-

tion point. The UAE pavilion will become an important cornerstone in our site and will have a legacy plan that will reflect our hopes and ambitions for the many years to come." Calatrava said he was "deeply honoured" to have been chosen. "I am confident that the final design will be a symbol of the bold and daring spirit of the UAE, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history," he said. Located facing the Al Wasl Plaza, which lies at the centre of the 200-hectare exhibition zone, the UAE Pavilion will represent the UAE to 25 million visitors and participants from over 180 nations who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2020 to April 2021. The pavilion is expected to cover up to 15,000 square meters and will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges.

Arabtec hires restructuring Danube hands Naresco $50mn specialist AlixPartners Glitz 3 contract Arabtec has hired restructuring advisor AlixPartners Danube Properties has awarded Naresco Contracting with the AED185mn ($50.36mn) main contract for the Glitz 3 development in Dubai Studio City. This is the third major win for Naresco after they bagged the contract for Glitz 1 & 2 last year. The AED 350mn development in Studio City will offer 352 apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms when complete by end of 2010. Rizwan Sajan, Founder & Chairman, Danube Group, said: “Naresco has a proven track record and we are proud of their 3rd win as the last two projects which were awarded to Naresco are way ahead of their schedule.” Danube’s first project Dreamz is well on schedule for delivery whereas other projectsGlitz 1, Glitz 2, Glitz 3 and Starz are all 4-5 months ahead of schedule. While market sentiment is down, Danube has been busy carving its own niche in the affordable housing segment. The company has been able to avoid delays in projects because of their core business division which allows the selected contractor to source building material on time and at the lowest available price. Such an arrangement makes sure that the project cost comes down considerably, which allows Danube to pass on the benefits to customers by delivering property at the most affordable price, the company said.

following five straight quarters of financial losses, Reuters reported. The firm will offer recommendations on how to boost the company's funding and cash flow to support newly-awarded projects, the sources said who declined to be named. Dubai-based Arabtec, which was part of the consortium that built Burj Khalifa, has lost around 77 percent of its share value since May 2014. The company declined to comment on AlixPartners' appointment when contacted by Reuters but said it is embarking on rolling out a new strategy in 2016. "It is a refined strategy, rather than a wholesale revamp," said Steven Salo, Arabtec's investor relations head. Arabtec is aiming to cut costs and this could include job cuts, its chairman Mohamed al-Rumaithi told reporters at its annual shareholder meeting in April. Among the builder's pipeline of projects includes a AED 1.7bn ($463mn) contract awarded last month by the UAE federal government to build 1,100 houses in Fujairah.


Stand C107 Intermetal Ltd. Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 884 1650 Email:



KBW Investments and Basma Group Sharjah join forces Bolstering the strength of an existing partnership between KBW Investments and Basma Group Sharjah, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Chairman, KBW Investments, and Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Basma Group Sharjah, signed two agreements to form Klampfer Middle East LLC and Arcadia Middle East LLC. Pursuant to a 2015 KBW Investments partnership with Klampfer to create and launch Klampfer Holding addressing the needs of the MENA region, a UAE-centric subsidiary, Klampfer Middle East LLC, has been established under the direction of Chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed and Vice Chairman Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed. The first undertaking under the joint agreement will be the 12,000 square meter five-star Majlis Grand Mercure Sharjah Resort and Spa, a $100mn hospitality project situated in Sharjah, UAE, is to be followed by construction projects across multiple sectors

in the Gulf country. The second signing between Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed and Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed focused on the formation of Arcadia Middle East LLC, and is also structured under the direction of Sheikh Sultan’s Chairmanship, and Prince Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Basma Group Sharjah and Prince Khaled bin Khaled’s Vice Chairman- Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Investments ship. Acquired by KBW Investments in with the two entities seeking simiNovember 2014, Romanian-based Ar- larly positioned goals of expansion cadia Engineering currently has op- and development fostering diverse erations in the Kingdom of Saudi Ara- UAE economic activity, our partnerbia, Qatar and Australia, and with the ship promises exciting things for the establishment of Arcadia Middle East future,” said Prince Khaled. LLC, will now pursue aggressive ex“Basma Group is proud to announce pansion into the UAE with a full range our partnership with KBW Investof engineering and architectural con- ments. Our collaboration will complesultancy services. ment our strengths to create and utilize “KBW Investments takes pride in new development and investment opthe proactive relationship we have portunities in different sectors within with Basma Group Sharjah. Together, the Middle East,” added Sheikh Sultan.

ACTS completes Doha Metro work Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS) has completed geotechnical investigations and geophysical surveys on five construction packages for the Doha Metro. The huge project will have four metro lines – Red, Green, Gold and Blue – covering a total length of approximately 240 km and will feature 106 stations. ACTS worked on the Red Line South Elevated and At-Grade whilst carrying out geotechnical investigations and engineering services along with the related testing works on another four of the main metro construction packages, it said in a statement. The company deployed 16 drilling rigs, state-of-the art field testing equipment, and six geophysical teams comprised of expert geophysicists. The work package included pumping tests and necessary in-situ tests at the stations and along the tunnel/elevated structures align-

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Engr. Khaled Awad, Chairman of ACTS

ment, in addition to its geotechnical investigations and geophysical survey (for cavity mapping) assignments. Engr. Khaled Awad, Chairman of ACTS, said: “Today’s construction projects call for specialization and the adoption of game-changing technologies to ensure the delivery of the highest quality work. ACTS’ unique specialization in surface and underground rail projects positioned us well for this multi-project challenge. “We are pleased with our strong resources in rail geo-engineering which perfectly complement our vast experience in concrete technology, quality control and testing for such projects. It is this portfolio of knowledge-based capabilities and vertical specialization that is enabling us to keep pace with the demands of modern infrastructure projects in the GCC, including the Doha Metro.”

VINCI-led joint venture wins $1.25bn Cairo metro contract Cairo from above

A joint venture involving French duo VINCI and Bouygues along with Orascom Construction and Arabco Contractors have won the Phase 3 contract for Line 3 of the Cairo metro. The new EUR1.1bn ($1.25bn), 67-month contract covers civil engineering including 17.7 km of new line and 15 stations (eight underground, five elevated and two at ground level). A new tunnel under the Nile will be constructed as part of the project. Once completed, Line 3 will increase the overall length of the Cairo metro system to 100 km and serve five million passengers daily. Work will start in the residential and administrative parts of the capital, including Zamalek Island, and end in the city’s densely populated and highly urbanised northern and southern districts. The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, attended the official signing ceremony on 17 April 2016. The client, the National Authority for Tunnels, demonstrated renewed confidence in the joint venture, which has been building the metro system for North Africa’s largest urban area since 1981. Driven by strong economic and population growth, Cairo is now North Africa’s largest city. The urban area has 16 million inhabitants and a very high population density of 73,500 people per km2. Automobile traffic has become highly congested. The expansion of the Cairo metro will help to efficiently and effectively regulate traffic and substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, the joint venture is also working on Phase 4a of Line 3, which will extend the system towards the eastern part of the city. The contract was signed in February 2015 and handover is set for the end of 2018.

Ezdan launches $1.2bn residential project in Qatar Ezdan Holding Group has revealed that its Ezdan Oasis residential project in Qatar will cost in the region of QAR4.5bn ($1.23bn) to develop. The project will accommodate more than 35,000 people and includes integrated services such as mosques, sports clubs, schools, shops and offices as well as more than 8,769 residential units, the company announced at Cityscape Qatar 2016 in Doha. Ezdan Holding Group CEO Ali Mohammed Al Obaidli said that the project in Al Wukair area will launch the first phase during the first quarter of next year, while the following stages will be in the next few years successively. Obaidli noted that more than 60% of the project is complete in terms of infrastructure works. The project covers one million square meters and will offer more than 9,346 units, 8,769 of which are residential, while the rest vary between commercial and offices. In addition to these units, the project includes a diverse range of public services facilities, including eight mosques, five sports clubs, a hypermarket and two schools.

Binladin Group lays off 50,000 workers, report says Construction company Saudi Binladin Group has reportedly laid off around a quarter of its 200,000 work force in the wake of the economic downturn in Saudi Arabia. The group has terminated the contracts of 50,000 foreign workers, Saudi newspaper al-Watan said citing unnamed sources. Some of the workers have refused to leave the country without getting paid and some have not received wages in months. Binladin group has taken a heavy hit following the drop in oil prices over the past two years as it was among the chief beneficiaries of government contracts during the boom years. Riyadh has slashed spending in a bid to cut a budget deficit which amounted to $100bn last year and has issued a new National Transformation Plan that aims to attract more private investment into the economy.

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Cover Story

Demand side energy management could open up new opportunities for contractors ready to build skills and take a performance-based approach to their rewards. Stuart Matthews writes


harles Blaschke is accelerating. The engineer, one of the co-founders of Taka Solutions, is representing his company and the Gulf region in The Venture, a global competition that sees budding enterprises compete for a share of a $1m funding pool. In preparation for The Venture’s final round of pitching, Blaschke and the 26 other finalists from around the world have travelled to Oxford, in England, to take part in what is described as a ‘transformational’ accelerator week programme. During an intensive five days of learning, finalists are being coached, supported and mentored as every aspect of their business comes under the microscope. Expert trainers and inspirational leaders recruited by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, part of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, will be on hand to offer insight and take competitors to task. This though is not just a regular pitch for business funding. Entrants to The Venture are an emerging type of company, broadly classified as social enterprises. Although such enterprises are still relatively rare in the Gulf, The Venture’s judges are looking for pioneering businesses striving to use innovation and enterprise to create positive social or environmental change, as well as turn a profit. Blaschke’s Taka Solutions is competing against start-ups touting ideas that identify diseases faster,

boost skills among the world’s poorest subsistence farmers and, in Blaschke’s case, reduce energy consumption. Taka Solutions is an engineering and technology company that uses a ‘paidfrom-savings’ business model to reduce energy consumption and carbon from buildings. It installs technology in existing buildings, saving owners and operators both energy and money. This means the company earns its living from the financial savings its work generates, placing a huge emphasis on the quality and the long-term performance of their ideas. The company believes that the potential exists to reduce the world’s energy usage by 20% - which it says is the equivalent of all the world’s new CO2 and power plants for 10 years - simply by using better existing technologies to control energy usage. The huge capacity for scale in the business, where its impact could be far reaching and felt for years, is what helped it to get it the judges nod in the Gulf round of The Venture. Taka Solutions will hope it will convince the international judges too. “If the UAE gave us the keys to manage the energy in the buildings of the country we could reduce the overall consumption and carbon output by 50%,” says Blaschke. “We have a plan to enable the savings of 20% of the entire world’s energy consumption and carbon using our model. This is the basis and reason we are here in Oxford for the accelerator, to make this happen.” Competition is tough: 27 finalists

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Cover Story

have been whittled down from 2500 entrants. That Taka Solutions made it this far is a considerable achievement. While no one will turn down free funding, the accelerator could be the more useful part of the prize in the long term, giving Blaschke and his partners the chance to step back from the helterskelter ride of start-up and establishment, to assess the business landscape they find themselves in. As they look to the UAE, they find a home market where there is a strong desire to make reductions on the demand side of the energy equation. Organisations are being driven to improve the efficiency of their utilities profiles in response to the Demand Side Management Strategy (DSM), part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (DIES), which is looking for a 30% reduction in water and electricity usage by 2030. Achieving these targets will not only reduce the burden on generation and the high-cost infrastructure development that goes along with it, but, in concert 16 construction business news me May 2016

“If the UAE gave us the keys to manage the energy in the buildings of the country we could reduce the overall consumption and carbon output by 50%.” – Charles Blaschke with an increase in renewable energy generation, will also cut the country’s carbon dioxide output. The UAE is already significantly ahead of the Middle East average in terms of energy intensity against GDP a measure of how much energy a country uses to generate each dollar of gross domestic product - but compared to North America or the European Union there’s still a long way to go. The DSM promotes energy conservation through efficient consumption behaviours and it is supporting Dubai’s smart city initiatives by promoting the introduction

of new technologies. “We hope the UAE government bodies and right people know we are here to help and have the solution to make real, positive impact as a private enterprise,” says Blaschke. When it comes to buildings, a lot of emphasis in achieving the demand side targets rests with new builds - some 75% in fact - but existing stock needs to be brought up to standard to secure the remaining 25%. While both will place new demands on the contracting and consulting sectors, in terms of understanding energy management techniques and technologies, the retrofit of so many existing buildings represents a significant opportunity for contractors to open up a new line of business. It’s a line that will gradually grow stronger over the next decade as the strategy matures into more action. But despite the long-term opportunity, it seems to be one the contractor community is being slow to appreciate. “The larger contractors, or entities

who have the knowledge about energy have tried to get involved and make it a new business line,” says Blaschke. “Smaller contractors do not understand the difference and still approach it like a typical design-bid-build job. We have tried to teach them a performance based contract is about higher quality delivery and that they are expected to perform and deliver higher quality. This has not gone well.” Despite the tough time spreading the word, Taka Solutions can boast some notable project cases. In the UAE it claims to have achieved 20 to 40% energy savings on buildings within a three year simple payback period. Longer payback horizons could see this figure rise to 50% savings on most projects, says Blaschke. “For the time being there is enough work to be done bringing building technology to 2016 that we don't need to worry about the harder to reach savings,” he says. “This is our target in the second phase of a project contract.” For contractors to make more of the opportunity such work presents Blashcke feels they need to get on board with the idea and create the necessary internal processes, improve staff skill sets and make themselves capable of high-quality deliveries. “They need to be much higher quality to be a true player in the market and take advantage of the opportunities that will arise from energy retrofits,” he says. There is work to be done on the customer side of the equation too. Customers still require an enormous amount of education and awareness for energy, and very specifically, energy performance contracting projects. The model that these projects work on is relatively new to the market and that means existing contract structures and purchasing processes are not geared up to take it on. Potential customers and their advisors need to gain a technical understanding of energy savings and how to measure them accurately, as well as develop a financial understanding of making payments based on savings and developing the commercial contracts that would make that run smoothly.

“It is a never ending cycle for customers, individuals and the world as a whole,” says Blaschke. “We feel the need to educate is one of our main roles and are doing this in a number of ways.” These include creating their own simple guidelines to energy audits, measurement and verification, custom software applications that provide valuable data and information, plus mobile applications on energy savings and impact. History suggests getting the message across will be a slow process, at least at first, but, as with the emergence of effective green building regulations over the last decade, it will happen once the economic advantages become evident. Taka Solutions is by no means alone in the quest to make a difference. Naturally there is some emphasis coming from government and the various departments and organisations it drives. Atkins, the consultancy, currently has a multidisciplinary team embedded within a large public sector client to develop a combined energy management programme across their portfolio of assets, in order to meet reduction targets. “There’s clear recognition that there is a lot of scope for improvement and they’re looking for a step change in their operations,” explains Stuart Bridges, principal consultant for Atkins. “Our work is based around the core themes of people, process and technical, so it’s all encompassing. “The programme’s main objectives are to create a schedule of energy improvement initiatives; baseline and monitor electricity and water consumption; integrate all energy management activities; provide control and reporting and set realistic targets to develop and manage a complete plan to meet targets.” While government departments may be among the first customers to take on energy management, the private sector is likely to follow suit, particularly when there are some significant cost savings to be had. Organisations can get support from consultancies, or they can go to an energy services company - known as ESCOs - which effectively enable them to outsource the

In Numbers

30% Dubai’s target for demand side energy reduction by 2030

30,000 Target number of buildings to be retrofitted by 2030


Terawatt hours Dubai’s target energy savings for 2016

19.2 Terawatt hours

Dubai’s target energy savings for 2030

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Cover Story

whole issue. An ESCO might develop a three or five year plan for these organisations and rather than facing an upfront payment, they can pay for the ESCO’s services out of the energy savings they make. “The Etihad ESCO was established by DEWA as a super ESCO, which aims to jump start the creation of a viable contracting market for energy services companies,” says Bridges. “This is enabling the creation of a new tier of engineering companies who are looking to win retrofitting work with ESCOs.” Bridges reports that Atkins does see an opportunity emerging for the private sector to get involved in the ESCO market. He believes it offers good opportunities for the company to support more organisations with the development of energy saving plans and would be able to link closely with its building services activities to design and deliver solutions. “Retrofitting is only one of nine programmes for reducing energy intensity – others include building regulations, district cooling, water reuse and efficient irrigation and Shams Dubai,” he says. “Within all these elements it is easy to see opportunities for contractors to provide support and build sustainable businesses.” Anyone taking on the market though will have to contend with both a palpable knowledge gap among consumers and a shortfall in hard facts to hit them with. Data on effectiveness and strong benchmarks are still in relatively short supply, limiting the information available to accurately outline the benefits, always crucial in a market noted for its conservative approach to new technologies. “The UAE market, like any other, is driven by monetary costs and savings,” says Omnia Halawani, managing partner at Griffin Consultants. “One of the most common barriers facing building owners and developers [looking] to invest in energy efficiency and retrofit projects is the lack of accountable information and benchmarks to assist energy experts and consultants in creating a clear-cut financial case to demonstrate that in18 construction business news me May 2016

“One of the most common barriers facing building owners and developers [looking] to invest in energy efficiency and retrofit projects is the lack of accountable information and benchmarks to assist energy experts and consultants in creating a clear-cut financial case to demonstrate that investing in energy reduction measures can provide profitable growth.” – Omnia Halawani vesting in energy reduction measures can provide profitable growth.” This, says Halawani, makes it difficult for developers to make the right decisions when it comes to energy efficiency projects, since long-established and widely adopted benchmarks are not in place. She believes developers have proved reluctant to invest in energy efficiency projects for fear of missing out on other more straightforward opportunities for improved returns. The challenges of convincing them have been exacerbated by poor practices in the

market and a parallel lack of awareness about adequate energy audits. “The field has been harmed largely by incompetent energy auditors and firms that claim they can do a proper and insightful energy audit for a fraction of the price, or within a significantly shorter period of time,” says Halawani. “A proper energy audit takes a lot of knowledge and expertise as well as time. It is imperative for the auditor to take their time to conduct proper measurements to get at realistic energy saving figures. Any firm that claims they can do a full and deep energy audit within a week definitely doesn’t know what it takes to properly audit a facility.” The issue is being addressed through regulation with the Supervisory Bureau for Electricity & Water in Dubai (RSB) having put in place an energy audit accreditation scheme, which Halawani believes will provide some sort of differentiation in the market. With estimates putting the built stock ripe for retrofit at around 120,000 buildings, many of which were constructed in an era when energy consumption was a secondary consideration to getting things done, the market is large and the potential for building a revenue pipeline significant. “Large developers and building owners can now see the opportunity in saving on the energy costs to invest this wasted money in other profitable areas,” says Halawani. “We have been exerting a lot of effort in educating the market not only on the benefits of audits, but also on what they should expect from an audit properly done.” If the wider industry can respond to the opportunity with the right skills, the detailed information potential consumers need and are prepared to take on a performance-based approach to rewards, then the rewards could be plenty. Contractors that do can approach the issue with confidence that they are engaging with an idea reflected in longterm government strategies to curb energy demand, reduce consumption and develop sustainable cities. Since the cities are likely to be smart, it won’t do any harm if the contractors are too.


At a standstill

Even now, long after the 2008 financial crash, some stalled construction projects in Dubai are struggling to get up and running again. But government initiatives to get things moving are having some success.


n the way into work in Dubai Media City I pass the construction site that is the Dubai Pearl, a huge mixed use development at the base of the trunk of Palm Jumeirah. A crane sits atop each of its four giant blocks giving the impression that construction is in full swing. But if you drive by often enough you notice that not much has changed over the past year. In fact the project has progressed in fits and starts ever since it was launched in 2004, having been beset by a series of delays and management changes. The ambitious Dubai Pearl masterplan involves four towers based around a large podium, complete with 1,500 apartments, several high end hotels, a theatre and numerous other dining and entertainment options. After a number of false starts – not least because of the global financial crisis - a Hong Kong-based investment company purchased a $1.9bn stake in the project in late 2014. With the economy back in full swing it looked like the project might finally see the light of

20 construction business news me May 2016

day but there has been little sign of any progress in recent months. Whatever the reasons behind the setbacks for the megaproject, the fact is that this is just one of the most high profile of a large number of projects in Dubai that were launched only to come screeching to a halt midway through construction. Stalled projects were understandably a common sight on the Dubai skyline in 2008 and 2009 when the economy ground to a standstill. But it’s also to be expected that even in a revived construction market as vibrant as Dubai’s has been in the last four years - some developers are still bound to run into trouble. “Delays are a major feature of the Dubai construction sector,” says Craig Plumb, Head of Research MENA at JLL. “JLL have calculated that only 30% of all the residential projects scheduled for completion in 2015 were actually delivered with the equivalent figure for commercial space being around 45%.” Financing issues, contractual disputes, construction delays, licensing/ approval delays and developers hold-

“JLL have calculated that only 30% of all the residential projects scheduled for completion in 2015 were actually delivered” – Craig Plumb, JLL

ing back projects in line with a slower market are some of the main reasons that JLL cites for delays to developments in Dubai. Unblocking the pipe Planners in the UAE have come up with a number of initiatives to get stalled projects up and running again with varying degrees of success. Per-


of all the residential projects scheduled for completion in 2015 were actually delivered

haps the best known of these are the Tayseer and Tanmia initiatives launched by Dubai Land Department (DLD) in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Under the Tanmia system DLD acts as a mediator between the developers of stalled projects and new developers and investors keen to breathe new life into them. At the end of last year, DLD reported that it had helped to restart 51 stalled projects worth a whopping AED 12bn ($3.26bn) in the four years since it launched the initiative. Of those 12 projects worth AED 2bn were restarted in 2015. To qualify for assistance under the Tanmia programme, projects need to have adequate infrastructure planned or already in place; a properly man-

Construction on the Dubai Pearl has stalled

construction business news me May 2016 21


“If a stalled development can be purchased below the cost of the infrastructure works already undertaken - this would represent good investment”

How the Dubai Pearl should look when it’s finished

– Craig Plumb, JLL

aged escrow trust account for off-plan sales under Dubai real estate law; a technical report showing that at least 60 percent of the construction is completed and at least 60 percent of the project has been sold. Though DLD does not disclose details of the projects revitalised under the Tanmia scheme, Business Bay is said to have been a major beneficiary over the past few years. Major local developers such as Damac Properties and Emaar Properties are known to have taken on projects while there has been interest from developers from as far afield as Europe, India and China. Now Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council is looking at similar schemes to restart stalled property developments on Reem Island that were hit by the financial crisis. “We are in the final stages of providing a recommendation for the way forward for these problems in Reem Island," said Mohamed Al Khadar, the UPC’s executive director for Urban Development and Estidama Sector, at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi last month. “What the recommendation is I cannot disclose to you right now, but we will present it to the leadership of the government and then they will give us the mandate to go ahead and do it. This is one of our priorities." he said according to a report in The National. Investment opportunity Stalled construction projects can represent a very good opportunity for investors – depending on the right price of course. “If a stalled development can be purchased below the cost of the infrastructure works already undertaken – this would represent good investment,” says JLL’s Plumb. 22 construction business news me May 2016

Construction on the Dubai Pearl has stalled

Canada Business Holdings clearly thinks so. In November the company said it planned to invest up to $6bn on distressed real estate projects in Dubai. "CBH intends to deploy such funds in acquiring distressed assets and complete their construction. The company plans to invest, develop, own, manage

and overrate the assets for the next 30 years," a statement said. In fact CBH said at the time that it had even expressed an interest in acquiring the much-delayed Dubai Pearl development as part of its plans. Perhaps we can look forward to seeing those cranes moving again in the coming months.

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In person

The Royal Atlantis Resort, Dubai

Testing Times

David Clifton is Regional Development Director Middle East at Faithful+Gould, an integrated project and programme management business and a standalone organisation within the Atkins group. He has experience of working on major GCC transportation infrastructure schemes - aviation and rail – and been heavily involved in the hospitality and retail sectors with clients such as Emaar. He spoke to Jason O’Connell about the latest developments and trends in the construction sector, including the economic shakeup in Saudi Arabia.

24 construction business news me May 2016

What is the initial view on Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan (NTP) & The Vision 2030 which was released at the end of last month? A lot of the NTP vision was well telegraphed through to the media prior to the announcement. The NTP needs to happen and it is vast in its attempted scale. We’re really lacking some major details as to the how and priorities within the document and also what mechanisms will be used to deliver the vision. There are some concerns as far as I can see. For example turning the Public Investment Fund (PIF) into a $2 Trillion investment fund would mean you’ve monetarized Aramco, which isn’t the case as only around 5% will be in an IPO. How is the rest of the money going to be generated to give to PIF? The fact would appear that this isn’t actually diversification as the money would still be coming from oil in the short to

“We’re going to see a massive reprioritisation of projects and programmes with all of the major ministries including transportation and housing”

mid-term. Also, the new military organisation to be government owned and given an IPO at the end of 2017 could be an oddity. If the entity only trades with the Saudi government, then nothing has altered. However, should these two entities have regional and global reach there could be a mid to long term diversification for the fund and release some of the reliance on the Aramco cash generator. How are the reforms likely to impact the construction industry? We’re going to see a massive reprioritisation of projects and programmes with all of the major ministries including transportation and housing. The Mecca Metro will be reshaped and refocused because it was probably slightly bigger than was required, but it’s got feasibility because of the scale of the pilgrimages. I think there will be delays in the metro in Jeddah and a very big delay

in Dammam. You’ve also got serious question marks over the heavy rail going through not just Saudi Arabia, but the whole GCC rail network is likely to suffer serious delays. In Saudi Arabia we’re starting to see reprioritisation of what’s truly important. We saw 18 months ago that plans for Aramco to build ten 45,000 seat football stadiums came and went. You see from this year’s budget that defense has gone up while the transportation budget was slashed by 62%. When you consider that nearly half the budget in Saudi Arabia is salaries, benefits and running offices, transport isn’t going to be doing a lot in the short term. The interesting one to look out for is how they are going to address the housing crisis and this is where a white land tax comes in. The housing issue isn’t going away and the problem is getting bigger by 3% per year in terms of the population growth of Saudi nationals. There is obviously a social con-

tract that exists in this region that you don’t have elsewhere and that drives certain priorities. In times of economic difficulty in places like the UK, the government veers towards building revenue generating assets whereas social housing really isn’t going to be a revenue generating asset – it’s an incredible cost - but it’s a priority because of the social contract. If it wasn’t for the private sector Saudi would have struggled even further in Q1 this year in terms of construction awards but this presents the private sector with a first mover opportunity in many respects because you know that you’ve got a white land tax coming and contractors with capacity across the region right now. Thus, there is the capacity to get your job done. I’ve seen a lot of our private sector clients having very serious conversations around the implications around moving now because a lot of them want to avoid the land tax. I’m not sure if it’s going to drive the social housing agenda because the private sector is generally not looking at that. It’s looking at retail, hospitality and a variety of different things that in practice probably isn’t addressed in the government priorities but it’s going to be useful for the market but maybe not for the NTP unless there is some sort of direct incentivisation there. However, the private sector motivation through initiatives such as the land tax will spur a level of diversification and generate employment opportunities for Saudis in the private sector in construction, operations, maintenance and end user organisations. So we can expect to see more incentives for the private sector in KSA? It’s got to be that way. The only way you can diversify your market is by engagement in the private sector especially if you’re looking to wean the country off of just working for the government. How they incentivise that will be interesting to see. The detail has yet to emerge, but with the ‘green card’ system, there could be a motivation for investment along with the potential for construction business news me May 2016 25

In person

foreign investors to own 100% of their business – similar to the free zones seen in the UAE. Are there any plans to introduce a PPP law? They’ve done PPP in exceptional cases. There’s been a trade mission over to the UK from Saudi Arabia because the PPP is a very popular British funding model over recent years. They will be looking to implement something around all of this alternative financing but there’s quite a lot of governance and legal structure that they’ll need to develop. In Saudi Arabia the procurement law for the government is ‘pass technical, cheapest price wins’ which, if you’re looking at PPP which is much more driven around a whole life cycle and value, that isn’t going to work particularly well because to build the assets may only be 20 to 30% of the entire life of the development. There needs to be a bit of a mindset change. If you look at the NTP you’re going to have to take a long term view because the organisational and behavioural change doesn’t happen overnight. The temptation to revert to type and do what you’ve always done is so easy. Not many people really like change and the culture of the Kingdom is that much more conservative. What about the recruitment situation? Does the Saudisation drive make it more challenging for companies? A lot of people have been educated in the UK and US under the King Abdullah overseas education programme and have been exposed to other ways of doing things. We’re employing people to develop a career with our group, so whether they are Saudi or other nationalities, they are going to get given the tools to do the job and we will train them to develop as professionals. I don’t think recruitment is as bad as some people think, certainly not from a consultancy perspective. Educated people generally want to look at developing their career, so chances are 26 construction business news me May 2016

the work ethic is there. The thing I’ve seen with a lot of contractors in Saudi and Oman is that they just pay people to be on their books and all they’re doing is adding bottom line costs to the development and not aiding the social agenda, nor creating a sustainable business in these countries. Recruitment is somewhat challenging, but we’re facing a global slowdown so there’s not as much work around as some people think and so the premium for Saudi Arabia isn’t as big as you’d think. It adds a level to the cost but in other areas you can make that up. There is always going to be interest in working in Saudi because of the scale of some of the projects and the fact that these are CV defining. We’re involved in the Riyadh Metro which a project that’s like doing half the London underground in one hit. You’re not going to work on a project like that anywhere else on the planet. Is that project impacted by the NTP or is it too far ahead? There is some reassessment and reevaluation of that scheme and they are looking at areas to save costs. You don’t necessarily need stations designed by Zaha Hadid!

King Abdul Aziz International Airport Saudi Arabia

Is Saudi receiving much in the way of foreign investment? From China for example? Whether or not the NTP will attract major overseas investment is hard to tell. One of the things it needs to take care of is addressing some of the opaqueness. Liquidity tends to follow the route

of most suitable return but also having a level of transparency. I haven’t seen an awful lot of Chinese money piling in there. They use Dubai as a platform for Africa and that seems to be where their interest is. What might the reemergence

Al Maryah Central, Abu Dhabi

“Theme Parks aren’t going to make massive amounts of money by themselves but they will attract people here and shopping malls and hotels will be built as a result”

of Iran do for the construction sector in the region? Iran has got a good skill set of engineers and they can do 90% of what it wants to do in house – certainly from a consultancy and main contractor’s perspectives. And if you look at what people get paid in Dubai you’re cer-

tainly not going to get paid that in Iran. You can’t go into Iran and charge them a lot more money for a job that they can do themselves. But it needs money so for those bringing capital to the table there are plenty of exciting opportunities and also for the top 5 - 10% of the skillsets that are missing from being shut down for so long.

Is it the case that Dubai is still driving developments in the region? Dubai has awarded a significant amount of contracts. They have liquidity which has been locked in over the past couple of years and that’s being expedited in terms of construction contracts. There is a bit of concern in terms of maintaining that. Regionally banks are having money taken out by governments because of the oil price and there is tighter regulatory reform at international level so they are having to back up their balance sheets and they are not seeing as much new cash deposits going into them. In terms of construction contract awards we’re rolling a little better than I expected to be honest. A few schemes have popped up that I really wasn’t expecting. Dubai is propping the UAE market up. But Abu Dhabi has always been good at keeping capacity stacked up in the market. You’ve got drivers there like ADNOC. Just their civil engineering division does a huge volume of work and it’s good work. But Abu Dhabi is reining that in at the moment and is almost doing its own reassessment. It will be interesting to see what happens with a lot of the schemes there. Dubai is still a popular tourist destination and that isn’t going to change. There is a bit of an issue because of the strong dollar which makes it expensive but mid-range hospitality offers an op-

portunity. Dubai likes to be high end but not everyone can afford to stay in the Armani hotel for three weeks so there’s a bigger potential market downstream. But the real dynamic driver of this market is Al Maktoum Airport just because of its scale. Nothing can touch it. It will suck up capacity. And Emirates is so phenomenally successful and that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. If you look at the masterplan, Expo 2020 itself is tiny by comparison to Al Maktoum. It can feed the development industry in Dubai for many years to come. They’ve got a couple of billion dollars-worth of export credit funding going to it from Britain and I’ve got no doubt others are interested in some shape or form. Whether it costs $32bn or $24bn it’s still big enough to support the local market especially when combined with Emaar’s aspirations for Dubai Creek Harbour – where F+G are Programme Managers. What about the UAE’s recent push towards building theme parks? Theme Parks aren’t going to make massive amounts of money by themselves but they will attract people here and shopping malls and hotels will be built as a result. As well as the projects that Dubai is building Abu Dhabi has got Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and is doing the Warner Bros theme park. So this could become an integrated blended tourism offering for both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It helps to build brand UAE. A huge percentage of the world lives within a few hours flying time from here so it’s got a phenomenal catchment area. Look at how busy Orlando and Los Angeles still are with foreign tourists and a lot of them come from very far away – although there is a large US audience. But they don’t have to come from so far to come here. The issue you have with family tourism here is the relative lack of affordable hotels. They’ve got to work out how to put everything together as a package for tourists so that people can buy a family holiday that has these things incorporated into it. construction business news me May 2016 27

Project review

Towering Ambition

Emaar’s new Dubai Creek Harbour development will have a stunning $1bn centrepiece. But with only 20 usable floors, how will it make money? Jason O'Connell writes.


t will rise “a notch” taller than the Burj Khalifa and is being developed by the same company, but that’s where comparisons end between the world’s tallest building and Emaar Properties’ new concept for a centrepiece at its Dubai Creek Harbour master development. The Santiago Calatrava Valls-conceived tower is a different animal entirely, more monument than skyscraper, more Eiffel Tower than Empire State building. The Burj Khalifa contains 154 usable floors covering close to 310,000 square metres of floor space. Full of residential apartments, offices, restaurants and a luxury hotel, it’s not hard to see how investors get a return on the $1.5bn it cost to build. Despite being a shade taller, The Tower – as it is currently called - will have just 18 to 20 usable floors located in the bulb near the summit, while the 30 metre-wide elongated stem which makes up most of the length of the building will hold nothing but elevator shafts. The bulb will contain a boutique hotel and floors dedicated to

28 construction business news me May 2016

observation decks with gardens, restaurants and function rooms. But however much they charge to use these facilities, it’s difficult to see how the $1bn tower will make money. That is until you consider the tower in the context of what will be built around it. Emaar Properties chairman Mohammed Alabbar touched on the business case for the tower at the launch event last month, when he drew a comparison with the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Investors, he told the audience, are prepared to pay a premium of between 15% and 30% for an apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower. “We realised over time that many customers would like to have that view,” says Alabbar. “And that’s the financial model.” Alabbar expects the Tower to have a similar financial effect on its surroundings in Dubai Creek Harbour, a development that will be more than twice the size of Downtown Dubai, home to Burj Khalifa. As well as the usual high end property and hotels there will be a new “mega retail district” that will

“Dubai is becoming a global hub comparable to Paris, London, Shanghai, Bombay and other great cities in the world” – Mohammed Alabbar dwarf the Dubai Mall, currently the world’s largest. Specifics of the retail destination are likely to be unveiled in a couple of months’ time, Alabbar said at the event. The Tower will lend this new neighbourhood an air of exclusivity, boosting property values and room rates and drawing wealthy investors and visitors from around the world. In many ways Dubai Creek Harbour

The Tower with the Burj Khalifa in the distance Mohammed Alabbar, chairman, Emaar Properties and architect Santiago Calatrava Valls

830m Estimated height of The Tower

is Downtown Dubai 2.0. It represents a chance for Emaar to repeat the success of its flagship development - only this time on an even grander scale. “A lot of people ask me why go and do a new Downtown,” Alabbar told the audience gathered at Emaar’s sales office located on the site of the future development on the creek next to the Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary. “Well if you go Downtown to Burj Khalifa you can tell that the volume of traffic and activity has almost reached a limit. “And Dubai is becoming a global hub comparable to Paris, London, Shanghai, Bombay and other great cities in the world. It’s really a great chance for us to do this together with our partners one more time in Dubai Creek Harbour.” construction business news me May 2016 29

Project review

“As soon as you landmark a place you are creating a reference for those that would come here to live” – Santiago Calatrava Valls

Having already done the world’s tallest building, The Tower is undoubtedly aimed - at least in part - at delivering something new that will elevate Dubai into the ranks of these elite global cities. “We were looking for a tower and a monument that adds value to the world,” says Alabbar. “We wanted to do that with absolute elegance. We want elegance, technology, engineering, beauty day and night. Calatrava I believe has done that very well.” As the UAE approaches its 50th anniversary in 2021, there is also a clear desire to leave a lasting legacy in the same way that monuments in other cities have managed to do. The Eiffel Tower was mentioned more than once during the event. “We as a country are 45 years old whereas Paris is hundreds of years old so I think there’s so much we need to build and create in our country for us to be remembered 500 years from today,” Alabbar says. “Of course real estate will be quite valuable when we do this, but this is also part of the progress of our city and our nation as well.” “There’s no doubt that the Eiffel Tower has inspired for over 100 years,” Calatrava adds. “It became an icon and represented a city, a nation and a whole epoch. As soon as you landmark a place you are creating a reference for those that would come here to live. Is the Statue of Liberty a sculpture or is it something usable? Is the Eiffel Tower a sculpture or something usable? In our case we wanted to do a sculpture that is penetrable, habitable and will landmark the place and send an unmistakable message.” Like all of Calatrava’s work The Tower will blur the lines between art and 30 construction business news me May 2016

$1bn Development cost of The Tower

2020 Completion date of The Tower


metre plaza diameter at The Tower

architecture using the most advanced technologies. The cables that will stabilse the building, for example, will be similar to those used in suspension bridges though on a scale not seen before. It’s “technology as a vehicle to beauty and art”, Calatrava says. He describes the overall design as a “slender

minaret held by cables” which provide an “aura around the tower” producing an effect that is “very delicate, like a beautiful necklace”. The original master plan was adjusted to include a smaller plaza around the tower with a diameter of 500 metres “just to make sure the

proportions are right”, Alabbar says. “I want to underline that word proportion,” adds Calatrava. “Proportion because the city grows from the centre to the outside favouring viewing corridors towards the tower and also creating an order related to the new centre.”

Financed on a 50/50 debt to equity basis, construction of the project will consist of three phases: The foundations, a concrete core and the cables. The edifice will be clad in stainless steel and glass with all materials adapted to the climatic conditions of the Gulf. The stainless steel

pinnacle will be built separately and transported to the site. Though officially no deadline has been set for the completion of the tower it is clear when the target delivery date is. “The tower is a small thing between us and our partners to give to the city for 2020,” says Alabbar. construction business news me May 2016 31

Project review

Three more iconic projects by Santiago Calatrava Valls City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia

Possibly Calatrava’s most famous work. Designed with Felix Candela, this cultural complex consists of a number of buildings located together in a dried up river

bed in Valencia built gradually between 1996 and 2005. Attractions include an oceanography centre with Europe’s biggest aquarium, a science museum, the

‘Hemisferic’ planetarium; the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía opera house; the gardens of the Umbracle; the Agora multipurpose event space and a bridge.

World Trade Centre Transportation Hub station, New York City This spectacular new subway station on the site of the old World Trade Centre opened in March this year though parts of the building remain under construction. The main hall, known as the Oculus, is reminiscent of the helmet shape used in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences with the addition of a pair of wings, giving it the appearance of a dove about to take flight. Controversially, the building opened seven years behind schedule and at twice the original $2bn budget, despite revisions being made to keep the cost down. 32 construction business news me May 2016

The Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmo, Sweden This skyscraper will appear familiar to Dubai residents or anyone that has visited Dubai Marina and seen the distinctive, twisting Cayan Tower. Calatrava’s Turning Torso in the Swedish city of Malmo, however was completed in 2005, ten years before its Dubai doppelganger. The 190 metre building is constructed in nine, five-storey segments and features a 90 degree twist.

Porto Arabia Towers Doha, Qatar

Mall of Qatar Doha, Qatar

Viva Bahriya Towers Doha, Qatar

Qatar National Museum Doha, Qatar

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Al-Futtaim Engineering supplies air outlets for Louvre Abu Dhabi

Emirates Building Systems bags Riyadh Metro supply contract

Riyadh Metro production

Dawood Bin Ozair, Senior Managing Director - Engineering & Technologies


l-Futtaim Engineering’s Air Conditioning division has supplied specialised air outlets for the Louvre Abu Dhabi project. Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 square metres of art galleries. Al-Futtaim Engineering have been exclusive distributors for Krantz – specialised air outlets in the Middle East for over 10 years. Dawood Ozair, Senior Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Engineering and Technologies said: “Al-Futtaim Engineering has a long and rich history in projects including the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, Yas Marina Circuit, New York University and the Central market in Abu Dhabi. “The Louvre Abu Dhabi – once open – is anticipated to be one of the most iconic destinations in the capital

34 construction business news me May 2016

and we are extremely pleased to be associated with this prestigious project.” Rajesh Bhatia, General Manager, Air Conditioning Division at Al-Futtaim Engineering said: “This project further enhances our reputation as one of the premier air conditioning solution providers in the country and the region. The solution provided for the Louvre Abu Dhabi project demonstrates our commitment to providing the best customized air-conditioning solutions for the most challenging projects.” Headquartered in Dubai, Al-Futtaim Engineering’s Air Conditioning division represents major international brands such as York, Krantz and Airedale. In Qatar, the division is associated with prestigious projects including the Doha International Airport, Nakhilat Shipyard, Al Saaad stadium and the Doha Metro project.

Emirates Building Systems (EBS) has clinched a contract to provide steel structures for the second phase of the Riyadh Metro Project. The deal is part of the AED 51mn ($13.8mn) worth of projects won by Emirates Building Systems across Saudi Arabia and Oman, as demand for steel structures increases amidst infrastructure developments in the GCC countries. EBS has also won a new contract with Petrofac in the Khazzan gas project in Oman, a statement said. With the new projects, the company is expecting a strong performance this year, to build on its 2015 sales revenue of over AED 200mn. Emirates Building Systems says the company is also conducting feasibility studies on several projects in Africa which is seeing escalating demand for steel structures for infrastructure and commercial projects as well as in the oil and gas sector. Samir Akra, General Manager of Emirates Building Systems, said: “Over the years, Emirates Building Systems has set an unparalleled track record across the wider Gulf and the rampant construction – be it the infrastructure projects such as the public transport system in KSA or the oil and gas sector in Oman and Kuwait – is leading to pent-up demand for steel structures. EBS is well-positioned to cater to this increase in market demand.” Simultaneously, EBS is also bidding for a number of other projects including the football stadium contracts for the FIFA 2022 Qatar, petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia and Oman, besides oil & gas, commercial and industrial developments in Kuwait. EBS is a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate, Dubai Investments which is listed on the Dubai Financial Market

KONE wins order for Doha Metro project

Grundfos launches Jebel Ali showroom


ONE has won an order to supply elevators and escalators for the Qatar Rail project in Doha. The contract includes the supply of over 500 pieces of equipment for Doha Metro’s Red Line South and Gold Line and a 20-year maintenance agreement. KONE will design, supply and install altogether 189 KONE MonoSpace® Special & KONE Transys™ elevators, 253 KONE TransitMaster™ escalators and 102 TransitMaster™ autowalks tailored for passenger use in the Red and Gold lines. The elevator technology will be based on energyefficient KONE MonoSpace® solutions. Mark Bayyari, managing director of KONE Qatar, said: "When you have a huge number of people commuting through transit centers every day, you really have to look at the safety and efficiency of the equipment. “That will enable people to move smoothly and comfortably, with the shortest possible waiting time. This cannot be overstated and we look forward to providing our people flow expertise and solutions to the Doha Metro." The Doha Metro project is a planned rapid transit system comprising of four lines and 100 stations, spanning a length of 215 km. It will be an integral component of the larger Qatar Rail network, which will include a long-distance rail for passengers and freight, linking Qatar to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Lusail City’s local Light Rail Transit (LRT). Three of the lines are scheduled to be completed by early 2020. The fourth line will be completed in the second phase of the project.

Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos has opened a new showroom to display its solutions in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Freezone. An interactive display takes visitors through seven different daily processes in which Grundfos’ pumps play a role. The HVAC station explains pumps used in heating, air conditioning and district energy applications, while the water supply station illustrates optimized water intake and distribution. Additional stations discuss pumps needed in fire-fighting and pressure boosting systems. The wastewater treatment station explains non-clogging pumps, while the domestic building service station shows the pumps needed for domestic utilities.

Finally, the dosing and disinfection station addresses the precision and effectiveness of chemical dosing. Henning Sandager Andersen, Area Managing Director of Grundfos Middle East and Turkey said: “We contribute to global sustainability by pioneering technologies that improve the quality of life for people and demonstrate the care we extend to the planet. “Through the ‘Miyah’ Studio, we are excited to share how we do this with our customers and visitors. We take visitors on a journey to discover water, educate them on pump solutions and smart control systems and inspire them to start conversations on what they have seen and experienced.”

construction business news me May 2016 35

Building Materials

A quarter of Dubai’s buildings to be 3D printed by 2030 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wants Dubai to become a global leader in the technology


ubai is aiming to make a quarter of its buildings using 3D printing by 2030 in a bid to cut the cost and time taken for construction projects. Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, revealed the ambition last month as he launched the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’, a global initiative that aims to promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by the year 2030. “Our key goal is to ensure that 25% of buildings in Dubai are based on 3D printing technology by 2030, and we will raise this percentage with the development of global technology as well as growth of market demand,” Sheikh Mohammed said, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

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“We believe that this technology is capable of transforming the construction sector by lowering costs and reducing the time it takes to implement projects. “It will also help reduce manpower requirements as well as waste generated from construction which can be harmful to the environment. We will also focus on utilizing this technology in other vital sectors such as medicine and consumer products to offer goods and services at competitive prices." Construction is one of three key sectors of the 3D strategy which also includes medical products, and consumer products. The construction and building sector will focus on lighting products, bases and foundations, construction joints, facilities and parks, buildings for humanitarian causes and mobile

homes, in addition to galleries, stores and residential villas. Sheikh Mohammed added: "Through the 3D Printing Strategy, we aim to make Dubai a global hub for the development of this technology and a base for research and development in this area. We aim to provide the best opportunities for innovation and optimal application of this technology worldwide. Our goal is to raise the level of services provided to the people and harness 3D printing for the benefit of the entire community." The value of the 3D printing technology based construction sector in Dubai is expected to reach AED3bn by 2025, the report said. Globally the market is expected to reach $120bn by 2020 and about $300bn by 2025, driven by research and product development.

Hira Industries launches foam insulation factory in RAK Facility will employ 150 people and export product worldwide


ira Industries has expanded in the UAE with the launch of a new factory to manufacture technical foam insulation. The state-of-the-art facility launched in Al Ghail, Ras Al Khaimah, is spread over 125,000 square feet and employs 150 skilled and highly trained staff. The factory will produce and export Aerofoam technical foam worldwide. Technical foams used for insulation is over a $300mn industry in the Middle East where Aerofoam will soon play a major role. Due to the region’s sustained growth, particularly in the UAE, the company was driven to expand its production capabilities culminating with the launch of the new facility. “With the wealth of construction projects carried out in the region, the demand for Aerofoam product is tremendous and we are seeing rapid growth year on year. Events such as Dubai’s Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar have further driven the industry. As such our move to set up a new facility is strategically planned,” said Manish Hira, Managing

Director of Hira Industries. Environmental, social and economic concerns have encouraged leading manufacturers to develop energy efficient products. Hira Industries is the region's leading manufacturer of technical foam insulation for the building and construction sector. It has created a niche in the market for its thermal insulation products catering to commercial and residential properties, shopping malls, hospitals, schools, offices, museums, hotels and industrial facilities among others. The company manages eight factories in three different countries, oc-

cupying two million square feet and employing over 1,000 workers to sustain high growth. The company plans to increase the number of products as well as number of applications that Aerofoam insulation can cover such as proofing materials or roof insulation. Developing this kind of vision would not be possible without two type of materials: crossed linked polyolefin foam and NBR rubber. Currently, Hira Industries is also involved in manufacturing air conditioning products, fixing systems, rubber products, adhesive tapes and technical insulation products.

LATICRETE launches its first pump truck


aticrete Middle East has launched its first pump truck, which will allow the construction professionals in Middle East to finish new concrete or level existing slabs to the highest standard in record time while significantly reducing project costs. The SUPERCAP Mobile Blending Unit (MBU) mixes the proprietary engineered self-leveling cement for-

mula at the job site using a computercontrolled on board system. The mix is then delivered from street level to heights of over 50 stories, eliminating the need for hauling unmixed materials into the building. "The LATICRETE SUPERCAP is a new delivery system which is changing traditional methods of finishing and capping concrete slabs throughout the world and we are excited to

bring this cutting-edge technology to GCC," says Sujit Singh Managing Director, Laticrete Middle East and Africa, the exclusive supplier of the system in the region. "It has been proven to be better, faster, safer and less expensive on hundreds of job sites and over millions of square meters in major metropolitan areas. There is nothing else like it on the market today." construction business news me May 2016 37


Financing our Sustainable Future Martin Haupts, Chief Executive Officer, Phanes Group on why capital investors should feel bullish about the opportunities presented by solar in the developing world.

Martin Haupts


ast month the world celebrated the 46th Earth Day. People from all walks of life, across the world demonstrated their support for environmental protection in what is possibly the biggest of the environmental celebrations. In fact, the Earth Day Network saw on that same day a billion people from 192 countries taking action to safeguard the planet. But it is events that took place in New York among a select few, that did more to shape the way we power our future and decarbonize our planet, than a billion other global citizens. The signing ceremony of the Paris

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Climate Agreement took place a little more than five months since the terms of the agreement were agonized over in November. The ceremony welcomed leaders from across the world to commit their signatures and set last year’s Paris Agreement into action. Whilst doing so, these political leaders must also commit to setting the business and investment community to work. To the challenge of sustainable development, the investment community’s response must be wholehearted – but not just because the planet needs it. The message all spheres of society must now rally behind is the unparalleled nature of the economic opportunity this global

energy transition presents us with. John Kerry, US Secretary of State said in a ‘Road to Paris Climate Series’ address to an audience of business people and social activists last year that the shift to clean energy was the single biggest commercial opportunity of all time. It was a smart way to refocus the climate change dialogue away from social ideology to a pragmatic discussion about finance, job creation and economics. Where the economics are strongest is where the need is greatest – in the emerging world. Against all the odds, 2015 proved to be a record breaking year for renewable energy investment globally but it was new markets that ran the show. Emerg-

Power plant using renewable solar energy with solar panels

ing countries committed billions to clean energy with record increases, including Mexico ($4.2bn, up 114%), Chile ($3.5bn, up 157%), South Africa ($4.5bn, up 329%) and Morocco ($2bn, up from almost zero in 2014). Globally $330bn was invested in clean sources of power but capital market funds were conspicuous by their absence and this cautious view of the energy transition – particularly in the developing world – needs reviewing. By 2050, more than nine billion people will demand and expect access to secure, affordable power at minimal cost to our environment. And in region’s such as the Indian sub-continent, Sub-Saharan Africa

and South America, renewable energy is both an answer to the climate challenge and a powerful tool for economic development that will liberate state capital from expensive fuel imports. For them, renewable energy is an economic imperative, and one that emerging market governments are throwing policy and regulatory support behind. That makes it attractive. And yet still, despite the policy pledges from all over the world to reduce carbon emissions and to prioritise investment in low carbon technologies, the institutional investment audience’s commitment is circumspect, particularly in the emerging market clean energy asset

class, which is where I believe the most attractive investment opportunities lie. As a former investment banker, I recognise the delicate risk profile of post-2008 investors. But low global growth, weak returns on government bonds and inflationary pressures means investors need to rethink clean energy in developing markets as a real opportunity. The post Lehman Brothers world is one of fixed income returns on traditional bonds that offer between 0% and 1%. Solar investments mirror the stable, long term return patterns investors traditionally expected from fixed income, better than wind, biomass or other renewable energy asset classes. Internal Rate of Returns (IRR) on OECD solar projects typically in the UK, Germany and the US have traditionally hovered around the 5%7% mark. But compare that to solar investments in emerging markets, which I believe have the ability to offer consistently high single digits and even double digit returns. As an asset class I believe future energy in this context is peerless. The falling cost of technology, and solar’s emerging market proof of concept made possible by multilateral development lending can take a huge part of the credit for getting us to a point where capital investors can – and should – feel bullish about the opportunities presented by solar in the developing world. In an environment characterised by a low appetite for risk, nothing offers stable returns quite like it. And that’s the message leaders must deliver and reinforce from now until we reach a point at which we are powering our cities sustainably, successfully lifting billions out of energy poverty and igniting economic growth in new industries. In doing so, we will bring capital market investment dollars to the table and secure a real shot at a bright new future for everyone. construction business news me May 2016 39


Construction Arbitrations in the UAE and Qatar

The number of large-scale infrastructure investment projects and upcoming international events such as the Qatar’s 2022 World Cup and the 2020 Dubai World Expo evidence the magnitude of the construction industry in the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, disputes are a common feature of this industry and this is one of many reasons why states in the region are keen to establish a comprehensive arbitration framework. By Nasser Al Khaswneh, Gurmeet Kaur and Pooja Kohli of Eversheds

A brief history of arbitration in the Middle East Traditionally, Islamic law encourages the use of arbitration (or certainly conciliation) to settle disputes. One well known story of the Prophet Mohammad’s early life involved him being chosen by feuding tribes, who could not agree on a vital element of the reconstruction of the Ka’aba and the Prophet bridged the gaps between the quarrelling parties by suggesting an original solution that was essentially a win-win for all. In the Middle East, countries are resorting to arbitration laws in line with international best practice. This is evidenced by the fact that countries including Qatar in 2002 and the United Arab Emirates in 2006 have adopted the New York Convention (“Convention”). Middle East states are increasingly also adopting the 42 construction business news me May 2016

United Nations Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the “Model Law”) in arbitration centres throughout the region. The nature of construction disputes The nature of construction disputes tends to be technical and complex and generally requires an expert to determine the issues in question. Construction disputes typically arise over time, cost, scope of work or quality issues. Construction contracts, particularly those based on standard forms such as International Federation of Consulting Engineers, are generally voluminous and there are often issues arising from the interpretation of the various documents forming part of the contract. Disputes often arise over the scope of work between employer

and contractor and between a contractor and subcontractor, and whether work was completed in accordance with the agreed specification and expected quality are also common. The importance of arbitration to resolve construction disputes Where construction disputes occur, parties are increasingly turning to arbitration for resolution. The flexibility and efficiency of arbitration, as well as its speed, efficiency and confidentiality has made it an attractive method of dispute resolution. Construction work is predominantly procured by the government from global contractors and engineering companies who prefer international governing law

putes for Abu Dhabi-based parties. Since early 2007, construction contracts by the Abu Dhabi Government have provided for disputes to be referred first to an ad hoc dispute adjudication board, in line with International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) forms, and then to ADCCAC arbitration. In October 2013, the ADCCAC implemented new procedural regulations for the conduct of arbitration. The new ADCCAC Regulations introduced good modern arbitration practice to the ADCCAC arbitration process in an effort to encourage more parties to consider the ADCCAC has a forum for ADR”. DIAC Dubai International Arbitration Centre (“DIAC”) has in place its own Arbitration Rules acting as an appointed authority under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and is now one of the busiest arbitration centres in the Middle East for construction disputes. DIFC-LCIA DIFC-LCIA is a branch of London Commercial Arbitration Centre (“LCIA”) and it follows the LCIA rules very closely. As at 6 December 2015, the DIFC-LCIA had around 30 open arbitration or other ADR proceedings.

and arbitration clauses in their contracts. Typically, the preferred arbitration centres for global contractors are London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore due to their reputation and recognition for an established formal legal infrastructure and track record for enforcing agreements to arbitrate and arbitral awards. Conversely, the employer (often the government) will generally prefer or be restricted (for example under local procurement laws) to using its local court system or domestic arbitration to resolve disputes. Arbitration Centres As the enthusiasm for Middle East countries as a platform for international trade increases, arbitration centres have been growing in line with international stan-

dards. The Middle East now offers wide range of options for arbitration: UAE Arbitration is governed by Articles 203 to 218 of the Civil Procedure Law. Under the Civil Procedure Law contracting parties are permitted to refer any dispute concerning the implementation of a specified contract to one or more arbitrators. The UAE increasingly favours arbitration as a suitable mechanism for Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) and is home to the following arbitration centres: ADCCAC The Abu Dhabi Commercial, Conciliation and Arbitration centre (“ADCCAC”) oversees a number of construction dis-

Qatar The adoption of arbitration as a forum for resolving construction disputes is also growing in Qatar. Nonetheless, Qatar is yet to implement a comprehensive arbitration law. A draft law has been in circulation for over a year and is expected to come into force in the coming months (the “Draft Qatari Law”). The Draft Qatari Law is based largely on the Model Law and is meant to replace the existing provisions under Articles 190-210 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law No. 13 of 1990 (the “Civil and Commercial Procedure Law”) which currently govern arbitration in Qatar. Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) QICCA was established in May 2012 and is now more frequently adopted as a foconstruction business news me May 2016 43


rum for the resolution of disputes arising from construction contracts.

Gurmeet Kaur

Nasser Al Khaswneh 44 construction business news me May 2016

Enforcement of construction arbitration awards Critical to the choice of the appropriate arbitration centre for any construction contract should be the consideration of the enforceability of any arbitration award sought. The Convention mainly establishes the principle that a properly made arbitration award in one member country must be binding and enforceable in another member country, unless the award can be rejected on the basis of certain grounds for refusal of enforcement such as the recognition or enforcement of the award would be contrary to the public policy of that country. The parameters of what a country regards as “public policy” can be wide and is often a challenge. In the UAE, Articles 235 and 236 of the Civil Procedures Law confirm that arbitral awards can be enforced in the UAE, provided a number of conditions are met including procedural issues such as the proper notification and representation of the parties before the arbitral tribunal that issues the decision in the foreign country and procedural irregularities. In 2004, the UAE's Court of Cassation overturned an arbitration award in the Bechtel case, on the grounds that the witnesses had not been properly sworn. UAE courts may also refuse the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award if it contradicts a previous judgment already issued by a UAE court (Article 235 (e) of the Civil Procedures Law) or if it includes elements that contradict public policy or morals. Article 3 of the UAE Civil Code, Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 provides that public policy considerations should include “rules relating to personal status such as marriage, inheritance, descent, and rules concerning governance, freedom of commerce, trading in wealth, rules of personal property and provisions and foundations on which the society is based in a way that do not violate final decisions and major principles of Islamic Shari’a”. In 2012, Qatar’s Court of Cassation ruled on the necessity for arbitral awards to be rendered in the name of His High-

ness The Emir of Qatar. This ruling set aside an arbitral award by the QICCA based on several legal texts including Article 63 of the Qatari Constitution which states that “Judicial Authority shall be vested in the Courts in the manner prescribed in this Constitution and Judgments shall be issued in the name of the Emir” and Article 69 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law which provides that “Judgments are issued and executed in the name of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar”. The Court proceeded to analyse some of the legal provisions which govern arbitration in particular (Articles 190-210 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law) and where the Arabic text of the law makes no distinction between the terms “award” and “judgment.” This controversial ruling has been criticised by arbitration practitioners in Qatar and has raised several concerns including whether the enforcement in Qatar of foreign arbitral awards rendered by arbitrators abroad may reject the idea to render an award in the name of a foreign head of state. Consideration should therefore be given to whether this mandatory requirement could form part of the law of arbitration in Qatar. Between June 2012 and August 2013, a small number of other arbitral awards had simply been set aside for the same reason by lower Qatari courts following the same rationale as the Court Of Cassation. However, the Court of Cassation in Qatar has recently clarified its previous decision and decided that international arbitral awards issued by arbitration institutions such as the ICC are considered foreign arbitral awards and thus enforceable in the Qatari courts without the need for them to be issued under the name of His Highness the Emir. Reforms Arbitration developments continue to take place across the region due to the evolving role of arbitration in the Middle East. In Qatar, the Draft Qatari Law is expected to introduce numerous positive changes and new concepts to the existing arbitration provisions. The current Draft Qatari Law unambiguously states that the decision to submit disputes to

Pooja Kohli arbitration is solely that of the parties and the agreement to arbitrate may be documented in a separate stand-alone agreement or a clause contained in the contract. The Draft Qatari Law also suggests that the arbitration agreement could be evidenced through correspondence in paper or electronic form. This should put an end to any arguments that an arbitration clause in a contract is not sufficiently clear to satisfy the requirements of Article 190 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law and that an agreement for arbitration should be a separate signed agreement. It may also eventually open up the possibility for parties to opt in, by agreement, to using arbitration as a method to resolve construction disputes where it was not envisaged when the contract was originally entered into. Where there is a valid arbitration agreement, the local courts are obligated not to accept jurisdiction over a dispute which the parties previously agreed should be resolved by arbitration. It is clear, however, that the Draft Qatari Law grants the

court controlling power of the legitimacy and enforceability of such arbitration agreements but the courts are limited to this review because if the agreement is valid, the courts must honour it. Nevertheless, if such a claim was raised before a national court, this would not stop the arbitration proceedings from being commenced or continued. There is also a draft UAE Federal Arbitration Law (“UAE Draft Law”) which intends to replace Articles 203 to 218 of the Civil Procedure Code and introduce a modern legislative framework for arbitration in the UAE, in line with the UNCITRAL Model law. The UAE Draft Law includes an intention to provide that no arbitration order is issued without verifying that it is not “in conflict with a ruling on subject of dispute passed by any UAE court of law”. Construed broadly, it may be interpreted to mean that an arbitration award may be prevented from being issued in a construction dispute where the nature of that dispute has already been tested by any UAE court of law. How-

ever, construed narrowly, it may only apply when dealing with the same cause of action between the same parties. Conclusion Arbitration centres in the Middle East are growing in significance and are being used increasingly in construction disputes. This is reflective of the developments in legislation setting the framework for arbitrations and enforcement of awards and encouraging government bodies in the Middle East to use arbitration. Global companies are getting more comfortable dealing with disputes in the region as the arbitration centres embed international standards. This is a positive step, contributing to developing market confidence of the international business community and encourages foreign direct investment critical for countries in the Middle East to diversify their economies.

With contributions from Aditya Gaur (UAE) and Al-Anoud Mosleh (Qatar). construction business news me May 2016 45


Zaha Hadid

Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid died of a heart attack in April. Construction Business News Middle East takes a look at 10 of her projects from around the world.

The Haydar Aliyev Centre, Baku


The 619,000-square-foot building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan is noted for its distinctive architecture and curved style. The center, which houses a conference hall, a gallery hall and a museum, is named for Heydar Aliyev, the leader of Soviet-era Azerbaijan from 1969 to 1982, and president of Azerbaijan from October 1993 to October 2003. Located close to the city center, the site plays a pivotal role in the redevelopment of Baku and is intended to play an integral role in the intellectual life of the city. The center had an official soft-opening ceremony in May 2012 and won the Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award 2014.

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2 Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi This 842 metre-long bridge is said to be one of the most complex ever built, with road decks suspended from steel arches. Opened by Sheikh Khalifa in 2010 after eight years of construction, it is the fourth bridge to link Abu Dhabi to the mainland. The bridge is composed of three main arches made of steel and mounted on concrete supports. The arches and cables support two four-lane carriageways, an emergency lane and a pedestrian walkway. "The bridge which bears the name of our father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is more than a link between two points," said Sheikh Khalifa at the time. "It is a symbol for the continuous development process started by the late Sheikh Zayed and an evidence to our determination to pursue the goals of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030.�

London Aquatics Centre


Built for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford the facility contains two 50-metre swimming pools and a 25-metre diving pool. After significant modification to remove a grandstand the centre opened to the public in March 2014 in its current form. The construction contract was awarded to Balfour Beatty in April 2008 and the centre was completed in July 2011 at a final cost of ÂŁ269 mn ($387mn). The six-board diving platform is made from 462 tonnes of concrete. The aluminium roof covering was provided by Kalzip. The steel structure was built in cooperation with Rowecord Engineering, of Newport, Wales. The ceiling was built with 30,000 sections of Red Louro timber. The steel roof weighs 3,200 tonnes.

construction business news me May 2016 47


4 Guangzhou Opera House This freestanding concrete auditorium set within an exposed granite and glass-clad steel frame took over five years to build and cost CNY 1.38bn ($213mn). Overlooking the Pearl River, its contoured profile, unique twinbouldered design and approach promenade “enhances urban function, opens access to the riverside and dock areas and creates a new dialogue with the emerging town”. The design was highly praised by critics, however within a year of its opening in 2010, cracks appeared in the façade and many of the 75,000 granite slabs that join to form the building’s exterior had to be replaced. The government blamed this on humidity and the complexity of the design rather than the speed of construction as some had claimed.

5 Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza This 280 metre long covered bridge was constructed for the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza in Spain. It imitates a gladiola over the river Ebro, connecting the neighbourhood of La Almozara with the exposition site, becoming its main entrance. At the same time the bridge itself was a multi-level exhibition area capable of welcoming 10,000 visitors per hour. Hadid used fibre glass reinforced concrete to envelope the bridge and covered the outer skin of the building with 29,000 triangles of fibreC in different shades of grey. During the Expo 2008, the Bridge Pavilion hosted an exposition called Water – a unique resource. When the Expo was over, the building was purchased by the local savings bank Ibercaja for use as a site for expositions.

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SOHO Galaxy office building, Beijing The Galaxy SOHO project in central Beijing is a 330,000 m2 office, retail and entertainment complex. Its architecture is a composition of five continuous, flowing volumes that are set apart, fused or linked by stretched bridges. These volumes “adapt to each other in all directions, generating a panoramic architecture without corners or abrupt transitions that break the fluidity of its formal composition”. The lower three levels of Galaxy SOHO house public facilities for retail and entertainment. The levels immediately above provide work spaces for clusters of innovative businesses. The top of the building is dedicated to bars, restaurants and cafes that offer views along one of the main avenues of the city.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul The Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul is a major urban development landmark characterized by the "powerful, curving forms of elongated structures". The development is the centerpiece of South Korea's fashion hub and popular tourist destination, Dongdaemun, featuring a walkable park on its roofs, large global exhibition spaces, futuristic retail stores. During the site’s excavation, major archaeological remains from the Joseon dynasty were uncovered, including original sections of Seoul's City Wall. The remains have been incorporated into the park. The DDP was one of the main reasons for Seoul's designation as World Design Capital in 2010. Construction started in 2009 and it was officially inaugurated in March, 2014.

Riverside Transport Museum, Glasgow Some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, ship models, trams and locomotives are exhibited at this museum which was completed in 2011 in the Glasgow Harbour regeneration district of Glasgow. The purpose-built structure replaced the previous home for the city's transport collection, at Kelvin Hall and was the first museum to be opened in the city since 1993. The museum is on the site of the former A. & J. Inglis Shipyard on the north bank of the River Clyde. The main contractors for the £75mn ($107.7mn) project were BAM Construct UK. In May 2013, the museum was announced as the Winner of the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award.


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9 The Evelyn Grace Academy, London This is the first school that Zaha Hadid Architects designed and its first project in London, despite having practiced there for just over 30 years. Located in Brixton, South London, this £37.5 mn ($54mn) building was completed in 2010, and won the RIBA Stirling Prize for architectural excellence a year later. The four-story, 10,745-squaremeter building is shaped like a diagonal cross. The academy's 1,200 students are divided among four smaller sub-schools: the "Evelyn" middle and upper schools and the "Grace" middle and upper schools. The building's design derives largely from the need to give each of these four schools its own independent identity.



The MAXXI, an acronym for the National Museum of 21st century art in Italian, was first announced in 2000 and took over 10 years to complete on the site of a disused military compound. The competition proposal by Zaha Hadid envisaged the construction of five new structures, only one of which was actually built. The building is a “composition of bending oblong tubes, overlapping, intersecting and piling over each other, resembling a piece of massive transport infrastructure”. In addition to the two museums, the MAXXI also features an auditorium, a library and media library specialized in art and architecture, a bookshop, a cafeteria, a bar/restaurant, galleries for temporary exhibition. The large public square designed in front of the museum hosts art works and live events. It was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architect’s (RIBA) 2010 Stirling Prize for architecture.

50 construction business news me May 2016

Event review

Alive and Kicking

The 10th edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi proved there is still plenty of life left in the real estate market


he 10th edition of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi conference and exhibition may have been held against a backdrop of weak oil prices, cutbacks in government spending and flatlining regional economies, but you wouldn’t have known that from the number of visitors that walked through the door of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) last month, or the scale and dazzle of some of the projects unveiled during the three-day event. A record number of people - industry insiders and buyers alike - flocked to the show to witness the launch of a number of high profile property developments. Aldar Properties’ $1.6bn Yas Acres development, TDIC’s Saadiyat District Lagoons and Al Qudra Real Estate’s Al Sadu Towers project were among the major Abu Dhabi real estate projects to make headlines this year. But people weren’t just there to window shop. Bloom Properties later announced that it sold 90 percent of Faya, the fourth phase of its planned community Bloom Gardens in Abu Dhabi, within a fortnight of its launch at Cityscape. Outside of Abu Dhabi, Eagle Hills unveiled its first Address-branded hotel in Fujairah while Manazel Real Estate launched a villa project in Jordan.

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Carlo Schembri, Exhibition Manager at Informa Middle East, said the turnout and sales reported by developers proved the exhibition was a major success. “Despite slowing economic growth in the wake of low oil prices throughout 2015, Cityscape Abu Dhabi’s visitor numbers were up compared to the previous year,” he said. “This year, we hosted more than 300 delegates at our conference and we welcomed 15,023 visitors at the exhibition. The sentiment was extremely positive and it manifested through an impressive number of launches and purchases made.” Declan King MRICS – Director & Group Head of Real Estate at ValuStrat, said this year’s show was one of the busiest he has seen in several years. “The opening conference was particularly productive - providing great networking opportunities for real estate professionals and excellent presentations and panel discussions on the market place, the economy and associated regulation,” he said. “The quality of the stands, and the mix of both consumer and professional attendees at the exhibition bodes well for interest in the property market there going forward.” David Dudley, International Director and head of JLL’ Abu Dhabi office, said that Cityscape was not only a platform

for developers to promote their projects, but also the main gathering for the real estate industry at large. As such the conference has become a key part of the event alongside the exhibition. “JLL was privileged again to lead the Cityscape conference on the opening day – including presentations on the market outlook and panel discussions with key players in Abu Dhabi’s real estate sector. The conference was very well attended, leading to a dynamic debate. “A key theme in JLL’s presentation and the subsequent discussions was examining the impact of the current

15,000 slow down, primarily caused by the decline in oil prices. The reduction in oil price directly affects the oil sector, which forms half of Abu Dhabi’s GDP, and indirectly affects the other half due to job cuts in the government sector and a reduction in government spending,” he said. “The general analysis was that, while we are experiencing a slow down in demand growth, investment continues. On the other hand, supply completions are at a 10 year low – leading to relatively stable conditions. The extent to which this stability is maintained very


Number of exhibition visitors

Number of conference delegates

much depends on the return of government spending.” Dudley said the residential rental market in Abu Dhabi remains relatively stable. With a reduction in residential sales volumes JLL expects further pressure on residential prices this year. The hospitality market has been hit by a reduction in corporate demand but this is largely offset by continual increases to leisure tourism. Retail has seen a reduction in spending but the outlook remains positive due to the spending power of the local population and further tourism growth. The office market has been most affected by

the reduction in oil price, although Grade A rents still remain stable. Other themes discussed at the conference were the impact of the new real estate laws, the various initiatives being undertaken by the Urban Planning Council and a review of Abu Dhabi’s freezones. There was also a lively discussion surrounding real estate funding – while liquidity has reduced, funding is still available but is more selective. Dudley said: “All in all it was a very well attended and lively event – a great opportunity for the industry to meet and discuss market trends.” construction business news me May 2016 53

Event review

Faya 4

Yas acres

The fourth phase of the Faya project will consist of 132 town houses made up of 28 four-unit clusters and four five-unit clusters and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Its developer, Bloom Properties, says Faya is an attractive investment opportunity for potential buyers and investors, with a payment plan linked to construction milestones and 65 percent to be paid upon completion. The development certainly proved attractive with investors, almost selling out within a fortnight of its launch at Cityscape.

Aldar Properties launched the AED 6bn ($1.63bn) Yas Acres residential development on the northern shores of Yas Island. The golf and waterfront development will add 1,315 villas in response to strong demand for a villa development that is available for purchase by all nationalities. The development will be home to 15,000 residents and is accompanied by schools, mosques, community retail, a yacht club and marina. Residents will enjoy the golf course and club house, parks, schools and vibrant waterfront right on their doorstep. Prices for units will start at AED2.9mn for three bedroom town houses.

Al Sadu Towers

Abu Dhabi-based developer Al Qudra Real Estate launched Al Sadu Towers, a luxurious residential and commercial development comprising five towers. The design concept is inspired by one of the oldest traditional forms of weaving practiced by Emirati women in rural communities, which was listed in UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. The development offers 1,360 apartments with parking to accommodate about 1,700 vehicles as well as luxury shops and several food and beverage outlets.

Saadiyat Lagoons District Abu Dhabi based master developer Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) launched the largest district on Saadiyat Island, the Saadiyat Lagoons District. Located minutes from Abu Dhabi city, the district is a premium residential community which is expected to become home to 29,000 residents across more than 4,000 residential units. The mixed-use development will feature contemporary townhouses, villas and apartments that offer access to neighbourhood shops, F&B outlets, children’s play areas, mosques and leisure facilities such as an equestrian centre.

54 construction business news me May 2016


Keep Cool and Carry On

Working in a hot environment can be a health hazard. With the summer soon upon us, Bob Mangiaforte, Vice President of Sales, Portacool, provides tips on how to avoid heat stress and cut work-related accidents.

Bob Mangiaforte


n April 28, private and public entities celebrated World Day for Safety and Health at Work in the Middle East. The goal of the United Nations-led day is to demonstrate a shared concern for maintaining wellbeing and safety in the workplace. According to the International Labour Organisation, some two million men and women lose their lives through accidents and diseases linked to their work each year. In addition, there are 270 million occupational accidents and 160 million occupational diseases each year, which incur $2.8 trillion in costs for lost working time and expenses for treatment, compen-

56 construction business news me May 2016

sation and rehabilitation. For the most part, worker safety and wellbeing is, and should be, at the forefront of employers’ minds. In Dubai’s updated strategic plan for the period of 2016 to 2021, the government’s top priorities include sustainability of the city’s environment, providing world-class and high-quality services, efficient urban planning, and ensuring excellent infrastructure is available to achieve these goals. The regional construction pipeline remains robust and that is unlikely to change in the near future. Mega projects continue to create immense opportunities not only for the construction sector, but also for the economy of the UAE as a whole. That being said, it also means organisations in the region will have to increase the labour force to provide the manpower necessary to help build these high-rises, roads and mega-construction projects. The groups must share in the responsibility that every individual involved is protected. Fortunately, there has been an awaking of consciousness when it comes to how companies deal with worker health and safety in the UAE and the wider region. The Occupational Safety and Health Middle East (OSHME) – the Middle East’s specialist event dedicated to promoting and sustaining an advanced safety culture – was held in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. The event brought

together leading stakeholders across government and private sectors and solutions providers to discuss industry issues, share successful outcomes and provide tangible solutions. Working in a hot environment can be more than uncomfortable. It can be a health risk and in turn, dangerous. It is important to understand how the body handles heat and hot conditions when evaluating the potential for employee heat-related illnesses. As temperatures rise, the body releases heat more slowly. As humidity increases, sweat evaporation decreases and stagnant air makes sweat evaporation even more difficult. When these three factors are combined, you have a higher potential for health and safety concerns. The chances for accidents due to sweaty hands, dizziness and decreased mental alertness increase considerably. Additionally, higher body temperature and discomfort can lead to irritability and frustration that could lead to more careless behavior. This puts the worker and the work environment at risk when one is not properly prepared for the heat. With the summer soon upon us, here are key factors that can help mitigate the effects of heat-stress or heatstroke and cut work-related accidents and ill-health: • To prevent dehydration, take a fluid break at least every 15 minutes and avoid diuretics such

• Watch for symptoms. Symptoms of heat stress include excessive sweating or no sweating at all, nausea, goose bumps, weakness, tightening muscles, or dizziness. • Take it easy. Your body will tell you when it's time for a break. Don't ignore it. Take a rest period in a cooling station to reduce core body temperature and refresh yourself before continuing with your activities.

as coffee, tea, alcohol or soda, as these can deplete body fluid. Take breaks in cooler, shaded areas and rest regularly. • Avoid rapid exposure to temperature extremes. Allow your body to adjust naturally by incremental exposure to extreme temperature versus heating up and cooling down and then repeating this process. • Use cooling pads that can be inserted into hardhats or around the neck to keep the head and neck

cool. Vented hardhats or neckbands soaked in cold water also can be used to minimize prolonged heat exposure and prevent the body from overheating. • Wear light clothing that allows your body to cool itself using natural evaporative cooling produced from sweat and circulated air. • Wear sunscreen. When you are active outdoors for long periods, sunscreen needs to be applied regularly.

These precautionary measures are suggested for those working outside to avoid heat stress. Of course, educating workers to recognise the symptoms of heat illness and the steps to take to reduce their risk and what to do if a co-worker suffers from heat exposure is also going to be essential. Studies have shown that when excessive perspiration occurs, body fluids are lost and worker productivity can suffer by up to 12% with as little as 1% body fluid loss. Companies that offer evaporative cooling solutions can help keep working environments cool, help keep workers more hydrated and help businesses run more efficiently. To keep pace with the international community, employers in construction companies need good governance on occupational safety and health. This will undoubtedly prove that prevention of hazards pays! Portacool™ portable evaporative coolers — manufactured by Portacool, LLC, the global leader in evaporative cooling technologies — provide a natural, highly-effective cooling alternative to fans and air conditioners. Portacool evaporative coolers utilize the all-natural evaporative cooling process to cool temperatures. This evaporative cooling process is perfected by the state-of-the-art technology in the company’s KUUL® evaporative media. KUUL evaporative media is manufactured in the USA and is the most efficient evaporative media available on the market. To find the right evaporative cooler for you, visit construction business news me May 2016 57

Event preview

Get set for Project Qatar The 13th edition of the construction event takes place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) from 9 - 12 May

Exhibitors at Project Qatar 2016 will have the opportunity to explore the country’s booming construction sector through free site visits, including three mega construction projects: The New Port Project, Lusail City, and The Mall of Qatar. This is just one of the features at this year’s event which unfolds from 9 - 12 May at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) where a new and improved interactive match58 construction business news me May 2016

making platform will allow visitors to register and meet exhibitors that match their demand and work profile. The mobile application covers all features of the show, including the floor plan, the exhibitors’ list, the sponsors’ list and the visitors’ registration form. Hundreds of companies from 37 countries, including 15 national pavilions, will exhibit at the event spread over five halls and an outside area, covering 32,000 square metres. The show is

expected to attract over 35,000 professional visitors from around the world. An official press conference last month in Doha to launch the event featured several high-profile speakers, including prominent officials and ambassadors. In his speech, Shri Dinesh Udenia, First Secretary (Press & Education) & Mission's Commercial Representative at the Embassy of India, said: “During the last three years, an average of more than 50 Indian

Project Qatar 2016 launch press conference

“Currently Qatar has plenty of project opportunities, particularly in preparation for World Cup 2022 which is the key motivation for Korean participants.” – Park Heung Kyeog, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea

companies have been participating at the exhibition. This has provided them an opportunity to interact and explore trading and investment opportunities, not only with the Qatari companies but also with other international exhibitors present at the event." The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Park Heung Kyeog, said: “Korean companies have participated in the Project Qatar for four consecutive years. This year, eight Korean compa-

nies with the best competitiveness will join the Project Qatar 2016 to introduce their advanced technology. Currently Qatar has plenty of project opportunities, particularly in preparation for World Cup 2022 which is the key motivation for Korean participants.” IFP Qatar LLC – in collaboration with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce – will be continuing its “Project Qatar Workshop Series” for the second year that includes 11 workshops meant to promote the education and commercial aspects of the construction industry. Areas of focus include, among others, GSAS and HSE awareness, product testing, construction waste, sustainable smart cities, energy efficiency and its dynamics. Following the success of the Project Qatar Business Intelligence Series in 2014 and 2015, the series returns with six B2B conferences including two conferences at the same time as the show: The 3rd Annual LightingTech Qatar (9

- 10 May), The 2nd Annual Future BIM Implementation Qatar (11 - 12 May). Participants will also have an opportunity to gain specialised knowledge through a couple of concurrently held events: “Qatar StoneTech 2016,” the 5th International Stone and Stone Technology Show, and “Heavy Max 2016,” the 13th International Exhibition for Heavy Machinery. Asked about his experience with Project Qatar, Simon A. Nehme, Chief Business Development Officer of Nehmeh – Official Industrial Solutions Partner of the 2016 edition, said: “We are participating for the 12th time in Project Qatar and each year our pavilion attracts a larger number of professionals. In Qatar, we are the authorized partner for many world renowned brands and these brands are now leaders in the Qatari market. This year, at the Nehmeh stand, brands displayed include Makita, Chicago Pneumatic, Stampa, SDMO, Geo Fennel, Portacool, Dr. Schulze, U-pol, Exoda and NRF. Project Qatar has been an important platform for us to showcase our range of products and to serve the construction solutions requirements in Qatar”. Project Qatar takes place under the patronage of HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. In 2015 it hosted 1,130 exhibitors representing more than 2,000 companies and brands displaying their products to 32,167 visitors, within 21 national pavilions from 40 countries. construction business news me May 2016 59


Mark your calendar

Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Qatar

Construction Business News ME picks the latest and most sought-after exhibitions, conferences and seminars coming up in the construction industry

Lighting Tech Qatar

9 to 10 May 2016 City Centre Rotana Doha, Qatar The third annual LightingTech Qatar 2016 features a high level advisory board with representatives from Ashghal Public Works Authority, Amey and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Collectively, the advisory board with their combined expertise have helped develop topics covering the latest government regulations, industry standards and certifications, the impending needs and requirements in the lighting industry in Qatar and how they can be addressed.

Project Qatar

9 to 12 May 2016 Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Qatar Project Qatar provides a platform to view the latest equipment and services from the construction industry, develop international relationships and generate new business opportunities. Exhibitors and visitors will gain fast access into Qatar’s lucrative construction market, and the opportunity to generate new business opportunities with companies of all sizes. In 2015, over 2,000 companies and brands from 40 countries exhibited at the show, and organisers expect more participating companies in 2016.

Smart Skyscraper Summit

16 to 17 May 2016 Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa, UAE With over 300 senior architects, engineers, policy-makers, developers, contractors and building managers attending from across the GCC, Smart Skyscraper Summit offers a platform for networking and knowledge sharing required for developing world-class skyscrapers in the Middle East. It will also showcase innovative building technologies, design principles and solutions from around the world and offers high-level networking opportunities.

Future BIM Implementation Qatar

11 to 12 May 2016 InterContinental Hotel The City, Qatar The Future BIM Implementation Qatar is the essential platform in 2016 for all those involved in the architecture, design, con60 construction business news me May 2016

struction, engineering, consulting, building and infrastructure industry in Qatar and the GCC to stay up-to-date on how this software and technology is facilitating future cities in the region.

FM Expo

Date: 23 to 25 May 2016 Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE The FM Expo is co-located with Middle East Waste and Recycling and Commercial Cleaning and Hygiene and Elevators and Access Control. The Expo will unite FM professionals from across the region with suppliers and experts from integrated FM providers, waste management, elevator products and solutions, maintenance and environmental services, to IT solutions and health and safety products.

Bridge and Road Engineering and Maintenance

2 to 25 May 2016 Eastern Mangrove Hotel and Spa, UAE The event will gather senior government representatives from UAE, including the Department of Transport, Al Ain Municipality as well as local developers, contractors and consultants. The strategic conference will be a great platform for local agencies to demonstrate their achievements in infrastructure delivery and management in the UAE.

Roads and Highways Egypt

24 to 25 May 2016 Cairo, Egypt Join key stakeholders from the Egyptian Ministry of Transport, Egyptian Holding Company for Roads, Bridges and Land Transport, Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Egyptian Ministry of Finance, AMG Al Amar Consulting Group S. A., and more at the conference. The event will discuss solutions for the phase-two of the National Roads Programme, the National Intelligent Transport Systems Programme as well as the CATIC refurbishment projects.

For more news about construction events and more, visit

Future BIM Implementation 11-12 May 2016 InterContinental Hotel The City, Doha, Qatar Optimizing BIM Implementation to Improve the Management of Complex Construction and Infrastructure Projects KEY SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Ramalingam Thirunavukkarasu Senior CAD & BIM Analyst, Public Works Authority - Ashghal

Hamzeh Nawar Senior Manager- BIM, Meraas

Bhushan Avsatthi Associate Director AEC, Hi Tech

Michael Turk Construction Manager, Hill International

Prof. Nashwan Dawood Professor, Teesside University

Omar Selim BIM Specialist, Urbacon Contracting

Moawia E. Abdelkarim Managing Director - Middle East, DPR Construction

Bhanu Sri Prakash Gejjala Vice President - Project Architecture & BIM, RSP Architects Planners & Engineer

Bisrat Solomon Degefa BIM Project Manager, Atkins

Steven Lewis BIM Manager, ALYS JV

Nithin Thomas Senior BIM Engineer, Habtoor Leighton Group

Allen Jay Holland Senior Architect and BIM Manager, KEO International Consultants

Winn Gomez BIM Manager, Oger International Abu Dhabi LLC

Derek Bankston BIM Manager, GHD

Muhammad Jabakhanji Head of VDC + BIM, Alpin Limited

Mohammed Mahboob BIM Specialist, BuroHappold Engineering

Anthony Lapierre Senior Manager- BIM, Meraas

Grant Crow Cost Planning Manager, MACE Group

SPECIAL OFFER FOR Associate Partner

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Advanced Conferences and Meetings FZ-LLC T: + 971 43614001 I F: +971 4 361 4554 I Email: I

Editor's pick

Rooftop Revolution

Jeremy Crane of Yellow Door Energy, discusses his company’s quest to put solar panels on Dubai’s buildings When did Yellow Door launch in the UAE, and why? Was there a visible demand in the market? Yellow Door was launched on July 1st, 2015 to respond to DEWA’s new net metering legislation under the Shams Dubai programme. We created this new venture, a spin-out from Adenium Energy Capital, because servicing hundreds of distinct electricity consumers is a different business model that requires a nimble client focused company instead of a private equity firm. Yellow Door can supply solar power for less than the DEWA rate, and on top of that, companies can lock in their electricity price with Yellow Door for the long term. The economic incentive combined with the positive CSR and environmental benefits of buying solar power has translated into a huge market for solar energy in the region. We’ve calculated the demand for distributed solar power in Dubai to be approximately 1.9 Gigawatts. Since the launch, how has the response been? Who are your target buyers? Almost every company we speak with would like to be more competitive by saving money on their electricity, hedging against future price increases and providing CSR benefits for their employees and community. The possibility of achieving this without investing their own capital is very appealing. We’ve seen a lot of interest from 62 construction business news me May 2016

manufacturing, logistics and storage companies since they consume a lot of electricity and typically have large rooftops. Shopping malls and other large commercial buildings are also our target market. Where else in the Middle East are you based? Do you plan to expand into other markets? Currently we have offices in Dubai and Jordan and are actively pursuing activities in Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. We will be expanding into other regional markets this year including the rest of the GCC, Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan. Could you tell us more about how Yellow Door works with an emphasis on Shams Dubai? Yellow Door is a solar electricity utility that enables the move to solar easy by providing solar leasing options to businesses, institutions and governments at no up-front cost – our customers only pay for the electricity the system generates. Yellow Door owns the solar systems and leases them to customers, enabling a full turn-key solution, including design, engineering, installation and commissioning of ground-based and rooftop photovoltaic power plants. It maintains the system and offers a performance guarantee to ensure trouble-free operation throughout the lease. It’s in line with Net metering legislation under Shams Dubai program that allows companies to produce solar power on their property -- behind the meter -- and

not only use that electricity but also be compensated for the electricity that their solar system feeds into the grid. Could you elaborate on your work in Jordan? Thanks to our parent company, Adenium Energy Capital, we have a long successful history in Jordan. Currently Adenium has over 50MW of projects under construction and will soon be the largest solar power producer in Jordan. Yellow Door is leveraging this strong reputation to deliver solar power to many commercial companies including Hospitals, Hotels, Shopping Centers, Universities and much more. In Jordan we capitalize on Wheeling regulations that allow one to generate in one location and consume elsewhere. Therefore we service the dense urban area of Amman by generating on the outskirts of the city. Do you think there is a need for more clean energy investments in the Middle East? The world’s energy demand is continuing to grow and meeting this will be a real challenge. The rapid development of the GCC countries means we are part of that global picture. And thus, unlocking the growing clean energy investment opportunities in the Middle East will be key in fulfilling the energy demand that is expected to increase threefold in the next 15 years.

Delivering Excellence We manage the development of complex infrastructure and building projects, using our teams wealth of local knowledge to provide world-class services and solutions which include; Project & Program Management, Construction Management & Supervision, Commercial Management, Design Management & Consultancy and Quantity Surveying. We work together with our clients in-line with industry standards and international best practices to FOTVSFBMMBTQFDUTPGBQSPKFDUBSFEFMJWFSFEFGmDJFOUMZBOETVTUBJOBCMZ

Education and Islamic values under one roof - Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies

The largest multi-purpose hall in the Middle East - Lusail Sports Arena

7KHĂ€UVW WUDPLQ4DWDU - Qatar Foundation Tram

Ultra-modern and technically advanced - Qatar Science & Technology Park

A cultural icon within the Gulf region - National Museum of Qatar

A proposed venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup - Hamad Bin Khalifa Sports Complex

For more information, get in touch at or visit our website at

Construction Business News ME May 2016  
Construction Business News ME May 2016