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THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE REGION'S CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS

MAY 2021 | CBNME.COM

THE RECAP

CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

TOTAL COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS TAREK NIZAMEDDIN THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT EJADAH OUTLINES HOW THE ORGANISATION CAME OUT STRONGER FROM THE PANDEMIC AND THE UNIQUE VALUE THE COMPANY PROVIDES TO THEIR CUSTOMERS


IN THIS ISSUE

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TAREK NIZAMEDDIN SENIOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EJADAH

COMMUNITY 16 TOTAL SOLUTIONS TAREK NIZAMEDDIN Senior Executive Director at Ejadah, outlines how the organisation came out stronger from the pandemic and the unique value the company provides to their customers

14 HEALTH & SAFETY

38 REPORT

TAKING A BROADER VIEW OF CONSTRUCTION RISK MANAGEMENT Risk is a constant in the construction industry. From supply chain issues, unpredictable weather and labor shortage

QATAR REAL ESTATE The country’s top property portal, demand in the sale market has skyrocketed, with a whopping 74 percent increase in recorded enquiries in Q1 of 2021 compared with Q4 of 2020

22 LEGAL

50 INTERVIEW

SURVEYING THE PROBLEM MALCOLM JEZEWSKI Senior Associate, Arbitration at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, discusses what you should do before you sue and what practical considerations to be had before escalating claims to arbitration

CASA MILANO SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE EMIRATE Adam Ralph, Regional Real Estate Lead & Country Manager – Dubai, tells us how Dubai ‘s urban agenda will be a function of the way technology, and more importantly, construction business models evolve

24 MEP AWARDS

54 REAL ESTATE

CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021 CBNME MEP Awards 2021 is one of the leading events applauding the achievements of the region’s construction professionals. The awards strive to recognise individual excellence, corporate strengths, and project success. The event saw 18 winners being crowned at the Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk

VALUE PROPOSITION In Conversation with Trevor Hardwick, Chief Operations Officer at Select Group

58 MACHINERY BREAKING A HABIT MB Crusher reveals that during difficult times it seems easier to ‘’just get on with it’’, trying to adjust to accommodate the way we always did things

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EDITOR’S NOTE

CEO

Wissam Younane wissam@bncpublishing.net DIRECTOR

PROPTECH EVOLUTION

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ne of the biggest changes in the real estate industry over the past 2 decades has been the development of rental and purchasing mobile platforms. That means people no longer need to search newspaper classifieds or web listings before scheduling an appointment to check them out in person. There are now a wide number of different applications enabling prospective buyers and renters to

Rabih Najm

conveniently search for their new property place while on the go at their convenience. While using VR and AR in real estate is still evolving — realtors can use these PropTech technologies to allow prospective buyers and renters to see available properties in a way that static photographs and floorplans simply cannot provide. Properties can be set up using virtual or augmented, providing them an in-depth look of any type of real estate, with the ability to instantly change furniture and fixtures to appeal to their aesthetic palettes. While most buyers will want to physically see potential properties before making their final decision, access to VR and AR PropTech allows them to view them from their home or office, even if they’re in a different city on the opposite side of the world. Kasun Illankoon

rabih@bncpublishing.net GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR

Joaquim D'Costa

jo@bncpublishing.net +971 50 440 2706 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Rabih Naderi

rabih.naderi@bncpublishing.net +966 50 328 9818 EDITOR

Kasun Illankoon kasun@bncpublishing.net ASSISTANT EDITOR

Jochebed Menon EDITORIAL DESIGN

Christian Harb

MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Aaron Joshua Sinanbam aj@bncpublishing.net PHOTOGRAPHER

Alexander Bungas

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Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Construction Business News ME and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Construction Business News ME. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Images used in Construction Business News ME are credited when necessary. Attributed use of copyrighted images with permission. All images not credited courtesy Shutterstock. Printed by UPP

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yptian charm.


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CASE STUDY

MODERNISING CEMENT Prerequisite for fewer emissions

Special probe with automatic cleaning ensures reliable flue gas measurement in the cement rotary kiln

by KONRAD DOERING, HEIDELBERGCEMENT AG AND MARTIN LIEBAU, ENOTEC GMBH

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rom 2016 to 2018, HeidelbergCement AG modernised its plant in Burglengenfeld with the largest single planned investment in the company’s history to date, amounting to more than EUR 100 million. The aim of this modernisation, which included the purchase of a heat exchanger kiln, was to significantly reduce emissions, continuously increase the proportion of alternative fuels, and ensure consistently 8 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

excellent product quality. A prerequisite for the realisation of these goals is, among other things, data from the continuous and precise determination of flue gas emissions from the new cement rotary kiln. Since the inlet chamber between the rotary kiln and the cyclone preheater is one of the most demanding measurement locations in any cement plant, HeidelbergCement decided to use the particularly reliable rotary kiln inlet probe CEMTEC from ENOTEC

GmbH. This measuring system for gas analysis was specially developed for the extreme operating conditions in cement plants and, thanks to a patented rotating device and automatic cleaning, enables permanent measurement of the gases directly in the rotary kiln - and thus permanent, accurate determination of the necessary parameters. The conversion project at HeidelbergCement in Burglengenfeld was carried out during the operation WWW.CBNME.COM


MODERNISING CEMENT | PREREQUISITE FOR FEWER EMISSIONS

The CEMTEC probe used in Burglengenfeld to determine the required parameters essentially consists of the water-cooled sampling probe itself, a compressed air tank, a recooler for the cooling water, the control cabinet for the cooling, the on-site control cabinet and a control cabinet with built-in PLC control. due to the improved efficiency as well as a consistent product quality. Especially the intended increase in the secondary fuel feed and the additional calciner made the permanently available measurement data of a kiln inlet probe such as the model from ENOTEC indispensable, as the flour and fuel feed, the fuel mix and the air supply are influenced on the basis of its measurement data. The O2, NOx and CO content are recorded and controlled in detail, which, among other things, allows the clinker quality to be kept permanently high. “If you have a clear picture of what is happening at the kiln inlet chamber, you can establish a very good correlation with other process parameters and quickly draw conclusions and make improvements,” says Valentin Hamar, head of the kiln and shift operation at HeidelbergCement, confirming the necessity of gas measurement.

of the existing kiln lines and included a new 5-stage heat exchanger tower with calciner, a shortened rotary kiln, two new grinding plants for limestone with significantly reduced specific power consumption, and a new fabric filter with a separation efficiency of almost 100 percent. The results of this modernisation were the reduction of emissions including the safe compliance with all limit values, the significant increase in energy efficiency, the reduction of CO2 emissions

ONLY PROBE WITH ALL MOTION FUNCTIONS FOR PERMANENT OPERATION The CEMTEC probe used in Burglengenfeld to determine the required parameters essentially consists of the water-cooled sampling probe itself, a compressed air tank, a recooler for the cooling water, the control cabinet for the cooling, the on-site control cabinet and a control cabinet with built-in PLC control. A special feature of the ENOTEC probe is that it is the only model on the market that carries out all the movements required for continuous mass operation fully automatically - from retracting and extending, rotating by ± 45° and tapping to pulse cleaning. All movements are implemented via compressed air, so that a single supply method ensures the safe operation of the probe. In the event of a failure of compressed air or

power supply, a 1,000 l compressed air tank forms a sufficient reserve to ensure the safe extension of the CEMTEC. In addition, in the event of a power failure, a battery-operated UPS system (uninterruptible power supply) in the control cabinet ensures that the probe moves into a safe position with the help of its control system. Furthermore, all parameters important for the probe, such as temperatures and pressures, are monitored in order to move the probe out of the process in an emergency and to prevent overheating. The CEMTEC probe draws the sample gas out of the rotary kiln via the internal sintered metal filter tube. Dust buildup on the internal filter tube and in the sample gas opening is removed by regular tapping - this means that the internal filter tube is regularly axially retracted >>> and extended by means of two pneumatic cylinders so that raw meal caking at the tip of the probe is prevented. This is crucial for reliable analysis, as otherwise hot caking at the sample gas inlet can lower the measured O2 and CO due to oxidation of the flue gas and thus falsify the measured values. All cyclic functions of the CEMTEC - in addition to tapping, these include rotating, backwashing and running in and out - can be variably set via the Human Machine Interface (HMI) and adapted to the respective requirements of the furnace system. The sample gas is conveyed via the heated sampling line into the gas analysis system cabinet and fed to the analyser dried and cleaned via an upstream sample gas conditioning unit. A cold-extractive analysis measurement system adapted to the CEMTEC probe with optimised sample gas conditioning has proven itself here for more than a year. >>> CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 9


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CASE STUDY

RELIABLE MEASUREMENT DATA FROM THE DAY OF COMMISSIONING The CEMTEC was installed by ENOTEC in Burglengenfeld in March 2018. The installation went off without a hitch and was completed within a few days, so that the probe reliably delivered measuring gas from the first moment of ignition. In order to keep the risk of falling caking in the kiln inlet chamber - one of the biggest risks in kiln inlet measurement - as low as possible, the probe was also protected by a refractory lining after a short consultation between ENOTEC, the on-site installation company and HeidelbergCement, which proved its worth in subsequent operation. The instruction of the operating personnel of the probe already took place a few days after the first ignition of the rotary kiln. Due to the full function test of the probe at ENOTEC in the plant and its ease of operation, the HeidelbergCement employees were able to take over the operation immediately afterwards. In addition, the probe provided reliable measured values from the first day and thus supported the commissioning and optimisation of the kiln. “Due to the conversion, many values were new for us, but the CEMTEC values at the kiln inlet chamber are an enormously important indication of how the kiln is running. They enabled us to understand the converted kiln quickly and well,” Hamar explains. After about one year of operation, it could be established beyond doubt that the probe and cold-extractive measurement provided reliable and representative readings without any problems and without much need for maintenance. After 12 months, a regular annual maintenance of the system was carried out, during which only the filter was changed and wearing parts were replaced. Overall, in over two years of operation, the probe has now reliably provided sample gas 90 per cent of the time, allowing the kiln to be continuously monitored and controlled. Even in one case where the analysis results did not seem plausible, the shift personnel, with the support of ENOTEC, were able to quickly verify that the 10 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

readings from the kiln inlet probe were correct and identify the problem on the kiln itself shortly afterwards. “ENOTEC provides one of the most reliable systems in the plant with their CEMTEC probe. The maintenance requirement is very low and simple,” confirms Norbert Beer, master electrician at HeidelbergCement. “ENOTEC, through their direct communication and fast support, delivers exactly the features that are expected from a medium-sized company and often missed in larger companies.” With the help of CEMTEC, HeidelbergCement was able to achieve all modernisation goals within a very short operating time. The stricter limits for nitrogen oxides and ammonia emissions, which have been in force since 2019, can be safely complied with, and

the product quality could be maintained at a very high level despite the extensive construction project. In addition, the proportion of secondary fuels has been continuously increased and will reach the targeted 80 percent in the near future.

“ENOTEC, through their direct communication and fast support, delivers exactly the features that are expected from a medium-sized company and often missed in larger companies.”

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TALKING POINT

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

AFFECTING CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

A

s the construction industry evolves, we have seen significant improvements over the years in reducing the number and rate of injuries to construction workers. However, occupational health hazards still remain a huge concern. Businesses lose several working days due to workrelated illnesses, and construction workers have a high risk of acquiring occupational diseases. Data from United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO) states that the greatest causes of mortality around the global construction labour market are circulatory diseases (31 per cent), work-related cancers (26 per cent), and respiratory diseases (17 per cent). At the same time, reports by Research and Markets state that the global construction industry is expected to record a CAGR of 9.2 per cent to reach USD

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11093.7 billion by 2024. Closer to home, the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates is expected to record a CAGR of 6.2 per cent to reach AED 278.7 billion by 2024. Notwithstanding the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, we are already seeing recovery beginning Q1 2021, hereby putting more focus on the health and well-being of an ever-growing construction workforce. The construction site itself presents health risks – for example, the use of asbestos can cause lung-related diseases. Another is the general lack of awareness for health risks onsite and the tendency to focus more on the immediate impact of injuries rather than long-term health conditions. In this backdrop, Dr. Anas Bataw, Director – Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, provides insight into the health risks construction workers face and ways to deal with them:

Identifying Health Risks > CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICALS Construction has been the biggest reason for work-related cancers amongst the industrial sectors, in the United Kingdom alone the sector accounts for over 40 per cent of occupational cancer deaths and registrations. A significant contributor to this is asbestos, a natural fibrous rock used in building sites until 1999. Asbestos is found in common materials at construction sites like ceiling tiles, thermal paper and wall plaster, insulation, cement siding presenting health hazards to workers. Prolonged inhalation of the material can damage the lungs and cause cancer. This can be mitigated by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including top-grade masks, eyewear, and gloves. Another way is to ensure there are no traces of asbestos in any materials procured for construction. For example, Australia uses replacements such as polyurethane foam and flour fillers. > RESPIRATORY ISSUES Crystalline silica dust is found in bricks, concrete, granite or tiles and can be inhaled when drilled, crushed or abraded. This can cause silicosis resulting in shortness of breath, cough, fever, fatigue and asthma. Inhaling silica can be particularly harmful to workers that already suffer from underlying respiratory conditions. Some ways to manage silica exposure are using on-tool water suppression, a system that fits directly onto the tool and utilises water to minimise dust, at construction sites. Using effective respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is also essential. For example, in the UK it is recommended that FFP3 disposable masks are used on sites as they offer maximum filtering among all construction graded masks. > NOISE-INDUCED ISSUES Construction sites are synonymous with loud noise. From passers-by to those living in the vicinity of where a building is either being constructed, repaired or demolished, the noise it causes is evident. For those working on site, noise levels can be disturbing and a root cause for many hearing issues. While the safe range for sounds is below 70 dBA, conWWW.CBNME.COM


OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS AFFECTING CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

Dr. Anas Bataw, Director – Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai,

“Construction has been the biggest reason for work-related cancers amongst the industrial sectors, in the United Kingdom alone the sector accounts for over 40 per cent of occupational cancer deaths and registrations.” struction sites can be anywhere between 80 – 90 dBA, sometimes even higher. This may not be immediately harmful, but long-term exposure can cause hearing loss. Ways in which this can be dealt with are by eliminating or substituting high sound processes for those that result in less noise. Another way is by using tools that make less noise, like using a hydraulic block splitter in place of a cut-off saw to split concrete. > POWER TOOL EFFECTS Hand-held power tools can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), a condition affecting fingers, hands and arms due to its prolonged use. The

condition develops over time but can be distressing for those experiencing it. It can cause tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the affected person’s hands. The condition can also affect sleep when it occurs at night and cause difficulties in gripping and holding things. One solution is for contractors to ensure use of low-vibration tools. Another is by taking breaks in the usage of hand-held power tools to avoid constant extended exposure. Apart from the above solutions, it is vital to assess risks right at the start of any project in general. We must come together as an industry to address issues and create a better working environ-

ment for those that are constantly at the risk of long-term health issues. Specifically, we do not see many associations or regulatory authorities in the Middle East like in the United States and the United Kingdom. There should be a triple helix approach between government, industry and academia as the responsibility sits with all three sectors. The government brings in regulatory expertise, and the industry brings in core expertise and academia can be the knowledge and research arm to build a holistic approach to construction workers’ health. Heriot-Watt University Dubai’s Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) is an initiative that collaborates with organisations and governments to address and introduce best practices in the construction sector. In fact, one of the key themes of CESC is well-being. The collective leadership of governments, industry and academia can positively impact those most vulnerable to occupational hazards. CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 13


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HEALTH & SAFETY

TAKING A BROADER VIEW OF CONSTRUCTION RISK MANAGEMENT by BY FRANK MALANGONE, SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR PRODUCT AND INDUSTRY S T R AT E G Y, O R A C L E C O N S T R U C T I O N A N D E N G I N E E R I N G

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isk is a constant in the construction industry. From supply chain issues, unpredictable weather and labor shortages, to severe cases such as global health and economic crises; the variables that can disrupt construction projects are countless Historically, the engineering and construction industry’s ad hoc approach to risk management often led to identifying these risks too late in the project lifecycle, especially as it relates to project schedules and delivery timelines. According to the Project Management Institute’s 2020 Pulse of the Profession Survey, construction organizations waste an average of $127 million for every $1 billion spent on projects and programs, due to poor project performance. 14 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Construction organizations need to emphasize the development and use of comprehensive value delivery strategies that can adapt quickly to changing market conditions. Organizations managing construction projects (or portfolios) are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate more robust risk management practices—at multiple program levels—that minimize disruption to business processes. At the same time, many are not sure where to begin. A few proven steps can set these organizations on the right path toward an effective construction project risk management strategy. Taking a Holistic Viewpoint It’s important to first undertake an assessment of your risk profile at both the project and program levels. Projects can

be defined as a one-off initiative, bound by distinct cost, resource, budget, and/or time-constraints, whereas programs are a group of interconnected projects that complement and build on each other— often working toward a larger, long-term goal. Some firms make the mistake of only managing risks at the project level, which leads to an incomplete picture of exposure—and performance. It’s important to implement a broader focus on assessing risk that elevates visibility to the program level, allowing teams across projects to optimize resources and adjust plans to strive toward successful outcomes. Five Steps to Better Construction Schedule Risk Management With that need in mind, here are five proven steps to developing a robust risk management strategy in construction scheduling: WWW.CBNME.COM


TAKING A BROADER VIEW OF CONSTRUCTION RISK MANAGEMENT

1. Identify the risks At the beginning of a program or project, the management team should try to identify potential risks. Could bad weather or uncertain site conditions threaten to delay construction? Is there a risk that material costs significantly rise unexpectedly? Keep in mind that it is impossible to identify and manage every possible risk. Therefore, the team should agree on those events most likely to occur and have the greatest impact. These are the factors that they will monitor and seek to manage. 2. Assess your exposure After identifying the most likely and impactful risks, the team should determine the likelihood of each risk occurring, as well as impacts to costs and schedules. Risks should then be ranked on how likely they are to occur, and by the level of their impact. From here, teams should prioritize how they will manage specific risks with the help of Monte Carlo simulations and scenario planning tools, which allow users to create and run various what-if

Organizations managing construction projects (or portfolios) are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate more robust risk management practices—at multiple program levels—that minimize disruption to business processes.

scenarios by changing key variables. While Monte Carlo analysis can be conducted via a spreadsheet, this approach is not suited to manage large, complex projects with thousands of data points that can change frequently, including calendars, resources, and the relationships between them. It is also not suited to conducting risk analysis across far-reaching programs. For these types of complex scenarios, it is best to use a true risk management application. 3. Determine a response strategy Teams should plan the specific actions they will take to mitigate high-impact risks. Scenario planning technology plays an important role here to assess what-if scenarios and determine costs and benefits of each mitigation strategy. While some risks can’t be avoided, such as building during unforeseen inclement weather conditions, this step can lessen the impact on the project by building in adequate schedule, labor, and supply chain contingencies. 4. Communicate for visibility After assessing risks and defining mitigation strategies, the team should communicate this information to the project sponsor or owner. This demonstrates an effort to take a proactive approach to risk mitigation and allows contractors an opportunity to discuss the risks, mitigation strategies, and potential impact on the schedule and cost of the project with the project owner.

5. Monitor, adapt, and repeat As risks continue to evolve, program managers must build in regular assessments to update risks and their mitigation strategies as conditions change. With more information about each risk and the impact of various mitigation strategies, project managers can make more informed decisions about the best path forward. For example, if there is a strong probability of a labor shortage in the near future, the team may determine that the cost of overtime needed to keep the project on schedule is less than penalties incurred if a project is not completed on time. These same decisions can be made at the program level, where a manager may decide to pause a specific project in the portfolio to allocate resources to another project that presents higher risk and cost impact. While risks cannot be completely eliminated, a methodical and collaborative approach to forward-looking risk management is key to mitigating potential negative impacts. Good risk management strategies require the integration of dynamic and diverse sets of information, including budget, cost, and schedule data, with technology and tools that provide high visibility and centralized data management. With this in mind, organizations managing construction projects will be well on their way to shoring up their risk management practices.

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CBNME

COVER STORY

TOTAL COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS TAREK NIZAMEDDIN THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT EJADAH

outlines how the organisation came out stronger from the pandemic and the unique value the company provides to their customers by KASUN ILLANKOON

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TOTAL COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS | TAREK NIZAMEDDIN, EJADAH

“Although we had a fantastic year in 2020, despite the pandemic, we believe that 2021 is the year of recovery not just for us but for everybody else in this market.”

EJADAH, established in 2005, is the UAE’s pioneering real estate Asset Management Company formed during the early days of Dubai’s real estate industrial boom. Its vision is in line with UAE’s growth and future plans. Ejadah recognised that the UAE market would have a high demand for international standards of real estate assets and property management. As Dubai and the UAE evolved into a global hub, community services became of increased importance, for both private and commercial interests. Ejadah is a fully home-grown organisation that has extensively studied the real estate market and addressed its clients’ needs, leveraging on this knowledge and experience to evolve to what it is today. From an integrated facilities management provider in 2005, Ejadah quickly evolved into a fullservice property management company and later on a Total Community Management provider in 2011. Leading Ejadah’s growth is Tarek Nizameddin who drives the business development of Ejadah’s SBU. He also oversees the facilities management operations and manages Ejadah’s Abu Dhabi portfolio, in addition to leading unit services, soft services, and marketing departments. Tarek told CBNME: “Since joining the company in 2018, I directly supported the growth of the company’s business and drove the operational enhancements in all areas of the business. This is reflected in acquiring new contracts, developing relationships with existing clients, introducing new services, implementing innovation and technologies, and developing human capital.” Tarek has over 27 years of experience out of which 20 years are in facilities and property management, as he started his career in the field in 2002. Since then, Tarek has been committed to the improvement and advancement of the facilities management sector in the MENA region. Tarek is an active member in multiple industry bodies, and has participated as keynote speaker in many local and regional industry events and wrote several articles in the industry press and bulletins about facilities management standards, role of emerging technologies and challenges facing the industry. CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 17


CBNME

COVER STORY

provide 600 plus man guards and other security related services. With regard to facilities management, we’ve secured several key projects for the likes of Mayan community, Water’s Edge, Saadiyat Beach Villas and Residences in Abu Dhabi with Aldar Properties.” It’s worth mentioning that Ejadah has won in Q4 of 2020 the delivery and management of soft and hard services for Hudayriyat Island, the most recent leisure, recreational and sports destination in Abu Dhabi city.

Goals and Objectives for 2021 2020 was an unprecedented year due to the pandemic and this forced a lot of organisations to rethink and reconsider their strategies heading into 2021. Although the facilities management industry was able to be one of the few industries to escape the wrath of the pandemic, they still had unique challenges presented to them. Despite the huge impact on the FM sector, considering that it is a resource-intensive business, Ejadah has succeeded in managing the impact of the pandemic by refocusing on sustaining service standards through proper staffing levels and ensuring that environmental and regulatory compliance and best industry practices are met. This is also demonstrated through sustaining the current business, securing, and mobilising large numbers of contracts, which helped in achieving significant growth in all aspects. Ejadah will continue in the growth planning and exploring new horizons whether through introducing new services to support our clients’ requirements or expanding to new markets in the region. Our focus will remain on these three areas: 18 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

> Our People > Technology and innovation > Integrity, transparency and stakeholder management Such a focus, if implemented judiciously, can sustain Ejadah’s endeavours to scale new heights. According to Modor Intelligence, the UAE Facility Management market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.72% over the forecast period from 2021 to 2026. The surging emphasis on green building practices as well as the growing interest of real estate developers in delegating the end-to-end management of operational and maintenance activities to qualified external parties are increasing the demand for facility management in the UAE which we will be leveraging on as of year 2021 Recent Project Wins & the importance of customer service Tarek underlined, “We have a healthy pipeline of projects and we were successful in 2020 and 2021 by winning new contracts. We were recently awarded the security contract for Expo 2020 Dubai which is a good opportunity for us to demonstrate our service excellence as part of this global event. Our security management team Arkan will

Unique value renderer to buyers and the role of the customer service in keeping clients satisfied We strongly believe that instead of focusing on the bottom-line figures, we should invest in the people responsible to deliver the figures. At the end, happy employees will definitely lead to happy customers. In 2020, the total hours of training exceeded 63,000 whether one-on-one or full-fledged sessions. Receiving continuous training also means they are always on the cutting edge of industry developments. Ejadah recently announced the selection of its Customer Experience Department for the finals in the Customer Centricity World Series 2021 awards for 6 different categories. Ejadah was chosen from 300 worldwide entries for the categories of Complaint Handling, Customer Insight & Feedback VOC, Customer Centricity in B2B, Customer Experience Team and Contact Centre. In 2020, Ejadah’s CX team has achieved an SLA of 94%, with customer retention scaling to 96%. Throughout the year, Ejadah has won various accolades, one of the most coveted being the “Contact Centre of the Year 2020” at the Gulf Customer Experience Awards. These winnings reflect Ejadah’s commitment to delivering a highly specialized and high tenured multilingual Customer experience team that offers 24/7 support to customers in all communities it serves. This is supported with the mind-set of serving efficiently, at high speed, and reduced costs, while operating as a one-stop route for all emergencies, ensuring exceeding customer expectations. WWW.CBNME.COM


TOTAL COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS | TAREK NIZAMEDDIN, EJADAH

Arkan Robot

Ejadah has geared itself with a passion to be the best in class, taking up initiatives to further strengthen the fundamentals of customer centricity. Such initiatives focused on core areas that lead to a comprehensive customer experience. The initiatives included feedback VOC & Customer insight collected through regular client meetings and customer-centricity workshops, which was eventually translated by Ejadah’s internal CX team to on-site enhancements. Initiatives also encompassed Customer Centricity CC workshops which nominate CC champions in all sites who implement a CC train the trainer approach to continuously listen to customers and act on the feedback. This initiative has proven to be popular among the clients and is evaluated using metrics like the Net Promoter Score NPS and Customer Satisfaction Score CSAT. Another initiative involved CX team’s successful boosting of CX across the organisation through regular workshops and training sessions that emphasised to all departments the importance of NPS and CSAT metrics. Ejadah’s team has successfully optimized outbound call campaigns whereby automated Client satisfaction surveys were conducted and eventually led to better customer experiences. The automated calls also increased CX agents’ efficiency and ability to handle inbound and outbound calling. Campaign analytics through the integration of AI into data analytics were also performed, thus leading to better strategies

and automated responses throughout all channels. Finally, the train, track, transform initiative provided robust training and coaching programs, which offer training certifications, on an elearning platform called the ADVANZ. The platform enables progress tracking, promoting a culture of excellence especially within the CX department. This resulted in improved KPIs, lower attrition rates, and in-turn improved overall customer satisfaction. Tarek Nizameddin commented: “We live by the rule of turning passion into performance at every stage of a Customer lifecycle. Our transformation from a mere help desk to a fully-fledged customer experience team, within 2 years, speaks volumes. Our goal is to be the best in class by exceeding customer satisfaction, delivering automated solutions for enhanced efficiency, and continuously striving for excellence in all projects we take part in.”

“OUR GOAL IS TO BE THE BEST IN CLASS BY EXCEEDING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, DELIVERING AUTOMATED SOLUTIONS FOR ENHANCED EFFICIENCY, AND CONTINUOUSLY STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE IN ALL PROJECTS WE TAKE PART IN.”

Standing Apart & Key Lessons Learned from 2020 During these unprecedented times that the whole world is currently experiencing and dealing with, Ejadah have managed not only to stabilize its performance and support its clients, but also has grown significantly and this was achieved by thinking differently and working assiduously to come up with compelling value propositions to our customers in specific and our communities in general. We are the chosen partner of leading both private and public sector customers who entrust us with the delivery of 24/7 services that are critical to the operation of their businesses spanning across corporate offices, trading floors and data centers, retail outlets, luxurious hotels, hospitals, utility networks, transport infrastructure and government buildings essential to the delivery of public services. In the decade of its operation, Ejadah has evolved from a provider of Facilities Management services into a Total Community Solutions business. This is not the finishing line nor our ultimate goal, but a clear demonstration of our capability of growing with an ever-changing market whilst focusing on our fundamentals of service quality and excellence. >>>

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CBNME

COVER STORY

Tarek Nizameddin, Senior Executive Director, Ejadah

“THE BIGGEST LESSONS LEARNT FROM THE PANDEMIC WAS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABILITY AND BEING RESILIENT AND THEY WERE THE MAIN DRIVERS OF ALL OUR ECOSYSTEM PARTNERS.” “Since inception, our leaders have provided Ejadah with a clear strategic direction, corporate governance and sustainability. We have constantly focused on leveraging the knowledge and experience of our workforce to run our business and always strive to establish a solid organisational culture to support a robust business strategy.” 20 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Technology Transformation & Diversity in FM In line with Abu Dhabi 2030 vision where the UAE Government is steering the digital transformation process within the country and with the increasing influence of environmental NGOs, it’s expected that, within 5 years, most of the key facilities in UAE will be deploying AI based technologies to achieve the following: 1/ Optimizing the asset life cycle 2/ Reducing Energy consumption 3/ Cutting down greenhouse gas emissions

“Our focus is on innovation and technology, developing our workforce and their welfare, and building up our trust and transparency with our clients. This helps us to differentiate ourselves,” said Tarek. “2020 was a challenging year especially with the manpower we had. To manage their health during this pandemic was important for us especially in the facilities management industry. Apart from that we believe that the companies who embraced the challenges that were put forward were able to come out stronger from the pandemic. Tarek added: “The biggest lessons learnt from the pandemic was about the importance of sustainability and being resilient and they were the main drivers of all our ecosystem partners.”

New digital trends will not be “disruptive” unless they create relatively more value in the market than the traditional way of doing business. IoT devices and machine learning based systems are the main digital trends to focus at, in terms of value creation and value capture which shall be leveraged to build an FM effective digital strategy. These digital disruptions will create new services to clients around energy management services including energy audits, energy management plans, targets and guaranteed savings. That being said, technology is the only way forward in FM. When agility and productivity are the goals, yesterday’s FM spreadsheets and workflows will no longer apply. FM teams must become proficient at using technological tools to help the rest of the business respond quickly to changing conditions and be comfortable with using predictive analytics and business intelligence to inform decision-making. Service Management shall be considered as a key component of the successful Facility Manager of the future. Strong leadership skills with the ability to create employee motivation, engagement, respect and development are vital ingredients in any successful service model. This will create a winning formula on how to differentiate a facility manager and how to create long term sustainable value. With the adoption of technologies and the dependency on systems especially the Robotic Process Automation, a lot of admin and office jobs will WWW.CBNME.COM


TOTAL COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS | TAREK NIZAMEDDIN, EJADAH

“OUR GOAL IS TO BE THE BEST IN CLASS BY EXCEEDING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, DELIVERING AUTOMATED SOLUTIONS FOR ENHANCED EFFICIENCY, AND CONTINUOUSLY STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE IN ALL PROJECTS WE TAKE PART IN.”

be obsolete. Moreover, with the introduction of robots, drones and AI in operation, the number of workforce required for most of the functions will be reduced. The industry will require a different skillset to cater to these technologies such as: specialized technicians, robotics engineers and technicians, data analysts & scientists, cyber security experts, software developers, etc. Ejadah are among the pioneers who are streamlining strategic innovation in such a changing digital world by moving to data-driven decision making and operations. That’s why Ejadah is racing to be the first movers in this space in order to capitalize on the size and value of data which will create a compelling value proposition in this digital disrupted world. We believe that maintenance shall move from the traditional planned and preventive maintenance and top of the shelf standards such as SFG 20 and move to a smart predictive maintenance and a reliability-based maintenance (RBM) which is a stepby-step instructional tool for how to analyze a system’s all failure modes and define how to prevent or find those failures early. RBM will ensure greater safety and environmental integrity, improved operating performance and greater maintenance costeffectiveness.

Importance of diversity in FM Ejadah is highly committed to diversity and the advancement of diverse employees. Nowadays, facility managers are coming to see diversity both as the right thing to do and as a way to address immediate needs. Within the facility department, diversity offers a way to attract and keep the best talent and a diverse team can be a more productive team. Tarek explained: “Many mistakenly think that the success of FM operations depends entirely on the technical and engineering component. Women possess unique aptitudes that make them especially good facilities managers, including the ability to empathize, effective self-awareness

“EJADAH ARE AMONG THE PIONEERS WHO ARE STREAMLINING STRATEGIC INNOVATION IN SUCH A CHANGING DIGITAL WORLD BY MOVING TO DATADRIVEN DECISION MAKING AND OPERATIONS.”

and self-management, and consistently strong problem-solving, social, and communication skills. Diversity in FM teams should also represent that of the buildings’ occupants to ensure true understanding and ability to predict their unique needs, as well as the inclusion of an important perspective.” “Moreover, we’ve seen a significant transformation over the past two decades from traditional stand-alone contracts like maintenance, cleaning, and HVAC contracts to total facilities management-based services which requires diversity at its core. The service provider is now taking care of your property from A to Z, whether through cleaning, maintaining the outlook of the building or even ensuring the health and safety being upheld to the highest standard so as to optimise facilities operating costs within safe and healthy environments that boost employee’s performance and improve organisations profitability.” Ejadah will continue to nurture and promote a culture of diversity and inclusion which will make our world a better place to live in.


CBNME

LEGAL

A

fter an extended period of difficult conditions, many projects are now at the final stage of the project life cycle - closure. This is generally the time at which contractors, having previously being occupied by operational concerns, increasingly turn their attention to closing out outstanding commercial matters and claims. Most such claims will be mature; that is to mean, they will have advanced through the various stages of the contractual regime governing claims and / or disputes. Notices will have been given, claims will have been submitted, determinations will have been made, and displeasures will have been expressed. Accordingly, for many contractors, the question that now takes on an increasing urgency is whether it is time to escalate these claims to arbitration. Although this will ultimately depend on subjective considerations unique to each contractor, there are a number of practical considerations that every contractor should have regard to in order to ensure they are best placed to make the right decision when deciding whether or not it is the right time to escalate a claim to arbitration. This article looks at the practical considerations that any contractor on the precipice of commencing a formal dispute (specifically arbitration) should have regard to.

Surveying the Problem Malcolm Jezewski Senior Associate, Arbitration at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla,

discusses what you should do before you sue and what practical considerations to be had before escalating claims to arbitration 22 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Conditions precedent (contractual and regulatory) A dispute should not be referred to arbitration without unless all preconditions in the contractual regime governing claims and disputes have been properly checked and confirmed satisfied. Failing to comply with the preconditions to arbitration can be a significant setback, as it opens the door for the other party to commence parallel proceedings in the local courts seeking a declaration that the tribunal has no jurisdiction, or to request a stay in the arbitral proceedings until the preconditions to arbitration have been carried out. In either case, significant time and resources will be expended before the arbitration is back underway. WWW.CBNME.COM


SURVEYING THE PROBLEM | MALCOLM JEZEWSKI

In addition to contractual conditions precedent, contractors in dispute with a state entity or public authority should also factor in regulatory conditions precedent. For example, in Dubai, pursuant to Government Lawsuit Law No. 3 of 1996 (as amended) and the law establishing the department of Legal Affairs for the Government of Dubai (Law No. 32 of 2008), a party wishing to commence proceedings against any government department must first submit any claims to the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department for a period of amicable settlement of two months. This process is separate and in addition to any contractual conditions precedent. Self-protecting against adverse reactions A common concern for contractors deciding whether to commence an arbitration is the likelihood that this will trigger an adverse reaction from their counterpart, most often in the form of a call on any bank / performance guarantees. Attempting to obtain a precautionary attachment order from the UAE courts to prevent such a call is the most obvious way to alleviate this concern. In addition to understanding the costs and difficulties that obtaining such an order entails, contractors should also be aware that pursuant to Article 255(2) of the UAE

FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE PRECONDITIONS TO ARBITRATION CAN BE A SIGNIFICANT SETBACK, AS IT OPENS THE DOOR FOR THE OTHER PARTY TO COMMENCE PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS IN THE LOCAL COURTS SEEKING A DECLARATION THAT THE TRIBUNAL HAS NO JURISDICTION, OR TO REQUEST A STAY IN THE ARBITRAL PROCEEDINGS UNTIL THE PRECONDITIONS TO ARBITRATION HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT. Civil Procedure Code, a party that has obtained a successful precautionary attachment order is required to file its substantive case within eight days of the precautionary attachment application. Where the parties have agreed to refer their dispute to arbitration, an application will be made to the local court for the precautionary attachment order to be stayed pending the final award in the arbitral proceedings. Contractors will often seek attachment orders with a degree of urgency that is separate and distinct to the preparation of their substantive case for filing. As such, a contractor who fails to properly account for both actions as part of a wider strategy can often find their case preparation thrown into disarray. Ensuring there is something to be recovered from There is no point commencing an arbitration to pursue an entitlement without first ensuring that the counterparty has sufficient funds or

asserts in place to satisfy the full extent of any potential award. This is particularly important where the counterparty is a private entity (as opposed to a government authority). The extent of funds and / or assets, as well as the jurisdiction in which they may be located, should be determined before an arbitration is commenced. If the extent of the funds and / or assets held by the counterpart cannot be determined through publicly available information, then the services of an asset tracing and due diligence advisory firm should be incorporated as part of the wider dispute resolution strategy. Understanding enforcement An arbitral award must be enforced before it is of any value to a successful contractor. Even at the best of times, enforcement is a drawn and timeconsuming process. This is something that must be appreciated and understood by contractors from the outset so that it can be properly incorporated as part of the wider dispute resolution strategy. The specific requirements around the enforcement of arbitral awards will vary depending on whether the award has been issued in the UAE or in an offshore jurisdiction. In either case, any enforcement is likely to be challenged by the counterparty, who will seek to have the award set aside. This will need to be seen through in full before the successful party can have their award recognized and finally enforced. The intricacies involved in dealing with challenges to an award, or having an award recognized and enforced, are too detailed to canvass in this article. Ultimately the point to be made is that contractors should ensure they are properly appraised of the requirements that apply to their particular arbitration before embarking on the arbitration itself. CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 23


CBNME

MEP AWARDS

CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

CBNME MEP Awards 2021 is one of the leading events applauding the achievements of the region’s construction professionals. The awards strive to recognise individual excellence, corporate strengths, and project success. The event saw 18 winners being crowned at the Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk.

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RECOGNIZING INDIVIDUAL EXCELLENCE, CORPORATE STRENGTHS, AND PROJECT SUCCESS

Wissam Younane, CEO, BNC Publishing

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 25


CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

AL SHAFAR UNITED | ASU MEP CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR

“In this pandemic, our team has proven more than what we expected and this year, we get the honor and recognition that makes ASU unbeatable. Iconic projects mark our legacy and make us ahead. Expect more!” Ashraf Samy Botros Managing Director, Al Shafar United

AECOM

MEP CONSULTANT OF THE YEAR

“The award is a muchneeded boost for our amazing team during a challenging year. A building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure is its central nervous system and similarly, our team is also at the root of our function and success - AECOM is nothing without its people.” Cathy Christer Director MEP, AECOM

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RECOGNIZING INDIVIDUAL EXCELLENCE, CORPORATE STRENGTHS, AND PROJECT SUCCESS

VOLTAS | TECOM C DISTRICT COOLING PLANT, DUBAI MECHANICAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

“Voltas with its MEP expertise, developed a special project delivery team which has repeatedly proven to the demanding customers, its ability to combine all these expertise with off-site fabrication, thermal storage tanks, RO plants, PLC SCADA etc. in delivering projects - with unmatched quality and on-time delivery.” AR Suresh Kumar Vice President and Head - International Operations Business Group, Voltas

ENOVA

RETROFIT PROJECT OF THE YEAR

“Enova proudly contributed to this pilot project across 4 buildings by implementing energy conservation measures and deploying a new rooftop solar PV plant. We would like to thank the Department of Energy for their trust and collaboration on this project. Congrats Enovians for this well-deserved recognition!”

RETROFIT PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Renaud Capris CEO, Enova

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 27


CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

VOLTAS | COEX , DUBAI

ELECTRICAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

“This project has got the most modern ELV systems with own data center and high security systems with an integrated CCTV and access controls. The entire ICT, integrated with Expo, will be hosting future exhibitions of any type of industry making it “a next generation exhibition centre” supported with an electrical system designed and installed for future generations.” AR Suresh Kumar Vice President and Head - International Operations Business Group, Voltas

ORASCOM | GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM

PROJECT OF THE YEAR

“The Museum is a building of rare complexity, whereby Orascom Construction’s technical expertise enabled it to overcome a series of challenges in order to execute the peculiarities dreamed up by the architects. Orascom was able to successfully execute the extraordinarily complex concrete structures with an extreme level of precision.”

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RECOGNIZING INDIVIDUAL EXCELLENCE, CORPORATE STRENGTHS, AND PROJECT SUCCESS

VOLTAS | AL SAHEL RESORT B.S.C PLUMBING PROJECT OF THE YEAR

“This project demanded value engineering and design optimization for the hot water system, water supply and drainage, fire fighting and fire suppression system. The Plumbing team delivered all these with highest quality without compromising on the project execution time.” AR Suresh Kumar Vice President and Head - International Operations Business Group, Voltas

AMANA | DUBOX

SUSTAINABLE PROJECT OF THE YEAR

“It inspires all of us at DuBox by AMANA to continue innovating and delivering real value for our clients and communities. Most of all this award is a recognition of how modular construction is an efficient and better way to build. We would also like to thank our clients, The Red Sea Development Company, for trusting DuBox by AMANA to build on such a transformative ecotourism project.”

RETROFIT PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Jihad Bsaibes CEO, Amana Group

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 29


CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

CSCEC | SAFETY QUOTA SYSTEM HSE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

“The Safety Quota System (i.e. SQS) introduced by our President/ CEO, Mr. Yu Tao, in response to a series of staff improvements in the Hazard Identification Process. We will keep on striving strongly to work on improving the HSE system in order to ensure a safe working environment and achieving our mission of “Expanding a happy living Environment” to all our stakeholders.” Zhu Jianchao CSCEC ME Vice President

FISCHER | MEA

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION IN DESIGN AND DELIVERY OF MEP SUPPORT SYSTEMS

“We at fischer MEA were excited to receive the “Outstanding contribution in designing and delivery of MEP support system Award” by Mr. Hussein Abu-Sheikha – Technical Marketing Head, fischer MEA. That was a great evening of success and pride for the team fischer!” fischer MEA

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RECOGNIZING INDIVIDUAL EXCELLENCE, CORPORATE STRENGTHS, AND PROJECT SUCCESS

ALEMCO

INNOVATION IN MEP AWARD

“We are delighted to have received two awards at the Construction Business News ME Awards for our contribution to the MEP sector. Winning both Innovation in MEP and Project Manager of the Year was an honour and we want to thank the whole team for their dedication. Innovation is the driving force behind

ALEMCO and we are constantly striving towards implementing the newest technologies, system designs and equipment for every project. A special ‘thank you’ to Roy Wicks for his outstanding contribution as Project Manager – a very well-deserved win!” ALEMCO

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 31


CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

GULF DUCT INDUSTRIES SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR

“A special thanks to all the stakeholders involved that have supported GDI from the very beginning. It is under the leadership and guidance of Mr. Amiruddin Thanawalla, Mr. Shahid Lirani and the perseverance of the staff that has allowed Gulf Duct Industries to achieve this prestigious award.” Nabeel Rayees Patel

SIMON CATHRINE | BLACK & WHITE ENGINEERING

ELECTRICAL ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

“I am pleased, honoured and humbled to be awarded Electrical Engineer of Year. In accepting this award I recognise the enormous amount of talented and deserving Engineers in our region in addition to having opportunities to work on such iconic projects the Middle East offers. Being recognised by my peers, those I work with and CBN Middle East is a huge privilege and only possible because of their great work, often unrecognised, completed in this industry which is increasingly becoming more challenging. As an engineer, I am proud to be part of a community that upholds the highest ethics and standards of design in our service. Thank you for this fabulous accolade.” Simon Catherine Black & White Engineering

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CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

WASEEM KHAN | AECOM

MECHANICAL ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

“This award recognizes my work and it is an amazing feeling to be awarded for my efforts. I would like to thank my entire team for their never-ending support, especially our MEP Director, Cathy Christer. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing and diverse team.” Waseem Khan Mechanical Engineer, AECOM

RUBBER WORLD INDUSTRY | GULF O FLEX

HVAC MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR

“Rubber World Industries is very well pleased to have been recognized as the HVAC manufactures of the year. This recognition ensures the trust our clients and partners put into us and our brand Gulf o Flex . it is a true privilege to be awarded this prestigious award even in the challenging times of Covid 19.”

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RECOGNIZING INDIVIDUAL EXCELLENCE, CORPORATE STRENGTHS, AND PROJECT SUCCESS

ROY JOHN WICKS | ALEMCO PROJECT MANAGER OF THE YEAR

“We are delighted to have received two awards at the Construction Business News ME Awards for our contribution to the MEP sector. Winning both Innovation in MEP and Project Manager of the Year was an honour and we want to thank the whole team for their dedication. Innovation is the driving force behind

ALEMCO and we are constantly striving towards implementing the newest technologies, system designs and equipment for every project. A special ‘thank you’ to Roy Wicks for his outstanding contribution as Project Manager – a very well-deserved win!” ALEMCO

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 35


CBNME MEP AWARDS 2021

ENOVA

SMART BUILDING SOLUTIONS PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

“This award recognizes my work and it is an amazing feeling to be awarded for my efforts. I would like to thank my entire team for their never-ending support, especially our MEP Director, Cathy Christer. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing and diverse team.” Rachid Hamida Technology & Performance Director, Enova

ENG. ANSARI | ADEEB GROUP

CEO OF THE YEAR

“I feel great to achieve this CBNME Award of CEO of the Year as it is believed to be the pinnacle of achievements in the Region among various leading competitors with a modernized environment. Certainly it has added value to our organization and I would like to dedicate this award to our entire team without whose effort and support, it would not have been possible to attain.” Eng. Ansari CEO, Adeeb Group

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CBNME

REPORT

QATAR REAL ESTATE THE COUNTRY’S TOP PROPERTY PORTAL, DEMAND IN THE SALE MARKET HAS SKYROCKETED, WITH A WHOPPING 74 PERCENT INCREASE IN RECORDED ENQUIRIES IN Q1 OF 2021 COMPARED WITH Q4 OF 2020

Q

atar’s real estate sector continued to show buoyancy in the first quarter of 2021. According to data from Property Finder Qatar, the country’s top property portal, demand in the sale market has skyrocketed, with a whopping 74 percent increase in recorded enquiries in Q1 of 2021 compared with Q4 of 2020. In addition, properties for sale on the website has also seen a significant rise, with a massive 33 percent and 60 percent increase recorded for apartments and villa listings respectively on propertyfinder.qa There is a direct correlation and impact of the county’s new property ownership laws which were introduced late last year, as well as lowered prices in high demand areas such as Al Erkyah City 38 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

and West Bay, which recorded a decrease in advertised sales prices of three and four percent respectively for apartments for sale when comparing Q4 of 2020 and Q1 2021. “Buyers who had the means to invest during 2020, were eager to take advantage of declines in sales prices, along with first time buyers also jumping on the property ladder,” commented Afaf Hashim, Country Manager at Property Finder Qatar. “Demand for the sale market in Qatar, which previously has been more of a renter’s market, is continuously increasing, especially with the enhanced government investment initiatives that have been announced.” The demand for bigger spaces has also been growing exponentially over the past year and we are still seeing interest grow,

with a 15 percent increase in villa sale searches on our website between Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021. “The addition of areas that allow for foreign real estate ownership has rejuvenated the villa sales market, especially since the majority of stock in areas prior to these laws included mostly apartments,” concluded Hashim. “Nevertheless, we can now see an increased interest in villas for sale in Qatar, with prices starting to find more of a stable trend.” Advertised prices for villas for sale in West Bay and in West Bay Lagoon recorded a decline of one percent and two percent respectively when comparing Q4 of 2020 and Q1 2021, while Umm Salal Ali recorded a decrease of eight percent in advertised prices for villas for sale in the same time frame. The most popular areas for apartment sale searches in Qatar remain steady – with The Pearl, West Bay and the many different areas of Lusail commanding the top three spots in the first quarter of this year. In terms of villa sale searches, The Pearl, West Bay and Al Duhail, are the top searched areas for villas for sale in Q1 of 2021. WWW.CBNME.COM


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CBNME

OP-ED

vision will have more direct economic benefits, especially for the construction sector as the prospect of further investment in Dubai’s infrastructure should hopefully ensure a strong pipeline for future major project developments. Ultimately the intent will strengthen Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination by implementing a vision of creating a state-of-the-art hub that will be home to 5.8 million people by 2040. The vision will focus on enhancing people’s quality of life, offering multiple lifestyle and investment opportunities for citizens, residents, and visitors throughout the journey.

DUBAI 2040 MASTERPLAN SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE EMIRATE Adam Ralph, Regional Real Estate Lead & Country Manager – Dubai at Turner & Townsend, tells us how Dubai ‘s urban agenda will be a function of the way technology, and more importantly, construction business models evolve

T

he agenda has been set. Dubai’s 2040 Master Plan represents a sustainable and progressive plan that will future-proof Dubai’s urban development and drive exponential growth within urban construction. With a focus on creating 40 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

nature reserves, community parks, and world-class public transportation systems, the plan has a strategic structural layout with the primary focus on developing transportation, power, water, and social infrastructure to underpin wider economic activity and catalyse Dubai’s growth and development. It’s clear the

FIVE AREAS OF GROWTH It’s interesting to see how the Dubai Urban Master Plan focuses on development and investment in five main urban centres, three existing and two new. The three existing urban centres include Deira and Bur Dubai (cultural zones), Downtown and Business Bay (business and financial hubs), and Dubai Marina/JBR (leisure and hospitality destinations), while the two new centres include Expo 2020, an economic and growth hotspot for the tourism and logistics sectors, and Dubai Silicon Oasis, a science and technology hub that will drive innovation, digital economy development, and talent generation. Investment and re-development in the city’s existing urban areas will see the regeneration of these built environments, making way for new national housing schemes, integrated town-house communities, and revitalised, sustainable communities to enhance human well-being. The ‘people-led’ plan outlines key ambitions to enhance and develop the city’s transport and social infrastructure. Commensurate with the cities growth aspirations, the plan also outlines a 25% increase in spaces for the development of educational and healthcare facilities, a proposal that will naturally see the construction industry benefit. It’s great to see some bold plans for the transportation sector, where a key focus will be to improve interconnectivity within the city, ensuring that a large proportion of Dubai’s residents live within proximity of main public transport stations. A fundamental component of these re-developments will WWW.CBNME.COM


DUBAI 2040 MASTERPLAN | SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE EMIRATE

be interconnectivity. Dubai’s agenda of being at the forefront when it comes to transportation solutions speaks volumes. In theory, these mobility models create multiple opportunities for all stakeholders involved in the transport infrastructure value chain. With such large-scale projects envisaged, these mobility models will stimulate growth for both smaller independent construction companies and companies who support largescale government-funded projects. Accelerating change and defining new practices The visionary leadership of Dubai has created a holistic plan that will facilitate this urban transformation. Smart regulations will be a significant enabler for plan delivery and will ensure that sustainable outcomes are monitored and achieved. The plan should help Dubai achieve its urban sustainability goals and help it become a more resourceefficient city. The community will see green and recreational spaces double in size, and multiple green corridors will be established throughout the city, complimented with an effective, sustainable mobility model. One would hope these ambitious plans will attract global leaders in the sustainable transport infrastructure sector, not to mention a change in the market environment and technological progress. These disruptive new entrants might even trigger a construction industry shift in Dubai. One key area will be the transition to offsite or modular manufacturing. Modular construction will be a crucial driver in Dubai 2040 vision delivery since higher-quality assets can be delivered faster and, in some cases, more economically. Modular construction will drive a sustainable impact on

the UAE Construction sector, where the appetite for such techniques will increase with developers and government funders, especially if we look at the key environmental objectives of Dubai 2040. The global construction industry has seen the rapid emergence of augmented reality, drones, 3D scanning and printing, Building Information Modelling (BIM), autonomous equipment, and advanced building materials. While all of them have yet to reach market maturity, we will need to see more leading construction entities in the UAE adopt these innovations. Not only will this boost industry productivity, streamline management and procedures, but it will also enhance quality and safety. The overall pace of innovation adoption in the construction industry will need to increase over the next few years, and Dubai will be no exception. The industry’s future success will rely heavily on effective collaboration among all stakeholders to achieve Dubai 2040 key construction objectives successfully. The industry will likely also see the shift

to radically innovative materials with entirely new capabilities to achieve Dubai 2040’s sustainability objectives. I’m confident the Dubai government will help shape the construction industry by their actions as the key project owner; some of the first major projects will systematically generate, capture, and replicate innovative ideas and eventually, this will translate into practical innovations and industry standards. Over the coming decades, this bold vision should create enormous hope for the construction sector’s growth potential and establish a stronger, more resilient Emirate for the future. The masterplan itself, underpinned by emerging technologies and robust business model, are triggers that will enable both government and private sector to contribute. Undoubtedly an overarching driver of the vision will need to be repurposing or adaptive reuse. Adaptive reuse of existing buildings needs to be prioritized to save Dubai from the burden of demolition and disposal of waste generated from existing structures and the optimal use of vacant urban spaces is another important priority. We’ve seen Dubai rapidly expand as a city, but there are areas where development progress remains slow or, in many cases, has stalled Therefore, a common goal is required to support the continuation and completion of these projects or drive to repurpose them. One thing is for sure, the Dubai Government, along with the Emirate itself, will continue to push boundaries, and the impact of vision 2040 on the construction sector will be no exception.

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 41


CBNME

ASSET MANAGEMENT

“THE PANDEMIC HAS RAISED AWARENESS ABOUT THE VALUE OF A ROBUST FM STRATEGY, AND I HOPE TO SEE A TREND TOWARDS LONGER TERM, INTEGRATED FM CONTRACTS WHICH ARE OUTPUT DRIVEN RATHER THAN SINGLE SERVICE INPUT-BASED CONTRACTS.” Tell us about Khansaheb FM’s expectations for 2021? As a business, we are continuing to try to exceed our existing customer expectations and build on the current partnerships we hold. The market condition is challenging and highly competitive and we are focusing on targeting key sectors and customers who are quality driven. Tell us what are the latest trends that you foresee in 2021 in the FM industry? In these tough conditions, we could see a consolidation of the market with less established players exiting. The pandemic has raised awareness about the value of a robust FM strategy, and I hope to see a trend towards longer term, integrated FM contracts which are output driven rather than single service input-based contracts. I think over time, the focus will shift towards continuous improvement and working smarter, including intelligent use of technology such as IoT, smart sensors, green buildings etc. I also foresee an increased role of accurate data and MI in FM strategy development and decision making.

GREATEST ASSET Oliver Sawle, General Manager at Khansaheb FM, discusses how the company’s new asset management tool which has allow their clients with accurate and real time information about their buildings, assets, and so much more 42 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Tell us what are the benefits of using KFM’s asset management tool? Our asset management tool provides our customers with accurate and real time information about their buildings and assets and makes maintenance predictive and proactive rather than reactive. By doing so, it allows us to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for generating efficiencies and helps us better understand our customers and what is important to them. Moreover, with the help of the data we gather, we can develop a forward maintenance register and provide our customers WWW.CBNME.COM


GREATEST ASSET | OLIVER SAWLE

with greater accuracy in budgeting and forecasting OPEX and CAPEX costs. This tool has enabled us to develop a business-focussed and cost optimised maintenance solution powered by accurate asset condition information. How crucial is data capturing and how does it help your clients to save money? All decisions should stand on accurate data and information (facts) rather than opinions. Having accurate assets and conditions enables you to determine how you need to optimise the maintenance approach, identify what you need to maintain and how often and where to invest/replace to save money in the long run. This constitutes effective life cycle planning. It enables you to establish a benchmark and accurately calculate the viability of certain innovations and initiatives. Do you have any other software tools that you would like to highlight? We have a digitization strategy in place which our Business Intelligence Manager is leading. We have already implemented a number of initiatives across the business and we are already are using other

software tools such as a fully integrated CAFM System, In-Vehicle Monitoring System for automated tracking our plant and transport fleet, PowerBI for data analysis and business intelligence, SharePoint and O365 for our cloud-based project document management, Enterprise Resource Program (ERP Coins) for Accounts and Procurement processes, QHSE App for Quality and Safety, and numerous other in house apps which we have developed to support our operations and customers. How important is it for the FM industry to continue to innovate and introduce new technology? The industry can never stand still and must continuously find ways to innovate and work smarter by adopting an intelligent use of technology and generate greater value in the long run. After getting through 2020 - tell me how KFM came out stronger from the pandemic? And what lessons were learnt as a result of the pandemic? I think the pandemic has helped bring to light the absolute indispensability of facilities management, especially the

value of frontline workers and their importance to our customers’ core business. And, as a business, we believe that despite all the technological innovations and developments, People are still an FM company’s greatest asset. We also realised the importance of having business continuity plans and having processes and functions in place to continue working efficiently whilst employees work remotely. Having worked through the various operational and commercial challenges, I believe we are a closer, stronger, and better functioning team as a result and are better positioned to deliver success in the future.

“THE INDUSTRY CAN NEVER STAND STILL AND MUST CONTINUOUSLY FIND WAYS TO INNOVATE AND WORK SMARTER BY ADOPTING AN INTELLIGENT USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND GENERATE GREATER VALUE IN THE LONG RUN.” CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 43


CBNME

TRUCKS

Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLT FIRST NEW GENERATION MERCEDES-BENZ AROCS SLT IN THE REGION DELIVERED TO AL FARIS GROUP

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eavy-duty tractor units like the Mercedes-Benz Arocs SLT are used in transportation of oversized, heavy-duty components or machinery. Mercedes-Benz trucks celebrate a milestone in the region: 2 new units of the latest generation of Arocs

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SLT, the first in the Middle East and North Africa, have been handed over to the leading heavy transportation and heavy equipment rental company in the MENA region – Al Faris Group. Mr. Hillary Pinto, Managing Director of Al Faris Group said during the handover ceremony: “We have performed numerous heavy transport operations

for abnormally sized objects for more than 25 years and it has always been our priority to provide safe, innovative, and reliable solutions for Heavy Lifting, Heavy Transport and Energy Projects. When it comes to heavy transportation, the Arocs SLT meets the demands and our high standards. The addition of these 2 new trucks will add value to the company and we look forward to our longterm partnership with Emirates Motor Company.” Mr. Bilal AlRibi, General Manager Commercial Vehicles of Emirates Motor Company, said: “Heavy duty transportation requires very hightech equipment and uncompromising reliability, and this is precisely what WWW.CBNME.COM


MERCEDES-BENZ AROCS SLT | FIRST NEW GENERATION IN THE REGION DELIVERED TO AL FARIS GROUP

the Arocs SLT delivers. We thank Al Faris Group for their confidence in us. We are committed to providing longterm support to Al Faris Group and to contributing to their business growth.” The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4058 AS 6x6 SLT This particular heavy-duty tractor unit is a Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4058 AS 6x6 SLT. It is driven by Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ most powerful engine: the sixcylinder in-line OM 473 engine with 15.6 l displacement with an output of 578 hp (425 kW), offering torque of 2,800 Nm in Euro 5 emission norm. To take to the road with transport loads of up to 250 tonnes, the truck is equipped with the automated Mercedes PowerShift 3 gearshift system and G 280 transmission with 16 gears and a fluid coupling. Unique on Mercedes-Benz Trucks: the turbo retarder clutch The Arocs 4058 AS 6x6 SLT is equipped with the turbo retarder clutch, which increases the dynamic performance and enhanced stability of the vehicle. This feature combines a hydraulic startup clutch and a retarder in a single

component. It is compact in design, light in weight and serves as a highly effective permanent brake. The turbo retarder clutch allows sensitive and wear-free moving off as well as maneuvering at the very lowest speeds. A significant reduction in the time required to discharge the fluid in the turbo retarder clutch delivers faster subsequent shifting and faster acceleration. The fast build-up of torque prevents the vehicle from unintentionally rolling back when pulling away on uphill slopes. During braking, the turbo retarder clutch acts as a primary retarder with a maximum output of 350 kW (476 hp). To ease the strain on the transmission, the sum total power of the high-performance brakes on the heavy-haulage vehicle is limited to a system brake power of 720 kW (979 hp). The turbo retarder clutch is available exclusively on Mercedes-Benz trucks. Robust and reliable – the 16 to planetary rear axles The Arocs SLT is equipped with a 9 t front axle. The rear axles of the Arocs SLT take the form of extremely robust planetary axles produced in-house at

“WE HAVE PERFORMED NUMEROUS HEAVY TRANSPORT OPERATIONS FOR ABNORMALLY SIZED OBJECTS FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS AND IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR PRIORITY TO PROVIDE SAFE, INNOVATIVE, AND RELIABLE SOLUTIONS FOR HEAVY LIFTING, HEAVY TRANSPORT AND ENERGY PROJECTS.” Mercedes-Benz. The technology has been tried and tested in the very toughest conditions and has proven capable of mastering the heaviest transport tasks. The rear axles are designed for a technically permissible axle load of up to 16 t. The Arocs SLT comes with parabolic springs on all axles with 9 t front springs and 18 t rear springs. Maximum maneuverability One of the special features of the SLT 6x6 is the power-assisted steering. This provides speed-sensitive steering power assistance and active steering return. In addition to offering unprecedented steering comfort and precision, this also ensures the perfect maneuvering.

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 45


CBNME

PROJECT

CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE

ALEC Engineering and Contracting L.L.C (ALEC), has topped out Tower A on Ithra Dubai’s iconic One Za’abeel project

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tanding at a height of 304 metres, Tower A has been fully connected to its neighbouring Tower B via a 225 metre, 9,400-ton sky bridge known as ‘The Link’, which was successfully installed over two lifts in Q4 2020. Elevated at just over 100 metres about ground, ‘The Link’ is not only a unique design feature, but a feat of engineering that when completed will place One Za’abeel in the record books as the world’s longest occupied building cantilever. 46 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Tower A required 215,000m3 of concrete and 54,110 tons of steel reinforcement, the equivalent weight of just over 94 A-380 Airbuses. Featuring 7 basements and 67-stories above ground, Tower A is twelve floors taller than its neighbouring Tower B and will soon to home to 17 office floors, 399 luxury and ultra-hotel rooms, 94 serviced apartments and six dedicated floors for the Investment Corporation of Dubai’s new headquarters. Other specialised features of Tower A include five double-decker lifts, which serve two adjacent floors simultaneously. WWW.CBNME.COM


CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE | ALEC ENGINEERING AND CONTRACTING L.L.C

ALEC Tops Out Tower A on landmark project

With three lifts dedicated to serving the ground and first floors to the 24th and 25th and two lifts traveling from basement one and ground floor to the 61st and 62nd floors, passengers are given express access to ‘The Link’ and ICD offices respectively at a speed of eight metres per second, meaning a transit time of just forty seconds from the basement

and ground floor to the top. Speaking on behalf of ALEC, Kez Taylor, chief executive officer said: “This is a pivotal moment for us on this project and I’m very proud of what the team has achieved, particularly in working in close collaboration with the developer, Ithra Dubai and the project stakeholders. This is a significant milestone for us as main contractors and I look forward to overseeing the project’s continued progress.” Mark A Taylor, Managing Director of Project Manager Mace, added: “This project has redefined the boundaries of ambition in design and engineering, however, thanks to the seamless professionalism of all involved, we’ve topped out both towers and are now getting close to the final phases. This has been a consolidated effort that has shown what can be accomplished with the right partners and team spirit.” Speaking on behalf of the lead architects and engineers, Nikken Sekkei, Executive Officer, Fadi Jabri commented: “One Za’abeel was designed as a floating gateway to Dubai’s Financial District and thanks to the great collaboration with WSP and the engineering expertise of everyone involved, the construction by ALEC has done the design justice. Commenting on the building’s development, WSP Chief Executive Officer, Greg Kane said: “The effort that has gone into

the design of this tower and the solutions provided to counter the effects of twist and vertical deflection have been outstanding. It’s been a pleasure to work with all involved and we look forward to getting this project over the line.” “We are proud to be supporting our Client Ithra Dubai on this magnificent development” commented Peter Westeng, Chairman, Omnium International. “The project will play an important role in the future of the UAE and has set the benchmark for sustainability and the uncompromised luxury of its design. For over 25 years, Omnium has supported the cost management of some of the region’s most technically complex, iconic developments and we look forward to celebrating more milestones at One Za’abeel.”

“THIS IS A PIVOTAL MOMENT FOR US ON THIS PROJECT AND I’M VERY PROUD OF WHAT THE TEAM HAS ACHIEVED, PARTICULARLY IN WORKING IN CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH THE DEVELOPER, ITHRA DUBAI AND THE PROJECT STAKEHOLDERS.” CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 47


CBNME

INFRASTRUCTURE

“OUR DESIGN WILL TRANSFORM THE SAFWAN BORDER CROSSING, INTRODUCING MUCH-NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE TO ENABLE THE SWIFT AND EFFICIENT ENTRY AND EXIT OF GOODS AND PEOPLE, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF BEST PRACTICE SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES.”

THE CATALYST LAND PORT DESIGN COMPLETED FOR IRAQI-KUWAITI BORDER. REDEVELOPED BORDER CROSSING SET TO BE A CATALYST FOR ECONOMIC AND COMMERCIAL RECOVERY OF BASRA GOVERNORATE 48 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

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ultidisciplinary consultancy Khatib & Alami has completed the design for a new land port in Safwan, Basra, at the border between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait. Subject to authority approvals, the project will enhance the passage of commercial goods and people by increasing capacity to around 1,000 vehicles per day, with the seamless separation of traffic between commercial goods and travelers. WWW.CBNME.COM


THE CATALYST | LAND PORT DESIGN COMPLETED FOR IRAQI-KUWAITI BORDER

HIGH-TECH APPROACH The final designs and plans for the circa 727,500 m² site include industry-leading technologies for customs transactions and goods clearance. These will improve the experience of travelers, increase the efficiency of customs revenue collection and reduce overcrowding, while maintaining preventive health measures. Fadi Tannir, K&A’s project manager for the new land port, says: “This is a strategically important project for Basra Governorate which will stimulate economic growth and longterm prosperity in southern Iraq, while energizing tourism activity between Iraq

and other Gulf countries. “Our design will transform the Safwan border crossing, introducing muchneeded infrastructure to enable the swift and efficient entry and exit of goods and people, taking advantage of best practice systems and technologies.” MEETING MODERN EXPECTATIONS K&A was appointed to the project in December 2019, in response to the current lack of facilities and infrastructure at the Safwan border crossing. “We have worked closely with the relevant agencies to understand their

needs both now and in the future,” adds Tannir. “The result will be a modern approach to border management which maintains high levels of security, while also enabling the efficient processing of goods to facilitate trade.” The Safwan Land Port is among several high profile infrastructure projects being undertaken by K&A on behalf of Basra Governorate. This includes critical water projects which will significantly improve the resilience of the water system, including access to safe drinking water throughout the region. K&A has maintained an active presence in Iraq for almost 15 years. CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 49


CBNME

INTERVIEW

Azhar Sajan, Director, Casa Milano

A HOME AFFAIR Azhar Sajan, Director, Casa Milano, reveals how they are filling the gap in the market for luxury sanitary ware 50 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Tell us about Casa Milano. We launched Casa Milano in October 2019 to fill in a gap in the market. We realised that there was a lack of quality fittings, sanitaryware and tiles, and that is when we thought of catering to this segment, keeping in mind the luxurious environment in UAE. I was still in university when the responsibility fell on my shoulders to build the brand. It was a great opportunity for me as my family is in the construction business, and this was an extended vertical. Casa Milano is a concept that caters to 360-degree luxury bathroom requirements. We offer sanitary ware, tiles, parquet flooring, and recently we’ve branched out into landscaping and swimming pool solutions. The showroom is 20,000sqft and showcases the latest in the industry. The past 18 months have been challenging for the team, the hurdles have helped us grow. Every day is a new learning curve. Until December 2020, I was juggling work and university. It has been good so far, can’t complain. What differentiates Casa Milano from its competitors? Price is always a factor regardless of the segment. Whether it be luxury or affordable, we all like to get our money’s worth. The first step was collaborating with international brands and making partnerships work, to understand them, see if they are in sync and whether they have a similar mind-set as ours. The same goes for our customers with whom we want to build a solid and long-standing relationship. What we are offering is value for money and that differentiate us from the competitors. Design is another aspect; we feature some of the most sought-after patterns and compositions. We showcase products from around the world, including the popular European materials. As personal choices differ, Casa Milano showcases a wide collection of luxury ware, from modern to vintage, luxurious to economic, and rich gold to subtle rose golds, among others. At the store, we aim to offer a ‘wow’ experience to anyone who walks in. I’ve received a lot of feedback from people WWW.CBNME.COM


A HOME AFFAIR | AZHAR SAJAN, DIRECTOR, CASA MILANO

who walk in that they love seeing the mock-ups, it’s something they have not seen before. Each touch point in the showroom has been designed to inspire with various display setups such as hotel rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms to showcase its offerings. Where does most of your products come from? We do have products from around the globe, however a lot is from Europe particularly Germany, Paris, Italy, and Spain. We have tiles from India. Moreover, we have solid surfaces from DuPont US. We have a diverse mix of uniquely designed washbasins, showers, mixers, tiles, slabs and solid surfaces manufactured by over 40 of the world’s top brands including Tonino Lamborghini, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Villeroy & Boch, Maison Valentina, Grespania, Corian, Quartz and Corà. We want to see the viability of selling local items in the future. Has the pandemic affected the buying pattern? It’s been pretty interesting actually, with people stuck at home and spending more time indoors, they’ve had time on their hands to give their homes an uplift. People needed an outlet, hence we also started offering landscaping and pool solutions. Many people looked at renovating their homes, creating studies in their villas as work-from-home is here to stay. People want to create beautiful home gardens, change their bathrooms, put in a new slab

on the wall and so on. Being confined to the house brought out the creative side in many of us. Our footfall has steadily gone up, even with it being Ramadan, at 9am we get customers walking in until 1am in the night. What are your most popular products? In terms of demand, tiles and slabs are our most selling items. Slabs are trending these days. People are also loving the new faucet designs, massage bathtubs and vanities. The Salva bathtub is our fastselling item in the bathtub range. What makes is so popular is its aesthetic design and price range. In the tile range, our Calacatta Gold range is a fast seller. It has a stunning aesthetic feel to it. It is a bit busy and not to sober, I personally love it. With construction projects back on tracks. Is there interest from the B2B sector? With us in our second year of business now we’ve been getting inquiries and have a dedicated outdoor sales team that looks into that side

of the business. It’s picking up and it will take some time as we have to prove our worth to the market and people have to start believing in the brand, and in what we’re offering. Tell us how hygiene takes precedence at Casa Milano? Every 30-45 days we have a proper, top to down disinfection of all touch points because we have products that people want to touch and feel. We also have a disinfection and sanitising tunnel at the entrance so all people walking in get disinfected prior to touching our products. Most of our staff are vaccinated and get tested regularly to ensure we’re ticking all the boxes from our side. What’s Casa Milano’s digital strategy? While we are not offering eCommerce services yet, we are voraciously marketing our products online. We are working towards selling our products online and building our website to those specifications. I’ve realised over the months, during the lockdown, the importance to re-strategize and branch out into the ecommerce sector. We are currently increasing our social media presence - we’re very strong on Instagram. Every day we showcase our products and engage with our followers. We are also on Tiktok. I’m using the music trends to reach out to people featuring our different mock-ups. CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 51


CBNME

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE

ADAPT, EVOLVE AND THRIVE Abu Dhabi conglomerate Al Masaood’s Commercial Vehicles & Equipment division reveals how the business is evolving to accommodate customer needs and environmental requirements

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he heavy vehicle and equipment industry is undergoing a change. Customers, whether they be logistics companies or construction magnates, are no longer just looking to just purchase an asset they are demanding a whole suite of services. Competition is fierce in this market which means customer is king. Truck

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and equipment manufacturers as well as distributors have to offer a lot more to woo customers than just the vehicle and its features. Al Masaood Commercial Vehicles & Equipment, the Abu Dhabi-based distributor for UD Trucks, Renault Trucks and Unicarriers Forklift, has seen a demand for products that offer a whole suite of benefits from warranty, servicing to financing and driver training.

MEETING DEMANDS General Manager Mohamed Nabih El Zeftawi says: “With people choosing to shop online more and not in the malls as much, there is any increased delivery of products to homes, and logistics firms are benefiting. Which means there is a need for more trucks and lorries in the market. “This has become more challenging for all the players in the market. We are in a very demanding market as customer expectation is extremely high. They are always looking for the best, and customers in this region are educated, they know what they want. The responsibility falls on us to approach customers and convince them that we are the best solution.” Customer requirements have become WWW.CBNME.COM


ADAPT, EVOLVE AND THRIVE | AL MASAOOD’S COMMERCIAL VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT DIVISION

pace has picked up, developers are fast tracking project delivery. El Zeftawi adds: “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve witnessed a steady increase in sales. The first quarter was looking good, which indicates that the rest of the year will be better. We are expecting the last quarter to bring a big change in the market.” The company has recently begun the dealership for Japanese forklift brand TCM. Al Masaood forecasts a demand for forklifts as eCommerce and eShopping are here to stay. “The rise in eCommerce has positively impacted the trucks and machinery sector, and we are seeing a requirement for our vehicles. We are also increasing our market share within the sector which means that our turnover and bottomline in increasing year-on-year. We are quite elated with this success, El Zeftawi reveals.” He adds: “The region is quite busy, and we are constantly monitoring every movement in the market. This is the only way to be proactive and get a lead. We have noticed a difference in customer perceptions in the past few years and this has changed our approach towards our sales techniques. The UAE is a dynamic market, and we need to be quick in our approach to keep our market share and increase it each year.”

incredibly detailed, he says. “The customer is no longer looking to purchase a truck but rather he is looking for a solution. When we talk of a solution, we mean a vehicle with a fixed superstructure and bumper-to-bumper warranty (most probably extended warranty - three to five years), which is risky for the dealer. The customer wants a peace of mind. In addition to that, customers are also looking for financing options and training for drivers.” POSITIVE OUTLOOK Al Masaood is also seeing a demand coming from the construction sector. With many construction projects put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, the market slowed down. However, as the

GOING GREEN Al Masaood Commercial Vehicles & Equipment also has a fair share of hurdles to overcome, one being environmental issues. El Zeftawi, explains: “The country has moved to Euro IV and very soon it will jump to Euro V and VI. We were the first country in the region to apply this emission standards. It kept us a bit isolated from the GCC, but we are taking the lead and we are proud to do that.” The distributor is also taking a head on approach to the electric vehicle (EV) movement. “We are overly excited to be support the sustainability initiative and are very keen to offer hybrid and electric options to our customers. We are working with our partners to provide these options in the region.” Electric vehicles pose quite a few challenges for the region due to the high temperatures. Especially for heavy

Mohamed Nabih El Zeftawi, General Manager, Al Masaood’s Commercial Vehicles & Equipment division

vehicles such as trucks and buses, the batteries are unable to withstand the heat – 50 degrees Celsius and higher. He concludes: “A lot of our truck manufacturers such as UD and Renault are operating electric trucks in Europe, but there is a lot more to be done for them to exported to the Middle East. They are doing their absolute best to make this happen very soon, and we hope to be the first agency in the region to offer EVs to our customers.”

“WITH PEOPLE CHOOSING TO SHOP ONLINE MORE AND NOT IN THE MALLS AS MUCH, THERE IS ANY INCREASED DELIVERY OF PRODUCTS TO HOMES, AND LOGISTICS FIRMS ARE BENEFITING.” CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 53


CBNME

REAL ESTATE

VALUE PROPOSITION IN CONVERSATION WITH

TREVOR HARDWICK

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER, SELECT GROUP Tell us about the overall role you play in Select Group? As Chief Operations Officer, my main responsibilities are the development and asset management functions of Select Group. With an extensive real estate development, hospitality, and retail portfolio operating within the UAE, the UK and other parts of Europe, interactions with key internal and external stakeholders are a priority to ensure the success of the business and 15 Northside, Bedroom

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alignment with Select Group’s objectives. Depending on the asset class e.g. green field site, brown field site, operating asset etc. and where we sit in the development cycle (acquisition, design, construction, asset handover and exit) my time and focuses are adjusted accordingly. A large part of the work is removing obstacles to success through continuous interactions with our internal teams such as projects, marketing, finance, and customer service and our strategic

partners such as IHG, Jumeirah, Accor, Turner Townsend, Aedas, Killa Design, Perkins Wills, Alec, Savills, CBRE etc Tell us what are your goals and objectives and how does it align with Select Group’s overall plans for the year? 2020 was a difficult period for all industries, particularly hospitality and retail with a focus on cost management and efficiencies. Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021 has shown strong signs of recovery in the UAE in no small part due to the UAE’s leadership. Given this and Select Group’s focus on growth from 2021 onwards, my main focus and objectives will be aligned with the execution of that vision and creating clearly defined deliverables. These deliverables will include setting and managing budgets across all our assets and a heavy focus on establishing teams to deliver over 1 million sqft of new developments that we intend to launch in the Business Bay area in 2021. Partner selection will play a key role as we aim to select partners that can deliver not just on the 2021 projects but also the 6 million sqft developement currently under design, which is expected to launch over the coming two years. >>> WWW.CBNME.COM


VALUE PROPOSITION | IN CONVERSATION WITH TREVOR HARDWICK

“2020 WAS A DIFFICULT PERIOD FOR ALL INDUSTRIES IN PARTICULAR HOSPITALITY AND RETAIL WITH A FOCUS ON COST MANAGEMENT AND EFFICIENCIES.”

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CBNME

REAL ESTATE

Tell us how Select Group’s new projects are elevating the company in the UAE market? Since 2002, Select Group has created a very strong reputation for delivering quality and value, with a key focus on constrained locations and waterfront views. As we close in on our 20th anniversary within the UAE, we will continue with the same ethos in new locations such as Business Bay and Emirates Hills, bringing new brands and fresh ideas to the market with the same level of detail and eye for quality that ensured the success of the likes of Jumeirah Living Marina Gate and Studio One. Again, key partner selection plays a significant role in the business with Select Group being actively involved in projects post completion with initiatives such as community management portals implemented to ensure completed projects are well managed and retain their value proposition. Our aim is to ensure added value through the development cycle and retained value after handover for all our customers through active management of our projects alongside our partners.

15 Northside, Kitchen

In terms of operations, how have things changed since your appointment as the COO? Select Group has had a longestablished track record of delivery and quality and since joining in 2013 the aim has been to continue in the same vein, whilst refining and improving on everything we do. As the business has grown further into additional locations and assets classes so too has the company’s processes, policies, procedures and reliance on technology to

15 Northside, Living room

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“AS WE CLOSE IN ON OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITHIN THE UAE, WE WILL CONTINUE WITH THE SAME ETHOS IN NEW LOCATIONS SUCH AS BUSINESS BAY AND EMIRATES HILLS, BRINGING NEW BRANDS AND FRESH IDEAS TO THE MARKET WITH THE SAME LEVEL OF DETAIL AND EYE FOR QUALITY THAT ENSURED THE SUCCESS OF THE LIKES OF JUMEIRAH LIVING MARINA GATE AND STUDIO ONE.” efficiently manage the growth. Prior implementation of the Yardi ERP system to manage the financials, CRM, DCS, workflows, budgeting and customer service and more recently the implementation of SalesForce to actively manage the sales function has ensured we stay ahead of the competition and manage our widespread portfolio. Another focus is to keep key competencies in house to ensure accountability, quality control and knowledge. The further you expand, and the wider the range of interests you invest in, the greater the chance of complications arising. However, by retaining key people and refining processes and structures we can scale operations effectively as and when required using both an inhouse and outsource model.

What are the future plans in place for Select Group? Any new projects in the pipeline? As we enter a growth cycle Select Group is well established to take advantage which makes for an exciting future. As stated previously we have over 1 million sqft of residential projects set to launch in 2021 including the recently launched 15 Northside, Business Bay which is due for completion in 2022. We are also looking to enter the ultra-luxury development category with some exciting partnerships, locations, and developments soon to be announced. Ongoing is over 6 million sqft of developments in the design stage which will ensure we retain our position of one of the leading developers in the UAE synonymous with WWW.CBNME.COM


VALUE PROPOSITION | IN CONVERSATION WITH TREVOR HARDWICK

waterfront developments. As we focus more and more on upcoming areas such as Business Bay which we believe offers a lot of value to buyers. We are also about to launch a boutique residential development in Marylebone, London to service customer requests for properties in the UK’s capital. How important is Health & Safety in an COVID-19 pandemic era and what measures have been introduced from the group to help reduce the risks cause by COVID-19? Firstly, it must be said the UAE government has proven to be incredibly progressive and ahead of the curve compared to other countries around the world in tackling CoVid-19 since day one. They acted quickly and decisively; being one of the first countries in the world to go into lock down, but then also being one of the first out of it. From our perspective the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is of

paramount importance to us. We took all the Co-Vid 19 protocols and guidelines very seriously and followed them to the letter of the law. Be that working for home in the early stages of the pandemic, to social distancing, avoiding unnecessary travel and transport risks or fully sterilizing our office on a number of occasion when people started to return to work. We made sure everyone’s safety was our priority. What are some of the key lessons that you have learned from the pandemic and how has it positively affected your performance and also the Group’s performance? Life is short, and you never what is around the corner. As a leadership team we believe we demonstrated great agility, flexibility, and responsiveness in unprecedented times. We made a number of key decisions at the onset of the pandemic, whether that meant pausing some developments or

Edge to Enterprise A new approach to Industrial and Infrastructure Monitoring & Control

aveva.com @avevagroup linkedin.com/company/aveva

accelerating others, closing some hotels, while deciding to keep others open or supporting our retail partners with rental holidays ensuring their survival. Making those calls in a quick, yet informed manner, allowed us to mitigate the impact and come out of the other side in a stronger position. Overall, my view remains the same both in good times and bad, remain flexible, support each other and make informed decisions quickly to ensure impacts are mitigated. And if you make the wrong decision quickly recognize it and fix it.

“ONGOING IS OVER 6 MILLION SQFT OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THE DESIGN STAGE WHICH WILL ENSURE WE RETAIN OUR POSITION OF ONE OF THE LEADING DEVELOPERS IN THE UAE SYNONYMOUS WITH WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENTS.”


CBNME

MACHINERY

BREAKING A HABIT B MB Crusher reveals that during difficult times it seems easier to ‘’just get on with it’’, trying to adjust to accommodate the way we always did things 58 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

ut last year has taught everyone to adapt, which inevitably led to embracing changes. This brings us to the two completely different job sites we witness. They took on MB Crusher attachments and in a very short amount of time they changed their way of work, for the better. In the case of Legarza Exploration & Construction, they’ve specialized in WWW.CBNME.COM


BREAKING A HABIT | ‘’JUST GET ON WITH IT’’

remote locations job-sites since 1992. With nearly 29 years of expertise under their belt, they know exactly how to tackle a site without roads, they are well aware of the struggle of bringing their equipment in, the time and energy it takes to build the road to reach the actual site. Their meticulous planning had helped them succeed in the past, even if it hasn’t been always full proof or cheap. And then they reached a point when waiting for the material to arrive at their remote site made them lose money. That dreadful moment when the price increase in purchasing aggregate has forced them to turn down some jobs. Costs and time have a huge impact on pricing a job and when you have always done the job in a certain way you can easily do the math and realise if you are no longer earning as much as you used to. Instead of assuming that the good old ways would come back and carry on as they were doing, they realised they needed tools, a crusher and a screener with portability so that it could reach the site easily, even where the roads are not yet made. They needed MB Crusher’s units! When we talked to Bill Arthur, the company’s owner, he was quick to admit that they still were “pretty new to the bucket”. But, he has already seen the benefits it’s brought to their job site.

When we asked him to explain the benefits he told us the buckets have helped them “save time and money, primarily on [their] budget” by eliminating material purchasing and handling expenses. So how long does it take to break a habit? As long as the moment you decide to improve! Legarza is now using what’s available to create soft roads to reach their jobs site. With MB’s BF80.3 crusher bucket they reduce the larger stones and river rock from the bank to either a ¾ minus or a 3 in minus, and the MB-S18 screening

bucket is used to separate the fine portion laying around, faster and cheaper process. The other job site we viewed didn’t have a huge distance to travel or the lack of roads, quite the opposite in fact as it is located in one of the largest commercial port in India. Get the job done quickly is the requirement here, and the MB Crusher screening bucket is the ideal machine to help to keep clear the loading dock from materials while reducing the number of machinery and operators. As they had the backhoe that was previously used just to move the material around, they installed the MB’s attachment and instantly upgraded their BHL into a screening plant. Now, when the material is mixed in wrong ratios during the unloading process or when lumps forms due to moisture penetration, they just use the screening bucket and in a matter of minutes, the material is processed and reclaimed. Moreover, the screening bucket can be easily moved from one place to another, once the job is finished, to allow the continuous passage of lorries, trucks and containers coming and going from the port area. How long does it take to change the way you operate? Just the realisation that the job is done a lot faster! At the port now they ensure maximum productivity, faster than before, and the job is done better. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a wrap.

CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021 | 59


CBNME

MACHINERY

Buyer Confidence Ritchie Bros. continues online success with a 40 per cent bidder increase at Dubai auction

R

itchie Bros.’ entirely online auctions continue to drive strong results for consignors around the world and the UAE. At the company’s recent auction, the world’s largest machinery and heavy equipment auctioneer sold over 1,380 items through its Dubai auction site to online buyers worldwide. The two-day auction in March attracted more than 1,470 registered bidders, an increase of 40 per cent compared to the same month in 2020. Fully integrated demographic targeting strategies and digital marketing campaigns were key contributors to the auction’s success, attracting over 51,510 equipment searches on its web portal from around the Gulf region and further afield, leading to strong pricing for consignors. “As our auctions are held entirely online, we are really able to focus our digital capabilities and demonstrate to sellers how Ritchie Bros. is uniquely positioned to extend our international reach into new markets using our easyto-use Online Timed Auction system,” said Eduard Faig, regional sales manager

60 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

at Ritchie Bros. Middle East, India and Africa. “We are committed to making further innovations in our online experience. International demand for heavy machinery is currently high. At Ritchie Bros., we keep close track of the data to optimise our campaigns and advise our customers on the best selling and buying options.” In March, the online-only event attracted registrants from 105 countries and the highest number of new registered bidders for March auctions in the last five years, with an increase of five per cent. Egypt emerged as the second-largest buyer market in the Middle Eastern region after the UAE for the first time, further demonstrating the effectiveness of Ritchie Bros.’ wide-reaching digital strategy. Particular categories with strong price performance included hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, crawler tractors, motor graders, all-terrain cranes, rough terrain cranes, vibratory rollers and articulated dump trucks. Every item was sold without minimum bids or

reserve prices. Bidder interest in sport utility vehicles and truck tractors also saw an upswing compared to March 2020, with price performance improving by over 40 per cent. “Our advanced online infrastructure successfully connects these consignors to buyers by expanding their global reach and facilitates cross-border sales. Our in-house shipping services give overseas buyers more confidence and ensure the smooth transportation of assets to buyer locations anywhere in the world. Egypt is a good example of how our Online Timed Auction format can open and expand new lucrative markets for sellers. Our team is focusing all its efforts on our upcoming auctions to further build on this success,” concluded Faig. The next Dubai auction will take place in June, with bidding opening on June 22 and ending at staggered times on June 29 and 30, 2021. The auction is unreserved, meaning all items will be sold to the highest bidders, without minimum bids or reserve prices, resulting in the guaranteed sale of equipment. The auction will be held online with all the auction items listed on Ritchie Bros.’ website with multiple descriptions, images and other information to assist buyers. Interested buyers can also visit Ritchie Bros.’ Dubai site in Jebel Ali Free Zone to view items in person from midJune 2021.

“AS OUR AUCTIONS ARE HELD ENTIRELY ONLINE, WE ARE REALLY ABLE TO FOCUS OUR DIGITAL CAPABILITIES AND DEMONSTRATE TO SELLERS HOW RITCHIE BROS. IS UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO EXTEND OUR INTERNATIONAL REACH INTO NEW MARKETS USING OUR EASY-TO-USE ONLINE TIMED AUCTION SYSTEM.”

WWW.CBNME.COM


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CBNME

EXPO 2020

PIVOTAL ACHIEVEMENT

ServeU to source Human Resources and staffing services for the United Kingdom’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

S

erveU, a subsidiary company of Union Properties, has been awarded the Human Resources (HR) and staffing services contract for the United Kingdom’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The UK Department has been awarded the contract for the Pavilion for International Trade. As part of the collaboration, ServeU, along with its subcontracting partners Talents UAE, Big Fish, and Beyond limits, will be responsible for providing overall HR and staffing services, including Pavilion and guide management, cleaning, security, administration, and logistics. 62 | CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS NEWS ME | MAY 2021

Services will be provided to the UK’s Department for International Trade and supporting government departments who will be participating in the showpiece event starting this October. Gary Reader, General Manager, ServeU, said: “This opportunity to be part of the UK Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 is a pivotal achievement for ServeU. The HR and staffing services contract is of significant importance, particularly given hospitality is the essence of any World Expo. We look forward to drawing on our integrated Facilities Management experience, gathered over the last three decades, to deliver premium quality services for guests and visitors to the Pavilion.” The stunning UK Pavilion, designed by

brand experience specialists Avantgarde with British artist and designer Es Devlin, inspired by Prof Stephen Hawking’s ‘Breakthrough Message’. A must-see highlight of the Expo 2020 Dubai campus occupies a prime location in the Opportunity District, near the central Al Wasl Dome and Plaza. Laura Faulkner OBE, UK Commissioner-General, said: “We are pleased to be working with ServeU to provide a worldclass experience for visitors to the UK Pavilion as we show the best of the UK to the world in one place.” Expo 2020 Dubai is projected to attract millions of visits over a period of six months, with 70 percent of visitors expected to come from outside the UAE. WWW.CBNME.COM


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Profile for BNC Publishing

Construction Business News ME - May 2021  

Construction Business News ME - May 2021  

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