Page 1

Licensed by Dubai Development Authority


November 2019



Early Adopter




November 2019











The briefing



RHC Summit

The big picture

Big Project ME sits down for an exclusive chat with Bishoy Azmy, CEO of ASGC, to learn about the company’s constant evolution and its take on receiving challenging projects






Progress report

Corporations in the MENA region talk about sustainability initiatives and digitisation processes


Providing a wrap-up of the biggest local, regional and international construction news stories


Market report


News analysis

Chesterton’s report suggests that Abu Dhabi’s real-estate industry is close to bottoming out, due to a slowdown in Q3 2019

Jason Hunt from Serco analyses why smart transport networks are crucial to Dubai’s ambition and vision

In profile Bishoy Azmy


Project profile Jewel of the Orient

Big Project ME speaks to Depa Interiors to find out more about how the hospitality fit-out specialist helped deliver the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah on time and on schedule

Angitha Pradeep covers the inaugural retail and hospitality construction summit organised by CPI Trade Media

The industry’s brightest minds share their thoughts on a variety of topics and issues impacting the construction industry

Big Project ME, in association with ProTenders, provides the biggest tenders for the month of November 2019

Millennium Executive Apartments Mont Rose operational as of October 2019, say Deyaar Properties and Millennium Hotels

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019




Technology takes centre stage


ith the fourth edition of the ME BIM Summit around the corner as I write this column, I’ve been preoccupied with thinking about how rapidly technology has gained a foothold in our construction industry. Just looking at how the line-up of panellists and speakers at the summit has changed over the last four years is a clear indication of how companies and organisations within the industry have realised that technology can be used to improve performance and efficiencies, while also reducing costs. Our cover interview for this month’s issue exemplifies that. Bishoy Azmy has long been an advocate for greater use of technology in construction, and his actions over the last few years back that up. Not only has the entire ASGC organisation – from top to bottom – fully embraced the power of BIM, but it is extensively exploring new technologies

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

and methodologies that will help improve the way it operates and delivers projects. However, ASGC isn’t alone in this, with plenty of other contractors, consultants and even developers jumping aboard the technology bandwagon. In conversations around the BIM Summit and at other events, it’s clear that this is increasingly becoming a focal point. In fact, at CPI Trade Media’s Access and Handling Summit, organised by our sister publication Construction Machinery Middle East, I was quite surprised to hear a presentation about how BIM can be used in the powered access sector. I had no idea that the technology could even be applied to integrate construction machinery with project planning, but this illustrates just how impactful the technology can be when used in the correct way.

Gavin Davids

GrOup EditOr gavin.davids@cpitrademedia.com @MECN_Gavin MEConstructionNews me-construction-news

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Licensed by Dubai Development Authority


November 2019



Group MANAGING DIrector Raz Islam raz.islam@cpitrademedia.com eDItorIAL DIrector Vijaya Cherian vijaya.cherian@cpitrademedia.com

Editorial Group eDItor Gavin Davids gavin.davids@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5480

Early Adopter


JuNIor reporter Angitha Pradeep angitha.pradeep@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5479 SuB eDItor Aelred Doyle aelred.doyle@cpitrademedia.com

Advertising coMMercIAL DIrector Jude Slann jude.slann@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5714 HeAD oF KeY proJectS Andy Pitois andy.pitois@cpitrademedia.com +44 7816 843610


Big Project ME has an exclusive chat with Bishoy Azmy, CEO of ASGC, about how he’s driving his company into a digitally-enabled future

Design Art DIrector Simon Cobon simon.cobon@cpitrademedia.com DeSIGNer Percival Manalaysay percival.manalaysay@cpitrademedia.com

Photography MEConstructionNews.com @meconstructionn MEConstructionNews me-construction-news

pHotoGrApHer Maksym Poriechkin maksym.poriechkin@cpitrademedia.com

Marketing MArKetING MANAGer Sheena Sapsford sheena.sapsford@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5498 ADMINIStrAtIoN executIve Zaara Khan zaara.khan@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5470

Circulation & Production proDuctIoN MANAGer Vipin V. Vijay vipin.vijay@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5713 DIStrIButIoN MANAGer Phinson Mathew George phinson.george@cpitrademedia.com +971 4 375 5476 The publisher of this magazine has made every effort to ensure the content is accurate on the date of publication. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the publisher and editor. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content are published in good faith. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publisher in writing. Publication licensed by Dubai Development Authority to CPI Trade Publishing FZ LLC. Printed by Al Salam Printing Press LLC. CPI Trade Media. PO Box 13700, Dubai, UAE. +971 4 375 5470 cpitrademedia.com © Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

Web Development WeB DeveLoper Sadiq Siddiqui sadiq.siddiqui@cpitrademedia.com FouNDer Dominic De Sousa (1959-2015)

Etihad Towers | Abu Dhabi | UAE








Arabtec Construction CEO Boyd Merrett resigns


As someone who moved to Dubai without a driving licence but has subsequently realised that owning one is essential if you want


to make the most of

Master plan for 7.1m sqm mega project in KSA revealed

to learn the power of

the city, I have had mobility the hard way. Thankfully, I have now passed and am Insight: Why you should be moving to a cloud-based platform

considering my first vehicle and I would love it to be a new Tesla!


Well, that probably

Abu Dhabi Ports breaks ground on Marsa Mina waterfront project

isn’t going to happen any time soon but this (read ‘Masdar City now

offering Teslas for carsharing’ on MECN) could be the next best thing. Car-sharing, and the cloud-based tech CONSULTANT

that powers it, really

Savills adds Building and Consultancy services to its portfolio

is a great idea. In fact, in an ideal world we wouldn’t need to own a car, we could just hop into the next one that is available. It also seems like a good way to encourage people to try electric vehicles for


Emirates RDF breaks ground on UAQ waste-toenergy treatment plant November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

Righting the Balance: Industry reacts to dubai’s real estate reforms

themselves. Plug me in! Name withheld by request

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque | Abu Dhabi | UAE




Sustainable Credibility MIDDLE EAST

Yves Manghardt and David Anderson from Nestlé Middle East sit down with Big Project ME to talk about the organisation’s sustainability initiatives in the region and explain how it’s striving for zero net emissions by 2050 November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com


ustainability has been the key topic of conversation in the past couple of years in the UAE, regarding where the country is headed. This has been underpinned by a large number of private and public projects that have taken off in the country and are helping it move towards a future focused more on renewable energy. Related to this, Nestlé Middle East, in collaboration with the Shams Dubai Initiative, recently inaugurated the UAE’s largest ground-mounted private solar plant at its Al Maha factory in Dubai.

The site houses 20,000 PV panels, generating 7.2GWh of electricity and eliminating 4.5m kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. Moreover, the 45,000sqm plant will enable the manufacturing unit to run on 85% renewable energy, while the electricity generated annually is equivalent to eliminating carbon emissions of a thousand passenger cars in a year. Nestlé ME’s two other manufacturing sites in the UAE, combined with this plant, now have a total of 28,000 PV panels that can generate 10GWh of electricity per year. Yves Manghardt, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Middle East, and


Sustainable commitment All 4,200 Nestlé facilities worldwide are getting rid of singleuse plastics and have already done so at all sites in the Middle East.

Defined roadmap Nestlé has committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, and has a defined roadmap for the Middle East.

David Anderson, technical director, Nestlé Middle East and head of Dairy Operations Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA), sat down with Big Project ME to talk about how this initiative will have a positive impact on Nestlé ME and the region. Manghardt says, “Our primary benefit remains achieving our commitment to society and delivering on our promise to continue to reduce our carbon footprint. Our three projects in Dubai will allow the elimination of six million kg of CO2 annually, and will help further achieve our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. In fact, aiming for 100% renewable energy is critical to be able to deliver on our global commitment to zero net emissions by 2050.” When asked to expand on the global commitment to zero net emissions by 2050, Manghardt says it’s crucial to recognise the importance of multi-sectoral partnerships in order to realise such ambitions. “It is creating shared value for all the partners involved, for the environment and society at large. The installation of solar panels in our Dubai factories represents a positive contribution to the Shams Dubai initiative, in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.” Anderson adds, “As a global food and beverages company, we are heavily impacted by climate change; reducing greenhouse gas emissions, switching to renewable energy sources and taking other actions to mitigate the effects of climate change is necessary. We are also committed to pioneering alternate materials, shaping a waste-free future and driving new behaviours.” In September 2019, Nestlé inaugurated its Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences to develop sustainable packaging materials and collaborate with industry partners to scale up research and innovation. In April 2019, a coalition comprising government, NGOs, and global and local private companies (including Nestlé) signed a pledge with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to develop a circular economy model, in order to combat plastic and packaging waste pollution

Our three projects in Dubai will allow elimination of six million kilograms of CO2 annually, and will help further achieve our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets” by improving collection in the UAE. Moreover, Nestlé is getting rid of all single-use plastics at all its 4,200 facilities, including in the Middle East. Coming back to the project at hand, Manghardt says a solar power lease agreement was signed in 2017 with two partners – investment firm Yellow Door Energy and ALEC Energy – which allows Nestlé ME to benefit from this project with no upfront

capital investment. The excess energy will be distributed to the DEWA grid, in line with the Shams Dubai Initiative. He is quick to point out that similar solar projects have already been launched in Jordan and are being explored for other countries in the region as well. “Nestlé is the first multinational company to publish forward-looking commitments to society in the Middle East, in its regional ‘Nestlé in Society – Creating Shared Value’ report in 2015. This has continued until now, where we share our progress to date and define our commitments for 2020.” He concludes: “We are accelerating our actions to tackle plastic waste and make a significant difference everywhere we operate, working with governments, NGOs, suppliers, waste managers, retailers and other companies to take meaningful action. “Our vision is that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter. We are working hard to deliver on it and help achieve a waste-free future.”

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Industry 4.0 MIDDLE EAST

Vidya Ramnath from Emerson Automation Solutions discusses digital transformation in the oil & gas industry, and how the organisation is driving operational and energy efficiency through targeted technology solutions

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com


aving completed 10 months as president of Emerson Automation Solutions for MEA, Vidya Ramnath sits down with Big Project ME to explain the policies and initiatives the technology provider has adopted in the region, to stay ahead of the Industry 4.0 curve. Ramnath explains: “The key is to build and sustain a business that understands our customers’ challenges and positions itself to help overcome these challenges. We’re currently very focused on ramping up our local presence with strategic customers so we can be agile and responsive to their needs. Emerson operates the Middle East and Africa business of around 74 countries through the Dubai

headquarters. It also hosts one of three major manufacturing hubs for Emerson in the region. UAE-manufactured products for Emerson are also being delivered and installed into various users across the Middle East and Africa.” Any solution vital to the realisation of sustainability involves technology, and Ramnath says Emerson has collaborated with prominent oil & gas customers in the region to help them achieve top quartile performance in capital projects. Aside from that, the firm has also aided in digitally transforming operations in the areas of safety, reliability, energy and emissions, as well as production, she adds. Emerson’s Plantweb Digital Ecosystem is a portfolio of transformational technologies, software and services that provide relevant personnel with


Digital future Ramnath says Emerson has developed a roadmap for the digital future that is fully aligned with its clients’ business objectives.

74 Emerson

operates in 74 countries through its Dubai office

enhanced insight to enable actions that drive operational excellence. Ramnath says the digital transformation journey is not a shortterm fix. “We develop a roadmap for the digital future that is fully aligned with our client’s business objectives, current state, and the desired future state. We also leverage existing investments, as there is a lot of digitisation that already exists with our end users – especially with those who have been using our technologies over the last several years. Moreover, we ensure scalability as our clients expand and extend their digital transformation into more areas, allowing all technologies to integrate seamlessly. Additionally, we manage change by supporting their workforce through skills enhancement, to help them accept change and embrace new work processes,” she stresses. Ramnath says the priority is to engage with end users to understand their drivers. She is quick to point out that Emerson’s Digital Transformation solutions span the entire value chain, from sub-surface to distribution. “These connect all stakeholders, as it enables them to make informed real-time decisions which encompass production, HSSE, reliability and plant availability, and energy management. We constantly evaluate local value chains to enhance the usage of local suppliers as part of driving our National Localisation objectives. Furthermore, we place a strong emphasis on upskilling and knowledge transfer; the Educational Services business in the Middle East operated in Dubai drives awareness, understanding and usage of state-of-the-art automation technology towards our customers.” Talking about other GCC countries, Ramnath says the firm has a manufacturing footprint in Saudi Arabia that it continues to develop and invest in. “We also have a strong diversity and inclusion programme in Saudi Arabia which, coupled with our global initiative around Women in STEM, is helping us develop and integrate both Saudi nationals and women into Emerson in KSA. There’s a lot of emphasis being put around developing emerging talent. Emerson’s facility at the Dhahran Techno Valley, next to King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia,

routinely works on developmental projects with research scholars, and organises hackathons to drive rapid prototyping of automation solutions through local engineering talent in Saudi.” Asked about the firm’s approach to educating the market, Ramnath says the focus is on defining the problem and building specific solutions that can drive quantifiable benefit and ROI.

We have a strong diversity and inclusion programme in Saudi Arabia which, coupled with our global initiative around Women in STEM, is helping us develop and integrate both Saudi nationals and women into Emerson in KSA”

“But apart from this, we believe that a crucial aspect of digital transformation is understanding the people element around technology investments and driving process management and upskilling programmes, which is necessary in order to understand its true benefit.” Having said that, a challenge that needs to be addressed in digital transformation is the upskilling of the existing workforce, as well as driving change management best practices to effectively adopt and leverage digital tools, Ramnath says. “Although the industry has committed to the adoption of digital technology and Industry 4.0, we often see that adoption is held back due to the lack of pace regarding iteration and revision in specifications and regulations.” She concludes: “Over the next 24 months, we specifically see the large-scale use of analytics in order to drive asset reliability, operational efficiency and energy efficiency. “Moreover, we expect a continued uptick around Industry 4.0 and the progress of digital transformation goals that have been laid out by various end users. This will lead to their targeted technology investments in the automation space.”

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019





UK to have two new greenhouses by 2020

Construction starts on new FC Barcelona stadium

Renewable energy investor Greencoat Capital has announced a $148m project to build the UK’s largest greenhouses, near Norwich and Bury St Edmunds. Construction will commence immediately, and the project is scheduled to be finished in 2020. Greencoat Capital said closedloop heat pumps will transfer the heat from the nearby Anglian water recycling centres to the greenhouses, which it says provide ideal growing conditions for a range of plants and vegetables. Expected to create 360 permanent jobs once operational, the greenhouses will reduce the carbon footprint of food produce by 75% compared to European equivalents.


IMKAN completes boutique hotel in Morocco Abu Dhabi firm IMKAN has delivered the Villa Diyafa Boutique Hotel & Spa in Rabat, Morocco. The developer says the Zyriab-inspired hospitality project has been completed and will be ready to open its doors on October 16. The five-star hotel has a builtup area of 3,700sqm and boasts 38 deluxe rooms. Located in the embassy district of Rabat, it combines Moroccan architecture with Andalusian highlights, with contemporary and Moorish design combined to conceptualise a theme inspired by the life and art of Zyriab.

Japan’s Nikken Sekki has announced that preparatory construction on FC Barcelona’s new stadium, the Futr Camp Nou, has broken ground. The firm said the existing stadium is in the process of being expanded and renovated at a cost of $381.1m. Construction will be completed in phases over four years and will take place both during and between football seasons. Scheduled to be completed for the 2024/2025 season, a total of 41 architects and engineers from Nikken and 27 subcontractors are currently working on the project at the firm’s branch office in Barcelona.



MGE unveils resort project in Greece

MOL Group builds $1.3bn petrochemical plant

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE), in partnership with GEK TERNA, is launching the first integrated resort and entertainment venue in Greece, INSPIRE Athens, in Hellinikon, Athens. This phase of the $8.82bn Hellinikon Project will comprise a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention centre, shopping malls, F&B outlets and a comprehensive mix of premium amenities. The new project is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs in the region during and after construction. The development is also expected to increase international tourism in the Attica region by at least 10%, MGE stated.

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com


Jacobs joins Germany’s SeudLink programme US engineering firm Jacobs has been appointed by transmission system operators TenneT and TransnetBW to work on Germany’s $11bn SuedLink power line project. The firm will support the laying of underground cables, which will transport wind power from northern Germany to the south. Jacob’s scope of work will include programme and contract management, planning and approvals, stakeholder engagements and logistics. The project is required to meet its target of 80% of energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Hungarian oil & gas company MOL Group said the petrochemical plant will be located in Tiszaújváros, Hungary and is being built in partnership with Evonik and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. The government of Hungary has provided investment aid of $142m, a combination of corporate tax allowance and cash investment grant. The plant is the largest investment in MOL’s history. Upon completion, it will be able to produce 200,000 tons of polyols annually. It is expected to begin production in 2021 and will provide 200 permanent jobs.




01 05 06






09 11

08 10




Siemens wins wind power project in Egypt 07 AUSTRIA

Railway link under construction in Alps

One of the largest phases of construction on the world’s longest underground railway link below the Alps, between Austria and Italy, is underway. Under construction since 2008, the railway link has a length of 64km. The construction of the full tunnel is expected to be completed by the end of 2027 and will provide a key trade link between Austria and the European Union. The lead developer on the project, Austrian contractor Porr, also stated that it has enlisted two Liebherr Betomix 3.0 mixing plants to produce concrete for this part of the project.

Renewable power generation company Lekela has awarded Siemens Gamesa an EPC contract for a 250MW wind project in Egypt. The West Bakr Wind project is located 30km northwest of Ras el Ghareb, in the Gulf of Suez. It is expected to produce over 1,000GWh per year and will power an estimated 350,000 homes, reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 550,000 tonnes annually. Siemens Gamesa will install 96 SG 2.6-114 turbines, and will also provide longterm maintenance through a 15-year service agreement. The first wind turbines will be delivered in mid-2020 and the project is set to begin commercial operations in 2021.


Kuwait invests $200m in China

Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund has become the first foreign investor in China’s state-of-the-art high-speed rail network, contributing $200m to a $337m highspeed rail investment fund organised by China’s largest investment bank, CICC. The fund will invest in a 300km line connecting Jinan and Qingdao, two major cities in eastern China’s Shandong province. The fund will reportedly get a 7.16% stake in the rail line in return. Construction of the line cost about $8.4bn and was completed last December. This is the first time a major foreign investor has participated in funding for China’s vast high-speed rail network.

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019




Alba nears construction completion 10 SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia invests $23bn in projects

Four major well-being projects have been initiated in Riyadh. King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art are being developed as part of an urban planning and civil engineering programme to transform the city into one of the most liveable in the world. The four projects are being managed by the RCRC to complement the Saudi Vision 2030 ‘Quality of Life’ programme, and are expected to deliver a number of social, economic and environmental benefits to the city, as well as create many jobs. Construction of King Salman Park alone will generate around 50,000 jobs, followed by thousands more service jobs.

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has announced that it is gearing up to become the world’s largest aluminium smelter, as the Line 6 Expansion Project nears completion. It hit the 50% milestone in May 2019. Alba is now one of the world’s 1 million metric tonne smelters – upon completion in 2019, the Line 6 Expansion Project will boost Alba’s annual production by 540,000 metric tonnes, bringing total production capacity to 1.5 million metric tonnes per year. Alba has also achieved an outstanding safety milestone of more than 11 million working-hours without lost-time injury (LTI).


Madinat Al Irfan Theatre completes work Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) announced that it has successfully completed the construction work package of Madinat Al Irfan Theatre, one of the biggest in the region, as part of its Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project. The three-storey building can accommodate up to 3,200 people and includes 19 separate conference rooms, in addition to an auditorium with a capacity of 456 people. Equipped with facilities and tourism assets, OCEC will become the preferred choice for various events in the sultanate and will strengthen efforts to provide new job opportunities to Omanis.


CSCEC completes 392km highway 13 INDIA

NEC wins Mumbai smart city project

NEC Technologies India (NECTI) announced that it has been selected by Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation in Mumbai, as the master system integrator for the smart city project in the twin cities. Scheduled to be completed in 2020, NECTI will also provide operation and maintenance for the following five years. NECTI will implement a smart city operations centre, environmental and flood sensors, as well as an intelligent traffic management system incorporating AI-based video analytics and the integration of the smart city operations centre with other existing systems, such as an intelligent transport management system and parking management systems.

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

China State Construction Engineering Corporation has announced the completion of the 392km Sukkur-Multan motorway in Pakistan, built in what it calls a recordbreaking time of three years. The highway helps link Multan to the commercial centre of Karachi, facilitating exports. Part of the longer Peshawar-to-Karachi Motorway project, the highway is the largest infrastructure project under the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative. Reports stated that 28,900 people worked on the road, more than 90% of them Pakistani nationals, while CSCEC reportedly used drones to monitor the construction.


Stroytransgaz wins museum complexes contract Engineering firm Stroytransgaz, owned by Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, has won a $1.9bn contract to build four museum complexes in Russia by 2023, according to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. The first stage of the project will see cultural complexes built in several Russian border regions, with most of the funds for the project provided by Rosneftegaz, a state-owned company. The project is said to be part of President Vladimir Putin’s plans to improve access to the arts, education and enrichment opportunities for local communities in each region of the country.

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Industry outlook

Abu Dhabi real estate market close to bottoming out


Chestertons report finds that downward corrections in Q2 2019 appear to have slowed in Q3


he downward corrections witnessed in Abu Dhabi’s real estate industry during Q2 2019 appear to have slowed in Q3, which could suggest that the market is close to bottoming out, says a report by Chestertons, an international real estate

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

services firm. Sale prices and rental rates marginally declined during Q3, with the average apartment sales price declining 1% while villas have shown no movement, the firm said in ‘Observer: Abu Dhabi Market Report Q3 2019’. It added that the same was true of the rental market, where average rental rates for apartments fell by 1% while villas remained static from the previous quarter. In the sales market, apartment prices remained resilient, with a 1% softening from the previous quarter. In the villa sales market, there was no price movement from Q2 2019. Al Reef and Al Ghadeer showed modest declines, dropping 1%. According to Chestertons, the apartment rental rate declined 1% overall, as demand for affordable communities continued since tenants remain price-conscious. As

a result of this trend, Corniche Road and Saadiyat Island had the highest rental declines of 4% and 3% respectively. Bucking the trend, Mohammed bin Zayed City and Al Raha Beach had a modest increase in rental rates in Q3. In Mohammed bin Zayed City, a one-bedroom apartment increased by 5% to Dh40,000 per annum. Several apartment locations remained static q-o-q, including Muroor, Al Khalidiya, Khalifa City and Al Ghadeer. The capital’s villa market had no obvious movement in rates compared to Q2. Al Raha Gardens was the anomaly, as it was the only community to have a rental decline, particularly in the four- and five-bedroom category, with softening of 3% and 2% respectively.







QoQ Change




-1% 0%














-1% 0% Apartments


Al Ghadeer

Al Reef

Al Raha Gardens

Khalifa City

Al Reem Island

Al Khalidiya



Villa Sales Q3 2019

QoQ Movement

1,400 1,400

965 975

Saadiyat Island

Al Reem Island

Saadiyat Island


1,280 1,300


Al Raha Beach

700 700 Al Raha Gardens

Apartment Sales Q3 2019


-1% Al Reem Island

Apartment Sales Q2 2019

Al Raha Gardens

872 872 Khalifa City

797 814 Al Reef

695 700

Al Ghadeer





Al Raha Beach

Al Reef

Khalifa City

Al Reef


Al Ghadeer



750 740 Al Reem Island

Al Reef

Al Reem Island


Source: Propertyfinder, Chestersons





QoQ Change












-4% Al Raha Beach

Al Ghadeer

Al Reef

Al Reem Island

Saadiyat Island

Khalifa City

Al Khalidiya


Corniche Road

Muroor Area

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Smart transport

On Track to the Future MIDDLE EAST

Big Project ME speaks to Jason Hunt, commercial director at Serco Middle East, about why smart transport networks are crucial to Dubai’s ambitions and vision


ith Dubai harbouring ambitions to be a world-leading smart and sustainable city, creating a seamless and efficient transport network will be key to achieving its aims. With population figures rising exponentially – statistics released by Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC) at the end of Q2 2019 showed a growth rate of 6.1% – there is an urgent need to create a transportation network that will be able to cope with the increased strain that will be put on it. There is no doubt that Dubai’s leadership has realised that

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

101.7 million

riders used the Dubai Metro in the first half of 2019, according to the RTA

transportation will play a major role in Dubai’s development, with the emirate having the stated aim of becoming the smartest and bestconnected in the world, facilitated by IoT across key pillars, of which providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all residents is one. Transportation will have the most significant impact on the day-today lives of people when it comes to implementing the country’s ambitions, particularly public transport. With this in mind, Big Project ME speaks to Jason Hunt, commercial director at Serco Middle East, to learn how


17.5% the ratio of trips using public and shared transport almost tripled from 6% in 2006 to 17.5% in 2018

a smart transport network can be a springboard for a city’s future. “Within Dubai itself, the smart transport initiatives that are being driven by the RTA are really off the back of the Smart Dubai initiatives and its push for happiness. There is a lot of focus on customer experience, the happiness of the people, personalising the experience and ensuring that the experience you have in moving within the network is satisfactory,” he says. “At the moment, there is a big push to ensure that whatever we are doing as a city, it has the least impact on the environment as it possibly can, and that means a big move from individual transportation to mass transportation. Here in Dubai, there is a big push towards using the Metro. We’ve just had the 10-year anniversary, which is a massive achievement. For me, it’s one that allows that freedom of movement in an environmentally friendly way.” Hunt explains that a metro system is key to a smart transportation network, as it helps connect the multiple nodes of transport in a city. He points to the efforts being made by the RTA to stress ridership on the Metro, trams and water taxis, highlighting these as indicators of the availability of the network within the city. “If you see the Metro system, it’s used very regularly and has had a huge uptake over the last 10 years. A smart city will be able to integrate all those modes of transport, where you will be getting that end-to-end experience. It all comes back to that customer experience,” he asserts, adding that there are a number of ways customer experience can be improved, such as providing seamless interconnectivity to different modes of transport. “Dubai is leading the way in this regard, and Saudi Arabia is doing a good job as well in terms of building that infrastructure. It’s early days with the development they are busy building, but a big part of smart cities and smart transportation is that connectivity between urban planning and transport planning. You see those two happening together. “It’s certainly happening in Dubai, but from another point of view,

Dubai is leading the way in this regard, and Saudi Arabia is doing a good job as well in terms of building that infrastructure. It’s early days with the development they are busy building, but a big part of smart cities and smart transportation is that connectivity between urban planning and transport planning” if you take Riyadh as an example, they are investing heavily in public transportation systems – they’re building their own metro system and their own bus network. Multi-modal connectivity between the systems, all to alleviate congestion and make the experience of citizens better. “If you have been to Riyadh, the congestion and the traffic is a problem. Smart cities try to resolve that problem by introducing smart transport networks that allow connectivity – so people can move freely within the city.” While Riyadh is at the start of its journey towards becoming a smart city, Hunt highlights the work that


the RTA is doing as an indication of where Dubai is on its own journey. He explains that while the emphasis is on updating and advancing the current transport network, the authority has a much grander vision in place. “The current transport network is something that is grounded in reality, so that includes metros, buses and even some things that are slightly more advanced, such as ‘buses on demand’. Projecting that out into the future, you’re looking at autonomy and autonomous vehicles, and then really into the future, with autonomous aerial vehicles. “How a smart city progresses, and how a smart transport network progresses – to enable that to happen, you need certain infrastructure in place. Part of that better infrastructure is better WiFi – 5G – which will enable these systems to operate. So what the RTA is doing now is building that infrastructure. “First of all, it’s planning and developing that infrastructure, and then implementing it. The WiFi network is certainly being built around enabling the new modes of transport to enter into the city’s transport networks,” he explains, adding that the Internet of Things is all about connecting the physical assets to the digital network, which in turn allows operators and authorities to generate vast volumes of data that can be analysed and used to make systems run smoothly. “Serco runs the Metro system here, and we have a functional asset on the system that needs regular maintenance. The IoT allows you to connect it to a virtual network so that you can understand and analyse when the asset needs to be maintained and when it needs to be replaced in the most cost-effective way. “If you expand that to every asset in a transport system, then you start to get an idea of how the use of the Internet of Things, of big data, artificial intelligence and data analysis, can allow us to maintain those systems at the right intervals and more effectively. “For me, the IoT will transform the public services sector and how we as service providers deliver ROI for the government,” he concludes.

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019


November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com



Bishoy Azmy

“We’re on a journey, and it’s a somewhat painful journey. But it’s needed. We need to embrace technology more, we need to attract the right kind of people to the industry, and we need to see how we can remove fat” Big Project Me sits down for an exclusive chat with Bishoy azmy, ceo of ASgc, where he explains how the company’s constant evolution has turned it into the go-to contractor for duBai’s most challenging projects MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



n July 2019, Meraas announced that it had appointed ASGC, a Dubaibased contractor, to build the new Dubai Cruise Terminal at the under-construction Dubai Harbour development. The region’s first dedicated cruise port, it is expected to also be the most advanced in the Middle East when completed. The terminal will become the main hub for international cruise ships visiting or deployed in the region, with more than 27,870sqm of floor area. It will accommodate a passenger turnaround of two mega-cruise ships concurrently – approximately 15,000 guests. ASGC has been tasked with the construction of two main cruise terminal buildings positioned on a quay of approximately 1km, as well as service buildings and a central unit building, with all associated

Providing value Bishoy Azmy says that clients appreciate ASGC’s ability to use its many resources to deliver challenging projects.

10 residential

buildings on the Bluewaters Island project

fit-out works, external works and fixtures, fittings and equipment. Being awarded projects of this size, scale and ambition has become something of a recurring theme for the construction group, which offers its clients a range of vertically integrated services, ranging from general contracting all the way through to offsite manufacturing and production. By owning the majority of its supply chain and using in-house resources, the company is able to exert a high level of control over these complex projects, ensuring a level of quality, consistency and timely delivery that many of its competitors may not be able to achieve.

It is because of this reliability that ASGC has had a hit-list of high-profile projects completed in recent months – the Coca-Cola Arena, the Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, the residential buildings on Bluewaters Island and many more. Furthermore, in addition to the Dubai Cruise Terminal in 2019, it has also been appointed as main contractor for the Address Harbour Point Hotel on Creek Island Dubai, and continues to work on the Sustainability Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, ahead of its scheduled handover date next year. “These are projects and areas that we go to as end users and residents in Dubai, so we’re very proud of our people and the work they’ve done for these clients and their iconic projects. Earlier this year we handed over Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, which was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. We’re also handing over to Dubai Municipality the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Library, which was also visited by His Highness. We’re very proud that the projects we’ve been working on have been important enough that they warrant a visit from the ruler and Prime Minister,” says Bishoy Azmy, CEO of ASGC, during an exclusive interview with Big Project ME. “We think that our clients are happy with us. We monitor client satisfaction as an important KPI, and we expect we’ll continue to be invited to address challenging projects. Not because

We expect we’ll continue to be invited to address challenging projects. Not because they’re important for a VIP or because they’re iconic or tall, but because it requires massive coordination between resources” November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com



When something is a commodity, then the only differentiating factor is price, and then it’s a race to the bottom. We have seen globally, regionally and locally that a lot of construction companies have burnt themselves” they’re important for a VIP or because they’re iconic or tall, but because it’s something that’s challenging to build and hence requires massive coordination between resources – and one of our USPs as a group is that we’re vertically integrated. “Doing traditional buildings is a commodity. When something is a commodity, then the only differentiating factor is price, and then it’s a race to the bottom. We have seen globally, regionally and locally that a lot of construction companies have burnt themselves [with this approach]. The way competitive tendering works here is that you just keep lowering your price until someone accepts it. it’s a negative option,” he states, adding that as a private company, this isn’t a route ASGC enjoys going down. “We also don’t think it’s healthy for the industry to have companies competing at negative margins. We can’t control the industry – everyone has free will – but we can try and focus on projects where clients look at all other factors in a holistic manner, and where delivery is important. If you’re working on a nationally significant project which is part of the infrastructure of the country, then the client will want to make sure that is delivered. We’ve had clients who look very carefully at project delivery timelines, at resources, and at the contractor’s ability to deliver. This is where we like to play.

“Should a project require a significant amount of engineering, I would argue that we [are very well placed]. We have a very strong engineering team here that has adopted engineering technology, such as BIM and other technology, for almost a decade.” Having been in the market for three decades, ASGC has spent the last few years positioning itself to be at the forefront of the massive changes Azmy believes are coming in the construction industry. From a macro viewpoint, he says the company’s increased emphasis on projects that use its entire supply chain is simply part of the

4,000 total arena roof steel structure weight, in tons

Maximum effort The Coca-Cola Arena is one project that required ASGC to use the capabilities and resources of a number of its subsidiaries.

continued evolution of the industry and where he believes it is headed. “I don’t think we’re talking about a transformation, instead I view this as incremental, continuous improvement. Our industry is inefficient, and that’s my view of the global industry. Look at other industries and how they’ve been challenged and changed over the last 30 to 40 years. Now compare the building we’re sitting in now, which was built more than 10 years ago, to one that was built 20 years ago and to one that’s being built now. The amount of change in how construction operates is not commensurate when you compare it to the average across other industries. “I think we’re on a journey, and it’s a somewhat painful journey. But it’s needed. We need to embrace technology more, we need to attract the right kind of people to the industry and see how we can remove fat. Our end product is becoming too expensive for the ultimate user and there’s an affordability issue across global markets,” Azmy states, pointing out issues facing real estate in cities across the globe, from Dubai to Hong Kong, Toronto and London. “The cost of producing our product doesn’t match up with the ability to afford it from the people who are going to be living in it. Hence there is pressure on the industry, and it’s a global phenomenon,” he continues. “We can lament our suffering and our struggles and say that there’s a

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



We’re always looking at the value chain and we work on something known as ABC – activitybased costing. We look at the output and ask how we can achieve that same output in a more efficient way, with less dollars spent” lot of hardship… or we can view it as a challenge and see how we can learn to be a more efficient machine.” As a result, Azmy has overseen massive investment in the integration of technology, innovation and the empowerment of employees at ASGC. Looking at how digital technology is disrupting the global and regional markets, he believes it is essential for the group to continue to be agile in such a quickly evolving environment. “We’re doing what we think is right for us to do. We’re always looking at the value chain and we work on something known as ABC – activity-based costing. We look at the output and ask how

High-profile project The Sustainability Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai is one of many high-profile projects ASGC is working on.

29,159 The pavilion plot size in square metres

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

we can achieve that same output in a more efficient way, with less dollars or dirhams spent, with less man-hours spent, with less materials wasted and with less repetition. We’ve put KPIs in place in terms of efficiency and we’re striving to be more efficient.” However, this process hasn’t come without challenges; Azmy says the biggest has been to change the mentality and culture of the group’s workforce, so that they can buy into new ideas and procedures that will ultimately only help them. “Our industry is quite traditional – it’s male-dominated, for a start – and people in the construction industry

are always viewed as having been in it for decades and having the same set of skills. It’s partially true, since our industry advances very slowly. It’s not like when you’re a doctor or a lawyer, where you need frequent certification to remain updated in terms of the intelligentsia and the academic world. “Trying to drive change with such a mindset is very difficult, be it some of our own colleagues in the company, or with other stakeholders. Trying to suggest that the way something is being done is not necessarily the best way, and that we could look at doing it in a completely new way, starting from scratch, is not a very popular way of doing things in construction!” Despite the resistance, ASGC clearly believes it is on the right path, and Azmy reveals that the company has actually changed the criteria for new hires, with the emphasis now on individuals who come from other industries, so that employees can learn and absorb knowledge and skills from industries that have outpaced construction in terms of change. “In general, there’s a lot of research available about how you can benefit from other industries. If you’re in banking, for example, you can see how the aviation industry became efficient in one particular aspect, and you look at how you can adopt and adapt it. [That’s what we’re trying to do], we’re trying to learn from other industries.


“We’re also trying to bring in young people who are not yet blinkered or set in their ways. We embrace all kinds of diversity because we see its impact across cities, companies and countries – diversity brings improvement. We are trying to improve diversity in general, gender and otherwise [in the company]. Some of the roles in construction are still a bit challenging – the labour forces, for example, are predominantly male and it might not be so easy to change that – but certainly, in terms of staff, our percentage of female members has increased and we have seen the improvements as a consequence.” This same attitude informs the company’s continued investment in technology, with Azmy stating that leaders in other industries have recognised that technology can’t be fought against – rather, it should be embraced and used to improve performance and efficiency. “There is no argument. Our industry lags behind in implementing technology. In a weak industry, we [ASGC] are among the people who are trying to adopt technology so that we can survive. Large global companies have gone bust because the construction industry operates in low, single-digit margins, while remaining highly manual – it does not have a lot of automation and information is not shared in real

Total commitment Azmy says ASGC is totally committed to improving diversity within the company, as he believes it will bring enormous benefits.

92,903 total square metre area of the Mohamed bin Rashid Library

time. It’s very difficult to make live decisions [in such a scenario]. “With small margins, if your ability to make decisions is not 100% correct because your decisions are based on outdated information that may or may not be accurate, then that’s very dangerous. What happens then is that you can go bust,” he warns, emphasising that ASGC will invest regularly in technology that allows it to continue pushing and expanding boundaries and capabilities across the board. Looking to the future, Azmy says that as a UAE-based company, he believes ASGC’s future will continue


to be tied to the country, and that opportunities will continue to arise as it looks to keep reinventing itself and stay ahead of the pack. “We think the UAE remains a very vibrant economy and that is focused on remaining a top destination for global trade and tourism, as well as for expats living here. Thus there will always be a need to upgrade infrastructure, provide housing, entertainment and facilities. Even if there is a lull in the market for a certain period of time, maybe that’s healthy, as there’s then a calibration of what’s needed in the industry. “The UAE will remain our main market, we’re a UAE-based and majority UAE-owned organisation, but of course as we grow larger we’ll be looking for growth opportunities – we have business legs in countries around us, and we’re looking to grow them,” he adds, highlighting ASGC’s operations in Egypt as being of particular interest. “The three largest markets in the MENA region are the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We’ve been present in Egypt for the last decade and it’s currently going through a construction boom, and we’re riding that positive wave. “Saudi Arabia has gone through a bit of a turbulent period in terms of construction, but that’s behind them now and people are very bullish about KSA. We’re looking to set up a presence there this year,” he concludes.

We’re also trying to bring in young people who are not yet blinkered or set in their ways. We embrace all kinds of diversity because we see its impact across cities, companies and countries – diversity brings improvement” MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019


September2019 November 2019| |MEConstructionNews.com MEConstructionNews.com



Mandarin Oriental develoPer: wasl Asset Management Group Main contractor: Al Basti & Muktha design and lead consultant: Design & Architecture Bureau Fit-out contractor: Depa Interiors total Built-uP area: 67,490 sqm date oPened: February 2019

Jewel of the Orient

Big Project Me speaks to Depa InterIors to learn how the hospItalIty fIt-out specIalIst helpeD DelIver the Mandarin oriental juMeirah on tIme anD on scheDule MEConstructionNews.com MEConstructionNews.com| |September November 2019



hile Dubai has a plethora of hotels, only a few grab the attention of the average visitor, the ones that they picture when asked to imagine what a visit to the city would entail. These properties – The Burj Al Arab, Atlantis The Palm and Jumeirah Beach Hotel – are easy to recognise because of how synonymous they are with the image of Dubai. Their distinctive designs and offerings have allowed them to become landmarks and reference points for visitors and indeed the rest of the city, with their luxurious offerings and surroundings a magnet for international visitors. However, earlier this year a new hospitality project was launched that could soon be just as recognisable and familiar as the aforementioned trio. Having opened its doors in February 2019, the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah in Dubai has quickly become recognised as one of the city’s leading hospitality developments, featuring a prime beachfront location and views of either the city or the Arabian Gulf.

Sitting alongside the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach and Bulgari Resort Dubai in Jumeirah, the property is situated in an area that is highly popular with high-end travellers. Designed by the acclaimed Jeffery Wilkes, the property features spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites – 178 and 78 respectively – with most offering private balconies and terraces. As the closest beachfront resort to Dubai’s financial and business districts, the hotel also features six restaurants and bars, meeting rooms and event facilities – including a 650sqm glasswalled ballroom with a beachfront terrace, a 2,800sqm spa, a beach club and infinity pools with high-end landscaped gardens. Developed by wasl Asset Management Group, the property is the first Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Dubai, and as such features design elements that reflect its status. Chief among these is a massive forest-inspired lobby with hundreds of lights crafted from hand-blown crystal and attached to bronze metal trees. In order to deliver a project of this scale and standard, wasl turned to Depa Interiors, a Dubai-based fit-out contractor that specialises in the fit-out and furnishing of five-star hotels and resorts. Given its expertise, the contractor’s scope of work on the project included the complete fit-out of the property, along with furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E), including decorative lighting

September2019 November 2019| |MEConstructionNews.com MEConstructionNews.com

178 total

number of hotel guest rooms

for public areas, guest rooms and corridors, and the Presidential Suite. Having begun work on the public areas, guest rooms and corridors in January 2017, Depa was operational in these areas for 13 months, completing the work at the end of February 2018. However, work on the Presidential Suite only commenced after the hotel was open and operational, with the project team working on that particular segment from the end of February 2019 through to a targeted completion date at the beginning of November 2019. “Depa started and completed these works as per the schedule. The project has been completed successfully, handed over and currently running,” says Abdoullah Albizreh, director at Depa Group. “Presidential Suite works commenced after the hotel was operational, so one of the challenges was delivering the project without disruption to the hotel’s operations or to the guests’ experience.” “There were also design changes while construction was already on going. We overcame these issues with proactive coordination with our in-house team and our specialist subcontractors – especially on items


which were already produced and could still be applied or slightly adjusted to be used on the revised design,” he says, discussing some of the major challenges encountered by the specialist contractor. “The same also applied for the coordination with the contractors of other trades, such as MEP and structural. Since most of their services were already done on-site [when we came in], we had to work out solutions to maintain most of it, while also incorporating the changes.” Albizreh adds that Depa used its own highly skilled labour force to achieve the high-end finishing and craftsmanship demanded by such a project. It also used its own facilities to deliver more than 18,000sqm of high-end joinery works, as well as another 33,000sqm of marble works. Furthermore, in order to speed up the work on-site, Depa split and submitted the drawing packages according to the first sequence of work, to start earlier on the project. Long-lead items were given priority for approval and

High-end craftsmanship The striking lobby design is one example of the high-end craftsmanship on the project.

procurement, to ensure that materials were on-site in time for installation, he explains, adding that the just-intime delivery method was followed. In addition, great care was taken to ensure that all stakeholders were involved


and kept in the loop as part of the fitout contractor’s efforts to encourage coordination on-site, as Albizreh explains. “We also had weekly coordination meetings with the main contractor to make sure that Depa’s programme was updated and in line with the main contractor’s progress on-site. Depa maintained a two-week look ahead to make sure that resources were deployed where work was needed. If there was a delay in some areas, other areas would be accelerated to avoid any programme slip-ups. “In addition, weekly internal meetings were held to define the targets and critical issues on the project. There were also meetings to coordinate with the subcontractors and site team so as to ensure that everyone had the same targets and that work was progressing as required by the plan. “We had a positive relationship and coordination with all stakeholders, including the client, main contractor and consultant. All of the stakeholders

We add value to the communities under our management and believe that care, attention, and commitment is what makes our community lively. COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT






Driving Asset Management Forward

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Depa maintained a twoweek look ahead to make sure that resources were deployed where work was needed. If there was a delay in some areas, other areas would be accelerated to avoid any programme slip-ups” were happy with Depa’s structured and transparent communication, proactive coordination and delivery results. “We’ve received positive feedback from all parties, and since then Depa has been invited to tender for a number of projects by the client, consultant and main contractor,” he says proudly to Big Project ME. Technology also helped the project team maintain clear pathways of communication and coordination, with Albizreh highlighting Depa’s use of construction software technology as a key contributor towards the successful completion and handover of all aspects of the project.

Deploying technology Depa used construction technology to maintain clear pathways of communication and coordination across the project.

13 timeframe in months for hotel interior fit-out

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

“We received this project in AutoCAD. Mock-ups were done off-site, as well as joinery and stone production. Depa has been using BIM since 2012, when we started on our first BIM project with Zaha Hadid on KAPSARC. We now have 125 interior designers and architects. 60 of those have BIM licences for shop drawing development. We are also planning to start utilising BIM360. “Depa is also now piloting a new technology, which is part of the Internet of Things, where labourers will have a device on their belt to provide data and better resourcing. This technology will measure labour productivity on higher-performing floors compared to

lower-performing ones. It will alert the project manager if there is over-resourcing on a certain floor or room, or alternatively if some areas need more resources.” Health and safety is a priority for Depa, with rigorous training of staff and subcontractors a necessity, As such, a full-time HSE manager was deployed on-site to monitor works and processes. “Depa was able to achieve a total of 2,156,763 manhours with zero hours lost time incidents, zero injuries where ten or more days were lost, zero fatalities and nine first-aid incidents. There were also 58 toolbox talks and zero fire incidents, which helped with delivery efficiencies and not having wasted time.”



Retail & Hospitality

Retail and Hospitality Construction Summit 2019 MIDDLE EAST

Angitha Pradeep covers the inaugural Retail and Hospitality Construction Summit, hosted by Big Project ME, which discussed how regional developers, contractors and consultants are coping with evolving trends in the retail and hospitality sectors


he inaugural Retail and Hospitality Construction Summit (RHCS), organised by Big Project ME in collaboration with CPI Trade Media, was held on September 30 at the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai. More than 150 delegates from across the GCC industry gathered at the venue to attend. The RHCS began with opening remarks from Dr Russell Brainard, chief sustainability officer at The Red Sea Development Company, who briefed the delegates on the mega project and how it is engaging with stakeholders to achieve the highest levels of sustainability. During the keynote address, he said that the challenge is to provide opportunities to see these pristine natural environments without destroying them, which has often not been the case. “If we are going to change the community, then we need to reach out to the people who are doing the development – the construction, the hospitality, the retail sectors. So these

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

types of forums are important to energise that community to do things differently or to get their guidance on how to do it. This is essentially a place for discussions to cross-pollinate ideas.” PAnEL DISCUSSIOn 1 As the rules of engagement in the retail and hospitality sectors change, how are the region’s developers, consultants and contractors keeping up with the changing demands of consumers? Seven panellists from diverse backgrounds within the built environment – Ahmed Salem from Hill International, Ali Hossain from Select Group, Anita Manoj from AMPM Project Delivery Professionals, Joe Tabet from JT + Partners, Kieran Duckworth from Omnium International, Martin McLean from Compass Project Management and Prabhanjan Kambadur from RSP Architects – discussed how the construction industry is keeping up with changing trends in the retail and hospitality sector.

Different demands Panellists on the day’s opening discussion debated how different markets in the region have different demands, and shared their thoughts on how each market will adapt to suit its current situation.

24 industry

experts took to the stage for the summit’s panel discussions


Gabriella De La Torre from CBRE moderated the panel, which highlighted key trends in the GCC retail and hospitality sector and the challenges they entail; cost consulting and the operations cost associated with new assets and refurbishing existing capital; and the need for more flexible co-working spaces as traveller demographics are changing. The 45-minute panel discussion began with Tabet noting that different markets in the region have different demands, and the main concern is how each market will be flexible to suit its current situation. Interestingly, Hossain and Kambadur had similar thoughts on the matter – the mixed-use projects which are successful are those that allow flexibility as the market keeps evolving. When BPME caught up with Kambadur to elaborate on his thoughts, he said, “While retail destinations thrive on positioning and good location, it is equally important to cater to the local community, making it more meaningful for the users, and also maximise the usage of the space.”

Day of discussion Panellists and speakers fielded a number of insightful questions from an engaged and knowledgeable audience.

150 delegates

from across the GCC gathered at the venue to attend the first RHCS

He gave the example of a shopping mall RSP had recently refurbished in Singapore which incorporated flexible gathering spaces, cycling and skateboard tracks, and spaces for local artists where they can express themselves. All these have had a positive effect on the community, resulting in a distinct feel and lively spaces, he explained. Similarly, Hossain pointed out that his firm has designed projects with amenities that will save money for tenants, by implementing additional services that can bring value to them. The cost consultant in the room had an interesting take. Duckworth noted that developers are now looking at cost consultants to take centre stage and work collaboratively with architects and developers to set boundaries early and allow feasibility studies to be done right from the onset, which saves time and money. This led Manoj to point out a new trend of community malls that cater to the population, adding that there is a


lot of flexibility required here because things can change in a few years. Synergy between shopping malls and hotels is required, where lots of facilities are shared and the footfall draws them together. Torre then directed the conversation to the topic of the co-working spaces being adopted around the world, and the effect in the region. Panellists discussed a wide range of reasons as to why space utilisation and mid-market range assets are gaining popularity in the GCC. Salem said, “Millennials are also now representing a bigger part of the global traveller demographics, which is giving rise to the mid-market brands, and in this case it is better to focus more on the operation cost by engaging the operator and FM consultants at the design stage, where we can effectively reduce the operation cost, which is five to seven times the construction cost in the retail and hospitality sector.” On a concluding note, panellists provided their views on the challenges around refurbishing

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Panel 1 Thoughts: Gabriella De La Torre

or modernising existing assets to meet current market demands. Torre summarised: “As consumer preferences change and adapt across generations, real estate must follow. Flexibility allows real estate stakeholders to be that much more responsive and effective in managing the future unknown, and due diligence must be given in the hospitality and retail sector to focus on feasibility and proper planning, to ensure that new projects are not only delivered properly but are well received in the market.” PAnEL DISCUSSIOn 2 How can the regional construction industry embed effective environmental measures into largescale retail and hospitality projects, and help design intuitive projects without forcing them on clients? The panellists were Jason Black from Omnium International, Krishna Murthy

The creation of the real estate committee is a positive step towards a collaborative work environment, and I think there is a real strong message from the government that they are looking for diverse and quality projects” November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

At this year’s Retail and Hospitality Construction Summit, I had the distinct pleasure of moderating a panel aimed at answering the question: How is the construction industry keeping pace with changing market trends in the GCC’s retail and hospitality landscape? Here are my three key takeaways from it: PLAnnIng Given the high levels of competition across the real estate market, and in the retail and hospitality sectors specifically, developers and other real estate stakeholders are increasingly focusing on due diligence, feasibility and proper planning to ensure that their new projects are not only delivered properly but also well-received in the market. Cost consultants and other technical experts are increasingly being brought on board at early stages in order to ensure that key considerations are highlighted and addressed early on. Furthermore, this allows high levels of collaboration and discussions among delivery partners, to ensure that projects are incorporating recommendations and expertise from all key parties from the get-go. FLExIbILITy In addition to highlighting

this as a key trend, panellists shared how they have been able to adopt this approach in new buildings, not only in the GCC but worldwide. Flexibility should be built in from the beginning of a project, enabling spaces to be easily converted to different uses in line with shifts in market demand. This variability can even be adopted in such a way as to easily shift between indoor and outdoor uses, depending on changes in the weather. ExPERIEnCE With a greater focus being placed on experience over material goods, the way that people interact with the physical spaces around them is becoming increasingly important. This trend transcends the real estate spectrum and touches virtually every sector, but particularly the retail and hospitality industries. Incorporating different uses with traditional spaces, such as co-working spaces in hotel lobbies and entertainment and leisure in largescale malls, provides a unique way of addressing consumers’ demand for experience. Our panellists provided their views on how they incorporate the human experience into their various disciplines, whether through the design of vibrant, lively projects or the incorporation of top-of-the-line services and amenities for residents. The view is that experience will continue to play a key role in wider placemaking and delivery of new real estate projects throughout the region.

from ESC, Majd Fayyad from Emirates Green Building Council, Phillipa Grant from AESG and Russell Brainard from The Red Sea Development Company. The topic was building sustainable retail and hospitality projects in the GCC. Nathan Cartwright from NV5 moderated the panel discussion, which focused on two key issues: sustainability measures currently being implemented in regional retail and hospitality projects, and their impact; and the challenges around green buildings in the GCC and how to address them. Grant pointed out that with regard to market awareness in the hospitality sector, clients are very aware of sustainability and other issues, which is really starting to impact design and construction, especially for high-end developers. From a cost consultancy perspective, Black agreed with Grant but added that even though certain practices might benefit a project in the long run, often people are still interested in tangible savings; but there has been a shift and people are considering long-term savings. Fayyad made an interesting point about having a holistic approach towards improving sustainability, explaining to BPME that: “The key challenge in driving green buildings in the region is that they are perceived to be more expensive in their construction and maintenance, even though globally they have been proved to be more cost-efficient on operational and lifecycle costs. In fact, the additional cost of design and construction of a green building has been reported to be less than 12% of the cost of design and construction of a regular building project.” With regard to sustainability in the retail and hospitality sector, Brainard was able to give an example of how The Red Sea Project is addressing some of the challenges. “We are going to be establishing an eco-science centre where we are going to get people involved in helping with the conservation themselves, and we will try and design opportunities for them so that they feel like they are contributing.” Murthy further added, “For consultants and contractors, sourcing green materials locally, lack of incentives, lack of regulations and absence of local green building standards (except the UAE


Panel 2 Thoughts: Phillipa Grant and some others) are the bottlenecks. However, creating awareness in the owners, making them understand that investment in green buildings will pay back quickly and bring profit for the rest of the building life, providing incentives to all stakeholders and introducing green building regulations are some solutions to address these challenges.” Cartwright concluded that the general take-away is to encourage owners and developers to take a long-term view when looking at the cost of sustainability, rather than making decisions purely on initial capital cost: “At some point, there will be an ROI on the lifecycle cost of introducing sustainable solutions. It may not be within the first three to eight years; however, unless the long-term view is taken there will be no long term at the current rate of climate change.” PAnEL DISCUSSIOn 3 How has the design and construction of retail and hospitality spaces changed in response to the technological requirements of the modernday consumer, and will artificial intelligence (AI) revolutionise the way consumers interact with physical spaces? As documented, the challenges in retail and hospitality construction lie in cost and maintenance, bringing awareness to clients, and a lack of proper green building regulations. Panellists Abdoullah Albizreh from depa Interiors, Carla Conte from Brand Creative, Dana Salbak from JLL, Mohammad Hammoud from Khatib & Alami, Prabhu Ramachandran from Facilio and Warren Krawchuk from Paragon Mall debated the use of technology to create intelligent, responsive retail and hospitality environments. Vladimir Jovanovic from AECOM moderated the 42-minute panel discussing the applications of technology in retail and hospitality spaces, and how the construction and real estate development industries can best prepare to address the demands of the modern consumer. Jovanovic began the final panel discussion of the day by asking speakers about their ideal scenario for responsive and intelligent retail and hospitality environments. Albizreh and Salbak

While there are still many challenges and barriers to sustainable development within the GCC region, the retail and hospitality industry in particular have been receptive to the implementation of sustainable development principles. This is in part due to the market-driven adoption of eco-tourism and the increasing demand for sustainable, authentic experiences, coupled with the typical owner-occupied model of retail and hospitality developments. The panel discussion at the recent Retail and Hospitality Construction Summit held in Dubai focused on the current trends and challenges facing further market penetration of sustainable design and construction. The trends were highlighted as being greater adoption of health and wellness principles, including the market entry of the WELL building rating system, with the first three projects in the region recently achieving certification. Increasing awareness around sick building syndrome and the impact that a building’s internal environment has on an individual’s physical and mental health has driven market uptake

of biophilic design and low-emitting materials, among others. The demand for more authentic tourist experiences, including greater interaction with the natural environment, is shaping the more ambitious hospitality developments. This includes The Red Sea Development Project, where attractions will include tourist interaction with the exceptional environmental assets existing within the site. One of the greatest challenges facing the uptake of sustainability remains the perceived additional cost associated with green buildings. It was argued that this challenge could be addressed through a more collaborative approach to design driven by the design team. Incorporating lifecycle costing as standard as part of the project scope would allow more informed decisions to be made relating to cost, and prevent sustainability features being value engineered from the project. It was also highlighted that the perceived cost of sustainability is typically grossly inflated from the actual expected cost, with several studies concluding that green buildings can incur low to no additional cost to the client. Greater education and awareness across the industry is required to challenge the status quo and drive more sustainable development.


started by talking about how technology has enabled different functions, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, to experience different services through their mobiles. From a research and advisory role, Salbak added that big data advertently allows retail destinations to make intelligent decisions on how to personalise the experience for the customers. Conte agreed with the other panellists on this point. “Any technology that ties back to the brand story and customer journey that makes meaningful touch points are ideal, but any technology that we integrate must resonate with the customer.” She stressed that her firm’s studies have found that people still want to deal with people, and technology is the right thing to do only when it can provide meaningful experiences. From an operational perspective, Krawchuk similarly noted that it’s all about enhancing the customer

The key challenge in driving green buildings in the region is that they are perceived to be more expensive in their construction and maintenance, even though globally they have been proved to be more cost-efficient” MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Panel 3 Thoughts: Dana Salbak

experience. He added that there is still more that can be done, particularly with regard to artificial intelligence and other aspects of technology. BPME followed up with Ramachandran on how he thinks technology will progress in the future. He said, “The next major leap will be to unify systems and create multi-fold value. For instance, people could empower security or dynamically adjust HVAC systems for occupant comfort. Technology can also bring physically distributed facilities together as a single entity, to deliver datadriven operations and maintenance.” “The Retail and Hospitality Construction Summit was a great platform for exchanging such ideas about the role of technology and gaining an understanding of where the industry stands in terms of the adoption of these innovations,” he added. Throughout the panel discussion, the benefits and risks of deploying technology were debated. Panellists discussed how

The amount of data gathered from existing projects will increase. This will enhance our ability to determine and evaluate the demands of modern consumer needs while creating future project visions” November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

adopted to improve customer experiences.

Changing consumer preferences and behaviours, coupled with technological innovations, are disrupting many sectors, forcing business owners to revise their strategies and adapt to the changing environment. The retail and hospitality sectors are no exception. SHIFTIng RETAIL AnD HOSPITALITy LAnDSCAPE In this changing landscape, large, product-filled spaces no longer appeal to the younger generation, who have acquired a taste for what’s simple and easy. Boutique and experiential stores are gaining traction instead, as they have an edge over the mass market. Similarly, hotels that offer a glimpse of the local culture, authentic meals and unique experiences are gaining popularity. In order to stay ahead of competition, technology and marketing strategies need to be revised. Click and collect, artificial intelligence and augmented reality are all examples of technologies retailers are adopting to entice people to their stores and create an experience out of shopping. In the hotel industry, optimising the hotel’s booking engine for mobile viewing, self check-in, live chat and mobile keyless rooms are all examples of technologies

bEnEFITS AnD RISkS OF DEPLOyIng TECHnOLOgIES While incorporating these technologies, certain potentials and risks emerge. Using them to capture various data points on customers allows retailers and hotel operators to better detect patterns in their customers’ shopping behaviour, from the products they buy to how they buy them (in-store versus online). By identifying customer shopping habits and trends, decision-makers can then make suggestions based on customer preferences, allowing them to push more tailored and personalised products. This ultimately results in more efficient choices being made, along with cost savings. In a global study by research consultancy Capgemini, it is estimated that deployment of artificial intelligence across retail could generate at least $339 billion in savings (Prabha and Prabha, 2019). As with any business decision, using technologies comes with certain risks. For starters, the experience of communicating with a machine may be perceived as impersonal, particularly when there is a problem to be addressed. Ultimately, some form of hybrid solution might need to be offered. Also, algorithms do not capture changing trends. Humans are unique, with constantly varying needs and tastes, so our preferences cannot be simplified into a formula.

nowadays everything is done on a mobile device, while operations and maintenance are becoming more mainstream. Jovanovic posed the most vital question next. How can we improve or better use the technology, in order to deliver what is expected of us? Hammoud responded that BIM and other technologies, such as artificial intelligence, have enabled us to write scenarios and look into the future, where we can do clash analysis and scenarios of how a space works. “The full sequencing of events in a place, and to be able to visualise that in 3D, gives us an enormous power to create spaces that 20 years ago were beyond our imagination and are now a reality.” This topic of conversation led the panellists to debate the risks and challenges of deploying technology, and how to address them. Salbak and Krawchuk had similar thoughts: understand what the client wants, and be aware that e-commerce and brickand-mortar should embrace each other, while technology should be incorporated to make the experience better. “Talking about consumer experience, culturally there is a difference. Technology is a tool that helps people make quick, convenient decisions in the retail and hospitality realm in other parts of the world, but as long as we have the climate conditions that we have here, retail spaces are going to have to entertain us. Meanwhile, from a client’s point of view operationally, small brands and home-grown labels look at technology as a hindrance, since they don’t have the budget to integrate technology as of yet,” added Conte. Jovanovic’s takeaway was that there will be a shift, which will result in the rise of a more thoughtful design approach focusing on storytelling rather than special effects. He concluded: “The construction industry will continue to utilise technology to ensure efficient design delivery and to satisfy clients’ budgets. Likewise, the amount of data gathered from existing projects will increase. This will enhance our ability to determine and evaluate the demands of modern consumer needs while creating future project visions.”





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Pinsent Masons

A Catalyst for Change MIDDLE EAST

Paul Godfrey reports from a high-level discussion organised by Big Project ME and Pinsent Masons, on how to best create a wellspring of investment and sound governance in the GCC’s real estate and construction sectors

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

There’s no doubt that these have been challenging times for the GCC. We are seeing a number of nations raising debt in the capital markets for the first time. A recent law in relation to FDI, permitting 100% foreign ownership, is obviously significant, since a very important way forward is to attract finance for major infrastructure projects.” Tim Armsby’s words aptly set the scene for a provocative industry roundtable focusing on touchstone issues critical to both the economic and the stakeholder mix in the GCC’s all-important real estate sector. Taking place on Wednesday, October 9 at the Oberoi Hotel, the

Governance and Investment in GCC Real Estate event, sponsored by international law firm Pinsent Masons and hosted by Big Project ME, featured two vibrant hour-long sessions. The first focused on attracting FDI to real estate and construction projects in the GCC, while the second showcased how contracts can best be structured to encourage collaboration and coordination between stakeholders. The discussions raised the bar in a number of very practical areas, and made real progress not only in terms of clarifying the issues, but in proposing relevant and timely solutions. The panel featured eminent practitioners at the sharp edge of development, construction and law.


As moderator of the first session, Tim Armsby’s opening comments immediately prompted open debate about whether the legal and regulatory framework in many GCC nations is too opaque and uncertain, and likely to deter foreign investors. Rahail Aslam, CEO, Select Group, summarised such concerns very well: “Can I get returns to offset the lack of clarity? Can I get legal recourse in the event of being treated unfairly?” As Mark Raymont, a partner at Pinsent Masons LLP, observed: “The situation is not helped by the fact that many types of licence are reserved for local companies with local stakeholders; and we have to remember that in the UAE, the idea of 100% foreign ownership is still relatively new – whereas in other GCC nations, full foreign ownership has typically been commonplace. Saudi Arabia is one such example.” Masood Al Awar, CEO, Medallion Associates, emphasised that it is imperative that GCC states follow the example of nations where there is industry transparency and clear parity before the law. “In my early days at Emaar Properties,” he reflected, “senior directors were sent in groups to the United States – to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The idea wasn’t simply to see and experience what lifestyle property developments were like, but also to understand the


The situation is not helped by the fact that many types of licence are reserved for local companies with local stakeholders; and we have to remember that in the UAE, the idea of 100% foreign ownership is still relatively new” Key questions Tim Armsby’s opening comments prompted heavy debate among the panellists about the clarity of the GCC’s legal and regulatory frameworks.

Addressing liquidity Panellists raised concerns about the serious cash flow issues plaguing the GCC’s construction industry, which deter FDI.

key importance of having the right services and professional structures.” cAShfLow IS kIng Several panellists raised concerns about the serious cash flow issues that the traditionally long payment cycles of GCC governments and corporates provoke – all too often a powerful deterrent when it comes to attracting FDI. As Cecilia Reinaldo, CEO at HOD. co, pointed out, there is no equivalent to legislation in the UK and in other parts of Europe that is specifically directed at protecting cashflow. Indeed, new legislation has sometimes raised further red flags

rather than put would-be investors’ minds at rest. A classic example here is the change in the Strata Law: as Wu Ming, executive vice president, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East, commented, “It could be taken to infer that the investor is not really the owner, merely the tenant.” Potential uncertainties over legal standing and payment typically lead investors to favour alliances with household-name large corporates. Mark Raymont added here that: “This may however result in higher costs, leaving potential investors uncertain what to do; but many will decide to opt for the

Making the right financial provisions can be very helpful in commercially bridging any delays in the project; you have to hedge the risks that will relate to the likelihood of there being two different sets of expectations” MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



added value that alliance with a known brand will often bring. Although there are no guarantees; we all remember that during the financial crisis, an alliance with certain large corporates was by no means a recipe for success.” fInAncIAL SoLuTIonS Perhaps too much attention is given to the dynamics of the investor/developer relationship, rather than to the raft of financial instruments that could help investors successfully mitigate risk and commercial exposure? Robert C Bush, Jr, a real estate financial analyst, believed more prominence should be given to the use of capital market solutions, which can be useful tools for hedging risk and minimising project exposures. “Here there are tried and tested mechanisms such as factoring, which can be activated by set pressure points and which have relatively low cost in the overall project budget.” He also felt the right financial instruments had an important part

to play in public-private partnerships (PPP). “These are a case in point where making the right financial provisions can be very helpful in commercially bridging any delays and uncertainties in the project; you have to hedge the risks that will relate to the likelihood of there being two different speeds and two different sets of expectations.” Wu Ming added: “I understand that distribution of liability can be very challenging at the beginning of these relationships.” This question of who is liable for what set the scene for the second session of the day, focusing on the effectiveness of contractual structures and the potential for reform. A ‘pASS-ThE-bLAME’ MInDSET? Moderator Mark Raymont began by highlighting how so many of the issues plaguing the construction sector actually originate from poorly worded or inadequate contracts. He asked: “Is it possible to update and reconfigure

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

Distributing liabilities Panellists discussed the challenges around convincing stakeholders to distribute liabilities

Passing the blame Poorly worded or inadequate contracts allow stakeholders to pass the blame down the supply chain of a project.

300% figures can be inflated heavily during disputes

present contractual templates to include all the relevant areas of project responsibility and reporting?” Rana Obeid, vice president and senior legal counsel at Parsons, took the view that in reality, the officially ratified contract template is extremely difficult to change. When changes are introduced, they all too often make the contract null and void or simply are not recognised. As Kez Taylor, CEO, ALEC Group, pointed out, “There is so often a completely confusing cross-referencing of liabilities and responsibilities throughout the contact, and – worse – they often contradict what was said previously.” Asif Shafi, senior vice president, Strategy and Growth MEA, AECOM, argued that despite the confusion provoked, the fact is that this is the only format of contract that most corporates will accept, and at the end of the day it does continue to get the job done. Kez Taylor’s real concern was that we have fundamentally arrived at a tipping point: inadequate contracts have led to

Governance and Investment in GCC Real Estate: The Panellists a culture of mistrust, which in turn has led to huge wastage across the industry. A case in point is the massive overpricing of variables, now endemic to the sector, and resulting not only from industry cynicism but from the fact that every cost will be challenged, and the real culprits scarcely ever held accountable. As Asif Shafi commented, within this culture of variables, it’s not uncommon to see figures exaggerated by 200-300%. The concomitant dangers were highlighted by Rana Obeid: “This is one of the principle causes of litigation, which can then hold up payments and progress on the project for months, if not years.” An obSESSIon wITh SpEED Kez Taylor said the contract of tomorrow will first and foremost identify one simple fact: who is actually responsible for doing what. He argues that the inability of most contracts to do this has not only resulted in a breakdown of trust but is particularly dangerous

Our thanks to all the panellists who contributed to Governance and Investment in GCC Real Estate and created a highly stimulating and worthwhile debate: Tim Armsby Partner, Pinsent Masons mArk rAymonT Partner, Pinsent Masons GurmeeT kAur Partner, Pinsent Masons rAnA obeid Vice president/senior legal counsel, Parsons

Asif shAfi Senior vice president, Strategy and Growth MEA, AECOM CeCiliA reinAldo CEO, HOD.co Wu minG Executive vice president, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East rAhAil AslAm CEO, Select Group kez TAylor CEO, ALEC Group mAsood Al AWAr CEO, Medallion Associates niCholAs hArris Managing director, Omnium International JAime soTo Head of Legal, ACCIONA, Middle East region roberT C bush, Jr Real estate finance analyst



given the Middle East’s obsession with building projects at great speed. “Managing projects should be a collaborative process, and when it is, there are many examples of jobs being delivered under great time duress with scarcely a single change, and zero quibbling over any variables – which you have to ensure have been clearly earmarked and transparently priced.” The proof? He cites his own experience in South Africa, where he was responsible for major international projects with complex stakeholder chains and pressing delivery times. “But the fact that we would talk to each regularly, and through every key stage of delivery, meant that there were scarcely any problems at all; we never delivered a job over time.” This was a reminder of the need for reform if one of the GCC’s signature industries is to play a full and leading role in leveraging the growth, economic success and reputation of the region as a global commercial hub.

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Industry insight

Kieran Chauhan hEphEr assOCIaTEs

Relocating Regions


relocated to Dubai in 2015 from the UK, where I was on a career progression plan with an international construction consultancy, delivering an excellent portfolio of projects. The new role in Dubai differed from my previous experience, as I am now working more closely with contracts and claims within construction. Additionally, despite visiting Dubai previously, I still wasn’t 100% sure what to expect, as working and residing within the city is a different perspective. All of this made my decision to leave the UK difficult. With any change there is risk, especially when there are many unknowns. Luckily, Dubai has been a city where the experience and exposure I have gained has proven invaluable. From my experience, the bold step to move came with great risk but also great reward. Therefore, anyone contemplating relocating should consider the same. IMpOrTaNCE Of prOfEssIONal aCCrEdITaTION Since relocating to the Middle East, I have noticed that competition is rife and many employers tend to request a number of years’ experience, which some professionals unfortunately do not have. Attaining professional accreditation by being a Chartered Member or Fellow of a leading professional institution such as the RICS can help counteract the mindset of employers and their recruitment strategies. Recently I was privileged to be awarded Fellowship at the age of 28, making me the youngest Fellow of RICS. This accreditation has supported my development while giving me additional credibility among my professional network. WOrkINg IN ThE MIddlE EasT In comparison to the UK, working in the Middle East is completely different. All projects November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

are on a unique scale in terms of design, complexity and value, and I have been fortunate to work on mega projects in the region. The Middle East is transient and on any one project, there are usually a vast array of professionals that originate from all corners of the world. This diversity brings variety and innovation to help projects succeed. Working with contracts and claims, projects tend to be a little more challenging, which I like, as there is no typical day in the office. I also enjoy the fact that there is the prospect to make a real difference on projects while helping deliver the future aspirations of the region. The construction sector in the MENA region is anticipated to grow at the fastest pace globally in 2019, while regional initiatives such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, coupled with events such as Dubai Expo 2020, make it an exciting time to be working in construction in the Middle East. Kieran Chauhan is partner (Construction Claims and Delay Analysis) at Hepher Associates Limited.

anouar BouraKKadi idrissi EdENrEd UaE

The productive options for attracting and retaining talent


orkforce development and retention is important for any business, but in construction, an industry where four workers are leaving for every one that joins, it is important to keep your staff motivated. There is general agreement that a happy worker is more productive than an unhappy one. In today’s competitive environment, keeping the

workforce engaged in any industry is essential for businesses to sustain growth. This applies to the construction industry as well, where a productive workforce can directly influence the timeline and delivery of a construction or real-estate project. Working on-site can be exhausting and sometimes even daunting. One of the most common challenges faced by this industry is high employee turnover. A recent study by McKinsey indicates that attracting and retaining the best people will be one of the key drivers for business growth in 2020. Moreover, attracting and retaining the best employees is always high up on the agenda item within the UAE’s construction companies. Edenred explores four productive options that employers can adopt to attract and retain talent in this industry. OpTION 1 − OffEr rECrEaTIONal aCTIvITIEs aNd 24-hOUr CONNECTIvITy Under the UAE National Programme for Happiness and Positivity, the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has launched a series of initiatives to support labour happiness. These initiatives include Happiest Work Environment, Best Labour Accommodation, Happiest Bus and Happiness SIM. It also provides recommendations to deliver the best recreational amenities for them. The Middle East has traditionally had a large proportion of expatriates from Asia and Europe, in addition to its current local workforce. According to YaleGlobal online report, approximately 13 million foreigners make up about 70% of the workforce in the six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alone. With a majority of the UAE’s labour force originating from developing countries, it is important for workers to stay in touch with their families as well as have an easy option to transfer money back home. By embracing new technologies and offering new recreational activities, construction companies can not only make themselves future-ready, but can also meet the talent challenge. Increased automation, off-site prefabrication and new collaboration tools are only a few examples that help to enhance productivity. Providing a secure WiFi connection, access to supermarkets in close proximity to accommodations, and organising a space for indoor games or a dedicated place to rest are other small initiatives that can boost employee morale while making a difference to their lifestyle.


In today’s competitive environment, keeping the workforce engaged in any industry is essential for businesses to sustain growth” OpTION 2 − prOvIdE adEqUaTE hEalTh faCIlITIEs fOr all EMplOyEEs The construction industry is designated as a priority industry for work health and safety, due to the high number of work-related injuries and illnesses and the inherent risks associated with working in this industry. The UAE law requires that all employers provide proper health facilities to ensure the well-being of employees. Regulations also make it mandatory for the industry to follow strict protocol and measures on construction sites to ensure the safety of workers. Construction companies that provide wellmaintained and appropriate tools to ensure the safety of workers often experience a significant rise in output. It also eases the pressure from workers and keeps them motivated. The use of effective workplace programmes and policies can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for people working in the construction industry. Maintaining a healthier workforce can lower direct costs, such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims. It also positively impacts many indirect costs, such as absenteeism and worker productivity. OpTION 3 – UpskIllINg aNd rEgUlar TraININg When a company invests in training programmes for its staff, employees recognise that the organisation is committed to making them successful. It also illustrates a commitment to a safe workplace. With the advancement in technology, more and more industries are embracing the use of automation. This has been widely considered a potential threat to the jobs of unskilled workers. A recent study by OECD shows that approximately 50% of construction jobs, for example, are at risk by automation. However, the study also identifies some engineering bottlenecks for automation in the industry. As we know, the construction sector is not as

easy to automate as manufacturing. Investing in staff training shows employees that they are valued and creates a supportive workplace. The unique nature of the industry needs a combination of power, skill and human input on a daily basis. This is why businesses need to retain staff to ensure continuous seamless operations. By upskilling staff, construction companies can use the latest tools and technologies to not only increase efficiency but staff motivation as well. OpTION 4 – prOvIdINg fINaNCIal assIsTaNCE WhErE rEqUIrEd Approximately 60% of the working population in the UAE sits outside the current financial system. This means a large number of working specialists do not have access to bank accounts, credit cards or loan options that others may have. In this case the transfer of salaries is simply not enough. Like every employee, labourers are eager to manage their spending and savings with the right technology and apps, and to enjoy the convenience of online banking with minimal fees that allow them to dream big and be prepared for important milestones in their lives. Over a sample of 100,000 workers surveyed in construction, more than 81% of them withdrew at least 90% of their wages at once, due to a lack of proper financial tools or knowledge. Moreover, the survey indicates that almost 80% of wages are transferred to family back home, sometimes with high fees. As per UAE employment law, wages cannot be paid in cash, providing an opportunity for companies to offer their employees with the right tools to help manage their cash flow. Employees with wages below AED 3,000 usually do not have access to loans or salary advances. When every dirham counts, workers are keen to save and avoid unnecessary fees, and where possible track revenue and expenses. With the introduction of digital solutions such as the C3 online portal or MyC3card mobile application, employers can conveniently process wages through corporate tools. These types of financial solutions empower businesses with convenient, technology-driven services and benefits, making it easy for employees to take control of their finances. The opportunity to manage finances, send money home securely and swiftly, receive salary advances and even engage in savings, all through a mobile phone app, helps companies financially empower workers. Anouar Bourakkadi Idrissi, Chief Operating Officer, Edenred UAE.


Matt sMith


Green Alternatives for Building Construction


n order to meet the climate goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, the energy intensity per sqm of the global building sector needs to improve on average by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2015). In the UAE, the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 20172050 serves as a roadmap to bolster nationwide actions for climate mitigation. As part of this plan, Dubai has developed a mandatory code for all buildings that sets energy, water, materials and waste compliance standards, in compliance with the UAE Green Building Guidelines. As such, here are some green alternatives for building materials that have a lower impact on the environment: Ferrock: It is estimated that for every 1,000kg of cement produced, around 900kg of carbon dioxide is emitted. This is because cement requires intense heat of 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit to process the limestone used in its production. Enter Ferrock. Composed of iron carbonate and 95% recycled material, it is an excellent alternative to concrete and a far greener building material, on account of the fact that it absorbs carbon dioxide rather than emitting it. This results in a carbon-negative process that actually helps trap greenhouse gases. Ferrock is approximately five times stronger than cement and can withstand more compression. It is also more flexible, which means better resistance to earth movements caused by seismic activity or industrial processes. Another unique property of Ferrock is that saltwater environments strengthen it, making it an ideal choice for marinebased construction projects. Bamboo: There are several reasons, apart from aesthetics, why bamboo is an excellent MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



substitute in construction. It has an exceptionally high rate of self-generation, with some species growing up to three feet in 24 hours. Classified as a perennial grass and not a wood, it continues spreading and growing without having to be replanted after harvest. It is easily available and can be found on every continent except Europe and Antarctica. Most importantly, it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, exceptional durability and an even greater compressive strength than brick or concrete. Finally, bamboo produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than traditional materials, making it ideal in combating global climate change. Wood: Sustainably grown and harvested wood has a smaller carbon footprint than concrete and steel, making it a viable green construction material. A mass timber building’s carbon footprint is estimated to be almost 75% less than an equivalent concrete and steel building. The reason for this is that trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and when they are made into building materials, that carbon dioxide remains sequestered and locked out of the atmosphere virtually forever. Additionally, it can be recycled. K-Briq: The K-Briq is made of 90% recycled construction and demolition waste. Developed after more than ten years of intensive research by Heriot-Watt University, the K-Briq is unfired and as a result produces a tenth of the carbon dioxide emissions of a traditional fired clay brick. It can be manufactured in any colour and is now commercially available to construction clients. Mycelium: One of the newest and most promising sustainable building materials on the block is the mycelium brick. Mycelium are the thin root-like fibres from fungi which run underground. When dried, mycelium brick is super-strong, as well as resistant to water, mould and fire. It can be grown into specific forms, thereby eliminating processing requirements. As an insulation material, mycelium outperforms traditional fibreglass. Mycelium is 100% organic and will be a major step for biomass green building materials. GrassCrete: Also known as void structured concrete, GrassCrete is a ready mixed concrete that has a defined pattern of voids. It is an environmentally friendly solution for emergency vehicle access, water management and traffic applications. With 47% concrete and 53% holes filled with grass, it forms a natural bio-filter to significantly remove pollutants. Matt Smith is associate head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University Dubai. November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

less than enthusiastic about using these solutions, because they are designed to establish a hierarchy that precludes trust.

steven Brant OraClE

Why neutrality is key to project collaboration


ost construction professionals and project owners agree that there’s a direct and powerful correlation between the level of collaboration on a project and its overall success. Why, then, does true collaboration remain elusive in so many cases? The answer is trust. Many of today’s collaboration platforms are not built to foster this essential ingredient. There can be pushback to having all parties on the same collaboration platform, which is often funded by the general contractor or project owner. From the perspective of other stakeholders, justified concerns include privacy of proprietary data, transparency, and data access and ownership. How can we get all parties of an initiative to come together and truly embrace collaboration, the kind needed to build efficiently and effectively? Neutrality is the key to establishing the trust foundation that fuels true collaboration. We define neutrality as universal fairness when applied to project collaboration platforms. All stakeholders have control over their data, and no stakeholder has an advantage over another. Most cloud-based project collaboration platforms (about 90%) have hub and spoke architectures. The implementing organisation configures the permissions in the system, owns all the data, and governs data and process integrity. This design leaves other parties vulnerable. For example, the general contractor could decide to stop communicating with one of the subcontractors, disconnecting the organisation or individual from the system. That subcontractor would then have no record of any transactions up to that point. Naturally, project stakeholders are often

ThrEE qUEsTIONs TO ask abOUT prOjECT COllabOraTION sysTEMs • Who owns the data on the system? • Are you confident that your proprietary data is secure and can’t be accessed by unauthorised parties, either within the system or from outside? • Are you certain you can’t be denied access to your data on the system, such as in a dispute? CrEaTINg aN OpEN aNd lEvEl playINg fIEld ThaT ENCOUragEs aNd rEWards parTICIpaTION What does neutrality look like when applied to project delivery collaboration platforms? We have defined five tenets that ensure a level playing field that builds trust, encourages participation on the platform, and ultimately expands collaboration. • Each organisation should have its own private workspace that’s configured into the system automatically and can’t be broken. In other words, there’s no super user who can see all information regardless of access rights. • Each organisation should own and control its own data in its workspace and control its own permissions and access for staff. All access rights should be transparent to the publisher. • Organisations should not have the ability to amend transmissions after the fact. • All organisations must have the ability to privately communicate via the collaboration platform. • There should be no single controlling administrator across the whole system. No one should be able to delete information, and no one should be able to be shut out. In addition, organisations should have unlimited use of the platform so they can privately involve other parties. All parties

As engineering and construction projects continue to grow in scope and complexity, so does the need for greater collaboration among members of the stakeholder’s ecosystem”


should also get to access the full functionality of the collaboration platform, to make their participation beneficial to them. Finally, the platform must provide security from external threats that’s at least as good as any typical client would demand of their own systems. These factors build trust, and with trust comes adoption. With wide adoption, information flows. That’s the lifeblood of true collaboration. ThE dOWNsIdE Of TOTal CONTrOl The concept of neutrality can be challenging to embrace at first glance. Platform owners often, and rightfully, want to defend their financial stake and their ability to control the collaboration process. As we look deeper, however, we find that this mindset and desire for control increases risk in several ways. First, it introduces greater liability for the owner of the platform. The onus falls on the owner’s organisation to correctly provision and administer every aspect of the system. On a large project, there could be thousands of users and organisations. It’s easy to make a mistake that could provide a party with access that should not be granted, potentially leading to legal and contractual issues, financial damages and project delays. The need for control at the owner level also introduces unnecessary inefficiencies. Stakeholders know they can be shut out of the system at any point. As a result, they must run a back-up system and duplicate everything. Inefficiencies proliferate and there’s no single source of truth. This approach also places a tremendous management burden on the system owner, who must continually configure and update access, potentially slowing progress as parties wait for the administrator to update configurations. Most important, the need for control hinders adoption because it prohibits trust, the foundation for successful collaboration. NEUTralITy aT WOrk These days everyone has their preferred internal system, but when organisations must work together, who wins? As engineering and construction projects continue to grow in scope and complexity, so does the need for greater collaboration among members of the stakeholder’s ecosystem. Collaboration platforms play a vital role, but they can only achieve their true potential when fully embraced by all stakeholders. Steven Brant is senior director, Construction and Engineering Solutions at Oracle.


acknowledged they have issues identifying the correct required products for the building.

iBrahiM al Qasrawi allEgION

The Importance of Fire Doors in an Emergency


ire doors are an essential element of the fire safety protocol in many buildings and form an important part of any passive fire protection strategy. There is increasing awareness in this regard in the Middle East, with businesses and homeowners viewing fire safety measures as a cost rather than an investment. As a crucial component of a building’s compartmentalisation, fire doors are critical in preventing the spread of fire and smoke to allow safe egress of the building’s occupants in the event of a fire emergency. If a fire door is propped open or doesn’t close securely, it cannot prevent the spread of fire, leading to extensive damage and, more importantly, the possibility of injury and even loss of life. This is an all too common occurrence, with studies showing that over 70% of decision-makers in education facilities and 72% of health experts have seen fire doors propped open in their facilities. Here are some simple checks that one can undertake to ensure fire doors offer the requisite protection from fire hazards. CErTIfICaTION When checking if a door is a fire door, it is important to look for the compliance to listings and related FR labels for the full assemblies. The indication for this is an identification label on the top edge of the door. Further, all ironmongery or hardware must be UL-listed, or CE marked and compatible with the door leaf’s certification. Certification assures the user of a door’s quality, performance, design and manufacturing process. Without a certification reference or FR labelling, the door may not be a fire door at all. In fact, reports released by the UK government state that in a study focusing on fires, over 80% of respondents

gaps (ClEaraNCEs) aNd sEals As fire doors are manufactured to withstand the spread of fire, they come with special seals called gasketing that are fitted into either the door or frame. Gasketing expands upon contact with the heat and seals the door to stop the spread of fire and smoke. However, they are effective only if the gaps between the door and its frame are minimal, and seals are intact and fitted correctly at the top and sides. The type of rubber used in a gasket also influences its effectiveness. Many use vinyl, but it can become brittle over a year’s time, negatively impacting both durability and lifecycle costs. As they need to function properly through thousands of cycles over many years, differences in materials and construction can have a major impact on durability, ease of use and service life. When gasketing is properly fitted, it prevents toxic gases and smoke from permeating through. Additionally, the clearance shall not exceed 19mm under any door bottom, 3.18mm ± 1.59mm between the door and frame for steel doors, and shall not exceed 3.18mm for wooden doors and at the meeting edges in the case of double-leaf doors. If the gap exceeds this measurement, then the flames and smoke will fail to be compartmentalised and the safety of occupants is not guaranteed. OpEraTION To ensure proper operation of a fire door, one must check that it closes firmly onto the latch without sticking on the floor or to the frame. The correct way to do this is by opening the door about halfway, letting go and allowing it to close by itself. Doors that do not close properly or fully need to be reported. It is also important to check the door closers to ensure they are operating correctly – the door closer must shut the door firmly onto the latch from any position. In some cases, FR doors are electrically operated and integrated with the fire alarm system to close or open in case of fire, to comply with the life safety design and codes. Fire doors can often mean the difference between life and death, and play a major part in saving lives and assuring a safe fire escape route to occupants. Therefore, like any piece of fire safety equipment, a fire door should be installed only by a qualified technician and must always comply with relevant standards and regulations. Ibrahim Al Qasrawi is business development manager, Door Solutions at Allegion. MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019


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The Big 5 Heavy

The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete MIDDLE EAST

With a major focus on technology, the 2019 edition will feature a total of 55 sessions run across two summits, two conferences and technical seminars


ith a major focus on technology, educational sessions are set to provide insight on how to implement the latest digital solutions right at the beginning of the build cycle at The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete, the largest events dedicated to the infrastructure and heavy construction community in the Middle East, once again run simultaneously at Dubai World Trade Centre from 25-28 November 2019. Event Director Richard Pavitt

comments: “We are delighted to announce this year’s increased line-up of educational features at The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete. The spread of learning opportunities is designed so that visiting professionals can leave equipped with realistic pathways for bringing new technological advances into their build projects. “With more than $2.5 trillion worth of planned projects yet to be awarded in the Middle East, there is huge opportunity to elevate the region’s construction industry by introducing new processes and solutions right at the beginning of build.” The two summits on offer this year include the returning RTA Innovation in BIM Summit, shedding light on the governmentled roadmap of BIM adoption in the UAE; and the Geotechnical and Engineering Summit, covering the latest in ground surveying techniques and solutions. Along with the all-new Geospatial Leaders Conference, The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete welcome back the American Concrete Institute’s Conference series, exploring the latest standards in concrete efficiency. The new Geospatial Leaders Conference hosts unique geospatial intelligence leaders and technology providers from

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

across the region, speaking on topics such as drones/UAVs, smart cities, LiDAR technology and emerging technologies. Sherief Elabd, Director of Industry Strategy at Oracle Construction and Engineering, and a speaker at the event, welcomes the new conference: “Companies need to be taking technology trends seriously now by investing their resources in quality research and development, and most importantly by focusing on process re-engineering and integration within their business culture and markets. Events such as the Geospatial Leaders Conference help to raise awareness of these

With more than $2.5 trillion worth of planned projects yet to be awarded in the Middle East, there is huge opportunity to elevate the region’s construction industry”

issues by reaching key industry decision-makers, helping to shape the direction the industry moves in.” The two events also feature a wealth of Technical Seminars hosted by exhibitors. Leading brands such as Putzmeister, CIFA, Kryton, Trimble, Soilmec, Command Alkon and NFT Cranes will showcase products relating to the very first stages of the build cycle. The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete offer products from plant, lifting and quarrying machinery to raw materials extraction equipment, precast production solutions and more. In addition, solutions relating to drones and surveillance, site mapping, robotics, thermal imaging, virtual reality training and more feature in the all-new Construction Technology product sector. Marco Polastri, After Sales & Marketing director at CIFA, concludes: “Even in a digitisation era, face-to-face meetings are important to create and consolidate contacts, as well as starting the sales process directly right there.” The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete run alongside The Big 5, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, The Big 5 Solar and Urban Design & Landscape Expo – together transforming Dubai World Trade Centre into the global hub for the construction industry from 25-28 November 2019.


A prestigious recognition of excellence of the foremost building contractors in the region 26 November 2019

















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One-day summit on November 26, 2019 brings together HVAC R industry leaders from across the region to discover the latest technologies, develop innovative strategies and network with like-minded peers


VAC R Expo, the Middle East’s leading platform for connecting the HVAC R industry, returns to Dubai World Trade Centre for a second edition from 25-28 November 2019, featuring the all-new HVAC R Pioneers’ Summit. Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Director at dmg events, announces the new feature: “After the successful launch edition of HVAC R Expo, we are delighted to announce that the event will this year feature

the HVAC R Pioneers’ Summit. The summit responds to the HVAC R community’s needs to find more energy-efficient and costeffective solutions for the region. “According to recent research, $70bn worth of HVAC R systems are planned to be installed in the Middle East over the next decade. 90% remains to be awarded, and this presents a huge drive for the HVAC R sector, reflecting growing opportunities for global industry stakeholders.” While the HVAC R sector is one of the most important in the Middle East due to the climate, which makes it a pivotal element of all building projects, it is also the largest consumer of electricity in the region’s cities. According to Ronak Monga, Segment Development Manager of Building Services at Grundfos and a speaker at the summit, this is leading to a big appetite for innovation in the market. He says: “As a result, it is so important to have a platform such as the HVAC Pioneers’ Summit where stakeholders can share best practices on what works well, as well as reflect upon what hasn’t worked well, in order to secure the next generation of highly efficient, sustainable and futuristic HVAC systems.” Ronak joins the region’s biggest names from the HVAC R sector,

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

According to recent research, $70bn worth of HVAC R systems are planned to be installed in the Middle East over the next decade” including Hassan Younes, President Elect for ASHRAE Falcon Chapter; Afif Saif Harhara Al Yafei, Senior Vice President – Regional Asset Management from Tabreed; Rob Gregory, MEP Technical Director at Aurecon International; and Suhas Inamdar, Head of Technical Support and Planning at Wasl Properties. The agenda for the HVAC Pioneers’ Summit not only covers an overall market outlook on the Middle East’s HVAC R sector, but also features both individual and panel discussions on the significance of indoor air quality, the growing demand for district cooling, and cooling of super tall buildings, as well as a master class in ‘BIM + HVAC = Smarter Buildings of the Future’. Suhas Inamdar, Head of Technical Support and Planning at Wasl Properties, reveals what a smart city’s HVAC R system

might look like: “Just one example of innovation in the sector is that smart thermostats shall increasingly use artificial intelligence and machine learning to study the user behavioural pattern and optimise the power consumed by HVAC systems in the buildings. Moreover, we shall witness a new range of eco-friendly DeVAP HVAC systems in the coming decade, which consumes significantly less energy and does not use any harmful refrigerant to achieve cooling.” HVAC R Expo also brings back the free-to-attend CPD-certified HVAC R Talks, presenting a unique opportunity for visiting professionals to gain career development points and providing them with a chance to stay updated on trends in the sector. Aside from educational content, visitors to HVAC R Expo can expect to see the latest, most groundbreaking products on display at the event, relating to climate control, air quality and ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and heating, HVAC equipment and services, and building automation. HVAC R Expo is co-located with The Big 5, The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, Middle East Stone, The Big 5 Solar and Urban Design & Landscape Expo this year – together transforming Dubai World Trade Centre into the global hub for the construction industry from 25-28 November 2019.

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Discover the future of smart cities. Explore disruptive innovations and meet the experts that are transforming the urban environment at the Smart Cities Expo & Forum. Share knowledge and do business with global technology providers, entrepreneurs, project developers and governments.

SMART CITIES EXPO & FORUM HIGHLIGHTS: • See the latest innovation in smart city technology • Meet industry leaders that drive the development of smart cities • Experience never-before seen disruptive technology • Share best practice at the Smart Cities Forum



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Middle East tenders uaE INfRaSTRucTuRE

Sharjah Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Plant Budget $360 million territory Sharjah, UAE Client Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a seawater reverse osmosis plant (SWRO). The facility will have a capacity of 60 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD). It will also include installation of pumps, pressure exchangers, membranes, remineralisation and associated facilities. stArt dAte 2/1/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/3/22 INfRaSTRucTuRE

Jafza South Accommodation (Phase 3) Sewage Treatment Plant Budget $101 million territory Dubai, UAE Client Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a sewage treatment plant with a planned capacity of 6,000 cubic metres per day. The scope of work includes junior

blocks, apartments, car parking facilities, sewage treatment plant, settling tanks, pumping stations, storage tank, laying of pipelines and associated facilities. stArt dAte 2/1/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 28/2/23

SauDI aRaBIa EDucaTIoNal

King Faisal Air Force Academy


Residential Buildings at Oud Metha Budget $51 million territory Dubai, UAE Client Al Nasr Club desCription The project’s scope of work consists of residential buildings located at Oud Metha, Dubai. stArt dAte 1/10/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/22 ENERgy

Al Dhafra Independent Power Plant Budget $1.6 billion territory Abu Dhabi, UAE Client Abu Dhabi Department of Energy


desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a 2,000MW photovoltaic (PV) solar plant located at Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi. It also includes installation of solar panels of PV modules, construction of control rooms, the operating building and associated facilities. The project will lift Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to 3,200MW. Once completed, the project site will cover an area of 20sqkm, almost doubling the capacity of the current largest operational single-site solar PV plant in the world, Noor Abu Dhabi. stArt dAte 1/2/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/11/22

Budget $957 million territory Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Client Saudi Arabia Ministry of Defence & Aviation desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction and relocation of King Faisal Air Academy facilities and utilities to a new location located at Majmaah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The project includes: Security fences and gates (concrete fences, main gates, branch gates and security facilities) Infrastructure and roads (main and branch roads, electricity, water and wastewater networks) - Operations infrastructure (runways, aprons and related facilities) - Service facilities (operation and maintenance facilities, intelligence facilities area and air police facilities areas) - Technical facilities (student area facilities, educational facilities and administration building) - Residential facilities (family accommodation and bachelor accommodation) Connecting the project site to the public electricity grid through Saudi Electricity Company stArt dAte 2/1/16 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/11/22 culTuRal & REcREaTIoNal

Al Safiyyah Museum & Park Budget $101 million territory Madinah, Saudi Arabia Client Samaya Holding, Madinah Municipality

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



desCription The project’s scope of work consists of a museum and park located south of Al Masjid Al Nabawi, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. The project includes three main parts including the cultural park and the exhibition area, commercial and leisure. The project will also include landscaping works of the plantation of palms, distributed in an engineering way between the floors in the form of terraces surrounded by ponds and water fountains overlooking the garden, cafés, restaurants and shops to create an attractive environment for visitors to the region. stArt dAte 2/1/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/21 EDucaTIoNal

Yanbu National Centre for Logistics Studies Budget $170 million territory Yanbu, Al Madinah Province Client Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu desCription The project’s scope of work consists of a national centre for logistics studies located at Yanbu, Al Madinah Province, Saudi Arabia.stArt dAte 1/7/17 proJeCt CoMpletion 31/3/21

stArt dAte 1/2/17 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/21


Duqm Port Multi Purpose Berth Budget $101 million territory Duqm Port, Duqm Client Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a multi-purpose berth located at Duqm Port, Duqm, Oman. The project also includes port, storage facilities, infrastructure and marine facilities, breakwaters, quay walls and associated facilities. stArt dAte 1/10/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/22 ENERgy

Manah Solar l & ll Independent Power Plant Budget $250 million

territory Manah, Al Dakhiliyah Client Oman Power & Water Procurement Company desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a l and ll solar independent power plant (IPP) located at Manah, Al Dakhiliyah, Oman. stArt dAte 2/1/19 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/6/22 INDuSTRIal

Al Murooj Dairy Collection & Cooling Plant Budget $100 million territory Dhofar Client Duqm Special

Economic Zone Authority desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a dairy collection and cooling plant located at Dhofar, Oman. The dairy project will allow milk to be purchased from livestock breeders in the Dhofar governorate, and will have facilities to cool and process the milk for dairy products. Upon completion, the plant will have an aggregated capacity of 19,027 litres per day of cow milk, and 7,827 litres of camel milk every day. stArt dAte 1/12/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/5/21 INfRaSTRucTuRE

Al Sharqiya Water Transmission System Reinforcement Budget $102 million territory Al Sharqiya Client Oman Public Authority for Electricity & Water desCription The project’s scope of work involves the reinforcement of a water transmission system located at Al Sharqiya, Oman. stArt dAte 2/1/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/21



Dhahran New Central Warehouse Budget $100 million territory Dhahran, Eastern Province Client Saudi Electricity Company desCription The project’s scope of work consists of a new central warehouse located at Dhahran, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

Ras Rayaa Harbour Budget $250 million territory Diyar Al Muharraq Client Bahrain Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of a harbour located at Diyar Al Muharraq, Bahrain. stArt dAte 2/1/19


proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/23 RESIDENTIal

Durrat Al Bahrain Residential Islands Budget $55 million territory Durrat Al Bahrain Client Durrat Khaliji Bahrain desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction of atoll 5 and 6 residential islands located at Durrat Al Bahrain, Bahrain. stArt dAte 2/4/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/21 RESIDENTIal

Al Madina Al Shamaliya Development Island 14-Villa Complex Budget $150 million territory Madinat Salman Island 14 Client Bahrain Ministry of Housing desCription The project’s scope of work consists of 303 residential villas each comprising 2 floors located at Madinat Salman Island 14, Bahrain. stArt dAte 1/4/17 proJeCt CoMpletion 31/12/21 INfRaSTRucTuRE

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Causeway Bridge Maintenance Works Budget $50 million territory Riffa Client Bahrain Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning desCription The project’s scope of work involves the painting, inspection and maintenance work

at Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Causeway bridge located at Riffa, Bahrain. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Causeway Highway involves the construction of a 404m marine bridge as part of a causeway linking Hidd to Manama with a length of 6.4km consisting of 3 lanes going in each direction and footpaths on either side. The bridge steelwork weighs in excess of 2,500 tonnes and is 121m long, 54m wide with an arch height of 26m. stArt dAte 1/7/17 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/3/21


West Al Fintas Fresh Water Ground Tanks (Phase 2) Budget $1.5 billion territory West Al Fintas area with annexes No. 3 – Phase II Client Kuwait Ministry of Electricity & Water desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction,

completion and maintenance of 2 ground tanks of freshwater reinforced concrete 85 million imperial gallons, located in the West Al Fintas area with annexes No. 3 – Phase II, Kuwait. stArt dAte 1/10/18 proJeCt CoMpletion 31/3/21 coMMERcIal & RESIDENTIal

Kuwait Rest Houses & Chalet Service Centres Budget $201 million territory Kuwait City Client Kuwait Municipality, Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects desCription The project’s scope of work consists of 17 rest houses


and 2 chalet services located in Kuwait City. The project will be divided into 4 packages. Each package will contain 4 to 5 different locations, and each location has a site area of 3,000sqm dedicated to it. The project includes commercial spaces, mini markets, restaurants, cafeterias, mechanical workshops, public spaces, prayer areas, rest areas, parking areas and landscaping areas. The 17 rest houses will be located on 5 main highways (Kabd, Wafra, Abdali, Sabiyah and Al Salmi) and 2 chalet centres will be located in Al Doha. stArt dAte 2/1/13 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/8/22 REcREaTIoNal

Asima Shooting Range Complex Budget $51 million territory Kuwait City, Asima Client Kuwait Ministry of Interior desCription The project’s scope of work consists of a shooting range complex located at Kuwait City, Asima, Kuwait. stArt dAte 2/1/19 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/11/21 INDuSTRIal

Al Jahra Central Workshops & Piping Yards Budget $63 million territory Al Jahra, North Kuwait Client Kuwait Oil Company desCription The project’s scope of work involves the construction and maintenance of central workshops and piping yards located at Al Jahra, North Kuwait, Kuwait. stArt dAte 1/7/17 proJeCt CoMpletion 30/12/21

MEConstructionNews.com | November 2019



Final update

Work completed on Millennium Executive Apartments Mont Rose Executive 126 apartments total development is operational as of October 2019, Deyaar and Millennium say


eyaar Properties and Millennium Hotels and Resorts have announced that the project work for Millennium Executive Apartments Mont Rose is now completed, and that the development is operational as of October 2019. Part of the three-tower Mont Rose development in Dubai Science Park in Al Barsha South, the Millennium Executive

Apartments Mont Rose features 126 one-bed apartments and 72 studio apartments across 20 floors. It is accessible via Dubai’s main roads – Al Khail and Mohammed Bin Zayed. It is also close to major landmarks such as Mall of the Emirates and Miracle Gardens. “Millennium Mont Rose is another contribution we are proud to make to Dubai’s hospitality scene, in support of Dubai Tourism Vision 2020. The diversification of hospitality offerings in the emirate will create further appeal to a diverse range of tourists, who are keen to find residences that cater to their specific

November 2019 | MEConstructionNews.com

number of onebedroom apartments

needs,” said Saeed Al Qatami, CEO of Deyaar, adding that the development is a further addition to Deyaar’s hospitality portfolio and the increasing diversification of the company. Al Qatami said hospitality will be a cornerstone of Deyaar’s long-term vision in delivering sustainable returns to its shareholders and supporting the creation of employment in Dubai. Kevork Deldelian, CEO of Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East and Africa, added that this is the third hospitality collaboration between Millennium and Deyaar, and the second executive apartments project in Dubai.

Project: The Green Planet, Dubai | Solution: Custom Metal Radial Bulkheads & R-H 200 Ceilings


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