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MAY 2015


There has to be more to smart skyscrapers than just clever gadgets if they are to be a sustainable part of any urban plan

How has consolidation of a number of consultancies affected contractors and the region’s construction industry? An insight into one of the world’s highest GDP per capita nation and the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporter Experts discuss how population growth can affect the property market and sustainability of Abu Dhabi

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contents 6 news 14 architecture Antonio Citterio,

founder of architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, talks about his work with Meraas and Bulgari Resort and Residences and what it means to design luxury real estate


16 in person Stéphane Aubarbier,

CEO of Energy & Infrastructure division at Assystems, speaks about the company’s growing presence in the Middle East

20 analysis Alison Luke

examines how has consolidation of a number of consultancies affected contractors and the region’s construction industry

32 country focus With the world’s highest GDP per capita and the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export, Tremendous gas deposits and a small population, Qatar surely has everything going in its favour


cover story



HIGH STANDARDS There has to be more to smart skyscrapers than just clever gadgets if they are to be a sustainable part of any urban plan

construction business news me MAY 2015 1



Managing Director Walid Zok Director Rabih Najm

37 comment Omar Rashid writes about how injuries could be

reduced in construction sites by simple measures

Director Wissam Younane

42 Does government regulation really impact

sustainability in construction or is it the private sector that needs to step up? Shivram Mukherjee analyses

Group Publishing Director Diarmuid O'Malley

44 Louay Dahmash writes How cities should invest for

Editorial Director Giorgios Retsinas

56 Frank Ackland analyses power management in

Features Editor Lorraine Bangera

future economic and environmental vitality commercial construction

38 sustainability Florian Krueckl, Managing Director at BASF Middle

Business Development Director Rabih Naderi

East, discusses the importance of embracing sustainability in a busineSS

Sales Manager Elly Shirkhan

40 Experts discuss how population growth can affect

Marketing Executive Mark Anthony Monzon

the property market and sustainability of Abu Dhabi, UAE’s green city

48 Q&A Bishoy Azmy, CEO of Al Shafar General Contracting,

discusses the company's 25 year old history, culture and the future

52 project review Dukes Oceana, launched by Seven Tides, brings both British charm and cosmopolitan luxury to the UAE

55 Al Zorah Development Company showcases its latest development along the coastline of Ajman

57 suppliers 58 construction machinery 60 event preview International Property ShoW 61 Cityscape Abu DhabI

63 save the date 64 editor’s pick 2 construction business news me MAY 2015

c o n t ribu t o rs


Stuart Matthews

Marlow McGuinness Ltd

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Porto Arabia Towers Doha, Qatar

Mall of Qatar Doha, Qatar

Viva Bahriya Towers Doha, Qatar

Qatar National Museum Doha, Qatar

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editor’s note Rising high Drawing inspiration from the splendid view of the Dubai skyline from our office headquarters, this month’s cover story will take a look at a topic the Gulf is very familiar with – skyscrapers. In this day and age, a pristine skyline is considered indispensable to label a city as “modern” or “developed.” As we set foot in a futuristic age, we need to take a closer look at these iconic structures and examine if they would be well suited for our vision of a smart city. Industry experts analyse how sustainability can be incorporated in new as well as existing towers. We also look into the cost effectiveness of switching to smart technologies and weigh the advantages of using building management systems. With the UAE moving towards developing smart cities, integrating clever technologies in construction is a given. For those readers interested in gaining more insights on the topic can attend Smart Skyscrapers Summit on May 11 to 12 this year at the Sofitel Dubai the Palm Resort & Spa. Also this month, we have analysed how contractors and the construction industry have been affected by the consolidation of large consultancies. We look into how the financial crisis in late 2008 propelled a wave of change that distorted most of the industry’s layout leaving large consultancy firms to be pushed into being consolidated or

Not quite there yet

acquisitioned which carried forward both positive and negative results. Experts from the sector look into both sides and state the overall changes made within the industry to cope with the aftermath. Construction Business News ME’s first country focus looks at the rising power in the region – Qatar. A rich land known to be the world’s highest GDP per capita along with an astoundingly small population. Apart from that, the country is in full throttle preparing for high profile events including the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the IAAF World Athletics Championship 2019. For us, all this translates into one simple thing – an upsurge in construction. With massive investments flowing into Qatar’s building industry and infrastructure sector, it is one of the most lucrative markets today. Considering the low level of corruption, investors have a prime opportunity to grab in this part of the world. In addition to our content, we have also started incorporating new design elements in our magazine, experimenting with colour palettes and trying our best to come up with a scheme that would be attractive to our readers. If you haven’t yet joined us online, do reach us on any of our social media platforms. We look forward to hearing from you via Facebook or Twitter.

Could do better...

A little more colour?


4 construction business news me MAY 2015


Green Middle East’s new mandate Green Middle East, Sharjah’s environmental management and technology exhibition and conference, has announced that though it is essentially a businessto-business (B2B) event, it will now have a business-to-consumer (B2C) element that will promote eco-friendly products and services. The event, to be held in December this year at Expo Centre Sharjah, will also add educational elements as part of its consumer reach. Professor Dr Sabah Al

Kass, Dean of College of Engineering, University of Sharjah said: “Since University of Sharjah is involved, we will add an educational dimension to the Green Middle East. We aim to provide an enabling environment to schools, teachers and students to think and learn about contemporary regional and global environmental issues and challenges.” Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Center Sharjah said that since its launch in 2011, the event has success-

Delegates addressing the Green Middle East press conference

fully anchored the green initiatives being launched in the country. “Now, in the new format, I am glad to see that Green Middle East will have one of the largest official mandates to steer the green drive in the country and beyond.” Green Middle East, a carbon-neutral event, will have renewable energy, water and wastewater, waste and recycling, green building and retrofits and environment awareness as its main focus.

Model of Town Square

Upcoming DAMAC Maison The Vogue

Two more hotel projects in Downtown Dubai Luxury real estate developer, Damac Properties, announced the opening of two new serviced hotel apartments’ projects in the Burj area - the Damac Maison The Vogue and Naia Breeze. The projects have a joint capacity of 500 suites and are now welcoming residents and customers from across the globe. In the last 14 months, these two projects mark the fourth and the fifth projects for Damac Hotels & Resorts. Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President of Damac Properties, said that the opening of Damac Maison The Vogue and Naia 6 construction business news me MAY 2015

Breeze reflects the company’s strategy in the hospitality sector. “We aim to become a leading player in this field as one of the major hotels and luxury serviced apartments operators in the region,” he said. “Damac Hotels & Resorts has five projects open to date and more to come, catering for the growing need in the Dubai hospitality sector, where the number of tourists and visitors is expected to grow steadily year on year reaching an unprecedented level in five years’ time, during the World Expo 2020,” he added.

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts debuts at DMC Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has revealed plans to open its first property in Dubai Media City (DMC) in 2017. The 251-key Mövenpick Hotel Dubai Media City will be located adjacent to the AED4.5 billion ‘innovation hub’ announced by the Dubai Government last year – a new centre for communications and technology facilities that spans an area the size of two football pitches across DMC, Dubai Internet City and Knowledge Village. “Dubai Media City is already home to more than 2,000 businesses according to Tecom and attracts thousands of workers and visitors on a daily basis. The innovation hub will significantly expand the district’s population and Mövenpick Hotel Dubai Media City will be well placed to cater to this community and beyond,” said Andreas Mattmüller, CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Asia. The company recently unveiled plans to open the 246-key Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai in the same year.

Mövenpick Hotel Media City Dubai

Nakheel unveils three projects across Dubai Nakheel announced a 12 million square feet retail, residential and leisure development in Deira Islands. The project, Deira Islands Mall, Towers and Boulevard, will offer shopping and luxury living facilities in a self-sustaining community for 10,000 people that includes around 1.7 million square feet of green, communal parkland. The complex includes Deira Mall with 2.9 million square feet of leasable space and a car park for more than 8,400 vehicles. The mall will be surrounded by the 16-tower Deira Islands Towers community, comprising over 2,400 apartments and townhouses spread over four clusters. The Deira Islands Boulevard, will be a 400,000 square feet walkable shopping and dining promenade connecting the residences, mall and parks that make up the development. Other projects include a 6.5 million square feet residential, retail and hotel extension for Dragon Mart, and a new 4.7 million square feet complex at Ibn Battuta Mall.

Upcoming canal at Falcon Island

Upcoming Deira Islands Mall

RAK FTZ attracts Japanese investors Ramy Jallad, acting CEO of Ras Al FTZ also helps Japanese companies Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ), led grow with a full range of business set-up the free zone’s first delegation to Japan and support services, with high-quality to share their business set-up and expan- facilities, complete freedom from taxes, sion benefits with Japanese investors. full repatriation of profits, and lower costs, The mission sought to enhance trade be- so they can generate higher profits,” he tween the UAE and Japan, and to create added. new investment relationships between According to Keiji Tanaka, Manager of the two countries. Nihon Mesh Kogyo UAE, a Japan headJallad conducted a series of meetings quartered manufacturer and distributor with key government and investment of wire mesh demisters for desalination bodies, as well as local companies, in To- plants, the company selected RAK FTZ kyo and Osaka over a five-day period as its Middle East base to take advanfrom April 5 to 9 this year. tage of the free zone’s ongoing busi“Japanese investors can expand ness support services and strategic their companies into the UAE by location, and is considering an extaking advantage of the strategic pansion at RAK FTZ. He said: “We geographical location of RAK FTZ, decided to set up a factory in the making it easier for their products UAE to be closer to our and services to reach fastcustomers, and RAK FTZ growing markets in the proved to be the most Middle East, Africa and Eucost-effective and conveJewel of the Creek Ramy Jallad, Acting rope,” Jallad said. “RAK nient option.” CEO of RAK FTZ


ENEC receives re-certifications from Intertek

Left to right: Hussain Al Atrakchi awards Mohamed Al Hammadi ISO re-certifications

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) received six international ISO re-certifications from Intertek, a provider of quality and safety services, in April 2015. ENEC underwent rigorous, impartial, comprehensive auditing and assessment by Intertek auditors to ensure that its operations conform to international standards. Hussain Al- Atrakchi, Regional Managing Director for Intertek Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, said that receiving this recertification across its operations and departments is a major achievement for the ENEC and reflects its drive as a government entity for maintaining world-class operations across its business functions. These re-certifications assure that the corporation controls occupational health and safety risks. It also ensures that its information technology infrastructure conforms to standards to better manage, secure and protect data, while driving operational excellence. A detailed risk assessment was undertaken and the corporation's framework was evaluated for the efficiency of its technical infrastructure. Its external services were also tested to ensure confidentiality, integrity, secure exchange of data and availability of critical information. The corporation’s business continuity framework ensures it has control over risks of exposure to internal and external threats. Mohammad Al Hammadi, ENEC's CEO, said: “ENEC is working to deliver safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy that will be vital in supporting the UAE’s social and economic growth. Our robust internal processes are crucial to ensure that we remain on track to deliver nuclear energy to the UAE grid in 2017.”

Abdul Latif Jameel strengthens energy business Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and Environmental Services announced the acquisition of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a developer of solar power plants, this April. The sellers included Denham Capital, Qualitas Venture Capital, and founder shareholders. Roberto de Diego

Left to right: Rafael Benjumea and Roberto de Diego Arozamena

Arozamena, CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and ES said, “Our acquisition of FRV strengthens our position within the solar PV sector with the goal to become an independent power producer. FRV brings operational in-market solar PV development expertise with proven project financing and internal engineering and procurement competencies. Our strategy is to focus on renewable energies such as solar, wind, waste-to-energy, hydro power and environmental services such as waste management.” FRV currently has a 3.8GW in direct current (DC) pipeline of projects in emerging solar markets including the Middle East, Australia, Africa and Latin America. 3.8GWdc of power is the

equivalent of generating enough electricity to supply approximately 1,750,000 homes and remove approximately six million tonnes of Co2 emissions. Rafael Benjumea, CEO of FRV said: “Our global track record backed up by Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and Environmental Services’ financial strength and presence across the MENAT region, will significantly increase our ability to build scale, geographical reach as well as establish our leadership in diversifying national energy production in strategic markets across the world.” Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and Environmental Services will retain the FRV name which has become a recognized brand in solar development as well as FRV’s complete workforce of approximately 70 experts in all fields of solar PV.

Tekla’s Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal design

GCC’s construction market to boom in 2016 This April, Tekla launched Tekla Structural Designer software at The Construction Summit in UAE to support technology innovation for the GCC’s US$1 trillion worth of construction projects. The region’s construction market will hit a record of $144 billion in 2016, driven by mega-projects for World Expo 2020 in Dubai, 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, Smart Cities, and infrastructure, according to the EC Harris report Middle East Major Construction Programmes. The report also states that megaprojects in the GCC will reach $1 trillion by 2030. The UAE has $90 billion in capital development projects, according to EC Harris, while Qatar’s fastest-growing construction and infrastructure market is set to spend $24 billion on infrastructure in 2015, according to BMI Research.

“The GCC, being one of the world’s fastest growing construction markets, demonstrates the potential for how technology will enable the region’s architects, engineers, and field managers to drive innovation, collaborate, and meet strict code compliance across the design, build, and operation of the country’s projects,” said Paul Wallett, Area Business Director, Tekla Middle East. Middle East projects that have used Tekla Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to deliver precise and complex planning and fabrication include the Abu Dhabi Airport – Midfield Terminal Complex, the King Abdullah Financial District and King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Saudi Arabia, and National Museum of Qatar.


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AGi Architects design healing spaces Upcoming hospital facility, Kuwait Cardiac Research and Rehabilitation Centre, will be developed to provide daylight, natural ventilation, and pleasant views to improve patients’ health and comfort. The interior of the centre is designed like a miniature city with different scales and hierarchies. The ‘main streets’ are the corridors where patients can be assisted in different receptions; and the main waiting areas are square shaped spaces with direct view of the courtyard. AGi Architects,

designers on the project, want to give the patients the feeling of being outdoors. Dr Nasser B Abulhasan, Principal of AGi Architects, will be speaking at the Architect’s Congress at Building Healthcare Exhibition and Conferences taking place from June 8-10 this year at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event will focus on the design of a healing environment and how it impacts patient safety, operations, and the financial success of a healthcare facility. Massive opportunities at stake in Bahrain projects market

Massive opportunities at stake in Bahrain projects market

Bahrain to award more than US$65 billion worth of projects Project Qatar 2014

Bahrain’s project market is valued at Among the projects under scrutiny more than $65 billion, including proj- are Bahrain’s latest land transport netects planned and underway, according work initiatives, the $5 billion rail netto MEED Projects, an online projects work and the $5 billion Saudi-Bahrain tracking service. By sector, Causeway project. Both are CONSTRUCTION: construction has the biggest envisioned to promote the share, with projects valued kingdom’s Economic Vision at $30.4 billion followed by 2030 Masterplan. transportation and power Bahrain’s airport expanTRANSPORTATION: and water. sion programme and its role A comprehensive overview in the kingdom’s economic of Bahrain’s reinvigorated projdiversification was also a ects market was presented at key focus of the forum, along POWER & WATER: the Bahrain Infrastructure and with sustainability initiatives Finance Forum held on 28-29 and the latest developments April this year at the Crowne related to the overhaul of the Plaza in Manama. country’s sewage network.




10.9billion $

10 construction business news me MAY 2015


Mohammed Salem bin Omair Al Shamsi, Director General of Al Ain Distribution Company

Al Ain to host Eco-Smart Home Show Al Ain Distribution Company (AADC) is gearing up to stage the inaugural edition of the Eco Smart Home Show from 7 to 9 May this year at Al Ain Convention Centre. The event aims to raise awareness about the benefits of using energy efficient household devices. It will showcase a wide range of products and educate visitors on lifestyle changes that can be implemented towards reducing utility bills and achieving longterm benefits from energy conservation and resource preservation. The Eco Smart Eco Show will bring together leading organisations and companies involved in energy conservation on one platform to spotlight the latest technological innovations and advanced systems in air conditioning, irrigation, sunshades, home electronics, lighting, solar power, paint, windows and doors and energy efficient plumbing. Mohammed Salem bin Omair Al Shamsi, Director General of Al Ain Distribution Company (AADC), said: “In addition to educating future generations to behave responsibly and reduce energy consumption where possible, the event will provide an ideal platform to explore the latest energyefficient and eco-friendly technologies and products to help us build a sustainable future."

Sundus and Shaksy collaborate for Rotana project in Muscat Sundus Investments Projects LLC, specialists in mixed-use developments in the Middle East, has signed an agreement with Shaksy Engineering Services (SES) to begin work on the first phase of the Sundus Airport Heights development in Muscat, which will be operated by Rotana Hotels when complete. The agreement was signed by Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi, Chairman of Sundus Investments Projects LLC, and Said Al Shaksy, CEO of Shaksy Engineering Services (SES). Phase one of the landmark project will include the construction of Sundus Rotana, a four-star business hotel that is set to open doors to the public in February 2017. Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi, Chairman of Sundus Investments Projects LLC, said: “According to the World

Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi and Said Al Shaksy sign contract

Marble entrance of Emirates Palace

Travel & Tourism Council’s 2015 Travel & Tourism Economic Development Report, Oman is poised to register the highest growth in the tourism sector across the Middle East region notching up an 11% increase in the number of jobs in the country.” Sundus Airport Heights has been designed to cater to business travellers and conference visitors. The second phase of the project will include the development of Sundus Arjan featuring 85 luxury hotel apartments. Sundus Rotana and Sundus Arjan will collectively span an area of approximately 40,000 square metres and contribute to driving the country’s ambitious mandate for the tourism sector as outlined in Oman’s Vision 2020.

Tilal City

BagnoDesign welcomes delegates at their UAE headquarters Foreign delegates gathered in Dubai for the 2nd BagnoDesign International Dealer Summit, held from April 19 to 22, 2015. Attendees had the opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge of working with BagnoDesign, designers and manufacturers of unique bathroom solutions, and running profitable businesses in different countries. During their stay in Dubai, BagnoDesign dealers also had the opportunity to gain more of an insight into

Delegates with BagnoDesign team

the company’s operation, with presentations from the company’s directors and managers, with testimonies from its customers sharing some of the secrets of their success. Delegates also witnessed new product ranges such as the new BagnoSpa collection, as well as IX10 and Savoia. On each evening of the Summit delegates joined the BagnoDesign team in celebrating their 20th anniversary at the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Tilal City Registers 70% Sales for Zones A and C Set for Delivery in 2016 Tilal Properties announced its flagship development, Tilal City, in Sharjah. The project comprises 1855 land plots, offering the opportunity to UAE residents to buy or lease land and develop properties in Sharjah for the first time ever. The development allows investors to build for sale, leasing and personal use. Non-Arab expats can purchase land plots

on a 100-year leasehold basis within the scheme, with freehold land plots available for GCC nationals and UAE’s Arab residents. To date, 70% of all available plots in zones A and C – which are the first two zones to be handed over in 2016 – have been sold. The new flexibility in owning land has been a key driver behind investors’ interest.

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Community design Bulgari and Meraas unveils its project Bulgari Residences Dubai at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Antonio Citterio, architect on the project, talks to Construction Business News ME about his work with Bulgari Resort and Residences, and what it means to design high-end luxury products Antonio Citterio, founder of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners

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his April, the Dubai-based holding company Meraas and the international luxury brand Bulgari announced the launch of Bulgari Residences Dubai as part of the 1.7 million square feet Bulgari Resort and Residences that is taking shape on the Jumeira Bay Island. The project will be entirely designed by the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners. It comprises of 165 apartments, eight penthouses and 15 mansions. In addition to common areas such as private landscaped gardens, swimming pools and gymnasiums, residents can enjoy a host of dining and sporting options on site, including the 50 berths Marina and Bulgari Yacht Club and benefit from the unmatched service standard of the adjacent Bulgari Resort. The project was unveiled at a press conference in Dubai World Trade Centre headlined by Cherif Hosny, Chief Hospitality Officer of Meraas, Silvio Ursini, Executive Vice President of Bulgari, and the world renowned architect Antonio Citterio of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners. The Italian architect who has handled the architectural and interior design aspects of all the Bulgari Hotels worldwide including the Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai. His close attention to the smallest detail has helped translate the luxury of the Bulgari brand along with the high quality of a Meraas develop-

ment. Born in Meda in 1950, started his design office in 1972, and graduated in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic in 1975. Citterio was awarded the Compasso d’Oro-ADI in 1987 and in 1994, and since 2006 he has been a professor of architectural design at the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture, Switzerland. In 2008 he was honoured by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce of London, which gave him the title of Royal Designer for Industry. Speaking to the media about the design, Citterio says it all started with how to define luxury. He says that for him luxury is quality of life and he wanted to recreate it in this project by designing a space worth living in. “We didn’t want to create a cold hotel space, but something more similar to a village. I wouldn’t imagine the space as empty but filled with people. We are not interested in competition, but providing better quality of life for the people.” The concept of a village design, comes from Italian culture itself. “When you think of villages, you think of community and that is what we want people to feel in Bulgari Residences.” “It might not be exactly like a village,” he jokes. “The material used in building will be of better quality to help these structures last in the future. It is not a place for vacation, but a place to live.” Characterised by its efforts to create perfect harmony with nature through its architectural style, the Bulgari

Left: Bulgari Residences Below: Bulgari Residences in Jumeirah Bay Island

Resort and Residences Dubai aims in integrating the physical elements present on the Jumeira Bay Island. For instance, while the ubiquitous use of limestone is reminiscent of the golden sands of the desert, it also harks back to the timeless sculpted architecture of Southern Italy. Limestone has also been generously used in the boundary walls of the development, while the podiums are similarly clad in golden limestone. In addition, the lava stone and basalt paving create a sophisticated graphic contrast for public space - that in architectural terms makes up the ‘inner’ urban environment. The event included a 12m x 8m preview model of the project unveiled for the audience at the media briefing. Addressing the media, Cherif Hosny, Chief Hospitality Officer, Meraas says: “Bulgari Residences Dubai is not a regular development with branded elements. It is truly the first of its kind created from pre-concept, with the intention of translating the visions of both the primary stakeholders – Bulgari and Meraas – into an extraordinary manmade marvel.” The launch of the Bulgari Residences Dubai complements the earlier announcement of the Bulgari Resort Dubai as part of the agreement signed in May 2014 by His Excellency, Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas, and Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari Group. The partnership to bring the luxury

hospitality brand to Dubai was signed in Rome at Bulgari's historic flagship store dating back to 1905. The master development, Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai, is scheduled for completion in 2017. According to Hosny, Dubai has particularly proven to be attractive for major luxury brands to set up and showcase themselves to the region’s potential customer base. “Dubai has demonstrated a strong track record for constantly and continuously being the first in the region to introduce new and appealing high-end, superlative developments. Demand for prime property will continue to rise – and as the market matures, expectations will rise for qualitative, detail-focussed and

refined finished products. As that demand grows, investment in such developments will also surge.” Silvio Ursini, Executive Vice President, Bulgari says: “We are proud of the partnership with Meraas in bringing the Bulgari brand signature contemporary Italian style to Dubai, where we see great demand for such high-quality developments. In 2017, upon completion of the project, the resort and residences will serve our international niche audience looking for the most exclusive experience.” Antonio Citterio says that the collaboration between the two entities has been seamless. “Both groups have allowed us to perfect all aspects of the design, to transform both visions into reality.”

FACTS & FIGURES • 1.7 million square feet – Bulgari Resort and Residences • Bulgari Residences: 165 apartments, 8 penthouses & 15 mansions

Bulgari Resort

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ell us more about the merger between Assystem and Radicon Group. Why was it executed and how has it had a positive impact on the companies? Based on our legacy of delivering highly complex infrastructure, Assystem has been supporting and managing challenging projects and deploying cross-functional expertise across key industrial sectors including aerospace, defence, automotive, transport, energy, nuclear and life sciences. Assystem has developed strong capabilities in systems integration in the sectors of energy and infrastructure with projects in smart grids or smart buildings. As the fourth independent nuclear engineering company worldwide, Assystem wanted to strengthen its footprint in the GCC region - which is currently developing strongly in the nuclear energy sector. The company’s business model relies on building long-term links with local clients, which only an acquisition enables. Radicon fulfilled this need, since they understood the local market and had a reputation for quality and excellence, they were the natural choice. In order to enable growth and innovation in light of shared interests, Assystem and Radicon collaborated to service the growing energy and infrastructure industries in the region. As part of our growth strategy to expand in the Middle East, in 2015 Assystem acquired 75% of Radicon, a 400-person engineering company based in Saudi Arabia. Ali K. Al-Harbi, founder of the company, retains a 25% stake in Radicon. The new entity Assystem-Radicon will also attract and retain local talent through recruitment and career development programmes aimed at Saudi nationals and engineers in particular. Assystem- Radicon has already recruited about 100 persons while the size of the company will double to reach 800 employees in the next two years. Radicon will strengthen the group’s

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outreach in Saudi Arabia and more globally in the Arabian Gulf, enabling us to support our clients locally in this region. Moreover, the strong technical expertise of Radicon in infrastructure design as well as its understanding of the local environment combined with Assystem’s international reputation and historical expertise in complex project management, namely in nuclear, will enable us to be a reliable and efficient partner to our Saudi clients. Could you tell us more about your work in Saudi Arabia? Assystem-Radicon currently focuses on providing our clients with engineering design services in the infrastructure and power sector. In the short term, we will expand our services by strengthening the existing offer but also by broadening our local

scope through project management and systems integration. In the long run, we will further train our teams and recruit local engineers specialised in the nuclear industry to support and ensure the sustained development of the Kingdom’s nuclear programme. What are some of the major projects you are currently working on? Regarding Saudi Arabia more specifically, we are currently involved in several major infrastructure projects. These projects include: Jubail: For 10 years, Assystem-Radicon has been supporting the development of Jubail Industrial City. The City covers a total surface area of 920 kilometres of which around 260 has been designated for initial development. Assystem-Radicon has been providing

Founded in France in 1966 to commission nuclear facilities, Assystem is an international and independent engineering company, recognised worldwide as an independent engineering company in the nuclear sector. Stéphane Aubarbier, CEO of the Energy & Infrastructure division, talks about its growing presence in the Middle East especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE about seven million hours of engineering design to develop transportation, building, power and telecommunication infrastructures. KAP projects: Assystem-Radicon won a tender with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior worth SAR21 million. The contract covers engineering works for more than 220 buildings such as workshops, offices, sports centres, theatres, restaurants, in an area of 10,000 m2 spread over six locations between Mecca and Medina. It forms part of the ‘King Abdullah Project for Security Forces’ (KAP) investment programme that seeks to improve the safety conditions and accommodation for pilgrims visiting the sites of Mecca and Medina. This first significant contract won by Assystem-Radicon demonstrates our joint skills as well as the region’s development potential.

Facts & Figures • Assystem was first active in the Gulf in 2011 through its participation in the UAE nuclear programme and its technical assistance subsidiary, MPH Global Services. In September 2013, Assystem relocated its energy and infrastructure division’s global headquarters to Dubai. • Assystem employs nearly 12,000 engineers in continental Europe, UK, North America, GCC, Africa, India and Southeast Asia, and reported revenues of more than US$1 billion in 2014

Stéphane Aubarbier, CEO of the Energy & Infrastructure division, Assystem

Assystem’s prominent projects – Iter

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Could you highlight some of the benefits of working in the Middle East? The investment programme in the Middle East is still one of the best funded programmes in the world especially in KSA and the UAE. We believe that this will still be the case for a very long time. Those investments are mainly focussed on our sectors of expertise - energy and infrastructure. As such, expanding our footprint to this region gives us the opportunity to be involved in some of the most ambitious energy and infrastructure projects. Moreover, the Middle East is a very good geographical platform from which we can also develop our activities in business hubs around Africa and South East Asia. What are some of the key challenges you see in the industry across the region? In the GCC region, we see that completing projects (in infrastructure or energy) within the planned budget is becoming a constraint. Thus, realising projects on time, within the budget and the operational performance desired is today a real challenge for the project owners, hence an increasing importance for the project managers’ role.The role of project managers is not only getting more important but is also becoming more complex. Indeed, new and complex technologies are now integrated in energy and infrastructure projects, increasing the level of risks throughout the realisation of the project. Thus, the project manager needs to have a deep technical and technological understanding and be able to manage strong safety and security constraints to conduct the project efficiently. We believe that our extensive track record in complex sectors such as nuclear, life sciences or aerospace gives us the skills required to address these highly regulated environments with demanding safety and security requirements. The integration of new technologies such as smart grids entails new issues in terms of safety and security as previous closed networks are now 18 construction business news me MAY 2015

Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Assystem’s agency in Paris

KEY PROJECTS NUCLEAR European Pressurised Reactor: The European Pressurised Reactor is a new generation of pressurised water reactor complying with the latest safety standards. It is part of a nuclear production programme that raises key questions about the future of nuclear power for electricity. Assystem is a major consulting and engineering partner and is involved in the design, work supervision and commissioning of EPR reactors in France, Finland, China and the UK. Fuel Cycle: The construction of the Rokkasho-Mura reprocessing plant in Japan is based on the example of La Hague (France) and required a transfer of technology from Areva to JNFL, the Japanese operator. This mission involved training Japanese staff at La Hague and posting French expatriates to Japan. Areva commissioned Assystem to provide JNFL with its experience and knowledge in establishing fuel reprocessing plants. ITER: Assystem joined ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in 2005, when it was awarded a contract from EFDA European Fusion Development Agreement (ex Fusion for Energy - F4E) to work on nuclear safety engineering. Since then, the Group has kept the pace, supporting ITER organisation and F4E in the different phases of the development of the project - from the design, construction and supervision of all the buildings on site, to the construction of the reactor itself and the manufacturing of the remote handling manipulator for future maintenance operations. INFRASTRUCTURE- BUILDING Assystem has worked on infrastructure projects with strong security constraints. The company has been redesigning and installing the entire security systems of the Chateau de Versailles and the new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. OIL &GAS Borealis: Borealis AG is Europe's second largest producer of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. Ongoing are numerous brownfield projects. Assystem is in charge of managing the projects portfolio on behalf of the client as well as realising Front End Engineering Design while guaranteeing the highest level of safety and minimising the impact of operations on site.

mixed with new lockless technologies. In order to face these challenges, Assystem has developed specific offers, namely in the domain of cyber security. We are, for instance, working on a research and development programme founded by the European Commission - SCISSOR project - to develop a comprehensive cyber security programme for industrial systems. Finally, digital technologies will

have a major impact on engineering. New technologies reducing the time and costs of projects completion will revolutionise this industry. Our history in products engineering (Assystem is the first independent engineering in the sector of aerospace in Europe) will give us the ability of developing solutions adapted to the energy and infrastructure sectors quickly in this new context.


New practices Market changes since the global financial crash have led to the consolidation of large consultancies. How has this development affected contractors and the region’s construction industry in general? Alison Luke investigates

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he financial crash in late 2008 instigated many significant changes within the construction industry, with differing results. The sudden drop in available work propelled firms operating in the sector to re-evaluate in order to survive and thrive. For some large consultancy firms this meant consolidations and acquisitions, with some firms merging under a single brand, while other names have been retained as sub-brands of larger organisations. One of the most high-profile examples is that

of engineering design firm Aecom, which acquired both URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group within a matter of weeks in late 2014. But this was only one of many, as the larger firms have sought to broaden their skill-base and expertise quickly in order to win contracts in a reduced market. For some other firms, a reduction in operations was imposed as a solution. “There have been some consolidations and some consultants that went out of business,� reports Jeff Willis, Associate Director at Arup. “Due to the cancellation of many projects in

construction business news me MAY 2015 21


design [stage], consultants trimmed their operation and retained only skeleton staff to support their ongoing projects,” adds Fazlur Rahman, Deputy General Manager of MEP contractor ETA M&E. The aftermath of these changes in the consultancy sector has brought both positive and negative effects to the construction industry. “On the positive side, consultants are now working more cost-effectively and efficiently towards the clients interests,” reports Khalil Atieh, Vice President of international consultant Jain & Partners. “They are being creative and giving more cost-effective solutions, so clients are getting a better deal from consultants.” The creation of larger companies by merging those with differing skill-sets has also made it simpler for contractors and clients to reduce the number of firms that they need to deal with on large, complex projects. “[Market changes have] created more opportunities for specialised consultants as present projects are technically demanding,” states Rahman. Employing a large, international firm that includes several specialist in-house departments can mean a one-stop solution for most projects. This can reduce both time and costs on a larger project, as well as ease 22 construction business news me MAY 2015

any integration of design and services. “[Consolidation] can be beneficial for the market because the resources are more available within a large company,” explains Rachid Ghamraoui of Besix. “If the consultant is good and has the right people, then a project can progress properly,” he adds. Not all consultants’ clients are benefiting from such changes however. Atieh explains: “The main contractors are doing well; the MEP and other subcontractors are not doing so well. This is because the main contractor is shifting all of the risk onto the subcontractors.” The overall negative impacts vary for consultants and contractors. Contractors cite a lack of choice between consultants as an issue. Consultants, however, are voicing concern over the competition for projects. “It is harder to find suitable consultants [that are] experienced in similar projects,” states Rahman. “This affects the contractors from the time of bidding to execution, resulting in delays and/or disputes due to repetitive revision of drawings and design. At times clients have to issue the tender with an incomplete design to avoid further delays in the implementation of a project.” Such design issues have led to higher project costs as bidders opt

to inflate their prices to factor in any unforeseen risks due to less clarity of scope or design. For some contractors, such issues have led them to reassess and improve their own abilities, with some developing their own design capabilities. As well as ensuring improved design on individual projects, this move is sure to have a positive effect on the entire sector and the region’s future built environment. With consultants, in addition to expanding their skill-base through consolidations in an effort to gain the competitive advantage for projects, they are seeking other employment options. In some cases, this means entering other markets for work. “There is big competition in the UAE market; the market is picking up but there are not enough jobs for all consultants,” states Atieh. “UAE-based international consultants are now looking outside of the UAE and taking work in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. These firms are based in Dubai, but are now not 100% dependant on the workload of Dubai,” Atieh explains. This increased competition is being ceased upon by clients seeking costeffective solutions for their projects. As well as negotiating on price with their chosen consultant, the type of

“There is big competition in the UAE market; the market is picking up but there are not enough jobs for all consultants. UAE-based international consultants are now looking outside of the UAE and taking work in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. These firms are based in Dubai, but are now not 100% dependant on the workload of Dubai” – Khalil Atieh, Vice President of Jain & Partners

consultancy firm being used is differing according to project needs. “Clients and major developers are launching projects, but they are depending on local consultants [for the majority of the workload], not major, international ones,” reports Atieh. “At concept creation clients will go to the international firms, but when it comes to the detailed engineering design and the major amount of work for a project, if no specialist design work is needed they are using local consultants.” As the market has recovered, the reduced number of consultants available has resulted in changes to both prices and contract terms. “Due to a sudden increase in the number of projects, most of the consultants have become busy and in effect their prices have increased,” states Rahman. “Compared to 2008 [after the global crash], prices are higher by 20%; but in 2012-13 the prices picked up and since [this peak] consultants prices have gone down by 30%,” reports Atieh. This change is attributed to the increased competition for contracts throughout the entire supply chain. “Contractors are taking jobs at low cost just to keep running and all the big players are running at cost [price],” Atieh states. But just as significant as the pricing

changes are the contractual changes that past experience and the increased market competition have led to. “What has changed is what people will sign [in terms of contracts] and how long they will continue without payment. This affects costs indirectly,” stresses Willis. “Many consultants had to weather some pretty bad storms because of non-payment of fees for work already done.” As the market grows and more work becomes available, consultants are finding themselves in a strong negotiating position. They are thus becoming more selective about the projects that they take on; the clients with whom they will work; and the employment terms to which they will agree. “Contracts are now [primarily] employer-based, with imposed terms and conditions that consultants and contractors have to follow,” reports Atieh. “These are mainly payment, insurance, liability and performancebased terms.” Such contractual changes, may affect the operating market for both consultant and contractors in the long-term. And with the construction sector market now seeing an upturn, any positive benefits to be gained by firms operating in the sector should surely be exploited. construction business news me MAY 2015 23

INFRASTRUCTURE Public Works Authority building in Corniche road, Doha

Case Study:

Doha Expressway T

he upcoming project is part of Qatar’s extensive Expressway Programme, which will provide vital transportation links across Qatar—connecting key cities, towns, and villages with high-quality national freeways and urban arterial routes. The project management consultant delivering Doha Expressway project for Ashghal is KBR. A key challenge of the project has been to minimise additional land-taking within the project’s urban environment. As a result, this project has some of the narrowest road corridors of the entire Expressway Programme, with some total corridor widths as narrow as 40 metres. Hyder used intelligent 3D modeling and Autodesk software to configure the expressway, associated structures, and utilities within the extremely narrow corridor. The effective use of model-based design, analysis, simulation, and visualisation has helped the design team overcome complex design challenges, led to a more efficient use of resources, and resulted in more rapid, informed decision making.

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Hyder Consulting has been commissioned by Ashghal, Qatar’s Public Works Authority, to design and supervise a major new six-lane expressway in metropolitan Doha. Construction Business News ME looks into the progress

In association with building information systems (BIM) service provider Hochtief ViCon, Hyder is using Autodesk Navisworks Manage to provide a structured approach to clash identification, detection, and reporting—helping to improve the efficiency and global collaboration of design teams across three continents. Navisworks software is helping the design teams identify and locate clashes, and determine the disciplines involved. Regular updates of the consolidated model are viewable on stand-alone kiosks in each of Hyder’s design offices, creating virtual windows into the project for all members of the design team. During detailed design, the Navisworks model will be linked with the construction schedule for 4D construction simulation, planning, and sequencing. Hyder has also commissioned Hochtief ViCon to create photorealistic

project visualisations that will highlight the surface features and surrounding built environment of the project, as well as the complex underground utilities and structures that few people ever see or appreciate in civil engineering projects. These visualisations will be utilised as part of Ashghal’s social and public relations campaigns to ensure that the public and stakeholders can be made aware of the features and complexities of the project. For the future asset management and operation of the expressway, Ashghal is spearheading an asset management system for infrastructure, where all elements of the design are richly populated with metadata. As a part of that effort, Hyder is working to create an asset information model for the project, adding asset information required for the efficient operation and maintenance of each element.

seabury report



There has to be more to smart skyscrapers than just clever gadgets if they are to be a sustainable part of any urban plan. Stuart Matthews writes

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ities in the GCC have come to be recognised by their skylines. Silhouettes of tall buildings are the visual language of city guides and the symbols of financial booms, all built on the back of active and divergent economic activity. These skyscrapers, for good or for bad, have become landmarks of the success Gulf cities have enjoyed - complete with its ups and downs and their development has brought architects, engineers and contractors to the region as companies look to earn their super-tall credentials. While tall buildings are already among the most sophisticated built structures in the urban environment, the last decade has seen a number of advances that are gradually aiming to make such icons of the skyline smarter and more efficient. With any tall building there is the chance to multiply the advantages, or disadvantages, earned through the deployment of technology through the power of a skyscraper’s scale. “Most of the technology that we have seen applied to tall buildings that would be considered new would probably fall into the BIM category, but also the BIS systems,” says Shanghai-based Daniel Safarik, Director of the China Office for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. “I think what is starting to happen is that the conceptual model that leads up to the design and construction of a building is now gaining its own life in the [operation] of that building.” The move for greater implementation of BIS is growing put of the use of BIM, which many would regard as still emergent in the Middle East market. What this may lead to further down the line is a greater ability to provide real-time information about the environmental performance of a building and Safarik believe BIS will likely have a role to play in helping achieve that. As sensor technology improves and the ‘internet of things’ develops, what will emerge is more direct reporting of

how well building elements are actually working in real time. “Anything with an electrical pulse can and will be eventually connected to the internet” he says. “So rather than just having a detached bespoke system that says it understands the sun is now at a 70 degree angle and the temp is 40, it should lower the shade, you will progress to where it asks ‘how much has the temperature actually changed inside since?’ This is the part of the feedback loop which is largely missing from all buildings.” Getting this use of technology right can be testing and developers may be leery of the costs involved in implementation, especially if there are few regional case studies to benchmark against. Businesses are traditionally reluctant to be guinea pigs and may be reluctant to spend big on systems that may not be guaranteed to save energy. “I really do think that is the golden egg: optimising energy performance,” says Safarik. “Because while there are inherent benefits with stacking floors on top of each other and maximising the amount of real-estate on a single parcel of land - which is why tall buildings exist - I do think people tend to over sell the sustainable benefits of skyscrapers. “I think it’s important to make the point that a lot of the things that are ‘smart’, which building designers have been using for centuries, have been forgotten in modern times. All have been abandoned in favour a of a slick glass enclosed buildings and this is especially true of skyscrapers, which can consume an enormous amount of energy and when done with a lack of attention to the urban context are actually pretty dumb buildings.” To avoid this kind of architectural white elephant it’s important that buildings are connected to their environment through more than just wi-fi and fibre optics. As towers become larger and more complex, they contain more people, all of whom make demands upon local services, including power, water and transport.

construction business news me MAY 2015 27


Mohammed Al Rais, Regional President for the Middle East, Hill International Dubai skyline

“I think the biggest challenges I've seen have come from integrating building design technology with utilities and transport infrastructure and technology,” explains Loic Finlan, Senior Sustainability Manager for consultant KEO. “For instance, when you build a tall tower with a mass exit of people at a certain time, it’s making sure that the transport infrastructure planning around it is up to that huge exit of people.” Finlan suggests that this is a key part of the tall building challenge in the Middle East, where the number of buildings being constructed can make it challenging for the transport and utilities infrastructure to keeping up. With high-capacity buildings having such a huge impact on their local infrastructure, it is essential they are considered in a planning context, as much as a building design context. There are examples in the Middle East where this is happening, including Abu Dhabi. “They have a fantastic planning 28 construction business news me MAy 2015

environment where there is a brilliant body - the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council - which integrates fantastically well with the utility bodies so when there’s a new building there is plenty of warning for all the stakeholder to integrate the loads,” says Finlan. “But that not the case everywhere.” The next step says Finlan will come when utility and infrastructure designers have more knowledge and information about building developments in their areas and the likely effect they will have on their assets. He believes this additional consideration will help to reduce the cost of infrastructure, something already being seen in Abu Dhabi. “Right-sizing infrastructure is the next challenge,” he says. Doing so will assist the sustainability claims often made by the developers of the tall buildings themselves, helping to put their economies of scale into the context of the areas around them. The steady development of new technology is also likely to bring im-

Top: Daniel Safarik, Director of the China Office for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Middle: Hussam Abdelghany, Associate Director at Atkins Right: Senior Sustainability Manager for KEO

Smart tech only part of the solution Sharon Watson, Senior Property Manager, Property Asset Management Services MENA for JLL explains why clever technology is only part of the smart building story Dubai is home to the largest number of tall buildings per capita of any city in the world, so it is a good place from which to consider the question of what makes a tall building smart. The features that make a tall tower smart are exactly the same as those for any other building. These include everything from intelligent building management systems (BMS), through to intelligent vertical transport systems and fire safety systems. While these features apply to all smart buildings, skyscrapers pose specific challenges, which have not always been addressed. Some limitations with smart technologies in existing tall buildings result from a failure to look at sustainable design in an holistic way. The costs and benefits of different products and systems need to be quantified. Investors and developers should insist upon a financial model that clearly shows the options and implications for smart and sustainable initiatives at the design submission stage. The cost benefit analysis should not end there. More analysis is required of the ongoing operational impact of the various smart features across the entire lifecycle of the building.

provements and not just to tall buildings. “I think all buildings are becoming smarter so it’s natural for tall buildings to be smarter too,” says Thom Bohlen, CTO at the Middle East Center for Sustainable Development. This may be experienced by different people in different ways as advances are introduced to buildings, whether it means navigation aids available on personal devices, to direct feedback from plants to facilitating managers and maintenance teams. The

Smart products do not compensate for failing to fully address larger issues in the development of tall buildings. For instance, BMS’s provide smart technologies to effectively control the air conditioning and maintain building temperature at a level that gives energy and financial savings. Any savings gained may however pale into insignificance if the same building’s air conditioning systems are over designed by 20% to be ‘safe’ during rare peaks in chilling requirement. Leaner designs and more flexible pricing structures could result in potentially far greater cost savings for owners in comparison to the introduction of smart technology. All too often the use of smart technology in tall buildings is seen as a case of ticking a box or providing a marketing benefit. While such technologies can certainly save money and energy, the resulting savings may be insignificant compared to more fundamental problems. Smart technologies represent a welcome step in the design and management of tall smart buildings, but are certainly not a panacea. There remains a need to consider smart technology’s overall financial modelling and actual performance to create truly smart tall buildings.

more complicated a tall building becomes, the more likely it is there will be technical solutions used to solve the challenges says Bohlen. “The future is quite bright when it comes to how people are going to be able to interact with a building and how those buildings will be able to be controlled,” he says. “The systems and environments are going to be more controllable and actually quite easy to do.” While greater control of each and every aspect of a building will bring greater operational efficiency to new builds, improved technology may also help address issues with existing stock around the region. “People are starting to realise that a lot of buildings built prior to 2006 are very inefficient and now we have to go back and make them more efficient,” says Bohlen. “That’s the biggest environmental efficiency problem we have and there is not much incentive for owners, especially if they are renting out the building. There are going to have to be incentives to make owners conform to some kind of retrofit programme in the future.” As technical developments become more sophisticated, at seemingly

lightening speeds, and the rise of the ‘internet of things’ makes it easier for systems to be controlled and monitored, there is the potential to positively impact energy and water use. A key building component that has the potential to play a huge part in this shift is the facade. For high rise buildings of a huge size, the facade’s role is not just to define the internal spaces and create shelter for the building, but to filter the external environment to create more livable inner spaces, with controlled climates. “The facade from this perspective is a big player in controlling the external environment and providing a good internal environment for a building,” says Hussam Abdelghany, Associate Director at Atkins. Abdelghany is in the midst of research into improved kinetic facades, those which have a responsive layer which actually adapts, changes and moves according to the different seasons or time of day. The target of such systems is to reduce the energy consumption and solar gain of a building. “Some smart facades reduce energy consumption 25 to 30%,” he explains “But these systems need mainteconstruction business news me MAY 2015 29


nance, the running cost is considerable and the capital cost also is considerable. That’s why I thought of researching efficient systems that could be applied to the right projects.” The right projects are tall buildings, where the cost of the facade is proportionally lower than in other built structures, thanks to economies of scale and the relatively greater cost of the building’s structure and mechanical systems. The challenge is finding the right combination of materials, motors and sensors that keep the systems as simple as possible, while still making them effective. “Everything comes back to the efficiency of use of the system,” says Abdelghany. “As long as the system is simpler and needs less maintenance, it becomes more efficient and saves energy.” Working out the perfect balance comes down to the cost of the system over its lifetime on the one hand and the energy savings it can provide on the other. “It we can save the amount of money through energy savings which compensate for the initial cost, then the one who wins overall is the planet,” he says. Getting the right solution will take time, research and experimentation, but the results have the potential to deliver significant efficiencies to tall building projects. Another key area of technical development is in vertical transport, where Kone caught the industry’s attention when it released details of its UltraRope, a new kind of elevator cable it developed. “It’s very light thanks to carbon fibre, and its stronger than steel, so due to this innovation we can reach up to two kilometres in height,” explains Omer Jamel regional manager, Business Development for Kone. “We believe building’s will grow taller and taller as [urban] areas become more expensive, so each plot is becoming more precious. If you grow taller you are investing more and getting more return from a small plot.” With taller buildings come the same expectations for sped of access from the people who live and work in 30 construction business news me MAy 2015

them. This means not only providing elevator systems that can cope with demand peaks from huge numbers of occupants, but also making sure any maintenance is rapid. “At the service of the end solution we have to ensure we are able to service an elevator, maintain it and keep it at operational quality,” says Jamel. “At the end of the day, all of these smart systems - including the elevator have to talk to each other to ensure that people can travel and flow through the building smoothly and efficiently.” Solutions include ingenious doubledeck elevators, serving odd and even floors at the same time, but also sophisticated destination control systems, which help to group people together by destination, all with the aim of saving time and energy. Among all the innovations and inventions, it’s important to remember some of the basics too suggests Bill Heath, Managing Director at Mace Macro International, a facilities management (FM) firm. “The challenge in a tall building is access and ensuring, in the design, that there is the appropriate space to account for how we are we going to look after it,” he says. “It’s simplistic, but a key element.

“A smart building is one that achieves significant energy savings by taking advantage of the improved technology and materials that are available for the build. But from an FM perspective you’re looking for something that is easy to maintain and look after; thought has not necessarily gone into how you will go about all the aspects of the FM regime.” While FM as an industry has had to adapt to the fact that buildings are going higher and higher, and subsequently produce smaller floor plates, a lot of aspects of FM don’t change suggests Heath. “The challenges of tall structures shouldn't change the FM dimensions,” says Heath. “The key thing is consideration for human comfort. At the end of the day buildings have to be efficient and effective and meet the needs of the occupants.” To do so, a smart skyscraper has to be more than a showcase for technology, it has to be a practical and functional place to live and work, while still providing a return on the developer’s investment. If that investment is made smartly, the result may be a technologically adept building in the right place, at the right time.


Amid challenges, Qatar’s construction industry eyes

big bounty

With the world’s highest GDP per capita and the third largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporter with the world's largest gas deposits and a small population, Qatar surely has everything going in its favour. For now. And the booster shots for its further growth has come in the form of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, the IAAF World Athletics Championship 2019 events and the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV). Giorgios Retsinas writes

Aerial view of the construction at Hidd Al Saadiyat


ith these developments, the economy can definitely hope for big time contribution from the real estate and construction sector, and according to Jones Lang Lasalle - Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the sector is expected to continue playing a major role in the local economy. According to the agency, the introduction of ambitious projects such as Lusail, The Pearl, Energy City, Qatar Financial Centre and Education City is expected to support growth in the real estate sector, although projects may be slowed due to certain ‘global financial and other circumstances’. By 2021, the value of the construction industry is forecast to almost double to US$15 billion per annum in real terms. MEED (Middle East Economic Digest), which is a 54-yearold business intelligence tool for

the MENA estimates the total value of projects planned or underway in Qatar at $222 billion. And ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and in line with the country's 2030 Vision, Qatar's infrastructure spend is expected to reach $150bn. “Successful delivery of the World Cup will require the Qatari government to complete the infrastructure development promised to FIFA. This will also help Qatar to meet the targets it has set itself in the QNV. Creating a world-class infrastructure in Qatar will ensure the continued success of the country’s powerhouse economy,” states Mounif Kilani, Economic & Commercial Counsellor, Kuwait in his report on Building and Construction Sector in Qatar. Commercial construction accounts for 23% of total construction spend and Transport construction accounts

for 58% of total construction spend. According to Kilani, the main trends in the construction sector remain to develop Qatar’s transport infrastructure, create a modern residential and hospitality environment to support the predicted increase in population and to create a range of world class sporting venues. The country’s banking strength has also matured. As elaborated in a report by Oryx Business Intelligence, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) had input $2.8 billion of capital into the banking system in three tranches between 2009 and 2011 to help the domestic banks during the global crisis. The report states that as a result, the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the banking sector increased to 20.6% by end 2011. A well-capitalized banking sector enables the industry to access credit at competitive rates, thus driving construction business news me MAY 2015 33


the economy. The sector also remains resilient in the event of a downturn. Qatar issued a record budget of $62 billion (QR225.7 billion) For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, up 3.5% from last year and accordingly, the largestever for the country. The first budget plan passed by the Emir contains three main pillars: infrastructure and transport, education and the public health system. Actually, $182.5 billion worth of projects (QR664 billion) are anticipated to be implemented in Qatar during the next five years. The large allocations for development projects will open the door to investors, noting that the adoption of a budget of this magnitude will spur the Qatari economy to diversify its income sources in order to create a dynamic economy. Oryx Business Intelligence identified possible threats to. It indicates that Iran continuing its nuclear programme remains a strong threat to the stability of the Qatar. It says, ‘With the potential to trigger a Gulf conflict is something that GCC leaders must guard against. Also, bilateral relations between Qatar and Iran are likely to deteriorate if Qatar continues with its Qatar National Bank, Doha

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“Bilateral relations between Qatar and Iran are likely to deteriorate if Qatar continues with its stance on the Syrian conflict.” – Onyx Business Intelligence

stance on the Syria conflict." Another issue pointed out by a report from EC Harris states that a key constraint will be both the capacity and the capability of the existing supply chain. The report states, ‘Although many of the existing Qatar construction firms are currently reporting spare capacity in their order books, this will not be sufficient for the volume of construction that is forecast. This provides an

opportunity for local companies and international contractors to combine their skills to deliver these complex and technically challenging projects. Increasing numbers of large international contractors are already looking to enter the market, including significant players from the Far East. Presently there is approximately 30% spare capacity in the Qatar construction market, and a similar amount in the wider GCC markets. With output expected to grow by 12%+ per annum, it is anticipated that the increase in the construction supply chain will need to ramp up quickly.’ According to EC Harris, the fast paced development over a relatively short period of time does have risks, with a boom in construction inflation and an overheated market. But it concludes that the good news is there is time to mitigate this risk by undertaking a proactive approach to the problems. ‘By acting now, Qatar will continue on its trajectory to become a country with world class infrastructure for many generations to come whilst also enjoying its time in the global spotlight when the 2022 FIFA World Cup comes to town,’ it states.

Khalifa International Stadium, Doha

Qatar Insight W

ith its high living standards and a lack of corruption, Qatar is one among the happiest countries in the world. According to the 2015 World’s Happiness Report, the country stands at 28th out of 158 nations, a spot it has maintained for quite a few years. Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) have also shown that Qatar would be near the top of the United Nation’s Human Development Index (HDI) if adjustments were made for the country’s large population of migrant workers. According to a Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI) country report, on the international market, Qatar has positioned itself as one of the most important investors. It has diversified its inter national investments from Volkswagen to “Harrods” to Paris Saint Germain Football Club. FC Barcelona is mainly sponsored by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which means the logos of the Qatar Foundation and Qatar Airways (as of 2013) now figure prominently on the

team’s jerseys. The Qatar Investment Authority has the lion share of these investments, but private investors also play a significant role. The Qatari banking system is strong, shows profitability and has hardly been affected by the international economic crisis. However, a recent report confirms that Qatar sought and received a loan from Credit Suisse during the financial crisis of 2008 to better cope with its economic challenges. A recent Qatar Economic Insight 2015 by Qatar National Bank (QNB Group) stated that the economy continued its rapid diversification in 2014 as large investment spending accelerated growth to an estimated 6.5%, driven by double-digit growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector (11.9%) while hydrocarbon output fell (-1.3%) on lower oil production; the non- hydrocarbon sector now accounts for more than half of nominal GDP. The QNB reports states that banking assets grew 10.5 % in 2014 on doubledigit private sector lending growth more than offsetting the decline in public sector borrowing; deposits grew

Construction continues in Doha

9.6% on strong population growth and higher non-hydrocarbon GDP Macroeconomic Outlook (2015-17).The report forecasts real GDP growth to accelerate to 7.0% in 2015, 7.5% in 2016 and 7.9% in 2017 as the government continues to invest heavily in the non-hydrocarbon sector while the Barzan gas project is expected to turn hydrocarbon growth positive during 2015-17. Inflation is projected to slow to 2.5% in 2015 as rising rents (with a lower weight in the basket) are expected to be partly offset by lower international food prices, before accelerating to 3.2% in 2016 and 3.3% in 2017 on higher domestic inflation.  The current account surplus is expected to narrow to 4.6% of GDP in 2015, before recovering to 4.8% in 2016 and 5.0% in 2017, reflecting the recovery in oil prices and strong import growth on high investment spending and population growth, the report states. For 2015-17, the report predicts bank assets to rise by 10.0% in 2015, 11.0% in 2016 and 12.0% in 2017, increasingly driven by project lending. construction business news me MAY 2015 35

COUNTRY FOCUS QNV 2030 Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 builds on a society that promotes justice, benevolence and equality. It embodies the principles of the Permanent Constitution, which protects public and personal freedoms, promotes moral and religious values and traditions, and guarantees security, stability and equal opportunities. In line with these principles, QNV 2030 rests on four pillars: Human development - to enable all of Qatar’s people to sustain a prosperous society. Social development- to maintain a just and caring society based on high moral standards and capable of playing a prominent role in the global partnership for development. Economic development - to achieve a competitive and diversified economy capable of meeting the needs of, and securing a high standard of living for, all its people for the present and for the future. Environmental development - to ensure harmony among economic growth, social development and environmental protection.

loan growth will lag deposit growth with loan to deposit ratio falling from 106% in 2015 to 105% in 2016 and further to 104% in 2017 Foreign credit was the fastest growing sector as Qatari banks increased their global lending. ‘Overall, bank credit expanded by 13.1% in the 12 months to end- 2014. Foreign credit growth rose by 50.5%, albeit from a small base, as Qatari banks increased their global lending, government capital spending is expected to progressively increase from $30.2 billion in 2015 to $37.1 billion in 2017 with the ramp-up in infrastructure spending.’ it states. But there are warnings too. The ‘Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 - Towards Qatar National Vision 2030’ has emphasised that Hydrocarbon dependency exposes Qatar to gyrations in global energy markets, leaving economic planning prey to high levels of uncertainty. For a hy-

QNV 2030 thus defines broad future trends and reflects the aspirations, objectives and culture the Qatari people. Illuminating the choices available, it inspires Qatari people to develop a set of common goals related to their future, and it provides the framework for Qatar’s National Development Strategy 2011–2016. Qatar’s management of its hydrocarbon resources will continue to secure improvements in standards of living, but those improvements cannot be the only goal of society. The National Development Strategy 2011–2016 thus aims to balance five major challenges identified in QNV 2030: First, moulding modernisation around the preservation of Qatari culture and traditions. Second, balancing the needs of this generation and those of future generations. Third, managing growth and avoiding uncontrolled expansion. Fourth, matching the size and quality of the expatriate labour force to the selected path of development. And fifth, aligning economic growth with social development and environmental management.

drocarbon-exporting economy such as Qatar, energy price shifts hit the fiscal revenue stream directly, creating ripple effects throughout the economy. The inherent unpredictability of energy prices makes it particularly difficult for policy-makers to judge the most constructive fiscal stance. To this end the government has planned a fiscal transformation programme with five core elements: • A new budgetary law embodying the principles of efficient public finance. • A functional classification for all spending using the United Nations Classification of Functions of Government to support sector wide and programmatic budgeting. • A macro-fiscal framework that helps decision-makers analyse the fiscal and macroeconomic implications of commitments they are considering. • A public investment programme to Qatar Airways

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ensure that capital projects deliver the highest social worth and are well coordinated. • A monitoring and evaluation function. As per the strategy, meeting these commitments will require institutional adjustments and concerted capacity strengthening, as well as the recruitment of technical experts in the Ministry of Economy and Finance and in line with ministries and agencies. In conclusion, keeping the construction industry in focus amid all the economic and political developments to hit the country, it would be apt to quote Eng. Ali Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of ASTAD, Project Management, Qatar's premier project management consultancy, when during his keynote address at the recent Leaders in Construction Summit Qatar 2015 said: “While the local construction industry continues to prosper, all of us must remain committed to managing and delivering projects that are essential to the country's sustainable development - bringing together all the important elements needed in order to secure a booming and vibrant economy for our nation and a bright future to look forward to.The construction sector has grown incredibly quickly and has risen to the challenges presented to it as a rapidly growing market, and I'm sure all of us here today look forward to the endeavors that await us during the years ahead.”


Fostering safety on the job


part from the enormous grief caused by accidents, there are a lot of undesired expenses that crop up in the form of treatment, downtime and repairs. In the construction industry (where accidents have been fairly common), safety concerns have always been paramount. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US, the leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were accidental falls, followed by being struck by some heavy objects, electrocution, and caught-in between. These common death causes are popularly known as the “Fatal Four” in OSHA, and have been responsible for more than half of the construction worker deaths in 2013. Job sites are complex environments, with workers from multiple trades interacting in challenging physical environment. One of the best ways to avoid injuries and minimise costs is through good planning and co-ordination - both before and on the job. This should start with the conception of the project and follow through all the stages, along with the parties associated with the work. The size of the job doesn’t matter—the system does. In order to increase the adoption of safety practices in the industry, players from across the industry must engage in promoting the use of safety management practices. Here are five ways to reduce injuries in a construction worksite: 1. Avoid the risk by eliminating the

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hazard through conducting risk identifications and assessment in order to identify all the relevant hazards proactively and set necessary control to eliminate the risk of injury. 2. Substitute the cause of the hazards with something less hazardous. Such practices are usually introduced during the design and work planning stage where the selection of material or equipment is done considering the reduction of risks. 3. Provide engineering controls during the work design phase as the aim is to reduce the potential risk at the source. 4. Maintaining reports such as safe job practices, codes of practice, and safety procedures, all of which indicate safe methods of carrying out tasks. All these forms of reports are used as references which workers can always refer to. The availability of these documents are vital for implementing them effectively. 5. Provide the right personal protective equipment to employees, making sure they are used properly to reduce the impact of the hazards (and thus reducing the risk of injury). This control is always considered as the last line of defence. The above controls are most commonly referred to when aiming at protecting employees. However, in order to gain the most effective impact of these controls, further systems are essential. These include: 6. Management leadership through conducting regular safety meetings at various levels of the organisation, with a strong

Omar Rashid writes about how injuries could be reduced in construction sites by simple measures including proper control over workflow and setting management systems in place that address health and safety.

emphasis on communication and ensuring provision of necessary resources. • Promoting safety practices through involvement of workers in hazard identification and risk assessments, conducting site specific training programmes for workers, appointment of safety personnel on site, promoting near miss reporting and conducting safety audits and regular inspections. • Project safety through developing site specific health and safety plans, establishing measurable safety goals and objectives, tracking leading safety metrics, utilising effective policies and procedures, and implementing safety mitigation in the design process. • The integration of construction safety with construction quality when reviewing project results and performance metrics. Doing re-work as a result of low quality job means exposing the workers to more hazards. Furthermore, injuries at the worksite mean stoppages and delays of the job which is a negative quality indicator. Investing in strong safety management programmes and adopting safe practices not only reduces injuries on job sites, but also gives an overall positive impact on the business with better control over construction activity. Omar Rashid is the General Manager at British Standards Institution (BSI) Group Middle East WLL. BSI is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence.


Florian Krueckl Managing Director of BASF Middle East, a chemical solution company, discusses the importance of embracing sustainability in a business


ACTIONS S N O S I T N AC N O I T O I C A C“WT A Florian Krueckl Managing Director of BASF Middle East 38 construction business news me MAY 2015

e do a lot of research in the UAE, and even collaborate with universities to help substantiate our work. We try our level best to adapt to local needs,” emphatically states Managing Director Florian Krueckl. BASF chemical company has been in the UAE since 1970. The company works on the basic principle that chemistry is all about logic—pure logic. As a company, Krueckl emphasises that they don’t just sell chemicals but technology as well. “When it comes to sustainability we try our best to incorporate it in all levels of our business.” It is done right from conceptualisation to choosing the clients we want to deal with. At BASF, we have a sustainability board which maintains the company’s policy to be sustainable. Every product that is conceptualised or developed goes through this board. If the product is not sustainable and has no sustainable features, we kill it!” According to Krueckl, the key to achieving true success and sustain-

ability is to not look for short-term success. “It is not just about branding but creating products that have quality that will last.” He also emphasises that innovation is not cheap. “Coming up with the technology takes effort, time and money. At the end of the day, customers have to genuinely care for it, they must be willing to invest in sustainable goods if they want to protect the environment.” BASF invested €35 million to €1,884 million in research and development last year. Krueckl says that it is important to invest in something that would be worthwhile. But it is also important for customers to start identifying the difference between sustainable products and unsustainable products. So that companies like BASF would be motivated to provide many more and advanced solutions. At the rate people are consuming, statistics show that the global population would be nine billion people by the end of 2050. Krueckl says that that isn’t too far away. “It is only 30 years away, which means this will be happening to us and our children.”

“Our purpose is to create chemistry for a sustainable future.”

BASF media roundtable in JW Dubai Marquis

In the Middle East, one of the major trends the managing director notices is the rise of “Smart Cities”, which he says goes hand-in-hand with sustainability. Qatar for example has been developing in full speed, and not just for the Fifa World Cup 2022 but in other sectors as well. In the UAE, it is the Expo 2020 that has been pushing the private sector to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Events like the Dubai Expo 2020 helps the country tweak their regulations to something much better. One of the major challenges Krueckl notes is the infrastructure in the region, even though developed cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have a

fairly good design it could be developed into something more efficient with more scope of public transport. With higher investments made in infrastructure, there would be an increase in construction. He also notices that energy demand and dealing with the heat are two challenges that are particularly different in this region. With Dubai Municipality pushing the Green Concrete initiative, Krueckl says that it is initiatives like that that helps companies like BASF. “Not only do we get more sales but people are more aware about sustainable products that are available apart from the norm.” As a chemical company, Krueckl says that their requirement is every-

where. “Chemistry is even needed to help farmers make the crops. It is an enabler.” Which is why BASF spends massive amount in research and development. Being sustainable is more than just competitive advantage over other companies, it has to be taken seriously. Most companies concentrate on neutral products, which even though is an individual choice has to be considered more seriously. “We urge other companies to invest in research and development and come up with sustainable solutions. Last year alone we came up with 100 patterns and products, so it is not impossible. “Our purpose is to create chemistry for a sustainable future.” construction business news me MAY 2015 39


Sustainable upgrade in the capital

Experts discuss how population growth can affect the property market and sustainability of Abu Dhabi


ndustry experts gathered at the Abu Dhabi Market Overview Forum last month, to discuss the demand for good quality housing as the country witnessed a 50% population increase in the capital over the last five years. Most experts debated over the sustainability of such momentum during the half day forum, which was hosted in collaboration with JLL and supported by Masdar City. It also drew attention to the Emirates’ latest trends and initiatives, while a dedicated panel discussion tackled how supporting differentiation can assure the current market in growing at a sustainable rate. David Dudley, Regional Director of JLL and headline speaker at the forum, says: “End-user demand for housing has principally been driven by new job creation as the government continues to invest in major infrastructure and economic diversification projects.” He adds that these various initiatives represent multibillion dollar spending which will ultimately flow through to property market demand across each sector. “We do, however, expect there to be a reduction in government spending this year due to the recent decline in oil prices which will slow down the annual demand growth rate overall. Employment creation and residential demand growth will be sustained from projects commenced while the oil price was high, albeit at a slower pace.” Anthony Mallows, Director of Masdar City and a panelist at the discussion highlights the cost-effectiveness of sustainability and how cities such as Masdar are able to distinguish their community from others in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. “For a long time, building sustainably was prohibitively costly, particularly in the GCC region where there was a

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short supply of low-carbon, sustainable building materials,” says Mallows. "Now, architects, developers, investors and urban planners have access to better resources, new technological advances and support from the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, and our ‘greenprint’, to ensure they can be as sustainable as possible. “These make it possible to construct high-performance buildings such as Masdar City’s Siemens LEED Platinum building and the 4-Pearl IRENA headquarters, the first office building in Abu Dhabi to achieve this certification.” Abu Dhabi’s sustainable city, Masdar, also announced the construction of residential complex a week after the forum. Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, states, “The start of construction of this residential complex is an important step forward toward completing the vision of Masdar City as a complete ecosystem focused on sustainability and innovation. According to Belhoul, Masdar City has adopted a holistic approach to sustainable development, built on knowledge and talent, home to leading research and development facilities, a free zone with world-class businesses, and soon a residential complex. Masdar applied its design expertise to ensure the residential complex of 500 units of one- and two-bedroom apartments constructed with verified sustainable materials meets LEED Gold and three Pearl Estidama sustainability criteria. Masdar City Director Anthony Mallows says: “The Masdar City vision is attracting a host of new businesses and residents. Centrally located at the crossroads of the Middle East and Asian markets, this is the region's only investment and free zone focussed on innovation and sustainability.”

UNPARALLELED INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE Hamriyah Free Zone houses more than 6,000 businesses from 155 countries engaged in over 500 activities; from large-scale steel fabrication through maritime and rig maintenance to food packaging production. With its own deep-water port, strategic location, modern facilities and quick setup Hamriyah Free Zone offers unparalleled advantages. HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE AUTHORITY, SHARJAH, UAE -


Dubai Expo 2020: Curtain Raiser for Sustainable Construction

I Does government regulations really impact sustainability in construction or is it the private sector that needs to step up? Shivram Mukherjee analyses

n November of 2013, the Burj Khalifa was lit with fireworks as Dubai won the bid to host the World Expo 2020. Within the overarching theme of ’Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, sustainability was positioned as one of three main pillars of the six-month exhibition event. As an estimated US$7 billion was slated to be spent on infrastructure development for the mega event – $1 billion on Expo Village alone – the Dubai government had launched a full scale campaign to leverage this winning bid to develop Dubai into one of the smartest and sustainable cities in the world. Sustainable construction has become a foundational principle in the UAE as strategic economic plans include strong sustainability platforms. Driving the low carbon future of the UAE is the commitment to green infrastructure and smart buildings, ensuring eco-friendly architecture with concepts such as energyefficient air conditioning units, recyclable construction materials, and renewable energy systems for heating and cooling, and automated thermostats. In an attempt to promote sustainable construction, United States Green Building Council (USGBC) had released its ranking for LEED. The list had Canada topping the charts, followed by China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil and Singapore. The UAE ranked ninth, ahead of Finland. Impact of government regulations on sustainable construction in UAE Sustainable construction was first embraced in the UAE by Abu Dhabi, with

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the creation of a building and design methodology platform in 2010 known as Estidama, to promote the core sustainability principles of the Abu Dhabi 2030 master plan. Under Estidama, the Pearl Rating System (PRS), similar to the LEED rating system in the United States, was built as an essential tool to promote sustainable design, construction, and operations of new infrastructure development in the capital. The PRS building-rating framework operates on a scale from one to five Pearls with all new private projects mandated to achieve one Pearl, and two Pearls for government projects, based on specific credit requirements As Abu Dhabi continues to realize its sustainable urban development goals through the sophisticated Estidama and Pearl Rating programmes, Dubai Municipality recently outlined its own Green Building legislation. Government regulation on ‘green buildings’ in Dubai was a part of mandatory approach on sustainable construction already taken by Dubai in 2008 for all new building starting in 2014. Intensifying regulatory parameters has been one of the key achievements of the Government of UAE in terms of its sustainable development. Government of Dubai along with DEWA and Dubai Municipality have been instrumental in formulating the Green Building Regulations & Specifications. The regulations apply to all new buildings, additions, extensions and refurbishments of existing buildings that require a building permit from Dubai Municipality. It may be heartening to note that that all 40 government buildings constructed in Dubai since publication of the regulations were in full compliance with their provisions at the start of 2014. One project in particular, Al Fuhaidi Souq, is understood to have achieved a 43% reduction in energy usage and a 15% reduction in water usage as a result. While the regulations may result in an increase to short term costs for developers, any such costs are expected to be offset by reduced energy costs and the new technological

opportunities provided by the regulations. In any event, the regulations seem to be here to stay and developers must ensure that the contractual terms governing the development of new projects reflect the new requirements accordingly. Mandatory regulation is just one of the many measures the UAE government is taking to support UAE’s vision, where sustainability plays a major role. Since Dubai has won the bid for World Expo 2020, there has not only been a massive demand for construction, but a greater need for higher standards of sustainability as well. Additionally, while the heavy hand of regulation will help accelerate green compliance, sustainability, at its core, is a voluntary code which plays an important role in contributing to the triple bottom line (Social, Environmental & Financial). Moving beyond the implementation phase, it is important to continuously assess the efficacy of the regulations so that they remain relevant and credible. The regulations themselves are a means not an end. They are a valuable tool, but become less valuable if their implementation results in an increase in projects that fail to meet the expected certification levels. At the moment, the few projects in Dubai that are LEED-certified have achieved a higher level of certification (silver, gold and platinum). This is because the companies seeking accreditation are choosing to be so rather than this being a mandatory requirement.

Dubai Expo 2020

Role of private sector in sustainable construction New buildings are not the only target of Dubai’s drive towards sustainability — efforts are also being made to ensure that existing buildings in the emirate become more efficient, and therefore, greener. However, while there is no question that there are several benefits to retrofitting buildings, the market to do just that has been largely missing from the Dubai landscape. It is to resolve this gap in the market that the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) created Etihad Energy Services in June last year to enable an energy performance contracting market in Dubai, by developing energy efficiency projects targeting more than 30,000 buildings in the emirate. In its role as a Super Energy Services Company (ESCO), Etihad aims to jumpstart the creation of a viable performance contracting market for ESCOs by executing building retrofits, increasing penetration of district cooling, and building capacity of local ESCOs for the private sector, all while also facilitating access to finance for these projects. The Dubai ESCOs market will provide new business opportunities for joint ventures, international partnerships as well as engage UAE national entrepreneurs through a diversified supply chain from financial institutions, technology providers and equipment manufacturers to service providers across the project development, management and reporting stages.

Future Roadmap Mega events like Expo 2020 in Dubai and the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar are being deemed as opportunities for the Middle East to the lead the charge in eco-friendly construction and development. As the UAE ramps up its green building regulations and materials market, leadership would like to see the codes be used as a framework to regionalize standards across the GCC, which will likely broaden the market. Unlike other renewable and sustainable sectors, like solar and energy storage, which have had more sluggish government movement to spur the market in the UAE, the eco-friendly construction sectors really are enjoying the benefits of favorable policies and government buy-in. The policy push, along with all the new projects breaking ground, and old projects being revived after the 2008 crisis, have positioned the market to enjoy rapid growth as Dubai stands firm to earn the title of the ’Most Sustainable City’.

Shivram Mukherjee is a Consultant with First Climate (India) Private Limited and has been associated with Climate Change Sustainability Services since 2011. He holds a B.Tech Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Energy Management. He has worked with Dubai Municipality (as a Consultant) for a Green House Gas Abatement Project registered under the Clean Development Mechanism for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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Future cities

Urban modelling How cities should invest for future economic and environmental vitality. Louay Dahmash writes


ities are the driving force behind the global economy – according to McKinsey, just 600 cities are responsible for 60% of the global GDP – and the number of people living in cities is expected to increase from 3.6 billion in 2010 to 6.3 billion in 2050. What strategies can cities adopt to plan, build and maintain themselves as centres of innovation and economic growth? Design trends for future cities Before discussing investment strategies, it’s worth considering why cities

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have been growing for the last 5,000 years. In short, it’s because they have proven to be an incredibly durable and productive economic model. The shift to urban living is helping to increase the incomes and purchasing power for millions around the world. Infrastructure plays a critical role in a city’s success, providing the energy, water, transportation, waste management and access to food and manufactured goods. Vital to a city’s well-being, infrastructure supports more than basic needs; it encourages the ability to interact, communicate with ease and share ideas – the fundamental basics of innovation and future economic growth.

Investments in infrastructure also throw strong focus on the idea that it is part of a country’s long term plan towards development. An example of this can be seen in countries in the Middle East region, which are spending unprecedented amounts on their economic and social infrastructure. For these projects, Autodesk software can be utilised exclusively to help create 3D computer models, animations and exhibits that can later be used for legislative approvals, public outreach, media and overall communication initiatives. As such, design software from Autodesk has been used in many infrastructure projects across the globe including USA, UK, China, Russia, India, Norway, Brazil, and Sweden. Today, people move to cities for many reasons, including access to jobs, schools, services and culture. What will the city of the future look like? Quality of life is likely to be even more important in years to come, and factors like sustainability, resiliency, energy efficiency, quality housing and schools, safety and even happiness will be requirements. Cities will be adaptive, collaborative, walkable, and everyone will have access to public services and public transportation. Design trends point to more greenery for buildings, with rooftop gardens and vertical farming. Urban planning is moving toward mixed-use zoning that will provide office and shared space ideal for collaboration. Social and entrepreneurial connectivity is becoming ubiquitous, supporting a rise in mobil-

Four infrastructure investments for urban vitality In reality, the city of the future depends on the decisions we make today. How dollars are prioritised for infrastructure investment is a reflection of a community’s social, economic and environmental values. The question for city planners is how to foster economic activity in a way that maximises benefits to the community. Technology can help cities to investigate how different design options can contribute to a more sustainable city, with an economic advantage, and a better quality of life. To achieve these goals, let’s look at four key areas for technologyaided infrastructure investment: Buildings: Buildings constructed decades ago will still be standing because they are made of steel, but with contemporary advances in computing power, it is now possible to rapidly evaluate the building systems and prioritise energy-efficient retrofits for the greatest impact. Water: Adding parks and green corridors in cities can help with stormwater management, reduce maintenance costs for ground-level and below-ground infrastructure, and create a healthier, better looking environment. Sensors in the pipes can track usage and more importantly leakage so it can be quickly corrected. Coastal cities, in par-

ity and self-employment. A thriving city has ease of movement and adaptable transportation, making it possible to move people from one point to another quickly and with minimal energy. Cities are championing ‘access through proximity’ over ‘access through mobility’ as a way of reaping huge economic and environmental benefits; including higher tax revenues, healthier residents, better use of existing infrastructure, and reduced demand for fossil fuels. Big data, technology and people It is people, however, not technology, that makes a city. An informed public will be critical to any approvals for proposed new or rehabilitation projects to improve a city’s economic competitiveness. Today’s technology supports big data; cities and commercial firms can use data to create and present proposals for new designs shown within their Green cities development through BIM solutions

ticular, need to deliver resiliency strategies in light of rising sea levels, increasing storms, earthquakes or just the weight of increasing urbanisation pressure. Simulation enabled through powerful cloud computing is helping planners and designers to explore innovative and less costly alternatives and viewing those approaches into the future through time based simulation. Transportation: Transportation authorities are also taking advantage of virtually infinite computing and modern design tools to quickly explore a number of transit options to reduce travel time and congestion and decrease carbon emissions, as well as encouraging the aforementioned ‘access through proximity’ as a development strategy. Energy: Aside from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and more stable energy costs, generation within the city from renewable sources such as solar and wind can also reduce dependency on imported energy, and help improve urban resiliency in the face of fluctuating commodity prices and natural disasters. the development of the project - from the design, construction and supervision of all the buildings on site, to the construction of the reactor itself and the manufacturing of the remote handling manipulator for future maintenance operations.

existing surroundings or conduct analysis for population growth, weather impact and many other factors. Allowing people to plug in to the data can help facilitate communications and smooth the approvals process. The biggest challenge is defining what we want our future to be; only with clear objectives can we achieve our goals. Information matters because when it comes time to rationalise spending finite resources, we need to be able to do this on social and environmental – as well as economic – factors. Advanced technology for simulation, visualisation and analysis is already in wide use today in the manufacturing sector and is growing rapidly in the infrastructure and construction industries to better understand projects. These tools use intelligent 3D models to quickly evaluate multiple design

options and help predict the physical and functional performance of the finished project under a variety of conditions. Known as BIM (building information modelling) by planners, engineers, architects, contractors and owners, the process is also valuable in helping achieve significant productivity improvements. With the rise of big data and the availability of advanced modelling technology, it is now possible to plan and prioritise investments in urban development with greater foresight, communicate the potential outcomes in a better manner, and yield measurably better results. More importantly, this technology, along with social and mobile platforms, now provides a means to engage all stakeholders – from citizens to professionals – earlier and throughout the process in a way that is easily understood. Ultimately, it’s those people who live and work in cities who matter. Big data and simulation technology can help people design and make the infrastructure investments their cities need for a future of renewed economic and environmental vitality. Louay Dahmash, is the Head of Middle East region at Autodesk, a 3D design software company.

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It is, without doubt, one of the harshest environments on earth: the Empty Quarter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the largest and most barren sand desert in the world, spreading itself over four Arab nations and covering 650,000 km2 which is comparable in size to France. Temperatures range from 50° to -1°C in the course of a single day and the sand and dust are relentless. The nearest city is 1000 kilometres away. So the construction of the road cutting through the desert, linking Saudi Arabia to the Sultanate of Oman, called for an extraordinary solution. The response: a fleet of 95 Volvo machines was assembled. Together, they shifted over 130 million m3 of sand just to build the bridge of the road – an extraordinary feat in such harsh conditions, yet the quality and power of Volvo engineering was up to the challenge. The difficulties created by the remote isolation of the worksite were answered with excellent customer support from FAMCO, the authorised Volvo dealer in Saudi Arabia, which included the organisation of mobile 24/7 service workshops that moved forward with the construction operation. Discover a new way. Exclusive distributor of Volvo Construction Equipment in the UAE and Saudi Arabia Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery Co. LLC United Arab Emirates: 800 32626 Saudi Arabia: 800 1244414 e-mail:

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Building on reputation

Bishoy Azmy, the CEO of Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC), a verticallyintegrated construction group, discusses ASGC’s 25 year old history, culture and the future

ASGC has worked on numerous of projects across a range of markets throughout its 25-year history in the United Arab Emirates. Could you briefly describe ASGC’s track record in the construction industry? Since our foundation in 1989, we have provided general contracting solutions for more than 250 construction projects, primarily in the UAE. Although historically we have focussed on 48 construction business news me MAY 2015

residential and commercial construction projects, we have recently started to diversify our offerings and have secured key contract wins for projects in other market sectors, including hospitality, healthcare, industrial, oil and gas, and social infrastructure. As we expand our presence in other market, we will continue to leverage our strong execution capabilities and extensive industry experience.

What are some of the key challenges faced by contractors like ASGC in the region? The industry, in general, is experiencing an upward pressure on the price of raw materials, in addition to competitiveness in acquiring skilled human resources, which is always a challenge for regional contractors. Despite these industry-wide challenges, we are well insulated from a human capital perspective as we have a permanent ASGC workforce of approximately 10,000 workers and have plans to increase this further to support our ongoing growth momentum.

Interiors of Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

“The industry, in general, is experiencing an upward pressure on the price of raw materials, in addition to competitiveness in acquiring skilled human resources, which is always a challenge for regional contractors.�

Above: Construction work at The Onyx on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Right: Vision Tower in Business Bay, Bottom: Bay Square in Business Bay, Dubai

How could contractors overcome these challenges? Do they need more initiatives from the government, or is it up to the private sector to take the initiative to make a change? These challenges stem from open market competition, which is to be expected. However, pressure on human resource availability could be addressed through more proactive private sector initiatives to acquire skilled talent and continually educate and train employees, facilitating retention and loyalty. I am delighted to add that recently ASGC was awarded the prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Label by the Dubai Chamber for Responsible Business. The CSR Label award is in recognition of our commitment to the principals of CSR across four key areas: community, marketplace, workforce, and environment.

Aerial view of KEF Industrial Park at Krishnagiri, India

Faizal E. Kottikollon, Chairman of KEF Holding

What makes ASGC unique compared to other contracting companies? We have a rich 25-year history in the UAE, which has enabled us to develop a better understanding of both the local and regional construction industry. This has earned us a reputation for delivering high-quality and iconic projects both on time and within budget. Through our solid and long-term client relationships, we are uniquely placed to take advantage of significant business opportunities that exist both within the UAE and across the wider region. In addition, as part of our business, we are also able to leverage off our Construction Products and Services division. The division comprises of five subsidiaries that collectively provide MEP services and steel structure, ready-mix concrete and pre-cast products, as well as interior fit-outs. construction business news me MAY 2015 49


Through this division, we can therefore offer clients a comprehensive construction solution, which encompasses all the significant elements of the construction supply chain. The vertically-integrated nature of our Group also encompasses a workforce, as highlighted previously, of approximately 10,000 labourers, as well as an extensive base of ASGC owned construction equipment. The majority of contracting companies rely on third party sources to secure labor resources. Supplying our own equipment and labourers enables us to closely control our project costs and expenses and makes ASGC highly efficient. What is your personal work ethic that has helped you manage such a successful business? I have consistently focused on attracting and retaining strong and experienced talent across the business. This reflects my own belief that a company’s success is totally dependent on the quality of its people. As a result, our corporate culture is committed to employee development, creating strong loyalty amongst our employees and an embedded feeling throughout the entire company that we are family. Each employee feels that he or she is working towards the benefit of ‘our’ company, which has instilled a strong sense of personal responsibility and belonging. As construction demand begins to stabilise and even grow in the last few years, what do you think construction professionals should do to sustain this growth? Our guiding business principle has always been to ensure that good client relationships are entirely central to what we do. I cannot speak for the industry as a whole, but our sustained growth comes from the strength of our client relationships and our well respected reputation. ASGC is a trusted contractor with a proven track record of delivering projects, some of which have been technically very challenging, both on time and within budget. So in summary, construction professionals 50 construction business news me MAY 2015

should focus on delivering a quality product, as this will ensure a happy end client and future opportunities for repeat project work. How important is it to implement sustainable elements in construction? Does ASGC have such sustainable measures? Is sustainability key to true success in this day and age? Pursuing sustainability is extremely important to our industry, especially if you consider the entire life cycle of a project. As a company, we have maintained a strong focus on sustainability and have consistently utilised sustainable measures to not only reduce costs, but to offer our developers and clients long-term benefits. We expect the discussion surrounding sustainability to become increasingly important and to emerge as a key focus area within the industry in the near future. What do you think about Dubai Municipality’s latest ‘Green Concrete’ initiative? Will ASGC be using green concrete in the near future? If yes, could you name a few projects? Our projects consistently abide by green-friendly specifications. During the past couple of years especially, we have started to incorporate the use of green materials into our projects. We fully intend to abide by Dubai Municipality’s recent mandate to use eco-friendly and sustainable concrete materials in building construction and will be shifting the content of the concrete that we use accordingly.

Construction work at City Walk in Jumeirah, Dubai

ASGC clients include: Meraas Holding, Dubai Properties, Bloom Properties, Emaar Misr, wasl Asset Management, Al Habtoor Group, IFA Hotels & Resorts and Damac. The Group has also been a contractor of choice for various Dubai government-related entities, including the RTA, Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Health Authority (SEHA), Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) and ADNOC. Landmark projects • Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai • City Walk in Jumeirah, Dubai • Golden Mile in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai • Jumeirah Beach Residence Sector 6 in Dubai Marina, Dubai • Business Central Towers in Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai • Marina Bloom in Abu Dhabi Marina, • Oceanscape in Reem Island, Abu Dhabi • Vision Tower in Business Bay, Dubai • Bay Square in Business Bay, Dubai • Dubai International Airport Support Facilities in Dubai Airport, Dubai • Dubai Police General Headquarters in Al Twar, Dubai


Dukes Oceana brings the best to Dubai The new project, launched by Seven Tides, brings both British charm and cosmopolitan luxury to the UAE. Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO of Seven Tides, believes the hotel and residence appeals to a well-travelled global audience

D Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides

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ubai-based luxury property developer and holding company, Seven Tides, unveiled its latest project, the Dukes Oceana hotel and residences in Palm Jumeirah. The luxury resort and residences are set to add an English flavour to the predominately arabesque island. This launch marks the first international property for the Dukes Collection brand. Dukes London, flagship hotel of the brand, located in Mayfair district in London is a popular

destination for GCC travelers. This will be the first property that Seven Tides will manage, according to the CEO, they chose Dukes Collection brand to stand out and not be like any other resort or residence. “We wanted to impress people by choosing Dukes.” Established in 2004, Seven Tides has developed its own portfolio of commercial, residential and resort properties in prime locations. The Dukes Oceana will be centrally located on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, which is a 10 minutes’

Alila Jabal Akhdar amid Al Hajar Mountain

Top and left: Completed building for the Dukes Oceana Hotel and Residences in Palm Jumeirah Below: Design for the structure

construction business news me MAY 2015 53


“The project’s lighting is 100% LED, with certified building materials, and use of solar energy for heating water.” – Allam Shalabi, Chief Engineer of Seven Tides

drive from Dubai Marina and Sheikh Zayed Road, and a 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport. “With this launch we are bringing quintessential British charm and style to the UAE and blending it with cosmopolitan luxury to create a unique residence and hotel situated in the heart of Dubai’s most desirable island community, Palm Jumeirah,” says Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides. “We intend to make Dukes Oceana a home away from home.“ One of the most notable features of the new hotel is the location. The CEO emphasised on how its location is key and would help residents have a serene lifestyle. “International HNWIs consider lifestyle appeal as a major criteria when looking to grow their investment portfolio and Palm Jumeirah fits the bill in every respect. This is further endorsed by Dubai’s longstanding reputation as a globally connected gateway and worldclass commercial hub offering a high standard of living.” He says that Dubai continues to offer value for money even at the top end of the investment spectrum, especially when it comes to apartment square footage compared to other major metropolises such as London or New York. “These studio and one-bed units are a great entry point or portfolio addition for investors looking for a secure return on investment.” The CEO also emphasises that the Palm Jumeirah is an exceptionally good location within Dubai. He says: “Palm Jumeirah is also the only development in Dubai that has experienced an increase over its fourth quarter 2008 highs, with rates up by 4% in 2014 alone. Its unique and exclusive villa community position54 construction business news me MAY 2015

ing ensures its competitive edge in a fluctuating market.” In terms of risks, the CEO says, the dip in oil prices or other similar factors wouldn’t affect the project as much as it would if it is a city hotel. “A resort is much less risky.” However, he adds, “when it comes to risks, to put it simply: everything in life is a risk. We manage our risks on a monthly basis, to make sure we take calculated safe risks.” The residences launched on April 14 for investors and other guests, with the show apartments open for viewing. The 227 studio and one-bedroom apartments target regional and international investment with Seven Tides guaranteeing a return on investment (ROI) of 10% per annum for the first five years. The 273-room hotel will offer leisure and entertainment facilities including a stunning private beach, indoor pool, and outdoor infinity pool, along with gym facilities and a number of restaurants. The hotel is set to complete by the first quarter of 2016. Similar to the residences, regional and international investors looking for opportunities, will be guaranteed return on investment of 10%. Chief engineer of Seven Tides, Allam Shalabi says: “We have made a promise to make this the most sustainable hotel in Dubai. The project’s lighting is 100% LED, with certified building materials, use of solar energy for heating water and a three part flush to conserve water. The hotel also intends to access the Green Globe Certification following the footsteps of Seven Tides’ Mövenpick hotel. It was also revealed at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, annual property show, that Seven Tides’ Dukes Oceana sold by 50% in less than a week after its launch.


Aerial view of Al Zorah Golf Villas

Ajman’s upcoming seafront residence

Al Zorah Development Company showcases its latest development along the coastline of Ajman. With a successful sales launch, the upcoming project Al Zorah Golf Villas expects residents to move in by next year


n early April this year, Al Zorah Development Company organised the launch of the sale of Al Zorah Golf Villas in Ajman. The launch included an exclusive preview for press, emiratis and the Ruler of Ajman and UAE Supreme Council Member, H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, along with other reputed delegates from the government. The tour of the latest Al Zorah project showcased the company’s endorsement into the emirate’s vision to transform into a green economy that would provide opportunities while preserving the environment. The privately owned company works in partnership with the Government of Ajman and Solidere International, a master developer. It operates as a free zone company under the laws of Ajman with an aim to develop Al Zorah as a tourist and lifestyle destination. According to Imad Dana, CEO of Al Zorah Development Company, their success is primarily because of the valuable support received from the Ajman Government and the Ruler of Ajman. Elucidating on the villas, he says: “The villas have been designed and developed to meet the requirements of investors. The location of Al Zorah Golf Villas is in close proximity to Dubai, yet away from the bustle of city life.” Dana emphasises that the area is designed to help residents with a wide range of outdoor pursuits to further define the project. He adds, “The free zone and freehold project provides an added incentive for investors from around the world.”

Al Zorah Golf Villas are set within an organically connected space with a well-established waterfront. It is located along the coastline of Ajman with a setting of natural mangroves, spread over an area of 5.4 million square meters. The villas will be part of a gated community interconnected with Al Zorah Golf Course and the mangroves. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by mid-next year, with first residents moving in early in the year. The project is planned by Solidere International, a Lebanese company responsible for urban regeneration of downtown Beirut. UAE-based projects by Solidere includes the Dubai International Financial Centre. The company is currently active in developing its own residential and mixed-use projects in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Lebanon. After the tour, HH Sheikh Humaid also inaugurated The Pavilion, Al Zorah’s prized possession designed by architect and designer, Annabel Karim Kassar. The French-born architect won the German Design Council – Iconic Award in 2014 for her innovative design for the project. The Pavilion is the development’s multifunctional attraction which will also serve as Al Zorah’s marketing and Imad Dana, CEO of Al Zorah Development Company sales office. construction business news me MAY 2015 55


An invisible cloak of

y t safe O

Frank Ackland writes

about power management in commercial construction

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ften, the biggest dangers around you are those that you can’t see. Within a home, we know to be careful not to overheat an oven, to keep an eye on burning candles - but what about the dangers that we cannot see clearly? These are often the ones that may cause the most harm if not treated cautiously. At the heart of every building lies its source of power. Power is distributed throughout, across a variety of platforms that allow it to function collectively, as well as within individual units. But it is still often something we take for granted as we switch a light on, jump in the elevator or pop on the television. Power plays a pivotal role in keeping the building secure, safe and operational, yet it is an invisible force that is easily forgotten and taken for granted. Essentially, power sits all around us and keeps us safe in a number of ways we don’t even imagine. A very simple example of this is the emergency exit lighting that guides us safely out of a building should a fire or other emergency occur. This helps guide tenants to the quickest and most accessible exit route available. We actually conducted a test at a recent event, where we created a simulation – a dark room, six metres in length but not a straight pathway. With emergency lighting, it takes less than a minute for a person to navigate his or her way to the exit, while without this, it took several minutes. These minutes

could result in them getting lost, going in the wrong direction and potentially putting themselves in harm’s way. The way power is controlled in a building is also an important factor in keeping tenants safe. Switchgears and cabling are all known terminology but it is the way in which these solutions are configured that can make a significant difference to the flow and control of energy. Power generation and distribution goes far beyond the ability to ‘flip the switch.’ Technology plays a vital role in ensuring that power is used in the most effective and efficient ways possible, helping operations in performing to the best of their ability. In addition, the ‘dream to be green’ is a significant weight on construction companies’ shoulders and power can play an integral role in that. Additionally, green products can be safer ones. Some manufacturers invest significantly in research and development of products and solutions specifically to help meet their customers’ needs for reduced energy use and emissions, which result in more controlled and economical power usage. Recent examples of new technologies developed this way have resulted in products with the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions of applications by as much as 60%. Power supply is an essential part of any commercial building, but the safety which efficient power management brings to those working and living within it can be invisible with quality and well planned solutions.


Round-the-clock power production

Cummins Power Generation’s latest power generator creates a buzz in the Middle East. Reliable in harshest climates, the generator is sets new standards in the industry Cummins Power Generation QSK95 Series generator set


howcased at Middle East Electricity this year, QSK95 Series high-horsepower generator set is rated at up to 3.5 MW. The generator is Cummins’ most powerful diesel generator set to date. In Western Australia, a QSK95 generator set supports production at Cloudbreak mine, one of the largest iron ore mines in the world. Cloudbreak Mine is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. About 150 kilometres from the nearest power grid, the site is extremely remote and has one of the harshest environments to man and machine. The ambient temperatures on the terrain can soar up to 50-degree Celsius. “The Pilbara region is one of the harshest environments you can put a unit into. Temperatures here can go up to 50-degree Celsius. It is dusty, remote and has limited accessibility. The QSK95 Series generator set has worked

brilliantly in this environment to date,” said Marc Grosser, General Manager of Contract Power Australia, which is a mining power supply and management specialist company. In the remote township of Turbah, Saudi Arabia, the entire community is benefitting from the additional power and performance provided by the QSK95, which was installed at the existing power plant. Working alongside an established array of rental generator sets, the QSK95 Series is delivering greater power and performance with a smaller footprint. Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) owns and operates a plant at Turbah in western Saudi Arabia, a site 1,000 meters above sea level and remote from the grid. The entire township of Turbah is dependent on the plant. Excluding the outlying settlements, the town of Turbah’s power demand is 51 MW, rising to more than 60 MW in the peak summer

months, when temperatures can reach 50 degrees C. The requirement was for a high density power solution with unlimited prime power operation, fuel efficiency and reliability; which meant the QSK95 Series was the perfect fit. The QSK95 Series generator set has proved the ideal choice for the Turbah site. Its rugged 4-cycle, 16 cylinder design delivers reliable power, low emissions and fast response to variable loads. It can operate in the location’s high summer ambient temperatures, and is configured to meet sound pollution regulations of 85 dBA at seven metres. The QSK95 Series has demonstrated maximum uptime and reduced operation and maintenance costs, as well as providing easier serviceability. Including the newly installed QSK95 Series, the Turbah plant today has 72 Cummins Power Generation generator sets providing a total capacity of 90.25 MW and a continuous rating of 63 MW. construction business news me MAY 2015 57


Kanoo launches new technologies in the UAE Reliable, efficient and cost-effective, potential buyers witness live demonstrations of the new range of Hyster and Utilev forklift trucks at the Materials Handling Event


anoo Machinery, a member of The Kanoo Group hosted a premier Materials Handling Event in its Abu Dhabi and Dubai premises this April to demonstrate a new range of Hyster and Utilev forklift trucks equipped with the latest innovations and accessories, into the UAE and GCC market. Deon Klerck, Divisional Manager of Kanoo Machinery, says: “Modern-day forklifts provide one of the most critical components in today’s fast growing logistics industry that depends on material handling equipment to achieve efficient storage and handling.” The Materials Handling Event debuted Kanoo Machinery’s range of premium, standard and lower cost utility ICE forklifts, in a ground demo presented to guests, suppliers and customers in the region. These three levels of products help customers select equipment suitable for their specific requirements in almost any type of business according to price, intensity, environment, service requirements, dimensions and many other factors. As the authorised Hyster and Utilev distribution partner in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar. NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG) is a designer, engineer and manufacturer of materials handling equipment that is among the most comprehensive in the industry, since 1989. NMHG provides unparalleled global product support for Kanoo Machinery as the Hyster dealer in the Middle East. In 2011, NMHG began introducing the Utilev range of affordable forklift trucks, which deliver reliable and cost-effective materials handling solutions for applications through several industries, particularly where users require equipment without advanced functionality or attachments. James Newman, Area Business Director – Middle East & Africa of NMHG says: “Our mission is to deliver high-quality, application tailored lift trucks, offering the lowest cost of ownership, outstanding parts and service support and best overall value to customers all around the globe.” Michael Phelan, Territory Manager –Middle East & Africa of NMHG, says: “With three levels of products, we now have a solution to suit every business in the region, allowing us to match a truck’s ability to customer requirements exactly.”

58 construction business news me MAY 2015

The Hyster® Fortens - Premium Forklifts • Toughest & most advanced forklifts of the line • Highly developed electronics • Ergonomics to maximise driver comfort and productivity • Fastest and easiest lift truck to service • Proven reliability in extreme 24/7 operations • Low cost of ownership

New Hyster® TX - Standard Forklifts • Built to deliver reliability and strength • Straight-forward servicing • Attractive price to suit the region • Reliability in high ambient temperatures and demanding environments • Simple electronics with self-service requirements

BUTILEV® – Utility Forklifts • Reliable and cost-effective solutions • Application across many industries • For users who require equipment without advanced functionality • Meets the needs of light-to medium-duty • Maintains low operating costs


Property paradise This year’s edition of the International Property Show (IPS) brought in exclusive property deals and investor insights for international and regional buyers


he fact that the conwho showcased Sparkle Towers, the struction sector contribfirst tower in the Middle East to feature uted 7.89% to Dubai’s Space Marveled by Swarovski. AED170.7 billion GDP Tebyan's Managing Director, Naji Alia in the first half of 2014 said: “Investor faith and demand has demonstrates the dynamic growth encouraged us to take part at the IPS to potential of Dubai’s real-estate industry present the credentials of Sparkle Towand related sectors,” said Josine Heijers to the industry at large.” mans, Exhibition Director of Strategic Some properties made exclusive deals Marketing & Exhibitions. for the show, such as Damac ProperIPS, held in the Dubai World Trade ties who released attractive prices on its Centre this year, attracted international luxury portfolio with prices for apartand regional investors from ments starting at AED500,000 and around the world. The villas from AED1.160 million. 11th edition of the event It showcased its Akoya by More than organised by Strategic Damac, Akoya Oxygen 53,871 real esMarketing & Exhibitions and Damac Towers by tate transacran from the March 30 Paramount projects. tions were made to April 1, 2015. The event also helped in 2014 alone The show helped endsell out Dubai Proper-Dubai Land Department users, property retailers ties’ Mudon Townhouses and small budget investors launched during the second to gain attractive deals on the half of last year. Abushabieb exhibition floor over the three said: “We attribute this sellout Dubai days. Compared to the last response to the community’s construction edition, this year included value for money proposisector a two-day IPS Real Estate tion as compared to other contributed Forum along with lucraofferings within the same 7.89% to Dubai’s tive rates offered by segment.” GDP in first half certain properties as exOther property giants, of 2014 clusive deals at the event. such as Azizi Develop-Dubai Statistics Centre report The forum addressed latest ment used IPS’s interactive trends and developments format to engage with the visiin key international property tors to provide them with detailed hotspots, including USA, Australia and information about each property such Spain through presentations, panel as floor plans, materials used, date of discussions and case studies. completion, price options, and financAbdulla Abushabieb, Executive ing options. Director Sales and Customer Service of Ali Omar, CEO of AZIZI DevelopDubai Properties Group, said: “We are ments, said: “Dubai has managed to participating to reach out to global inposition itself as the world’s leading vestors and buyers who are looking to destination for property buyers and buy residential or commercial property investors post-recession as is demonin Dubai.” strated by the success of events such as One of the exhibitors include, Tebyan the IPS.”

60 construction business news me APRIL 2015

H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, at the Damac Properties stand

Azizi Developments stand at IPS 2015

Dubai Properties stand at IPS 2015

Real estate ventures

Visitors at the MEE 2015 in Dubai World Trade Centre

Himoinsa and Rolls Royce stands at the MEE 2015

Cityscape Abu Dhabi’s 9th edition served as a platform for experts to share their thoughts and suggestions to help advance the real estate market in the region


his year’s Cityscape Abu Dhabi was held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from April 19 – 21. The exhibition included major announcements unveiled by entities including Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), Department of Municipal Affairs, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Zaya, and Al Forsan Real Estate. Organised by Informa Exhibitions, the UAE capital’s largest property show had 81% of Abu Dhabi-based developers launching new projects. The event showcased exhibitors from the Cayman Islands, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Latvia, Nigeria, Portugal, Serbia, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. This year welcomed more than 130 international and regional developers spanning 18,000 square metres of exhibition space. With the growing need for housing outweighing the current supply in the UAE real estate market, developers such as Aldar Properties and Wahat Al Zaweya have launched Emirati-only projects to cater to the high demand. Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Development Officer, Aldar Properties said: “We have launched three residential developments, two on Yas Island and one on Reem Island. After selling out Al Merief land plots in less than a week to Emiratis, we decided to launch West Yas, which has 1,000 villas on Yas Island reserved only for UAE nationals. Another trend, he said, is that nationals from all over the UAE are quite attracted by the stability of the Abu Dhabi market. “The increase in job openings and overall healthy economy are directly reflected in their purchasing power,” he added. Further highlighting the increasing demand for housing across the UAE, Bloom Holdings has launched five new

projects at the event, all of which have proved to be a big hit with both local and regional investors. Addressing sustainability of Abu Dhabi’s real estate market, Billy Daly, Chief Executive Officer of Ejadah Asset Management Group said that Abu Dhabi is a core market for them in the region witnessing continuous and steady growth in recent years. “In fact, we chose Abu Dhabi as the location to open our second office in the UAE last year in order to meet the increasing demand for world-class integrated community services in the rapidly expanding real estate sector.” Driven by the demand, limited quality supply and the removal of the rental cap, prime residential rents have increased by 4% for the first three months of the year, further highlighting the measured growth of the market. Most industry experts, around 61%, noted that new governmental real estate laws are vital to help ensure a sustainable property market in Abu Dhabi. JLL Abu Dhabi, a financial and professional services firm specialising in commercial real estate services, revealed its quarterly report showing the stable market conditions for this year. The exclusive survey conducted at the Abu Dhabi Overview Forum held at Cityscape Abu Dhabi showed that 50% of participants believe that the real estate market will continue to grow at a steady rate. The forum was jointly organised with JLL and Masdar City with a panel of experts discussing the sustainability of the Abu Dhabi real estate market. Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director, Urban Development and Estidama Sector, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council said: “We agree with JLL’s survey results in regards to the new government laws, which will have a great effect on the market and its overall stability.” construction business news me APRIL 2015 61


FACTS & FIGURES • Saudi Power 2014: 8000 visitors 314 exhibitors from over 28 countries • Saudi energy sector: total of US$79 billion in projects 8,000

Saudi Power 2014, Riyadh

Foreign investments in KSA grow by five times over last decade


audi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has released a report in April this year highlighting KSA’s foreign investments which have grown by five times over the last ten years, resulting in over SAR1,050 billion worth of investments in the country. The report has identified the energy sector as the one with the largest share of investments, with a total of SAR296.35 billion (US$79 billion) worth of projects for the private sector alone. SAGIA predicts that the backlog across all energy-related segments will continue to grow in line with the country's ongoing increase in energy consumption levels throughout the past years. It will also help improve the work environment

and better investment incentives provided to foreign investors in the local market. The upcoming 18th edition of the Saudi Power exhibition, held from May 11 to 13 this year, will help address the challenges faced in the growing industry. The event is organised by the Riyadh Exhibition Company (REC) and Informa Exhibitions and will be located at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center (RICEC). The event gathers high-profile industry players from all over the world to discuss the latest developments and trends in the energy sector while also showcase the latest industry products, equipment and solutions. Saudi Power also sheds light on the business and investment opportuniVisitors at Saudi Power 2014, Riyadh

62 construction business news me MAY 2015

ties available within the Saudi market and opens the window of communication for all participants to build cooperative relations and solid partnerships. An official from Riyadh Exhibitions Company Limited said that Saudi Power 2015 will offer an educational platform to exhibitors and visitors to help increase awareness on the latest changes and technologies being used in the energy industry. “We look forward to widen the scope of existing relations and provide new opportunities for participants to enter new partnerships and deals that are poised to help address the growing demand on electricity services in Saudi Arabia. We are confident that the outcomes of the event will have a great positive impact on driving more growth and competitiveness across the energy sector, which will automatically support the economic development in the Kingdom.” Last year’s edition of Saudi Power witnessed a remarkable turnout of more than 8,000 visitors and 314 exhibitors comprising government authorities, leading industrial companies and high-level energy companies from over 28 countries around the world. This year’s edition is expected to draw a massive number of visitors and exhibitors from all over the world to discuss the latest developments and innovations in the energy sector.


Upcoming events Construction Business News ME picks the latest and most soughtafter exhibitions, conferences and seminars coming up in the construction industry

Project Qatar

4 – 7 May 2015 Qatar National Convention Centre Project Qatar provides a platform to experience the latest equipment and services from the construction industry, develop international relationships and generate new business opportunities. The event will also highlight the latest products needed for Qatar’s fast growing construction sector. The show provides a space for buyers and suppliers to make contacts and drive future developments.

Smart Skyscraper Summit

Exhibitors and visitors at Project Qatar in 2014

Emirates Green Building Council Awards

13 May 2015 Al Murooj Rotana Hotel in Dubai, UAE Emirates Green Building Council honours excellence in sustainability initiatives by organisations and individuals from across the MENA region at the EGBC 2015 Awards. This year’s awards will highlight the efforts by the different types of buildings and sectors to green their facilities and operations.

Middle East & North Africa Solar Conference and Expo (MENASOL)

13 – 14 May 2015 Hyatt Regency Dubai, UAE This year, MENASOL will include two separate tracks for CSP and PV technology with solar programmes, timelines and technologies suitability to identify the best opportunities in Egypt, UAE, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. It will analye data showing recent LCoE reductions and how experienced companies are making dramatic costs cuts in tenders. Industry challenges will be addressed by expert speakers with a look at the top decision makers.

11 – 12 May 2015 Sofitel Dubai - The Palm Resort & 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 some of the most innovative building technologies, design principles and solutions from around the world and offers high-level networking opportunities.

FM Expo

Cityscape Qatar

Middle East Stone

11 – 13 May 2015 Doha Exhibition Centre, Qatar Like Cityscape Abu Dhabi, Cityscape Qatar is dedicated to the real estate industry and features the presence of wide variety of products and services. The event includes industrial goods and services, real estate services and solutions, and commercial products and services.

18 – 20 May 2015 Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE The FM Expo is co-located with Middle East Waste & Recycling and Commercial Cleaning & Hygiene and Elevators & 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.

18 – 21 May 2015 Dubai World Trade Centre Middle East Stone will present the largest selection of marble, stone and ceramic products in the region. The technologies will range from machinery to complex processing equipment. The event will serve as a platform to discover products that save money, energy, reduce CO2 emissions and minimise waste. construction business news me APRIL 2015 63


Twisting & climbing

DEWA solar press conference

Cayan Group launches projects amidst ‘Spiderman’ making a record-breaking climb up the twisted tower


ayan Group, property developer and real estate investment group based in the Middle East, revealed its newest projects worth of AED3.1 billion in Dubai and Riyadh. The group’s portfolio includes residences, hotel apartments and commercial towers one of which—Cayan Cantara, is in collaboration with UAE-based financial investment company, Shuaa. The project that will be located in Dubai features a unique design and facilities. Other projects announced included Samaya, a one million square metre masterplan and CM1, a commercial tower, both located in Riyadh. The launch event was held at the Grosvenor House Dubai Marina, attended by Cayan Group’s President and Chairman Ahmed Al Hatti and Shuaa Capital’s CEO of Investment Banking, Karim Schoeib. Al Hatti said: “With the development of world-class residential and commercial projects in the Middle East, we aim to reaffirm our commitment to

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providing our clients with superlative office and housing options in preferred strategic locations in the two cities.” The event also included a thrilling, record-breaking feat carried by French urban climber Alain Robert who is popularly known as Spiderman. The event concluded with Robert climbing the twisted Cayan Tower, which is also a landmark officially declared by the Guinness Book of World Records

2015 as the globe’s tallest twisted tower. Guests at the event had an uninterrupted view of Alain scaling the building through cameras and live broadcasting. After his conquest, Alain Robert said: “I am thrilled that I managed to complete this climb. As the building design was different, ascending this building was more challenging but nothing pleases me more than completing a challenge like the Cayan Tower.”

Cayan Cantara Designed with recreational, and comfort facilities and services which include retail shops, restaurants, luxurious world-renowned spa, a hanging glass-walled swimming pool, a fitness center, the highest outdoor screen and a conference hall, among many others. All were constructed within an exceptional, environmentfriendly residential area that preserves energy. CM1 CM1 will be the upcoming headquarter of Cayan Group. The business centre is a multi-use integrated commercial complex which supports the business with its modern and high-end facilities and services. The building considers the overall environmental impact of a building as well the health and well-being of its occupants. Samaya A master development located in a prime area in north western Riyadh. The development area is almost triangular shape with the west ring road on its eastern boundaries. The project will feature mosques, parks, retail area and walking tracks around the community. Display of historical artifacts inside Dubai Museum

Construction Business News ME May 2015  

This month's cover looks at how sustainability and smart technology can be incorporated in new as well as existing skyscrapers.

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