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DESIGN, BUILD, AND MAINTAIN

GULF

October 2015

SWERVING THE INTERNATIONAL ‘STARCHITECTS’

COOL IN THE SHADE

KEEPING EMIRATES GOLF COURSE GREEN

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WELCOME

October 2015 | Volume 1, Issue 4

Concept to Delivery

GULF

DESIGN, BUILD, AND MAINTAIN

GULF

October 2015

SWERVING THE INTERNATIONAL ‘STARCHITECTS’

COOL

Welcome to October 2015 Welcome to the October issue of Pro Landscaper Gulf. We hope you enjoy the monthly frequency of the magazine. There is so much going on in the industry in this region that it makes sense to publish more regularly and we are confident we will keep the quality at its peak. We visited The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show in Dubai this month, we met lots of people and saw plenty of innovative products. We look forward to seeing those we met again, and we would love to meet you at the

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570 Publisher – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570 EDITORIAL PLGulf@eljays44.com Editor – Lisa Wilkinson lisa.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 579 Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson joe.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 577 Editorial Assistant – Jack Bacon jack.bacon@eljays44.com +44 (0)1903 777 573 Production Editor – Martin Cooper martin.cooper@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570

next industry show. Perhaps at FutureScape, if you’re near London on 17 November? We have more expert articles this month. Hear all about going artificial from Easigrass on page 10 and the benefits of living green walls on page 13 from green wall pioneer Mark Laurence. Duncan Denley this month discusses how local consultants can replace what he calls ‘starchitects’ and still produce the same quality standard schemes. Michael Mascarenhas is our big interview this month. Michael, group chief executive of Desert Group, discusses running a business that is dedicated to transforming the region’s arid environment via innovative landscapes. We have two cracking projects showcased in our portfolio section this month, including an installation in a school playground in the UK that could be replicated over here and we also get the details of a project by wt Burden in which the company built a series of sunshades and rest areas along the first 7km of the Jumeirah Corniche

ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 588 Account Manager – Ben Cumberland ben.cumberland@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 571 Horticulture Careers – Laura Harris laura.harris@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 587 Accounts Assistant – Lisa Woollard accounts@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570 Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570

KEEPING EMIRATES GOLF COURSE GREEN

IN THE SHADE

running track. We were also lucky to be invited for a tour of the facilities at The Emirates Golf Club to find out how they keep their courses and landscaped areas in tip-top condition all year round amid challenging circumstances. Our ‘Most Influential’ feature continues. This month we find out what makes Cracknell and Blue Stream top players in the market. Between them, they have 46 years at the top of the pile in their respective fields. We have all this plus lots more product information for you to pore over this month. Enjoy the read and we will see you again in November. Have a great month.

Joe Wilkinson Committed to producing the best landscape magazine in the region

Design – Amy Downes

Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd – Connecting Horticulture Pro Landscaper’s content is available for licensing overseas. Contact jamie.wilkinson@ eljays44.com Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.

MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Tel: +44 (0)1903 777571 Subscription enquiries jessica.garrard@eljays44.com

GULF

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CONTENTS

October 2015 Volume 1 Issue 4

GULF

26 6

News Shed Industry news from the Gulf region

PORTFOLIOS 20 Sensory adventure

A beautiful play and learning space in London that could easily inspire similar projects in the region

EXPERTS 8 The benefits of living green walls Landscaper Mark Laurence discusses how living green walls can counter our ever-increasing disconnect with nature

10

12

23

An artificial answer Easigrass argues that artificial grass could prevent a looming water crisis

The sands have shifted

Desert Group’s chief executive on why his company is dedicated to transforming UAE’s arid landscapes

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wt Burden built a series of sunshades and rest areas along the first 7km of the Jumeirah Corniche running track

23

Craig Haldane shows Pro Landscaper Gulf around the courses, where the grass grows all year round

MOST INFLUENTIAL 29 A look at another two industry

game-changers in the region – Cracknell and Blue Stream

A list of current landscaping tenders in the Middle East

INTERVIEW 15 Michael Mascarenhas

Looking cool in the shade

FEATURES 26 Site visit to Emirates Golf Club

Duncan Denley explains that there is talent enough in the region to eradicate the need for international ‘starchitects’

TENDERS 13 Tenders

15

PRODUCTS 34 Latest Products

A look at what’s new in landscaping

35

Trading With Calvin Platfoot, of Gulf Leisure

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NEWS

NEWS SHED Baharash to build eco retreat

Aspire event helps visitors enjoy a wonderful Eid Doha’s Aspire Park attracted hundreds of visitors during the second day of Eid, with families enjoying the outdoor activities organised by Aspire Logistics. Brought to Qataris in accordance with Qatar Tourism Authority’s Eid Al Adha Festival, Aspire produced the festival’s first watersports show, which featured exhibitions on fly-boarding, wake-boarding and jet-skiing. Families relaxed and enjoyed picnics in the shade, while more energetic visitors exercised on the 3km rubber-floored jogging track.

Elsewhere, people enjoyed the park’s lush green hills or dined at the facility’s cafes. The one-day event was conceived to entice more visitors to the park and give them a chance to use its facilities. Lolwa Al Marri, head of events at Aspire, said: “Family pony rides, cart, train and bicycle rental are available at weekends and during Eid holidays. “Some activities are free, while others are available for a minimal fee.” www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

Mushrif Central Park reopens after six-week summer closure

Baharash Architecture, an award-winning design studio based in London, has been commissioned to design a deluxe desert eco-retreat for a leading Emirati personality. The UK design company’s brief is to create a retreat which blends into the pristine and natural environment of the southern region of Liwa, Abu Dhabi. The luxurious solar-powered sanctuary will be an example of a new sustainable trend that is proving increasingly popular in the Middle East. The building’s design is completely energy self-sufficient and will feature solar panels to generate and store clean power in battery units. Smartglass windows

6

will provide instant once-touch privacy, while an indoor herb garden has also been proposed. A central fireplace will promote social bonding at the retreat, in line with Bedouin traditions. Baharash Architecture said the retreat would deliver “desired exclusivity and tranquillity in an area which has remained untouched for centuries”. The Liwa region is also rich in wildlife with species including oryx, gazelle and camels. Other recent Baharash Architecture projects in the region include The Sustainable City in Dubai and the Panoramic Villa in Abu Dhabi. www.baharash.com

Pro Landscaper Gulf / October 2015

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Residents are celebrating the reopening of Abu Dhabi’s Mushrif Central Park following its six-week summer closure. The park underwent a series of upgrades in August and September in readiness for the arrival of visitors this autumn. A spokesman for the park, which originally opened in 1982, said the summer works included more power cabling to accommodate live outdoor events, landscaping improvements and maintenance, plus additional signage outlining park rules.

In addition to the renovations, other popular features at the community facility include the memorial Wisdom Garden, which honours the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, a botanical garden, which features indigenous plants, and an animal barn that is operated by Emirates Park Zoo. The park’s cafe and prayer room amenities have proved popular with the public. Opening times at the facility have also been extended. The park’s entertainment schedule is expected to be announced soon for the Amphitheatre Venue, which is situated opposite the Entrance Pavilion, as will be the date for the return of the Saturday Ripe Food And Craft Market. www.mushrifcentralpark.ae

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NEWS

Community management group threatens fines for dumping garden waste Emaar Community Management (ECM), an award-winning division of the Emaar Group, has warned Dubai residents and private gardening providers that fines will be issued for the improper dumping of garden waste. ECM, which manages the property and lifestyle of residents in its care, has launched a pamphlet campaign to alert its residents from the Emirates Living communities (Springs, Lakes and Meadows) on how to avoid penalties and comply with its code of conduct.

The guidelines state that professional landscaping companies are susceptible to a fine of Dh5,000 by the community manager if garden waste is found on pavements, sikkas or general public spaces. In addition, local authorities can penalise offenders with another fine of Dh75,000. The ECM guidelines also prohibit the dumping of any type of refuse or other material in common areas. To dispose of bulky garden waste, ECM has advised gardening companies to use their own

vehicles or hire one. However, some gardeners working in the community had been dumping dead plants, grass cuttings and even tree branches on pavements and verges to save on the cost of hiring large vehicles such as vans or pick-up trucks. ECM runs an annual initiative for residents with a focus on sustainable developments and environmental conservation through active participation in gardening and landscaping. Dubai Municipality has actively encouraged residents to utilise the free waste removal service offered by its Waste Management Department to dispose of bulk home and agricultural waste from its premises. www.ecm.ae

Hadeed Emirates Contracting Company wins solar innovation centre contract

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has commissioned Hadeed Emirates Contracting Company (HEC) to construct a solar innovation centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The centre will serve as a

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museum and exhibition for solar and renewable energy and will be open to tourists, universities, schools, and companies. Set to open to solar energy manufacturers and developers, the venue will act as a permanent convention centre for events,

conferences, training and meetings on topics related to renewable energy and other green initiatives. Dewa said the centre’s landmark design celebrates “the unique identity of the energy park, reinforcing the image of green Dubai as a leading example of sustainable development, regionally and internationally”. HEC has been in the construction business since 2001 and has been involved in many industrial and commercial projects in Abu Dhabi. HEC said: “A beautiful organic form from the outside, The Solar Innovation Center inspires curiosity with a stimulating, free-flowing multi-level space internally.” The centre is planned to be completed by Q1 2017. www.hadeedconstruction.com

NEWS IN BRIEF The dream of a greener Qatar moves closer

Doha’s Public Parks Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning is designing plans for 55 new parks in Qatar. Mohammed Ali Al Khouri, director of public parks, said the parks would set new standards and be designed to international specifications for all services and facilities. A flowers and seeds selling service has also been planned for park owners in a bid to help them achieve the dream of a green Qatar. www.constructionweek online.com

Plans to convert Kuwaiti cemeteries put on hold

The Kuwait City Municipal Council has been working on a number of projects, including plans to relocate the city zoo and build new housing units. However, the Kuwait Times reported that the municipality has decided to put on hold plans to convert up to 50 cemeteries in Kuwait into public parks following protests. www.arabianbusiness.com

Dubai Parks and Resorts contract is endorsed

The Roads and Transports Authority has endorsed a Dh250 million contract to build roads and bridges at Dubai Parks and Resorts in cooperation with Meraas Holding. New transport links will connect the new project at Shaikh Zayed Road in the direction of Dubai from Abu Dhabi, 4km from Seeh Shoaib. The new project is expected to open in October 2016. www.gulfnews.com

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EXPERTS

THE BENEFITS OF

LIVING GREEN WALLS Landscaper and arborist Mark Laurence discusses some of the problems faced by the industry in Middle Eastern cities

W

ith a rise in urbanisation, green infrastructure has become essential to counter our ever-increasing disconnect to nature. Living walls are an important part of this as they deliver huge volumes of green using a very small footprint. But what are the benefits? On a human level, research shows that close proximity to plants brings many benefits – emotional, physical and spiritual – fulfilling our innate need for nature. This is known as the biophilia hypothesis. We are less stressed and more relaxed when around plants, with higher productivity and less absenteeism at work. Plants are known to cleanse the air of dust particulates and gaseous toxins and add essential moisture back into the air, leading to fewer dry eyes and coughs. Physical health benefits don’t stop there; studies

LIVING WALLS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO TRANSFORM THE HOTTEST OF PLACES show that people in hospitals heal faster when they have a direct connection to nature. And, of course, the artistic element of designing with plants is fantastic, giving a huge psychological

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uplift to those who encounter living walls. Seeing nature tower above you where once was concrete or steel is an amazing experience. In building design, living walls can contribute to sustainability by reducing heating and cooling costs. They act as an insulating layer, lessening thermal absorption or loss through the building’s skin – regulating the internal conditions and reducing energy use. They also dissipate sound effectively when used both internally and externally, thus making the home or workplace a more pleasant space to be in. There is also great potential to use green walls as biological water filters, where grey water (from taps within the building) irrigates the walls which cleans the water and returns it to the building to be reused – an example of cyclical design where the building deals with the waste it generates. Benefits are also apparent in the wider environment. Living walls in a street canyon are known to be efficient filters of airborne particulates (pm10) and gaseous toxins such as NOx, which derive largely from diesel engines. Air in the street canyon swirls through the foliage, which deposits the particulate and encourages gaseous exchange. Living walls are more effective than trees in this respect – trees can trap pollutants at street level and often lose

their leaves for a part of the year. Living walls can also contribute to the reduction of urban heat island effect, which is where the urban fabric absorbs heat, re-radiating it at night. If the building is clothed in green, which gives off moisture through evapotranspiration, then the surroundings stay that bit cooler. Finally, living walls are essential for urban biodiversity, providing shelter and food sources for insects, which are the basis of all ecology. Creating extensive living walls in arid climates is not without challenges and, in the case of external walls, comes down to the right system and plant selection. Both need extensive testing to prove suitability (something this author has been doing), but the benefits are heightened in such climates and well worth the effort – living walls have the potential to transform even the hottest of places into something truly special. ABOUT MARK LAURENCE Mark Laurence is a sustainable landscape designer with a passion for living walls. In the past decade, he co-founded one of the UK’s most successful living wall companies and now holds several system patents. He recently set up Vertology Living Walls to further this work internationally and he has a special interest in the Middle-East. Consultancy: www.marklaurence.com Living walls: www.vertology.uk.com

www.prolandscaper.ae

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© 2015 Trex Company, Inc. All Ri © 2015 Trex Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

4C

Color:

Bleed: NA

LIVE: NA

Job Name: CONSUMER PRINT DUBAI 2015

Date Produced: 5/8/15

Job Number: TREX0225 AD: DB TREX

Publication: DUBAI ARCHITECTURAL

Client:

TRIM: 8.27” X11.69”

Bleed: NA

Color:

4C

TRIM: 8.27” X11.69”

LIVE: NA

Date Produced: 5/8/15

Publication: DUBAI ARCHITECTURAL

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15/10/2015 26/08/2015 16:20 12:06


EXPERTS

1

AN ARTIFICIAL ANSWER The rapid development of the United Arab Emirates has put significant pressure on its natural resources, with water management one of the major challenges. Easigrass argues that artificial grass could be part of the answer

T

he staggering success of the UAE is well documented; in a relatively short period of time millions have flocked to the country to take advantage of its flourishing industries. The unprecedented growth of the UAE has also created its most significant environmental challenge so far – water management. The UAE is one of the driest countries in the world yet, per capita, it uses 83% more water than the global average – 4.4 trillion litres per day. The country is now under serious pressure to become more sustainable. This unquenchable demand for water is only going to increase as more projects, more residents and more tourists come to the UAE. It is predicted that demand will have risen 44% by 2025, yet the UAE uses its ground water 24 times faster than its natural recharge capacity. At this rate, ground water supplies will be depleted within the next 40 years. General water wastage is a major concern. It is reported that the average UAE resident can waste up to 250 litres per day. If water conservation and

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sustainability is a top priority, this worrying statistic needs to be addressed immediately. Simply put, for the UAE to reduce water wastage it has to reduce water usage. One way of doing this is through the implementation of artificial grass. Dhilip Kumar, CEO of Platinum SDI, a leading sustainable development consultancy company with years of experience in the Middle-East region, said: “If our clients insist on using natural grass, we always advise them to use a native or adapted species that requires less water. If they do not insist on natural grass then we will always advise them to use artificial grass as green building standards under the Pearl Rating System also mandate a significant reduction in annual landscape irrigation demand on every project.” This isn't a new concept. The US state of California, for example, encourages the use of artificial grass to reduce water consumption by offering subsidies for those who install it. One of Dubai’s most innovative landscape architecture companies, desert INK, has used artificial grass in many of its recent projects. Will Bennett, of desert INK, said: “Despite being a

proponent for all things natural in the softscape, we actually prefer to use artificial turf in many of our commercial projects for three main reasons: it provides a permanent ‘green’ surface all year round, environmentally speaking it has far less impact on our water resources than real grass and, when we studied the numbers, we found it cost much less than irrigating real lawn.” Bennett added that the hard-wearing nature of artificial grass made it ideal for intensively used areas such as playgrounds and sports pitches and provided the company with a greater “versatility to design with”. He also argued that “vegetation equals green environmental credentials” in the region, adding: “This might be correct in temperate climates but in the desert maintaining a lush lawn is incredibly intensive; it requires large quantities of water, pesticides and fertilisers as well as labour.” Artificial grass manufacturer Easigrass and desert INK developed a cost analysis study to see if artificial turf could be more sustainable from an economic point of view as well as an environmental one. Their joint study concluded

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EXPERTS

that although in an 80m2 garden the initial investment would be considerably higher than that of natural grass, money spent on maintaining natural grass “surpasses that of artificial grass”. It added that after two and a half years, savings made by installing artificial grass “could be as much as 4,332 AED per year”. The study also looked at a commercial installation of 2,000m2. It stated: “On larger projects where maintenance costs are lower, the return on investment is three years. After this, the savings made by installing artificial grass could be as much as 87,202 AED per year.” Taking into account the water usage figures in the UAE, it is clear that action needs to be taken to reduce general water consumption but, more specifically, water wastage. Artificial grass offers a solution, with no water needed to keep it green. If every villa, park, hotel and school stopped or, at the very least, reduced the amount of water used on growing natural grass, the savings could go a long way to moderating Dubai’s water consumption.

2

This article is a collaboration between desert INK, Platinum DSI and Easigrass Notes: ROI figures are based on standard irrigation rates from Dubai Municipality and market rates for artificial grass installations and maintenance Water statistics have been taken from Gulf News 29 April 2015 and 13 January 2010.

3

1 Artificial grass can help in the battle to reduce water wastage

2 Products are suitable for use indoors as well as outdoors

3 Artificial grass is also a low maintenance solution 4 Its hard-wearing nature makes it ideal for intensively used areas such as playgrounds and sports pitches

ABOUT EASIGRASS Easigrass offers an exclusive range of artificial grass products. The company designs its own products and transforms gardens, sports pitches, playgrounds, and restaurants into 365 day-a-year usable spaces. Easigrass offers a six-year warranty on products.

Tel: +971 4 884 8209 Email: info@easigrass.ae Web: www.easigrass.ae

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EXPERTS

THE SANDS HAVE SHIFTED In last month’s issue Duncan Denley, managing director of desert INK landscape architects, highlighted the case for designing local. In this issue, he says local consultants can replace the ‘starchitects’ and offer clients a truly international-standard product

T

here was, of course, a time when clients were forced to look overseas when seeking landscape designs of a truly international standard. Landscape was largely limited to extensive lawns, punctuated by date palms and a scattering of brightly coloured bedding plants to add a touch of colour. Landscape design was essentially a horticultural exercise, with work carried out by agricultural engineers and vast teams of gardeners. It was a process of laying out patterns over the landscape, expressed by a handful of hardy species. In the 1980s and 1990s, welltravelled clients started to realise there were companies that could deliver something more. Clients were delighted by carefully composed streetscapes enlivened by landscape design, parks delivering enriching experiences and, ultimately, the process of adding value through landscape architecture. These consultancies were invited to the Middle East and the profession of

Being locally based allows desert INK to visit nurseries regularly, ensuring up-to-date regional plants are available

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landscape architecture started to enjoy recognition in the region. A similar process played out in architecture and engineering, with American and European companies in particular being invited to make their mark in the rapidly developing region. With the smell of opportunity in the air, some of these consultants settled in the region, opening small practices with big ideas – desert INK’s own umbrella group was one such case, setting up business in 1988. In the past 30 years, companies such as Desert Group have been combining truly international-standard design with local knowledge. They understand local materials, plants, government processes and culture, while having their finger on the pulse of international design. We are seeing these practices come of age, creating many of the landmark projects for which the region is famous. Travel, as the adage goes, broadens the mind and there are few regions in the world whose inhabitants enjoy such an exposure to international travel. Gulf-based architects are very aware of what is going on in the rest of the world, from new technologies and materials to design philosophies and directions. Our plea to Gulf clients is this: before flying in the ‘big guns’ from overseas at great expense, check the credentials of local consultants. You’ll find you can make huge financial savings while receiving a design in context to its physical and cultural surroundings. Whether a contractor or designer, we’ve all seen it – an overseas consultant arrives to impose ideas and materials which are familiar to them on their home turf.

Our clients then find themselves importing vast quantities of exotic stone at great cost or lumbered with wildly expensive maintenance regimes caused by unsuitable material choices. Most landscape contractors here can recount stories of how they were expected to create lavender hedges, cherry tree walks or rose gardens which the international consultant sold to the client. My own experience involves ‘starchitects’ insisting on black granite benches in an urban streetscape. Now installed, it is possible to fry an egg on these benches while sitting is out of the question. Unfortunately, it is hard to interpret such foreign landscape expressions in the region. As professionals, it is part of our duty to clients to stay abreast of new technologies, materials, processes and trends, and we must travel, read and see how we can take these ideas further in our own local context. Our clients are starting to recognise that good ideas don’t need to be outsourced. Now is the time for the local consultant to be entrusted with the signature projects and, before long, we will have the rest of the world looking to us for inspiration.

ABOUT DUNCAN DENLEY Duncan’s professional experience since 2000 spans the globe, with completed projects in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. Since arriving in Dubai in 2002, many of Duncan’s award-winning schemes have defined the landscape architecture profession in the Gulf region. Email: duncan.denley@desertgroup.ae

www.prolandscaper.ae

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TENDERS

TENDERS

A selection of projects open to tender across the GCC region

Kuwait Tender Name

Description

Client

Tender Cost

Closing Date

Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation Implementation 9th Area

Implementation and Renovation of Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation at 9th Area

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation Implementation 5th Area

Implementation and Renovation of Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation at 5th Area

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation Implementation 7th Area

Implementation and Renovation of Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation Implementation

Implementation and Renovation of Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation Implementation 8th Area

Implementation and Renovation of Agriculture Landscaping & Irrigation at 8th Area

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation Execution Works

Execution and Development of Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation in District 5

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation Execution Works

Execution and Development of Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation in District 8

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation Execution Works

Execution and Development of Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation in District 6

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation Execution Works

Execution and Development of Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation in District 7

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3571 USD

01/11/2015

Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation Development Works

Execution and Development of Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation in District 1

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3571 USD

01/11/2015

Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation Execution Works

Execution and Development of Aesthetic Agriculture and Irrigation

Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources - PAAFR (Kuwait)

3,571 USD

01/11/2015

Natural Grass Removal

Removal of the Natural Grass and Installation of ArtiďŹ cial Grass in the Model Sport Yards and Youth Centers.

Public Authority for Youth & Sports (Kuwait)

3,300 USD

08/11/2015

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TENDERS

Saudi Arabia Tender Name

Description

Client

Tender Cost

Closing Date

Agricultural Basins

Supply of Agricultural Basins.

King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia)

267 USD

27/10/2015

Irrigation Network

Supply and Installation of Irrigation Network.

Ministry of Defence & Aviation (Saudi Arabia)

133 USD

01/11/2015

Abu Dhabi Tender Name Palm Trees Planting & Associated Works

Description Planting of 15,000 palm trees and associated works in various schools.

Client

Tender Cost

Closing Date

Abu Dhabi General Services Company PJSC (Musanada)

N/A

24/10/2015

Client

Tender Cost

Closing Date

Oman Tender Name

Description

Irrigation Tank Establishment

Establishment of Irrigation Tank and Supply & Installation of Pumps for Landscape.

Muscat Municipality (Oman)

78 USD

25/10/2015

Plant Palm Offshoot

Supply and Plant Palm Offshoot.

Muscat Municipality (Oman)

649 USD

01/11/2015

Automatic Irrigation System

Supply & Installation of Automatic Irrigation System.

Muscat Municipality (Oman)

3896 USD

01/11/2015

Automatic Irrigation System

Supply & Installation of Automatic Irrigation System.

Muscat Municipality (Oman)

1,948 USD

01/11/2015

*The tender cost is the fee charged by the client to purchase the tender document. Typically, the tender cost is 0.001% of the contract value.

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INTERVIEW

THE

BIG INTERVIEW

MICHAEL MASCARENHAS The group chief executive of Desert Group talks about running a business that is dedicated to transforming the UAE’s arid environment via innovative landscapes

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INTERVIEW

THERE WAS AN URGENT NEED TO CREATE A NIMBLE ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE, MANAGE MATURING LINES AND GROW NEW BUSINESSES

How is the business structured and how long has it been going? Desert Group was founded in 1988. A pioneer, it was the first company that introduced the concept of landscaping in the region and has been a catalyst in changing how the world views what was once a very arid region. However, given the dynamic environment there was an urgent need to optimise organisational structure, manage maturing business lines and grow new businesses to meet the changing needs of our customers and market place. Desert Group has now been transformed into a very nimble organisation, where our goal is to balance innovation with performance and embrace strategic experimentation without jeopardising financial stability. Clarity in service lines with an emphasis on employee engagement, profitability, innovation and customer focus drives each vertical. We relish the uncertainty in the business environment and our structures and strategies are focused on adjusting quickly to new business conditions, and seizing emerging opportunities. What started as a landscaping company has become a behemoth that looks at various verticals within the horticulture and water industries in a very focused way.

the first organic certified growing capability in the region. We also have a sector called the innovation hub, which carries out research and development for the group. For instance, work on tissue culture, DNA mapping, protocol development etc, developing the next level of products in the landscaping and growing industry. We also have one of the strongest propagation arms in the industry. We have thus created a very vibrant group and continuously focus on value in our strategy.

Are you split into horticulture and water industry divisions? The group is structured as a holding company and under the holding company you have 11 verticals. Each of these is run by a professional who has skills to take this vertical to the next level. The emphasis is not only on growth but on incremental innovation to create sustainable results. We have the recently formed desert INK, already a formidable force in the landscaping design sector. Besides the Build, Maintain and Waterscapes verticals, we have the largest Nurseries in the region. We have manufacturing and the iconic Dubai Garden Centre. Given the focus on food security in the region, Desert Group has established its vegetable growing arm. Our goal is to have

Who will build those? Given that desert INK operates with a mandate of being independent and objective, its focus is on what the client wants. If the client wants it to go to tender or prefers to give it to anyone else they deem fit, then so be it. It’s an independent division. Its loyalty lies with the customer and to further the mandate of each customer. The focus is on customer needs.

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So you have a design function away from the landscape function but also a design function within the landscape vertical? We established desert INK to be an entity that could deliver value to our many commercial clients who need personalised attention. Given that Dubai is moving towards the 2020 programme, there are a lot of developments here which require unique positioning in the industry to appeal to the type of tourist the Emirates is trying to attract. The team at desert INK specialises in unique landscaping capabilities that differentiate one developer from the other and one theme park from another. The design section within the landscape function is to assist clients on their immediate needs.

Where will the hotel segment fit? Some of the leading hotel brands are our customers. We are the go-to company for our unparalleled attention to client needs and a value added service. Be it design, build or maintain – we are already servicing global customers, some in Africa and the Far East. Desert Group is fast

turning into a global company and will go where the clients want us to go to. Does each sector have its own branding? Each of the companies operates with autonomy to focus on what drives shareholder value and meets market needs. So the focus is to give my general managers the tools to make them successful. If a vertical is best suited to develop its own brand, so be it. Underlying all that is the Desert Group ethos and philosophy, which works on “EPIC”. EPIC is an acronym for Employee engagement, Profitability, Innovation and Customer focus. The entire group works within this value system. It’s what drives us and makes our corporate existence interesting. With

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EPIC ďŹ rmly embedded as a core value system, I’m happy for a group to take its own shape, address customer needs rather than for me to shackle enterprise and business energy. We as a team would like to experience what the market needs and, in turn, provide an experience to the customer that sets our products and services apart. We are an aspirational group and my job is to create an environment that brings both individual and corporate success. My mantra is to create a vibrant group by strengthening employee engagement giving all a sense of purpose. If you do that, you have got a company that is challenging the marketplace and looking forward. Hence, we would like to be known as an innovative brand.

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INTERVIEW At the nursery, are your plants sold to other landscapers at a competitive price compared with how much you paid for them? Yes. That’s one of the big advantages of having the growing arm. We get the type of products we want on demand but we also get to choose what we believe are products yet to be introduced in the market to our competitors. It’s the customer that is on our mind. As we move to sustainable solutions we must adapt what we grow to best suit the region’s needs. The focus is on native plants and shrubs. These are more resilient to the harsh climate and adapt well to the eco system. Is the domestic landscaping sector a large part of your business? We are evolving and while there is no deliberate attempt to reduce one vertical at the expense of the other, we do see a shift. It’s more important for us to be nimble and adaptive. Diversification within the group serves two purposes – it fits in well with our diversification strategy and, more importantly, we are able to stay ahead in terms of what the market wants. Is there a big push for golf course development? I imagine there continues to be strong demand for golf courses but I think the UAE is reaching its level in terms of saturation. What each course will have to do is position itself to offer a different experience from its competitors. A deeper understanding of customer needs will drive the golf market. What do you offer in terms of maintenance contracts? We work very closely with our clients to assess their needs. Given our experience in the region we are able to provide advice and consultancy early on, finalise what is actually needed and, more

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importantly, how we can make their properties unique. It is all built bespoke. Desert Group is a one-stop solution so the client is talking to one supplier, one partner and we have to buy in and marry the whole group into their requirement. That way there are synergies we offer the client and we are responsible and accountable for the whole range of services we offer. Then the customer is able to get the best in terms of innovation. Do you cover interior landscaping? Yes. The plantscapes division carries out the interior design and we supply the pots and interior plants. We maintain that too. We also recently established the House of Flowers. We felt there was a gap in the market for a good florist and House of Flowers has just been established and will be marketed in the region. How many garden centres do you have? Just one at the moment but there are plans afoot to expand within the region. Where does the future lie? In innovating. So while consolidation happens we have to focus on what the customer needs and how we can create demand in sustainability and eco-friendly products. The next three years will be critical in terms of how we visualise the market and subscribe to what the region wants us to do. We want to bring excitement into an industry that many consider boring. Desert Group will continue to strive towards that. DESERT GROUP

PO Box 37579 Dubai, UAE. Tel: 971-4-3404440 Email: group@desertgroup.ae Web: www.desertgroup.ae

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16/10/2015 09:14


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SENSORY A D V E N T U R E Nigel Abbey Design Consultants and The Garden Builders combined to produce an exciting and beautiful play and learning space at a London school to encourage its pupils to use all their senses in a bright and safe environment 20

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PORTFOLIO

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he brief was to create a sensory garden suitable for nursery and reception-aged children (three to six years old). Up to 60 children could use the garden at any one time so it needed to be low maintenance with limited planting. William Morris Primary School sits next to a large council housing estate and affordable housing in Merton Borough, a socially mixed demographic area of south London. The dynamic executive headteacher helped the school rise from a government schools rating of ‘failing’ to ‘good’ only three years after her appointment, and her vision of extending the learning environment outside the classroom has been hailed as a significant contributing factor in that success. As the garden has to accommodate a high number of children at any one time, open space was an important factor and we had to treat the area as a semi-open play and learning space that encouraged children to explore and find out about the wider world around them while developing basic motor skills by negotiating gentle features and feeling different

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tactile materials. We created a virtual world where children could explore and excite all of their senses. EXCITING SETTING The central island feature is surrounded by ‘sea and land’, marked out by areas of artificial, brightly coloured grass, providing a safe, visually stimulating and exciting setting. The garden contains water features, wind chimes, touch walls and picture units. The touch walls have natural items such as sea shells embedded into them. The picture units feature large images as a ‘window on the world’, with images of the American, Asian, African, Australasian and Antarctic continents. The island itself is adorned with a real palm tree and highly scented plants. INSPIRATION Semi-abstract ‘boats’ with seating provide areas for quiet learning groups and can also double up as picnicking area. Additional parasols on the ‘land’ provide shade on hot days, while the entrance wall represents a

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wave. The garden is dedicated to Mary Kingsley, the inspirational London-born Victorian explorer and writer with the totem featuring a summary of her achievements. The project demanded a high level of research and development to achieve the design concept in full and a number of bespoke items had to be sourced and commissioned, including special exterior, quality canvas art prints, touch-wall panels, bridges, a jetty, boats and a totem. There were also various features that we had to source, including wind chimes and water features. Planting was also crucial as the stock had to be stunning, easy to maintain, safe for children, scented and hardy. Plant stock was supplied by Provender Nurseries under the direction of plant expert Lorraine Hartley. The touch-wall panels were particularly challenging but we got there thanks to Stephen Greenfield Model Makers, a company mainly involved in the movie industry. The touch panels feature genuine shells, pebbles and gems which had to be safely embedded into coloured acrylic bases. They21 Pro Landscaper Gulf / October 2015

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PORTFOLIO

William Morris Primary School P R O P O S E D S E N S O RY G A R D E N S IT E

white rocks

3

planter

picture

touch

planter

planter

picture

picture

planter

boulders Highly scented Shrubs boat /seating

boat /seating Windchimes

Real Palm tree Timber rounds to raise bed Cascading water feature

‘bridge’

ramp planter

Jetty with rope rail

Canopy

planter

0

Large Boulders

gate

30

ramp Existing soft play area

touch

Bamboo canopy

Totem

Water feature Water fall

ramp Playground

boulders

boat /seating picture

picture

planter

touch

drain cover emergency exit

14 000

N

The totem was routed into solid timber by DAB Graphics – a company that specialises in signs for nature trails and wildlife parks. We supplied black and white artwork and the design was cut out of the timber. The artificial grass installation was a major feature that demanded complicated cutting and seaming. This was carried out by Blades Artificial Grass. Giant boulders were supplied by Specialist Aggregates. Working at a school has its own inherent problems which we had to overcome. Timings were tight and we had to complete works out of school term-time. During construction in the school holidays of summer 2012, we had to co-operate with other contractors that were working on site – a consulting company building an extension and a subcontractor erecting a canopy. We had to liaise with the large consulting company to provide an electrical supply to our project site for the water features, which proved complicated – mainly trying to cut through red tape. The smaller company gave us a few headaches over its site management but we overcame these problems while keeping the school fully informed at all times.

26 000

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TIMBER TOTEM

WILLIAM MORRIS PRIMARY SCHOOL

11 500

also made ‘permanently flying’ flags out of aluminium alloy with surface-applied graphics.

School building

Upper playground

Nigel Abbey Design Consultants Amended 26 March 2012

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ABOUT NIGEL ABBEY DESIGN CONSULTANTS Nigel Abbey Design Consultants is a creative multidisciplinary design consultancy which designs and develops sensory gardens and structured play and learning areas for schools. The design consultancy is located in Thames Ditton, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London. www.nigelabbeydesign.com

THE GARDEN BUILDERS

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The ‘island’ theme includes bridges and rocks

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The island itself features a real palm tree

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The design makes use of the enclosed space

4

Providing electrics to the water feature proved tricky

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The Garden Builders is a professional landscape design and construction consultancy based in Fulham, London. Established in 1998, it creates high-quality gardens for residential and commercial clients. www.gardenbuilders.co.uk

www.prolandscaper.ae

16/10/2015 11:36


PORTFOLIO

LOOKING COOL IN THE SHADE Renowned company wt Burden built a series of sunshades along the first 7km of the Jumeirah Corniche running track in the Emirates. The stylish structures also had to be tough enough to handle beach-front conditions

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unning along an area behind the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa up to Burj Al Arab Hotel, the Jumeirah Corniche running track is a 14km path – the longest in the Emirates. The paved walkway and running track was constructed to encourage residents and tourists to enjoy a variety of sports, including jogging and walking, as well as other open-air activities. The project, the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide quality life for the people of the UAE and its visitors, involved the construction of a 14km corniche with a 4m wide beach running track and 5m wide boardwalk, featuring commercial kiosks, shaded benches and other public facilities overlooking the beach.

THE PROJECT FEATURES QUALITY PRODUCTS WITH A MINIMUM WARRANTY OF 10 YEARS Parsons International was awarded the contract for managing services by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). M S Wade Adams was appointed as main contractor and selected wt Burden as sub-contractor for the supply of street furniture for the ambitious beach front development, including benches and seats, waste bins, bollards, planters and stylishly shaped shading structures Working closely with RTA and Parsons, wt Burden was commissioned to design different shading concepts and matching street furniture based on three main themes: wave, nautical and traditional. From wt Burden’s initial concepts, the wave style was selected as the main landscaping theme. After initial concept meetings and proposal presentations, RTA and Parsons gave wt Burden a design and material brief for two styles of customised shade structures, which had to be aesthetically beautiful and light yet robust enough to survive windy seaside weather. The client also requested that the structures should be suitable for families to enjoy picnics. In addition, wt Burden was asked to design aesthetic details for the project, including colour palette and technical solutions, and to suggest the most appropriate materials and finishes for an environment where a combination of sea salt and

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PROJECT DETAILS Jumeirah Corniche running track PROJECT VALUE 150 million AED VALUE FOR WT BURDEN 7.2 million AED SIZE Total length of 14km PROJECT TIMESCALE April 2013 – November 2014

hot temperatures, typical in the region, often lead to corrosion and discolouration of materials. The company designed beautifully curved double-wave and triple-wave sunshades in two sizes. Each shade was made of marine-grade ply okoume,100% FSC, and a steel structure treated with a protective coating with a guaranteed durability of more than 15 years. To enhance its recreational functionality, each shade had granite tables and custom aluminium seats incorporated for beach dining, while to highlight the wavy shape of the roof and create a sophisticated and convivial atmosphere in the evening, a specially designed, blue-effect LED was

also installed in each structure. The target deadline for the completion of the 26 shades, including installation, was three months and the project was completed on time, featuring quality products with a minimum warranty of 10 years, even for the shades located directly on the beach. The project also included the design of the benches and seating to enhance and follow the wave appearance of each shade’s roof. Seats by mmcité – a leading street furniture brand represented by wt Burden in the Middle East – were selected. Originally constructed using concrete parts, the seats were personalised and softened with wooden lamellas and aluminium www.prolandscaper.ae

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steel structure to match the sunshades. The Diamante wave bench and the Sedis Torsion seating by Metalco completed the overall aesthetics, adding some Mediterranean style. The client also requested specially designed tree ring benches. Working closely with mmcité designers, wt Burden suggested a vertical rather than horizontal backrest, which helped to keep manufacturing costs down. Metal structures were manufactured using marine-grade stainless steel with a special coating. To complete the rest areas, concrete planters, powder-coated bollards, and Metalco litter bins equipped with ashtrays were dotted along the length of the running track. www.prolandscaper.ae

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As with many projects of such scale, the major challenge in the Jumeirah Corniche running track project was producing tailor-made products while adhering to budget and deadline. Offering bespoke design encompassed a high level of expertise and flexibility in identifying cost-effective solutions, without compromising on quality. Moreover, having to source materials not only from the local market but globally, imposed an extremely tight time schedule. After pricing and value engineering, wt Burden was also contracted to produce full, detailed CAD drawings and engineering calculations for technical submittal.

1

The client wanted sunshade structures to be suitable for families to enjoy picnics

2

Tree ring bench, specially designed for the project by mmcité

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Litter bin equipped with ashtray by Metalco

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In total, 26 shades were constructed

ABOUT WT BURDEN wt Burden Middle East specialises in all aspects of landscaping, from design to installation and hard elements to soft. Serving the GCC market for more than 10 years, wt Burden is a key partner committed to helping architects, specifiers, developers, consultants and contractors shape landscapes in the Middle East. The company carries a strong reputation for supplying some of the world’s best landscape and street furniture brands and iconic products to meet every project requirement. wt Burden Middle East Dubai, PO Box 261378, Dubai (UAE). Tel: +971 4 8860 700 wt Burden Middle East Doha, PO Box 32522, Doha (Qatar). Tel: +974 4423 1328

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PORTFOLIO FEATURE

EMIRATES GOLF CLUB Pro Landscaper Gulf talks to Craig Haldane about how he maintains a golf course in a climate where the grass grows all year round

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mirates Golf Course opened in 1988 and was the first grass golf course in the Middle East. Maintenance of the course is the responsibility of Craig Haldane, who started his career at the renowned Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in his native South Africa. Craig began his career in the Middle East at the Royal Golf Club in Riffa, Bahrain, in 2001 before joining Dubai Golf, which owns the Emirates Golf Course, five years later. He is in charge of course maintenance at both the Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and has become one of the leading sports turf managers in the region. Emirates Golf Course was designed by American architect Karl Litten and officially opened in 1989 when it hosted the Karl Litten Desert Classic, now the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. In 1988 the site was literally an oasis with nothing surrounding it, now it sits in the centre of new Dubai. An 18-hole course – ‘The Majlis’ – was originally constructed, with the club expanding to 36 holes in 1996 by building ‘The Wadi’. In 2006, The Wadi was redesigned by Nick Faldo and was renamed The Faldo course. The club now boasts an executive par 3 course (a nine-hole course featuring holes between 100 and 190 yards) so it can offer 45 holes of golf to its ever-growing membership. The facility employs a maintenance crew of 68, larger than average because grass grows all year round with no down period, frost or snow. The course is overseeded in winter as well. Craig introduced a cool season grass variety on all surfaces except the greens, which are mowed seven days a week, as are the fairways and tees. Bermuda grass is used on the greens and is intensely maintained. The right machinery is key for Craig. “We have cylinder mowers and grass cutting machinery. The fleet is predominantly Ransomes Jacobsen as we have a corporate agreement with them, although we do use Toro machines too. “We use walk-behind mowers on our greens, tees and approaches for presentation reasons, and ride-on fairway machines, which are all cylinder mowers. Our rough mowers are your typical rotary mowers. We maintain 400 acres of property, of which 220 are maintained turf areas excluding landscaping, which is probably around www.prolandscaper.ae

16/10/2015 09:16


PORTFOLIO FEATURE

another 50 acres on top of that. The facility invested in a new Toro irrigation system in 2012. It is automated and phenomenally good. If you were talking to me about our irrigation system three years ago it would have been a very different conversation!” The pump station can pump water at 6,500 gallons per minute. The main golf course has fully automated Toro sprinkler heads with individual head control so each head has a wire connected to the satellite control system which Craig can programme through his computer. When the system was installed and programmed, it was set up so information from the golf course is sent to a computer and maps exactly where each head is. Craig also has a weather station on the course. “We work on the Evaporating Transpiration [ET] rating, so every day the ET will come up and down depending on humidity, wind and temperature,” Craig said. “ET rating is the amount of moisture you lose to the atmosphere.

EMIRATES GOLF COURSE WAS THE FIRST GRASS GOLF COURSE IN THE MIDDLE EAST In the past you used a thumb-suck to get a feel for it, but now the rating is telling us how much water to use to at least replace the ET for the day, and we calculate from that how much more or less is required.” Every individual sprinkler head, especially around the greens, is individually programmed to supply the amount of water required. Via a combination of information from the weather station and measuring the moisture, the maintenance team can calculate what needs to be replaced overnight to get it up to the preferred levels of moisture again. “We have reduced our water usage significantly [by about 30%] just by investing in the new irrigation system alone,” Craig explained. “It’s about the efficiency of the design. The old system had big heads throwing water 30 or 40m, which was wasting water in the desert areas and didn't really conform to our environmental goals at the time.” Emirates Golf Club was recently certificated by the Golf Environmental Organisation, a body www.prolandscaper.ae

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that provides information on the best practices to incorporate into a golfing facility. It brought in independent consultants to inspect the course, which Craig said has been of great help. Emirates Golf Course uses various fertility programmes for the two different grass species. The Faldo course has paspalum grass, whereas the Majlis Course uses Bermuda grass. Each fertility programme is the opposite of the other. Craig is a big fan of liquid fertilisers, mainly because the water he uses is quite high in sodium. He said: “All our water is recycled and we don’t use any fresh water on the facility. Another myth about golf courses is about the waste of water, we are actually efficient with what we use through the design. With sodium comes other issues such as calcium deficiencies etc. We apply a lot of liquid-based calcium because the calcium in the soil isn’t necessarily available to the plant.” Lack of water is an issue. Average yearly rainfall is two inches, and that comes in one fell swoop. Another challenge for the team is managing salt levels. The hotter it gets, the higher the ET level, so the salts get drawn up into the surface, which Craig needs to keep at bay. Disease is something else to be mindful of because of the humidity. Craig explained that his routine hardly changes in the run up to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, only the frequency rises. “The tournament gives us an opportunity to push the boundaries in terms of the conditioning. The manpower increases because I can utilise the team that maintains The Faldo Course.” The biggest seasonal change is the overseeding process – a massive exercise and, in Craig’s opinion, probably his most important task. Overseeding takes place at the end of October, when the Bermuda grass becomes semi-dormant. Now in his 10th year of working at the facility, Craig keeps abreast of worldwide industry developments by putting his teams through education programmes. He said: “As an industry, we pride ourselves on the openness of communication across the sector. We have the Middle East Greenkeepers Association. It is very informal but we meet two or three times a year.” Craig also keeps up to date by attending shows across the world and undertaking online education programmes.

CONTACT Emirates Golf Club Emirates Hills 2 Dubai United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 (0)4 380 1234 Email: golfbooking@dubaigolf.com Web: www.dubaigolf.com

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MOST INFLUENTIAL

MOST INFLUENTIAL COMPANIES IN L ANDSCAPING IN THE GCC REGION Following the success of Pro Landscaper Gulf’s ‘Most Influential’ coverage in our last issue, we bring you profiles of two more industry game-changers who are doing a great job of greening the Gulf. With the area becoming more accessible to tourists and ex-pats alike, it is important companies such as these are recognised for their contribution in making the GCC region such an attractive place to live and work

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MOST INFLUENTIAL

BLUE STREAM M ANAGING DIRECTOR: SU VARN A J E E T E NDR A AGE OF COM PAN Y: 20 YE ARS OL D

B

lue Stream started out as a small firm serving a select clientele in 1998. One of our initial customers was Dubai Municipality and Dubai International Airport. Fast forward to today and Blue Stream has been involved in ground-breaking projects across the Middle East that have come to define the urban landscape of the region. For over two decades Blue Stream has been the partner of choice among architects, construction professionals and end users for all urban furniture, park play structures and waste management solutions. With over 1,500 clients serviced in the last year alone across Blue Stream offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Muscat – they are undoubtedly the market leader in this region. The company’s mission is to build a better world simply by offering solutions to enhance urban living. Solutions that range from

urban street elements, children play structures or a variety of landscape elements that can add exuberant life to a public space. As the most experienced industry leader in the Middle East, the company has spearheaded some of the most prestigious projects in the region including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Mall etc. In fact the last turnkey project delivered in 2014 was the Jumeirah Park Community Villas – where the scope of works included basic design and execution of landscaping areas including children play parks across the development. Their high quality products include benches, planters, litter bins, lighting elements, bollards, bicycle racks, tree grates, barriers and fencing, bus shelters, drinking fountains, way finding, kiosks, play & fitness systems and natural swimming pools. The company works closely with associate design studios and has factories in

the UAE and across Europe that deliver outstanding designs at phenomenal value. The company offers complete solutions within the design, manufacture, supply, installation and maintenance sectors and their individual teams work meticulously with every stakeholder from drawing board to final delivery. Blue Stream has been a part

of the growing urban landscape and design market in the region for a while now but what sets them apart is small initiatives like their “Education is true Liberation” programme, which guarantees that a small part of all proceeds the company generates goes to fund education for underprivileged children in certain parts of the world.

A WORD FROM THE M ANAG IN G DI R EC TO R

CO NTAC T

Our phenomenal growth since 1998 is testament to our dedication to provide quality products and services. We believe green technologies, culture-sensitive design and city furniture customised for its location is a foundation for a better and more comfortable urban environment. Blue Stream was born out of a vision for sustainable living. Sustainability has almost become a cliche in industry but its need rings truer than ever. In a region that has seen the mushrooming of cities, this offers even more opportunity to share this responsibility. With our own offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and Muscat, we can serve the Middle East better than any one else.

Tel: +971 4 3393199 Email: sales@bluestreamme.com Web: www.bluestreamme.com

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15/10/2015 16:14


MOST INFLUENTIAL

CRACKNELL CHAIR MAN: PAU L CRACK NE LL AGE O F COM PAN Y: 28 YE ARS OL D

C

racknell was established in London in 1987. Six years later, the practice opened its doors in Dubai and, almost three decades later, Cracknell has grown to become one of the world’s leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design practices. Headquartered in Dubai and with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Muscat and London, Cracknell has completed numerous built projects throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa. Cracknell has a truly international multi-disciplinary team of more than 200 talented individuals from around the world. It offers an impressive range – landscape architecture, masterplanning, urban design, lighting design, horticulture, irrigation, project management, quantity surveying, and post contract supervision. The company’s vast influence in the region has enabled Cracknell to build a strong reputation

across the industry, underpinned by a skilled team with a focus on design, innovation and attention to detail. Throughout its history, Cracknell has been a preferred partner to many of the developers shaping the Middle East’s environment thanks to its leadership in challenging norms, setting new benchmarks and bringing design creativity in ‘place making’. The design process is driven by a mix of international designers, whose diverse influences and experiences result in leading-edge designs. Cracknell is constantly innovating in landscape design and construction techniques, while pioneering the use of new hard and soft landscape as well as irrigation materials to keep the company at the forefront of the industry. The practice has completed hundreds of built projects in the hospitality and leisure, commercial, mixed-use, public realm, civic and institutional, planning, urban design as well as

residential sectors. Cracknell employs a wide range of multidisciplined professionals, each of whom brings their specialist knowledge and expertise to projects. The practice adopts a holistic approach and, at an early stage in the process, includes all inter-related disciplines so solutions are robust, viable and sustainable, reinforcing its reputation as a trusted partner. The culture at Cracknell encourages a spirit of partnership

with other specialist consultants and, of course, its clients. With a number of clients focusing on international real estate development opportunities, Cracknell regularly wins appointments for its broad range of services in the European markets. As a result, the practice is expanding its European presence with emphasis on its London operation as well as seeking opportunities in the Far East.

The Beach: award winner, Commercial Landscape Architecture, Arabian Property Awards

A WORD FROM THE CHAIRM AN

CO NTAC T

In 1993, when Cracknell established its presence in the Middle East, our team consisted of only three people. In symbiosis with the meteoric rise of the UAE, Dubai has grown to become the headquarters for this international practice and our 200-strong team continues to bring spaces to life for communities all over the world. Cracknell attracts and retains a high-calibre, multinational team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about making a sustainable difference to our everyday environment. These attributes will continue to take the company from strength to strength as we expand our presence in the UK, Europe and further afield.

Al Khatib Cracknell, Rose Building, Office 206, 2nd Floor, Al Satwa, PO Box 66231, Dubai, UAE Tel: 971 4 3445417 Email: dubai@cracknell.com Web: www.cracknell.com

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PRODUCTS

A look at what’s new in landscaping...

BinHendi Playgrounds specialises in creating therapeutic experiences for children. BinHendi has been involved in the industry since 1998, operating and trading under the name American Eastern and in partnership with US company Landscape Structures Inc (LSI). BinHendi brands include Benito Urban, a major outdoor street furniture manufacturer from Spain. LSI manages the playground production process, from design to manufacturing, distribution and sales. The UK’s NottsSports Synthetic Surfacing is another brand addition, creating safe playground surfaces with 15 different colour options.

www.binhendi.com

European architects Renson has launched the Topfix Max F, a retractable horizontal shade that can be integrated as a terrace cover for existing open wooden, aluminium and steel structures or on top of a wooden pergola. This type of sun protection can cover large surfaces up to 30m². Its integrated composition combines to produce an exceptional fabric tension. Renson believes it has found a solution to flapping and ruptured screens of the past. The patented co-extruded weather-resistant top coating guarantees a fixed fabric without wrinkles and is ‘wind tight’ up to 120 km/h in every position. This innovative waterproof screen is available in a wide range of colours.

www.renson.eu

BinHendi: decorative tree grates

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Playground and street furniture provider Creative Aluminium is offering a wide range of innovative products under the trade name Kreal, to be “used by all generations for everyday multifunctional use”. Kreal products reflect the creativity of using aluminium which, combined with design and architecture in different spaces, provides a “new way to experience street furniture”. The Kreal smart bench allows you to charge smartphones in a simple and comfortable way while sitting outside or in the shopping mall. All you need to do is place your phone beside you on the bench.

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Renson: retractable horizontal shade

www.kreal.eu

Stratavault: cells take the strain Citygreen’s Stratavault cells are modular units which assemble to form a skeletal matrix that supports pavement loads while providing large volumes of soil within the structure for root growth. Stratavault modules have been designed to support enormous vertical loads so tree root systems can be brought closer to the pavement surface. This sixth-generation root cell has generous apertures for root growth without sacrificing the structural integrity of the matrix. Stratavault apertures are large enough that some common conduits, service pipes and aeration systems can be incorporated within the structure. Stratavault is distributed in the GCC region by Wt Burden Middle East.

www.wtburden.ae www.prolandscaper.ae

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PRODUCTS

TRADING WITH

CALVIN PLATFOOT Can you describe your background before forming the company? I have a background in masonry and general building work covering many aspects of the trade. My team and I first visited Dubai in 2000 and it was then the idea was born. We finally established Gulf Leisure in 2008, unfortunately just before the recession hit. Business was initially slow, but it gave us the chance to establish the business, selling barbecue carts from a small warehouse. As the Dubai economy recovered, we quickly expanded the business, moving to Al Quoz and converting the warehouses into a storage unit and display area to showcase our extensive range.

brands, including Lynx, Napoleon, Fontana, HPC, and Cal Flame. These are leading brands from the US, with most of the products manufactured there. Our fire pits, fire bowls and fire tables for commercial and domestic projects are also manufactured in the US, in addition to our own designed and manufactured bespoke pieces. As we continue to expand within the UAE market and sell across the region, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, we have been looking at setting up a joint venture with agencies across the Middle East and Africa. This is our key objective for the next two years.

What is your role in the company? My role as managing director of a small and growing business is diverse and ever changing. Adaptability is one of the keys to success for me. My role is primarily to consult with clients and oversee the design of the outdoor kitchens from the first stage through to carrying out installations if our team needs assistance. I also manage the brands and co-ordinate with them, as well as overseeing the accounts. It is a demanding role as we continue to grow and expand but it is a challenge I thoroughly enjoy.

What are the roles and responsibilities of your workforce? The installation team includes a mason and technician who are responsible for the build, and electric and gas installation on site. The full turnkey operation is popular with customers and allows us greater design freedom. Our warehouse supervisor takes responsibility for stock control and its rotation and accessibility. We aim to maintain high stock levels to minimise lead-in times for customers. We also stock a full range of quality accessories, supplying everything you need to get cooking. Our support staff include sales, marketing and accounts. We all pride ourselves on our high level of customer care and personalised approach, which is one of the advantages of being a small business. We have an eye for detail in all our work and have high standards in everything we do.

What products and services does your company provide? We are sole distributors in the region for several

Who are some of your most prestigious clients? Our client list is growing. We have provided

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outdoor kitchen and fire unit installations for a number of notable UAE-based clients, including the Anantara, Four Seasons, and Ritz-Carlton hotels and many VIPS. Our outdoor kitchens can now be found all over the Emirates and beyond. We are the leading supplier of fire features, predominantly to hotels, whereas our outdoor kitchens are primarily for domestic use. What does the future hold for Gulf Leisure? Many leading estate agents are providing evidence that our outdoor kitchens and fire features are adding value to homes and making them easier to sell. People are moving outdoors for their dining experience once they have installed the kitchens, making the most of the desert climate.

CONTACT Company name Gulf Leisure Email calvin@gulf-leisure.com Contact Calvin Platfoot, MD Tel +971 4 3791 390 Web www.gulf-leisure.com

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Street Furniture & Landscape Elements

Bench Z Design Pedro Pereira

sales@bluestreamme.com T: +971 4 339 3199

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