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Concept and content by Akshay Bhatnagar Susmita De Sushmita Sarkhel Ghalib Abdullah Mohammed Fahmi Rajab Product Manager Shivkumar Art Directors Sandesh S. Rangnekar Minaal G. Pednekar Design M. Balagopalan Khoula Rashid Al Wahaibi Maryam Al Sarmi Production Manager Govindraj Ramesh Photography Rajesh Burman Sathyadas C. Narayanan CORPORATE Chief Executive Sandeep Sehgal Executive Vice President Alpana Roy Vice President Ravi Raman Senior Business Support Executive Radha Kumar Translator Mustafa Kamal

Published by United Press & Publishing LLC PO Box 3305, Ruwi, Postal Code - 112 Muscat, Sultanate of Oman Tel (968) 24700896 Fax (968) 24707939 Email: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person or organisation acting or refraining as a result of material in this publication. OER accepts no responsibility for all advertising contents.



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Optimism rebounding


he first week of the year marked the inauguration of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It was a momentous occasion for the entire world, more specifically for the construction community. Right from the beginning it was a challenge to convert this dream building into a reality from the construction perspective. Since the start of excavation in January 2004, more than 30 on site contracting companies worked on it. At the peak of construction, more than 12,000 workers and contractors representing over 100 nationalities were on site. It consumed over 45,000 m3 of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes to construct the concrete and steel foundation. Burj Khalifa's construction involved 330,000 m3 of concrete and 39,000 tonnes of steel rebar. The man-made marvel took 22 million man-hours for the construction. The tower set-up a world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade at a height of 512 metres. The total weight of aluminium used on Burj Khalifa is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft and the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of Eiffel Tower in Paris! It was a real challenge for the construction professionals as a building of this kind of scale and magnanimity was never attempted before. Burj Khalifa’s inauguration was one of the very few positive developments for the global construction industry in the last year or so which was otherwise mired with indefinite project delays, bad debts and soaring inventory. The current issue of OER Dossier focuses on the construction and building materials industry. Apart from talking to the industry leaders on their key products and services, the issue also analyses the major trends and developments that have impacted the sector in recent times. Most of the companies in the construction and related sectors faced uncertainty during 2009 due to prevailing adverse circumstances. Most of the contracting companies struggled to add new orders to their book. Many of them were forced to take-up contracts at wafer thin margins. The building material manufacturing companies had to cut back production as inventories were piling up with few takers in the markets. Fortunately, the government continued to invest in large infrastructure projects that supported the sector but slowdown of the real estate projects severely affected the industry players. Though majority of the companies believe that 2010 is also expected to be a challenging year but they are optimistic that they are in a much better situation to improve on their 2009 performance. A fair picture will emerge probably towards the early April as most of the head honchos are keeping their fingers crossed and waiting anxiously for the first quarter results. Enjoy reading! Akshay Bhatnagar OER DOSSIER March 2010 1



Future Perfect

The present demand in the residential segment in Oman is endogenous and the future trend is expected to be stable. Excerpts from GIH report


20 Need for a change Nick Smith, Property business advisor on demand analysis REGULARS

4 News in brief 36 Upcoming Industry events

2 OER DOSSIER March 2010

30 Solid Performance Cement companies done well FEATURES

16 Testing Times 35 Global Engineering and Construction

24 Margins under pressure The construction and building materials industry face challenge SPONSORED FEATURES

38 - 51


Sembcorp starts construction of Salalah IWPP Sembcorp has said that it has started construction of its $1 billion Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant in Oman. The Salalah Plant, targeted to begin full commercial operations in the first half of 2012, will consist of a gas-fired power plant which will have a net capacity of 445 megawatts. It will also include a seawater desalination plant which will employ reverse osmosis technology to produce 15 million imperial gallons of water per day. Singapore's Environment Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said the Sembcorp project is the largest utility project that a Singapore company has ever clinched in the global market. It effectively increased Singapore's investments in Oman by seven-fold. Sembcorp said it is confident of delivering the project successfully and contributing towards the continued growth and development of the region.

Galfar bags new projects Galfar Engineering and Contracting has been awarded the tender for the construction of ‘New Accident & Emergency Dept. + Burns Dept. at Khoula Hospital (Phase 8)’. The contract is valued at 9.979 million rials. In another unrelated development, the company bagged the tender related to the construction of Ras Al Hadd Airport. The contract is valued at 45.500 million rials. The completion period of the work is 770 days.

Raysut Cement in an acquisition mode Raysut Cement Company has entered into a bid to acquire Star Cement Group of Companies which consists of a clinker production plant in Ras Al Khaimah, cement grinding plants in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Bahrain, Yemen and Bangladesh, terminal for storage and packing of cement in Sudan and a precast factory in Abu Dhabi. 4 OER DOSSIER March 2010

Expansion of Salalah Port

A new cruise terminal will be established in the port of Salalah in collaboration with a global cruise terminal operator. Martijn van de Linde, CEO of Port of Salalah said that the Cruise Terminal is a key component of a redesigned master-plan that will cater for port’s long-term growth. The master-plan, which was developed jointly with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, envisages significant investments in new capacity at the Container and General Cargo Terminals, and the construction of deepwater berths, liquid jetty, and new breakwaters, among other facilities. “We believe Salalah has great potential as a regular port of call for cruise ships, given the natural beauty of the region and its many historic sites. There seems to be a market potential and appetite from existing cruise lines to include Salalah on their schedules. It is already a tourism destination for the Gulf area,” said Van de Linde. The new facility is expected to take 3-5 years for becoming operational.

Harvest Oman to drill first well in 2011 Harvest Oman BV is planning to drill its first exploratory well in Block 64 early next year. The company is looking at drilling two exploratory wells during 2011, the first of which is planned to be spudded in the first quarter of the year. It is expected to complete the reprocessing of seismic during the course of 2010 in preparation for the drilling of the first well. The company has budgeted $4.7 million in capital spending towards the project during 2010. Harvest Natural Resources, the US based firm, had acquired Block 64 as part of an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) in April last year. It was farmed out from the Block 6 concession operated by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). Under the terms of the licence agreement, Harvest will only target the block’s non-associated gas and condensate potential. The exploration and production of oil within the block remains the prerogative of PDO, which is continuing to produce oil from several fields within the concession. The company is committed to investing around $30 million in exploration activities during the initial three-year exploration phase.


Oman Cables elevates Hans Meiring During the last few years, Oman Cables Industry (OCI) has expanded its operations and is positioned to enter new international markets. OCI has moved from its traditional operations to enhance its growth and started joint ventures investment locally and internationally. To boost the development initiatives, the board of the company has revised the management structure of the company by promoting CJ (Hans) Meiring to the position of Chief Executive Officer. In his position, he will report to Hussain Salman Al Lawati, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of the company.

Suhail Bahwan Group in JV with Lhoist The Lhoist Group of Belgium and the Suhail Bahwan Group of Oman have formed a joint venture to explore and develop limestone and dolomite resources in Oman. The new JV, 60% owned by the Lhoist Group and 40% owned by the Suhail Bahwan Group, will be called Bahwan Lhoist LLC and will be supervised by a board composed of three members each from the Lhoist Group and the Bahwan Group. Considering the high quality of Oman limestone resources as well as the experience and commitment of both partners, this newly established joint venture has the potential to become a leading supplier of high quality material to India and Middle East countries and contribute significantly to the development of Oman’s economy. Speaking on the occasion, the Lhoist Group Chairman Berghmans said: “The establishment of the Bahwan Lhoist LLC joint venture is a very significant milestone in the Lhoist Group strategy to expand its activities in the Middle East and in India. Together with the Bahwan Group, one of the largest and most respected corporate houses in the G.C.C, we are determined to develop Oman’s outstanding geological resources, respecting the highest environmental and quality standards”. The family owned and more than 120 years old Lhoist Group, headquartered in Belgium, is the world leader for lime and dolime products, with operations in more than 22 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, North & South America and Asia. 6 OER DOSSIER March 2010

$680mn PTA plant to come up at Sohar The synthetic yarn and polyester chips manufacturer JBF Industries Ltd. has signed an MoU with Oman Oil Company for setting up a 1.2 million tonnes per annum of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant at Oman as a joint venture, at an approximate cost of $680 million. The project envisages to consume PTA’s raw material - paraxylene produced by Oman Oil Company. The project will be colocated in the premises of Oman Aromatics to enable transportation of paraxylene to the PTA plant by a dedicated pipeline.

Muscat Overseas Group co. to set up a new JV Indsil Hydro Power and Manganese along with its group company Indsil energy & electrochemicals, from india, has floated a joint venture with Al-Tamman Trading Establishment (part of Muscat Overseas Group) to set up a ferro chrome manufacturing unit in Oman. As per the pact, Al-Tamman will supply chrome ore for producing ferro chrome and also offer local domain knowledge "We will provide technology, operating and marketing expertise and co-manage the company," said Indsil MD Vinod Narsiman. The project with a ferro chrome capacity of 75,000 tonnes per annum, will have access to 100% captive chrome ore from the mines of Muscat Overseas. The project is estimated to cost around $30 milion. Narsimhan said the initial process to acquire land has begun. "We have commenced the work to set up the plant and our target date for starting operations is December 2011," he said. The JV plans to finance the project with debt and equity. "We will share the equity part and raise the balance as debt from the banks in Oman," Narsiman said. The expected revenue from the venture in the first year of operation is $75 million.


Muriya sales event to showcase its properties

Muriya recently hosted a four-day sales event spotlighting investment opportunities linked to its prestigious Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach developments. During the event, which took place at the developer’s Muscat Sales Centre in Shatti Al Qurum, Muriya also unveiled a package of exclusive offers and attractive payment terms applicable for a limited period only. During the promotion, interested buyers explored the range of purchase options of Muriya’s villas and apartments, which are available now at unmatched prices, stated a company press release. Investors also took advantage of a diverse selection of payment methods that can extend up to seven years. Moreover, any villa or apartment purchased during the four-day promotion will come fully furnished upon delivery. “The event is yet another demonstration of our commitment to offering investment opportunities at great value, within our Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach properties. We are going the extra mile in making it possible for prospective investors and homebuyers to own a piece of real estate in some of the most desirable locations in Oman. By taking advantage of our unbeatable pricing and payment terms, potential investors – Omanis and expatriates alike – can now fulfill their dreams of owning homes in truly world-class communities here in the Sultanate,” said Niazi Mostafa, Vice President of Real Estate, Muriya. 8 OER DOSSIER March 2010

BEC achieves transition to ISO 9001:2008 Bahwan Engineering Company (BEC) has achieved the transition of its existing Quality Management System to the latest edition ISO-9001:2008 covering "Project Management and Construction activities comprising Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, HVAC and Plumbing work associated with Oil and Gas, Power, Industrial, Residential and Commercial Projects in Gulf Region". It also includes BEC’s Elevator & Escalator operation for “Supply, Installation, Testing & Commissioning, Service & Maintenance and Modernisation of Elevators, Escalators, Travolators, Dumbwaiters, Baggage handling equipment and Passenger boarding bridges”. The certificates were handed over to S.K. Virmani, Managing Director of BEC by Shakir Rasheed, Chief Executive of Bureau Veritas, which is a leading certification agency in the Middle East. For more than three decades, BEC has been associated with nation-building projects in Oman. BEC, with more than 10,000 employees including more than 450 Engineers, is one of the largest contracting companies executing integrated multidisciplinary EPC and Construction projects, and facilities management contracts in Oman and UAE.

Al Hassan Electricals wins Hager Award Al Hassan Electricals Co. LLC (AHE), part of the Trading SBU of Al Hassan Group, has received Business Excellence award from Hager Middle East for outstanding sales achievement in the year 2009. This is the third year in a row that AHE has bagged this coveted recognition. The 1.3 billion Euro Hager Group based out of Europe with sales presence in 55 countries offers a complete range of systems, solutions and services for energy distribution. AHE is the sole distributor for ‘Hager’ products in the Sultanate of Oman. Eng. Talal Al Assaad, CEO-Manufacturing & Trading of Al Hassan Group of Companies said: "This achievement has been made possible by the dedication of the entire sales team in following what we at Al Hassan Group believe in - a professional, committed and customer-focused approach at all times. The AHE team has excelled in technical knowledge and customer understanding to win this coveted award once again." AHE is one of the largest distributors of electrical and lighting products, energy management systems, T&D Equipment and building construction products in Oman. AHE covers the whole of Oman through five showrooms in the Muscat Capital Region at Hamriya, Walja (Honda Road), Ghubra, A’Seeb and Al Khodh, a network of 400+ dealers and warehouses serviced daily by its own fleet of vehicles. AHE has a specialized lighting division which provides project lighting solutions.


Bahwan Contracting gets OAB’s new HO building contract Oman Arab Bank signed an agreement with Bahwan Contracting Company for the construction of the bank’s new head office building in Al Ghubra North. On behalf of Oman Arab Bank, the agreement was singed by Mr. Rashad Al Zubair – Chairman of OAB and by Mr. S.K. Virmani - Managing Director of Bahwan Contracting Co, on behalf of his company. According to a company release, the new building will be constructed using the latest in technologies and office ergonomics. The new Head Office building will cater to OAB's current and future requirements and will consolidate all of its departments in one convenient location with ample car parking spaces.

The project will be completed within a period of 18 months. Abdul Kader Askalan, CEO of Oman Arab Bank said: "This prestigious project of our future Head Office building will not only be a work of art in terms of architecture, but also a means of convenience that will enable our customers to transact their business with ease and efficiency as the design approach is very customer centric." The engineering and design consultancy for the building has been entrusted to Khatib & Alami and Partners, one

of the leading and renounced engineering consultancy offices in Oman. The HO building comprises basement, ground, and nine floors with a built-up area of 22,000 sq m. The development is on a plot area of 3200 sq m which is in a prime location off the Sultan Qaboos Highway in North Al Ghubra.

L&T Oman bags new contracts L&T Oman LLC has further strengthened its standing as one of the leading EPC contractors in the power transmission and distribution segment. Dhofar Power Company (DPC) awarded two contracts with a combined value of $75 million for the expansion of the Salalah power system, notably through the interconnection of the existing power transmission system with

the new Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) under construction at Mirbat. The contractor will also build major substation facilities at North Awqad. “These projects are prestigious in nature and have great importance in developing the power transmission networks in Salalah. L&T has been associated with DPC for the past 10 years, executing various projects

– ranging from the Salalah power plant to the Turkey Annual Plan (TCAP) projects completed recently,” the contractor said in a statement. L&T’s expertise encompasses the spectrum of power transmission and distribution related activities, including the construction of substations, transmission lines, EHV cabling from 33 kV to 220 kV voltage levels.

First Apartment owners moves in at The Wave, Muscat The Wave, Muscat, has announced that the first apartment owners in Al Marsa Village have now moved in. The moving of the first residents marks a number of new developments taking place at The Wave, Muscat as the project advances, according to a press statement issued by the company. Two apartment owners have already settled in their new residences to date, and a constant flow of residents are expected to follow suit in the coming months. Michael Lenarduzzi, CEO, The Wave, Muscat said, “As we expand our portfolio of properties with focus on attractive investment opportunities, we continue to rely on up-to-date market 10 OER DOSSIER March 2010

trends, constant innovation and our in-depth understanding of the needs of the local and regional market.” He added, “With the handover of the first apartments and a number of construction efforts currently underway including Al Marsa Village and Greg Norman Links golf course, we are not only witnessing the residential community come to life but the birth of a new era for integrated tourism complexes in the Sultanate.” Hans Erlings, one of The Wave, Muscat’s

first apartment residents expressed, “A number of factors have drawn us to The Wave, Muscat ranging from its strategic urban location and marina to free hold property ownership and residency visas. I am also looking forward to future hotels and shops which will add more vibrancy to Al Marsa Village.”

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Mixed impact

The demand in the residential segment in Oman has been to a great extent endogenous, says Global Investment House in its latest GCC Real Estate Report. Excerpts from the report


ike other GCC countries, Oman witnessed considerable growth in its real estate sector prior to the global financial crisis. However, the year 2009 witnessed a sort of stagnation in real estate contribution to GDP. As indicated by Ministry of National Economy, the sector continued to grow at marginal rates of 1.1%, 0.3% and 0.4% for the first three quarters respectively. This was reflected on the trading activity that dropped by 53% reaching 1.19 billion rials in 2009. This figure is to be compared with 2.5 billion rials of trading activity in 2008.

and rentals are showing some stability in general with tendency to increase in prime locations in the range of 10% to 15% during 2009. According to the Ministry of National Economy, the price index for rent stood at 138.6 for the year 2009 compared to 124.4 in 2008, or 11.4% growth.

However, despite the decline in the trading activity, the crisis had little effect on residential prices and rentals. Both prices

Moreover, the country witnessed a sort of shifting of headquarters of many business houses towards Oman from other GCC

12 OER DOSSIER March 2010

On the rentals front, there were rumors that residential rentals will decline drastically due to the financial crisis and that expatriates are leaving the country due to recessionary pressures. However, this did not happen due to the stable economic performance.

countries. Such trend had its impact on rentals that started to pick up significantly especially in prime locations with a new element of quarterly payment of rents added to it. Rentals for two bedroom apartments were in the range of 450–850 rials per month in Al Ghubra, Qurum, Azaiba and Al Khuwair depending on total area and quality. Sale prices, on the other hand, average around 580 rials per sqm, while reaching more than 1100 rials per sqm in high end residential areas.

Market Forecast In the residential segment, the future trend is expected to be stable. Demand in Oman has been to a great extent endogenous. The population in Oman is growing, at


Highlights – Q4 2009 Development


Real GDP growth seen at 3% in 2010…

All sectors will benefit from this growth including real estate and construction. This is mainly as the government will continue to spend on infrastructure projects aiming for diversifying the economy. Moving forward, Omani construction industry is expected to hit 1.57 billion rials by 2013 with 2.7% annual increase as per Business Monitor International.

Omani economy is expected to grow by 3% in real terms in 2010 benefiting from high crude oil prices – in the range of $70-80/band ongoing government spending in the final year of the seventh -five year development plan - as per Ministry of National Economy. Moreover, economic performance is expected to be bolstered by higher tourist arrivals and increased foreign direct investment.

New Income Tax Law removes ambiguity… Oman began implementing new income tax law for corporates under which a uniform tax rate of 12% on the taxable income after granting a basic exemption of 30,000 rials to all entities carrying business in Oman irrespective of their status, residence, nationality or mode of operation. Foreign branches that were previously taxed at 30% no profits in excess of 100,000 rials would now pay a tax of 12% on excess profits. an average annual rate of 2%. Moreover, around 43% of Omanis are under the age of 14 indicating the increasing residential demand over the medium term. Thus, industry sources estimates that 20,000 to 25,000 units are needed over the next few years to keep up with increasing demand. Thus we still hold our stable view for the segment. The office space segment is also expected to be stable in the future. We still hold our stable view for the segment for the short term.

The newly implemented income tax law put to rest any ambiguity and will create a level playing field for all coroporates irrespective of nationality. Thus it will spur foreign investment and encourage foreign companies to operate through a branch rather than through a locally incorporated company. The increased business supported by economic growth will consequently support demand for real estate.

We expect a flattening demand in 2010 with marginal tendency to pick up towards the end of the year depending on actual economic performance. On a longer term, it might witness a correction with the delivery of 200,000 sqm of office space in Muscat by 2012, predominantly located in Azaiba Business Park and Al Qurum City Centre. Matching such supply with increased demand will be linked to economic performance. On the hospitality side, the downward trend is expected. We still hold our negative view

Average Residential Rentals

for the hospitality segment for 2010 as the world economy did not recover from the recessionary pressures completely. On the demand front, we still see a decline in tourists visiting Oman in the medium term through 2011 as more than 40% of Oman’s tourist count is from US, UK and other developed economies. On the supply front, the major projects in Muscat are expected to add about 5,500 rooms to the already existing 4 and 5-star rooms through 2012 leading to an oversupply.

Average Residential Sales Prices




















Ghala Source: ERA Oman 14 OER DOSSIER March 2010

Madinat Sultan Qaboos

Al Ghubra North

BD Apt 2

Source: ERA Oman

BD Apt 3

BD Villa 3

BD Villa 4

BD Villa 5

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Testing times After a robust growth for years, the GCC real estate market is under tremendous pressure. Excerpts from the Global Investment House report The GCC region witnessed a y-o-y decline of 13.7% in the value of ongoing and announced projects at the end of February 2010 as per MEED projects data. UAE witnessed the largest decline of 26.2%. Kuwait followed with a 12.8% of decline while Oman declined by 2.5%. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain reported an increase of 3.9% and 0.2% respectively. The total value of on hold projects stood at $595.7 billion. UAE’s share of on hold projects stood at 78.6%, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at 8.9% and 7.6% respectively.

Bahrain The residential segment in Bahrain witnessed a mixed performance with subdued demand for the high end segment and higher demand for middle and low income housing which is witnessing a supply shortage. During 4Q 2009, there was no significant activity in the residential freehold market with few signs of decline. There was a downward pressure on residential rents. However, in certain areas such as Saar, Budaiya, and Janabiya, rents were more resilient. As demand remains subdued for the office market in Bahrain, several projects are being delayed or cancelled. A recent report by DTZ indicated that 270,000 sqm of planned office space were cancelled over the last year. The retail market in Bahrain is supported by the traffic from the Saudi Causeway. Another causeway linking Bahrain to Qatar is expected soon.

Kuwait After a period of fading performance since last year and up to the end of 3Q09, real estate sector started to show signs of slight recovering by 4Q09 especially for the residential segment. However, the full year performance is still negatively impacted due to 16 OER DOSSIER March 2010

the good performance of 1H08. Total units sold for the year 2009 reported 25.8% of decline reaching 4,586 units down from 6,180 units during 2008. Residential segment was much more impacted retreating by 27.5% as compared with 21.0% decline in apartments & commercial segment. Similarly, average price per transaction for the year 2009 reported 15.8% of decline reaching KD700,000/transaction down from KD832,000/transaction during 2008. Residential segment retreated by 2.0% as compared with 20.3% decline in apartments and commercial segment. We expect prices in the residential segment in Kuwait to pick up in 2010. The segment is expected to witness increases in the range of 10%-15% during H1 2010 supported by available financing through Sharia compliant banks. We still hold our downward view regarding investment segment for the short to medium terms. The segment is expected to go through a stagnation period for the short term before starting another wave of declines towards the summer vacation season that will be coupled with the delivery of new supply. The ongoing construction activity has lead to increasing supply that will not be matched with increasing demand in the next period. Thus rentals might dip in the range of 5% to 10% especially for medium and upper classes, respectively, due to increased vacancy rates. Looking forward, a rapid recovery for the segment is not expected, however, any recovery will be linked to the implementation of announced government plans aiming for reviving the overall economic

growth. Consequently this will be linked to increased demand on expatriates labor force. Only at this time investment segment might pick up.

Qatar Qatar real estate sector reported a declining trend during 2009 after reaching record highs during the boom period last three years. The impact of the financial crisis and economic slowdown was reflected on real estate sectors in the region during 2009 and Qatar was not an exception. However, currently Qatari real estate sector is showing signs of stabilization and recovery is not expected before H2 2010. Generally, residential segment reported average declines in prices of more than 30% by Q4 2009 on Y-o-Y basis, as compared with 2008 peak levels. The major declines were almost seen in prime locations and projects

like Pearl, West Bay and Lusail. On the sales front, 2009 witnessed a lower activity on the off plan projects with transactions more active in the secondary market. Thus, by the end of Q4 2009 asking prices almost stagnated at the same level as 3Q09 with developers trying to hold their prices while repackaging payment terms with lower deposit payments. Secondary market especially for Pearl project and West Bay started to stabilize at 3Q09 levels with marginal declines. Comparing both markets reported a discount of more than 25% for secondary market prices as compared to primary prices. This is mainly as owners of projects approaching handover are able to offer their units at prices much lower than developers asking prices while realizing gains on their investments. Qatar Central Bank Governor announced that the economy shall experience real growth of about 16% in 2010. Accordingly, we expect the demand for real estate to pick up.

Value of Projects in the Gulf US$ mn

February 2010

February 2009

% change On-hold

projects (Feb. 2010)

Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE













otal GCC














2,642,859 -



Source: MEED Projects OER DOSSIER March 2010 17


tional office space is expected to enter the Dubai market by the end of 2011, which will increase vacancy rates and put further downward pressure on rentals. Lower rents in the residential segment in Dubai are still attracting residents in Abu Dhabi, putting downward pressure on prices and rents in Abu Dhabi. In addition, new deliveries in 2010 from projects such as Marina Square, Sun & Sky Tower, and Al Bandar will further push down rents and prices.

Saudi Arabia

UAE The stepping up of Abu Dhabi to stand behind its neighbor Dubai have restored some of the lost confidence after the announcement of Dubai World’s debt restructuring. However, it is still too early before confidence is fully restored to the market as uncertainties still remain. As the market started to show some signs of stabilization in prices in H2 2009, the total value of land transactions in Dubai improved in Q4 2009 on a q-o-q basis. During Q4 2009, popular developments with proper amenities and infrastructure such as Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Downtown Burj Khalifa, Springs and Arabian Ranches still fared better than others. We do not believe that the opening of the Burj Dubai will have an immediate effect on the prices and rents in surrounding areas, however, the launch has restored some of the lost the hype of Dubai, and enhanced its image as a business hub. The average price for completed properties increased by 9% in Q4 2009 on a q-o-q basis, whereas the price of incomplete properties increased by 8% on the back of the increase of selling prices of Jumeirah Village, Victory Heights and Dubai Marina. In terms of villas and apartments, the average rate for apartments stood at AED1,113 per sqft with a 4% decline on a q-o-q basis 18 OER DOSSIER March 2010

according to colliers price index, whereas villa prices stood at AED919 per sqft on average showing an increase of 7% on a q-o-q basis. With new supply of residential units coming on stream in Dubai, we do not expect a recovery in 2010. However, we do not believe that the market will drop significantly in 2010. Prices are not expected to bottom out before 2Q 2010. Around 30mn sqft of addi-

The government’s Real Estate Development Fund has been trying to fulfill the public housing needs (esp. low income category). REDF loans recorded an average annual growth of 3% since 2006. REDF outstanding loans estimated at around SR78 billion in 2009 constitute more than 80% of the real estate financing activity in the Kingdom. Although the banks have been continuously trying to capture greater market share of the real estate financing (recording an average 2006-09 annual growth of 7%), the new mortgage law is expected to provide the real impetus. The real estate finance currently constituting 10% of total consumer banking loans, offer attractive potential for future growth. With around 50% of households living in owner occupied units, there is consistent demand for housing supply and financing. The housing demand is expected to range between 1.0 to 1.5 million units till 2015. The market interest dominated by domestic buyers (with 60% population under the age of 30) also reflects robust demand fundamentals. KSA office space of around 7.0mn sqm augmented and modernized by projects like King Abdullah Financial District (over an area of 1.6mn sqm) is expected to grow by 15% to 20% over next 5 years. With focus on providing high quality environment, cities like Riyadh & Jeddah have pockets of old structures that remain un-demanded. Although the government has been actively working to provide improved infrastructure for business facilities, these developments need time to show full results.


Need for a change More sophisticated analysis of actual demand, enabling new projects to be better planned, will create more successful and mature developments in all real estate sectors, says Nick Smith


he world of property changed dramatically after the banking crisis of 2008/9. The previous three to five years in Oman had seen values increase with high demand. The Middle East seemed all set for continual growth within all real estate and construction related businesses. Construction companies and materials suppliers were being chased by keen developers to provide their services and products. Their order books had never been stronger. Those offering project management expertise and technical back-up were increasing staffing levels and widening their scope. Some of this, of course, was driven by speculation, but many new property related businesses also grew out of modern demands and lifestyle choices. Several development projects were politically and socially driven to bring new standards of living to Oman. Many of the new infrastructure projects fall into this category.

The residential market The residential sector changed dramatically after 2006 with the freehold ownership law which created opportunities for developers by opening up new markets. As a result, we currently have three Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) – The Wave, Muscat; Muscat Hills; and Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Residency – which are either partly complete or expected to deliver residential property shortly. Muriya are also building at Sifa and Salalah, and The Blue City is underway at Barka. 2009 proved to be a year of price correction but some stability has returned in 2010. There 20 OER DOSSIER March 2010

is currently a good supply of properties for purchase and rental, with deals being closed. Activity is at much higher levels than last year. A few interesting trends emerge in the rental market. Of the traditionally high value areas, there are villas in Qurum up to 3000 rials pm, although some are now of tired quality. Shatti has little on offer, with occupancy still high. Bareeq al Shatti has two bedroom apartments for 800-900 rials pm, down two hundred from the peak. In MQ, townhouses near Al Madina Plaza are quoting 1600 rials pm. Azaiba is still popular and shows rental growth, villas range from 900-2800 rials pm, with apartments around 400 rials pm for a one bedroom and 500-600 rials pm for a two bedroom. Al Khuwair lists apartments at around 650 rials pm for three bedrooms. Rentals in the newer western area of town past the airport and City Centre are still lower priced, these are up and coming places but not yet that popular with the expats, so supply outstrips demand and rental values are therefore depressed. Of the ITCs, only The Wave has any real volume available. Standard garden villas start at 1400 rials pm with rents to a maximum of 2500 rials pm for lake-front, on a good sized plot with a pool. Townhouses are from 800 to 1400 rials pm. Two bed apartments are being marketed from around 700 rials pm, with supply just coming on stream. Landlords and tenants negotiate liability for the management charges to close deals. There is no doubt that the improved build qual-

ity The Wave is spearheading in Muscat has benefited capital values and rentals on that project – prices are much firmer than in the older, run-down, lesser quality places. As far as values of finished homes are concerned, properties at The Wave start below 150,000 rials for a two bed apartment, 180,000 rials for a three bed townhouse and 265,000 rials for a villa. Muscat Hills has two bed apartments from 165,000 rials and villas from around 400,000 rials. The smallest Barr Al Jissah townhouse is 425,000 rials. The ITCs need a reality check to see how they are fulfilling their aims, financially, socially and for tourism. None of them, so far, have provided affordable housing for the Omani and GCC population. Whilst this was not their primary aim, ITCs may need to re-focus on this area of the market, as global dynamics have made the world extremely competitive. Currency fluctuations also make Oman an expensive place compared to the competition, adversely affecting demand. The Ministry of Tourism continues to announce new projects, and Oman Air has improved, bringing new visitors. Both of

these factors stimulate demand for residential property, hotels and associated land uses. The ITCs will need also to attract domestic sales in order to achieve their planned completions. The affordable housing sector is a highly promising new market area. There is a sizeable young population in the Sultanate, in or seeking employment. Many are moving from junior and middle management to higher levels, and want good accommodation to be built for them. As Muscat grows, demand for affordable residential products will rise. The increasing size of the affordable segment will be the single biggest change in the next decade in terms of housing stock. The banks will need to create more home loan products to enable young people to own their property. This financing will be via a deposit, with the rest by monthly payments over time, but with real security being achieved by virtue of the land title (krookie) being held by the lender.

The commercial market There is an oversupply of office space now in Muscat. A couple of years ago, undersupply

was an issue, but today there is a significant amount of space available. About 10-12,000 sq m lets per month in the capital. Chris Steele, Managing Partner of Savills, the international real estate service provider, made some interesting observations. “Commercial buildings which offer adequate car parking are still leasing at healthy rentals,” he says, “with the geographical shift towards the airport continuing at pace”. He adds, “95% of all enquiries for commercial space are for locations on the airport side of Qurum.” There is now a recognised need to undertake proper research on market requirements before embarking on commercial projects. This is not only about preferred locations, but also specification and design issues. “This is very healthy for the future of the market, as it will better match supply with demand going forward,” Steele concludes. In terms of the retail market, Ian Gladwin, CEO of Cluttons Middle East, comments, “The retail franchise model which is working in other retail destinations in the MidOER DOSSIER March 2010 21


dle East doesn’t work so well here.” He adds, “There are a host of brands that would like to open in Muscat, especially those with a food and beverage offering which would be so well suited to the atmospheric boardwalk locations in some of Muscat’s beautiful beachfront locations. The reason why they haven’t been able to launch is due to the lack of dedicated purpose built retail developments in the capital area.” Retail developments of the 1980s and 1990s are now dated and do not reflect the modern shopping needs for either operators or users. Gladwin adds, “There are plans to build out smaller, more focussed and dedicated retail destinations in Muscat, not anchored by food and hypermarket operators, which offer a different experience to the discerning and currently frustrated lady shopper who still finds that the only way of resolving her fashion frustrations is to travel to Dubai, at a cost.” With online shopping and the flexibility provided by the internet, the traditional shopping experience here may need to re-invent itself to offer the customer what he needs, recognising that a shopping experience is now a leisure experience too.

Scenario for construction companies, material suppliers and associated professionals Local sources say that material prices are now largely stable, with inflation running at a maximum of 3-5% per annum. Cement prices may rise at this level this year, with other materials largely being stable. Stockpiled materials have been used, and the large contracts being let by the government have underwritten and stimulated the market, allowing businesses to plan ahead with some certainty.

Dubai adversely affect the region, on the global stage, but within the region, Oman is well placed and continues to move ahead. More sophisticated analysis of actual demand, enabling new projects to be better planned, will also create more successful and mature developments in all real estate sectors.

Being paid for work done has been a lifeline – in Dubai, there are lots of disaster stories where this hasn’t happened, and many businesses, if they managed to survive, are 50-75% down.

“Work has definitely picked up this year over last,” he comments, “with the government work making up the bulk of tenders and enquiries”. He adds “Salalah is adding to our workload too, where we have recently bid for a 500 unit social housing scheme and an office building. It seems that the Dhofar region is attracting investment, and we are considering opening an office there.” This is an encouraging sign. Driver Consult has recruited five new staff this year in Muscat, demonstrating real signs of improvement in the professional services market.

Zane Hedge, Associate Director of multidisciplinary construction consultancy Driver Consult, has some interesting thoughts.

2010 looks much more healthy than 2009 and there is a cautiously positive vein to the real estate markets. The continuing difficulties in

Nick Smith is an independent property business advisor. He can be contacted on

22 OER DOSSIER March 2010

If the government can couple this with easier entry into the markets for potential investors, this will be a great stimulus, helping to bring about a step-change in the delivery of new schemes throughout the country.

OER DOSSIER March 2010 23


Margins under pressure Different sectors within the construction and building materials industry faced the same heat – more competition, less projects, lower margins Engineering and Construction – New opportunities For Galfar Engineering and Contracting, one of the leading construction firms in the Middle East with an turnover of $1 billion, it was a tough year. Though the company managed to increase its contract and other income by a good margin but its bottom line was under tremendous pressure. Its profit after tax reduced majorly in 2009 compared to 2008. However, the construction major has started the year on a good 24 OER DOSSIER March 2010

note by winning with two large contracts related to projects – Khoula Hospital and Ras Al Hadd airport. Al Hassan Engineering, on the other hand, managed to increase its contract income as well as net profit after tax. “This increase was mainly due to the healthy order backlog from 2008 and the timely and successful completion of a number of projects,” stated Hassan Bin Ali Salman, chairman of the company.

2010 is expected to be a challenging year for the sector. But Al Hassan is looking at penetrating newer areas to grow the business. It is targeting non-industrial infrastructure development projects as well as related utilities such as water and power. It is seeking potential alliances with major contractors with the required expertise in these areas. Renewable energy sector at the regional level is also on the company’s radar. It is also eyeing increased investments in the oil and gas sector in the UAE especially Abu Dhabi

to maximize on the available opportunities to augment the business. Overall, the sector is getting increasingly competitive with more companies from China, Korea and Turkey making serious forays in the regional market.

Sanitary ware – Intense competition The demand for sanitary ware products in the Sultanate is met by imports from Germany, France, Spain, UK, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran besides GCC countries in addition to the local manufacturing. Oman Ceramics Company is the only manufacturer of sanitary ware in Oman. In

the recent years, the low cost manufacturers from China as well as established European brands outsourcing their products from low cost countries are becoming more and more popular not just in Oman but rest of the GCC region as well. Oman Ceramics Company registered a dip in the sales revenue in 2009 on a y-o-y basis. The company also experienced a net loss in 2009 compared to net profits in 2008. “The performance for 2009 has not been satisfactory due to a combination of various adverse factors that affected the company. The main reason is the slowdown of the real estate markets that adversely affected

CONCERNS • Increasing interest of companies and manufacturers from the low cost economies in the regional market • Negative growth in US and European markets • Slow down of the real estate market • Reduction in number of orders • Additional provision for doubtful debts • Considerable delay in collection of receivables • Volatile raw material prices

OER DOSSIER March 2010 25


some of our main markets such as UK and UAE. There was intense competition among various players while the market size diminished to a great extent. As a result, considerable extra efforts and expenses had to be incurred to sustain sales at current levels. Additional provision for doubtful debts had to be made as one customer in UK went bankrupt and many customers delayed the payments. The company has chalked out a strategy for 2010 to overcome these problems and come back to profitability,” Vish Natrajan, CEO of OCC informed. He added, “During the year 2010, the company plans to focus its efforts and increase its sales volumes in the markets where the prices are remunerative and to seek price increases in the other markets. Also planned are reductions in fixed expenses to improve the financial performance.” But it is not going to be easy for OCC as the market competition in the sanitary ware 26 OER DOSSIER March 2010

The low cost manufacturers from China as well as established European brands outsourcing their products from low cost countries are becoming more and more popular is getting further intensified. With US and Europe under tremendous stress, the manufacturers in these markets are looking at Asia and the Middle East for sustaining their

sales volumes. This could lead to increased competition and further pressure on the prices. We could also witness mergers and acquisitions taking place for a further consolidation in the industry. On a positive note for the builders, lower prices could lead to lesser construction costs and the benefits could be passed on to the end consumers.

Electric cables – Volatile raw material prices The global cable industry is pegged at $150 billion but it is highly fragmented with the leader commanding just 2% share of the overall market. But in Oman, it is a different scenario. Oman Cables Industry (OCI) enjoys a large share of the market despite exporting over 60% of its products to other markets. The company manufactures a variety of specialized cables and is the only Omani cable company to offer a comprehensive range of power cables and overhead line conductors used by various sectors for power generation, electricity distribution,


mass transportation, oil and gas exploration, petrochemicals, etc. The company’s total production is adequate enough to meet the total domestic demand. With fierce competition, margins under pressure and high volatility of copper prices in the past, the company is expected to face a challenging time in 2010. But the company is expanding its footprint in the GCC region as well as new international markets. OCI’s backward integration strategies have helped to contain costs as well the sourcing of local raw materials is expected to make the company more cost effective. In a joint venture with Oman Oil Company, OCI is setting-up an aluminium rod and conductor plant at Sohar. The new unit is expected to commence commercial production in the first quarter of this year.

Steel – Promising Outlook A report by Al Jazeera Steel Products aptly captures the mood and sentiments of the steel sector. It said: “From the second quarter of 2009, the buyers started returning to the global steel market as inventory at various levels got depleted. An improvement in steel prices was also seen in this period due to cost push factor from the mills side. The GCC region also is witnessing mixed growth and uncertainty increased during the last quarter with the

The global cable industry is pegged at $150 billion but it is highly fragmented with the leader commanding just two per cent share of the overall market financial meltdown in Dubai and Dubai World. All the steel mills in the UAE were forced to curtail production or shut down. However, around late December, markets started recovering with the rescheduling/ bail out of debts in Dubai institutions by banks and government. In the mean time, Abu Dhabi has become more active and the construction activity in the region has started to pick up again.” On the future prospects, it said, “Prices of the metal markets today have almost settled. Tentative improvement in some leading indicators, including a better though still fragile business confidence level, signals that the global steel market may be seeing a minirevival, providing a modicum of encour-

agement... for the first time after three decades and after an average CAGR of 6% in the last six years, from 2008, the growth has been negative by 8% in 2009. Several stalwarts in steel growth predications expect an increase in output by around 8% in 2010, and production levels of 2007 (1.34 billion tons of crude steel output) by 2011. Raw materials prices had fallen significantly, but from the latest trend, they are expected to increase substantially. The iron ore and coke price negotiations are surely to be revised upwards and there has already been significant rise in scrap prices. The freight has only come down due to lower loads and decreased oil prices. In spite of the global downturn and the lack of available projects, which got cancelled or deferred, the longer term outlook for the GCC steel market looks more promising. GCC governments continue to hold sufficient surpluses and major government backed players in the regional steel industry are well insulated from the effects of the global slowdown.” On the performance of Al Jazeera Steel Products, during 2009, the company moved up from average sales of 8,000tpm in Q1 to over 12,000tpm in the other quarters. The company thus manufactured 138,407 MT of steel products in 2009 (2008: 179,314 MT). Due to drop in the raw material prices, the turnover in terms of value dropped, from 78.435 million rials in 2008 to 39.967 million rials in 2009. While the sales tonnages continued to rise in Q2 and Q3, the last quarter saw a large dip in sales in the GCC region as projects were suspended. While exports to North America, kept the company going, it lost over 8,000MT (estimate) due to the lack of demand in GCC. The company currently has an operating and production capacity of 300,000 MT of pipes which includes 80,000 MT of galvanized products per annum. However, the severe market conditions restricted its pipe mill to be operated at 42% of its capacity and there by resulting in 123,314 MT of production.

28 OER DOSSIER March 2010


Solid Performance Despite the challenging market environment, the cement companies in Oman have notched up a good performance in 2009, reports OER Dossier


ike many other industries, 2009 was a tough year for the global cement industry. The financial health check of the world’s largest cement manufacturer, Lafarge, sums up the state of the sector worldwide. The French building materials giant posted 10% decrease in cement sales as a result of the volumes dropping in North America and Europe. The company expects that the emerging markets will drive the demand during 2010 whereas the other markets will start picking up gradually in the second half of the year. Look closer, the GCC cement market is also 30 OER DOSSIER March 2010

at crossroads. The cement sector relies on the projects for its sustenance. Before the global financial crisis hit the region, the undergoing project market in the region was pegged at $2.67 trillion in the beginning of 2009. In 2004, it was estimated to be $300 billion. In Q3 2009, it was down to $2.1 trillion. “Within these planned projects, 25% of them have been put on hold. As per our calculation even if 75% projects continue as per plan and of them even if 40% are construction related than it would result in an annual average cement demand of 90.6

million tons till 2017. Whereas GCC capacity would be crossing 120 million ton mark by 2011, glutting the market with cement. With lesser projects continuing because of the economic uncertainty, the demand of cement has declined because of which the utilization rates of cement manufacturers has gone down to an average of 75% as of 2009 (9-months). With the continuing capacity build up and lesser demand, we expect the utilization rates to fall in the range of 65-70% going forward until the project market picks up,� stated a recent report by Global Investment House.


Before the global financial crisis hit the region, the undergoing project market in the region was pegged at $2.67 trillion in the beginning of 2009 sold 2.92 million tons of cement and clinker in 2009 compared to 2.77 million tons in the previous year. The company’s revenue went up to 89.35 million rials against 89.08 million rials in 2008. “In a very competitive environment, the domestic market sale of cement increased by 7.9%. The economic down turn impacted the export market more severely with a decline in sales volume by 12%. The company sold 136,825 tons of clinker during 2009 in place of 55,623 tons in the previous year,” he added.

The report further said, “Average realization prices as of 2009 (9-months) have declined on an average of 6% in GCC when compared with those of 2008. Countries with relatively stable prices are Saudi Arabia and Oman while the rest have witnessed a major fall. With ongoing capacity buildup we expect further pressure on cement manufacturers.”

Oman Market The current demand for cement is estimated at 4.3 million tons. Raysut Cement Company and Oman Cement Company are the two cement manufacturing companies in Oman. “The affected UAE and emerging markets 32 OER DOSSIER March 2010

have created some pressures too by exporting cement at highly discounted prices to Oman, threatening the base of the established pricing policy in the country and the region. As a result, the company faced stiff competition in the north part of Oman market as well as in the export segment particularly during the second half of the year,” said Mohd. Bin Alawi Bin Ali Muqaibal, chairman of Raysut Cement Company in his statement on the performance of the company in 2009. Despite a rough weather, the company notched up an increase in the sales. Raysut

He further added, “The rehabilitation of cement grinding plants and related long delivery time for the requisites parts to be replaced resulted in the decrease in cement production to 1.66 million tons in 2009 from 2.12 million tons in the previous year. The production of clinker of 2.043 million tons in 2009 practically remained at the similar level of previous year’s production of 2.045 million tons. To support the market share and to meet the requirements of the customers, the company imported cement at most competitive prices from various parts of the world and sold 1.13 million tons during 2009 in place of 0.575 million tons in the previous year.” Raysut’s profit after tax stood at 28.68 million rials in 2009 against 27.11million rials in the earlier year. On the future outlook, he said, “The higher expenditure plan by the government and lower inflation than before, coupled with the positive trends elsewhere will pave the way for better growth in the near future in gen-

Photo Courtesy: Lafarge


eral. However, the competition in the cement industry is expected to continue for some time. The company has proposed to explore substantial expansion in capacity through acquisition of facilities outside the country as well as adding facilities to the existing set up. For a full utilization of the clinker capacity, addition to grinding facilities is likely to take place in the third quarter of 2010.” On the other hand, Oman Cement Company (OCC), is also expanding its capacity. The company has an installed capacity to produce 1.2 million tons of clinker. The work on the expansion project to increase the clinker production capacity to 2.4 million MTS per annum is expected to be complete by the second quarter of this year. The company produced 2.1 million MTS of cement in 2009 by importing additional clinker. OCC’s profit after tax increased steeply from 34 OER DOSSIER March 2010

In a very competitive environment, the domestic market sale of cement increased by 7.9 per cent. The economic downturn impacted the export market more severely 12.540 million rials in 2008 to 24.232 million rials in 2009. “The profits were impacted as a result of better price realization, increase in investment & other income, decrease in

price of imported clinker and discontinuation of import of cement,” said Jamal Shamis Al Hooti, CEO, OCC in the annual statement on the company’s financial result for 2009. On the expectations in the future, he said: “The demand for cement in Oman has been growing and the company in order to maintain its market share, installed an additional cement mill of 3,000 TPD and is in the process of further expansion by installing new production line of 4,000 TPD clinker capacity to meet the competition. However, over supply situation created by inflow of large quantity of cement from neighbouring countries at lower prices is a threat and has created strain on selling prices. Company is confident of maintaining good performance in 2010 adopting a strategy of dynamic pricing and effective measures of cost control.”


Global Engineering and construction E&C CEOs will need to face up to financing hurdles and the risk of inflation. Many are looking to Asia for growth and increasing their focus on risk management, says PricewaterhouseCoopers 13th Annual Global CEO Survey 2010


ngineering & construction (E&C) CEOs are still very worried about the economy. The turbulence of the capital markets is their top concern, followed by fears of a protracted global recession, difficulties in financing future growth, exchange rate volatility and over-regulation.

Greater use of debt financing, changes to capital structures in the offing Thirty-five percent of E&C CEOs expect to finance their companies’ growth through the debt markets, compared with 24 percent of the total survey population. Seventy-one percent also plan to change their capital structure, versus 61 per cent of the overall sample. The finding may reflect the traditional lack of enthusiasm for the sector

How concerned are you about the following potential threats to your business growth prospects related to or emerging from the current economic crisis?

Global Engineering & Construction Note: Respondents replying ‘somewhat’ or ‘extremely’ concerned Base: Base: All Respondents (Global, 1198. Engineering & Construction, 75) Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers 13th Annual Global CEO Survey 2010

in the capital markets; E&C companies are characterised by relatively low margins and high earnings volatility, features institutional investors generally dislike.

Risk of inflation in the supply chain Thirty-nine percent of E&C CEOs are concerned about inflation. This is broadly in line with the overall average, but it is rather surprising; inflation could well represent a particular challenge for many E&C companies, given the prevalence of fixed-price, long-term contracts that make it difficult or impossible to pass on inflation in the cost base to the end customer.

Growth prospects shifting east Like their peers in other sectors, E&C CEOs are looking east; 71 per cent of those with

operations in Asia anticipate doing more business in the region over the next 12 months. E&C CEOs are much more pessimistic about the prospects in Western Europe. Only 31 per cent of those with a presence in the area expect to see any growth. Indeed, 28 percent expect revenues to fall.

Risk management focus increases Most E&C CEOs are focusing on risk management to a greater extent, in common with CEOs in other industries. They are concentrating mainly on integrating risk management with their business units, reassessing their risk tolerance, allocating more resources to risk-related information gathering and analysis, and creating remuneration systems that reward good risk management.

E&C CEOs are worried about various economic and financial risks Lack of stability in capital markets Protracted global recession Inability to finance growth Exchange rate volatility Over-regulation








OER DOSSIER March 2010 35


UPCOMING INDUSTRY EVENTS tion Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports, the Airport Show is supported by leading international industry associations and local government authorities. The Airport Show offers an unrivalled combination of high-quality networking and business development opportunities through a series of roundtable discussions, innovation and project seminars and the hosted buyer programme. For information visit

gulfBID 2010

2nd Annual Global Construction Technology and Building Materials 28-29 MARCH, 2010 DOHA, QATAR Tapping on to the new and pioneering building materials and construction technologies for a sustainable built environment and healthy growth of business, the second annual event aims to build on to the key operational aspects of building materials and construction technologies and endeavors to put forward new and emerging trends in this dynamic field that will help the professionals gain a competitive edge and also aid in building a sustainable built environment and achieve business goals. For information visit

2010 Global Construction Summit 7-8 APRIL, 2010 NEW YORK CITY, USA With the global economic landscape and the construction marketplace both rapidly changing, the focus of the 2010 Global Construction Summit will be on “Winning Business in World Markets.” Country delegations from the major construction markets of Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Australia will gather to hear from global industry thought-leaders. The Summit will be held in conjunction with Engineering News-Record’s (a McGraw-Hill pub36 OER DOSSIER March 2010

lication) 45th Annual Award of Excellence programme, which each year attracts more than one-thousand construction industry professionals to a black-tie awards gala in New York City. For information visit

Bridges Middle East - Qatar 2010 11-14 APRIL, 2010 DOHA, QATAR This series is the ultimate place for everyone involved in the design, construction and maintenance of bridges. With a wave of new projects sweeping the Middle East, bridge design and engineering is undoubtedly a key construction focus for the immediate future. Architects, consultants, contractors and suppliers are searching for the latest ways to remain competitive and ensure they are involved in these groundbreaking projects. For information visit

Airport Show 2010 25-27 APRIL, 2010 DUBAI, UAE Now in its 10th year, the Airport Show is firmly established as one of the world's leading events devoted exclusively to airport construction, operations, technology and services. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Avia-

4-6 MAY, 2010 MANAMA, BAHRAIN gulfBID 2010 is the leading exhibition for the construction and interiors industry in the Northern Gulf. gulfBID 2010, the 5th Annual Exhibition for Construction and Interiors, brings together the leading suppliers, brands, equipment and services faceto-face with clients and buyers. Experience this unique and prosperous market first hand, meet with top companies who will share powerful local business knowledge to help you deliver and execute successful, profitable interior design and construction projects. From conception to design to procurement - gulfBID has it all, be part of the most comprehensive and effective sourcing opportunity in the Northern Gulf. For information visit

Nano Cement, Steel and Construction Industries Conference 16-17 MAY, 2010 CAIRO, EGYPT Nanotechnology means smarter materials for smarter construction. Join scientists, engineers and executives who meet to discuss the latest developments in nanotechnology for the construction industry. The conference aims to set the agenda for a global nanotech roadmap for the construction industry that will lead to increased safety, comfort, and ultimately Green building design. For information visit



BUILDING ON QUALITY Wafa Al Harrasy, Manager (Public Relations) at Teejan Trading & Contracting Co. LLC, talks about the current projects and what it takes to be one of the best in the business Would you give us an essence of the Teejan Group? Teejan Group of Companies was started in 1974 by the Chairman Mr. Hamed Al Harrasy. Initially it started with Teejan Cleaners, and then it diversified to different industries. Now the main company is Teejan Trading and Contracting and we deal in Construction Engineering, Electromechanical Engineering, Fire Fighting Engineering and Laboratory Equipments. Our vision has always been to provide products and services that are of utmost quality and over 35 years (and more) of our functioning we have held on to those ideals. We have a very family like culture and we value our employees. We also make sure that whenever an expatriate joins us with his family, that they settle down easily and adapt to their new surroundings. When it comes to suppliers or any business dealings, we always try and maintain strong relationships, because that’s what will take us forward. We have also been taking a balanced stance towards Omanisation and training students from top notch universities to enable acquire the skill set to work with us.

the fire fighting systems at Barr Al Jissah along with many industrial projects in Sohar and the Al Kamil Power Plant. We always try and work towards the growth of this country. I believe the strongest buildings in Oman are the hospitals and we have built many health centres across the Sultanate.

What are some of the projects that Teejan has been involved with? In the beginning we have worked with many schools across the country. Say, at least maybe a quarter of the schools in Oman have been built by us. After that we got involved in a lot of infrastructure related work. We did the India Embassy, the recently opened Cruise Terminal in Mina Qaboos. Among commercial buildings we have done the Safeer Mall in Sohar as well as LuLu Hypermarket in Salalah. We have also done

Teejan undoubtedly has many feathers to its cap. How do you manage to stay ahead of competition? Teejan always gives constructive solutions – in any project we are ready to provide solutions catering to all aspects, right from the basic construction solutions to fire fighting systems and even furniture. We provide tailor made solutions suited to the needs and wants of our customers. One of the examples is the India Embassy – we have in fact done the entire thing, including the furnish-

38 OER DOSSIER March 2010

Wafa Al Harrasy, Manager (Public Relations) at Teejan Trading & Contracting Co. LLC ings and interiors. If required, we meet up with consultants or sub contract it. So we take the full responsibility from the client and and provide them with the solutions. I think this is extremely unique to Teejan and our clients appreciate this. In what direction would you like to see Teejan headed in the coming years? I would like to see Teejan running all over Oman, handling different types of projects, and contributing more towards the development of this country. We would like to handle more special infrastructure jobs. We are very selective in picking projects and we want to take up projects which will challenge us and really display our best qualities.

Tel: 968 -24594641 / 24593560, Fax: 968 - 24593442 website:


TRANSFORMING DREAMS TO REALITY Success at home has propelled Shamel International to go beyond geographical limits to engage in turnkey interiors projects


hen it comes to design of space, both interior and exterior, Shamel International is a force to reckon with in the global furnishing arena. Founded in 2002, Shamel has clients from the upper echelons of the society and the company takes pride in having carried out some of the most prestigious projects within and outside Oman in public and private sector. In 2002, the Contract Furnishing & Interiors Division of Shamel, the Arabic synonym for ‘Total’, became the new arm of Sarco Oman or Al Seeb Technical Establishment, established in 1976. The objective was to enhance the focus in engineering, contracting and manufacturing to provide the most contemporary and bespoke products and services to the Sultanate. To this end, a purpose-built factory was set up in the industrial suburb of Ghala. Today the built-up space sprawls across an area of 80,000 sq m. The major activities of the company are in the fields of engineering, contracting and maintenance services. The other part is the Furniture Division, a manufacturing set up involved with customized furniture manufacturing, contract furnishing and architectural joinery. This includes semi mass-produced wooden furniture, GRC, GRP, custom-built and bespoke furniture, soft furnishings and upholstery, specialized gypsum work and turnkey interior fit-outs. The company’s service is quintessentially project-based and is considered as one of the top joinery and special decorations company in Oman. Apart from a number of successfully accomplished projects, which involves highly

intricate woodwork and joinery for the Royal Court Affairs, the company has been involved in the furnishing of properties for the Intercontinental, Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt, Novotel, the Chedi, the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, etc. The company mostly concentrates on Royal Palaces, hotels and very highend individual clients. Very recently, they completed the Hilton at Ras Al Khaimah. And Shamel is the only Omani company to have been pre-qualified for the Oman National Museum. Success at home has propelled Shamel International to go beyond geographical limits to engage in turnkey interiors projects. Having consolidated its position based on customer satisfaction and quality assurance, Shamel has spread its wings to the United Kingdom, Germany, Bahrain,

P. Sasidharan, CEO, Shamel International Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Shamel International has another office in the Sharjah Free Zone with the same name which is specialised in GRC. The company has also moved to Qatar and is currently involved in a project at the Pearl Islands.

Contact: Tel: 24503061 24591431, 24503062 e-mail: OER DOSSIER March 2010 39



CREATING TIMELESS INTERIORS Combining qualified personnel and specialised expertise, Darwish AST Services has established a track record for successful projects and illustrious clientele inclusive of the Diwan of Royal Court, hotels & resorts, embassies, ministries, elite private clientele and many more Could you summarize the history of Darwish AST Services?

Architecture & Design who developed the concept of Neolapis, the Architectural and Design wing of DO.IT Projects. Neolapis is involved in various architectural projects in Europe, America and China. Interior design being their forte, they also develop custom designed furniture & accessories.

Darwish AST Services L.L.C. traces its origins to Ed. Ast & Co. Ingenieure which was founded in 1898 in Graz, Austria. The parent organisation signalled their desire to penetrate the GCC market with the establishment of the subsidiary organisation Overseas AST Ltd., Kuwait in 1950. Subsequently this led to the establishment of similar subsidiaries in UAE and the Sultanate of Oman in 1960 and 1964 respectively. Overseas AST Ltd., Oman was restructured and renamed as Darwish AST L.L.C. in 1976 and then in 2004 it came to be known as Darwish AST Services L.L.C. We hold an excellent Grade construction license and our name is synonymous with quality in the field of construction & Interior fit-outs. We have played an integral part in the growth of the Sultanate as a nation since 1964 by providing our expertise to and facilitating some of the key construction projects of the nation. What kind of projects you undertake? We at Darwish AST, specialize in high end interior Fit out projects of Royal standards, and also carry out turnkey projects including civil works and MEP contracting. Through planning, design and construction 40 OER DOSSIER March 2010

Neolapis designs reflect a fusion of various cultures and traditions with an innovative use of new materials and latest techniques and their clientele include the likes of Heineken, Interbrew, John Martin and Thaddeus. We will be promoting their designs to various commercial, residential and leisure clientele. Steffen C Gies, General Manager we focus on achieving the client’s goals on quality, cost effectiveness and completion schedule. Combining qualified personnel and specialised expertise we have established a track record for successful projects and our illustrious clientele inclusive of the Diwan of Royal Court, Hotels & Resorts, Embassies, Ministries, elite private clientele and many more. Can you throw some light on your reputed design partners from Italy? In an effort to diversify and upgrade our range of services to design expertise, we have teamed with the renowned architectural consultants from Italy; DO.IT Projects, a well known “Interior Fitting” company based in Venice. Giuseppe Corona, Francesco Morena and Lucio Dotto are professors of

What is your focus for 2010?... and your plans for the near future? 2010 has so far been a year of restructuring ourselves to the changing market dynamics in line with the demands and requirements of project developers, investors, high end individual clientele. It walks hand-in-hand with overall development of our Quality & Service standards, technical proficiency and design expertise. In the near future we will be looking at high status projects by further developing our spectrum of service in the Architectural field, induct more high calibre craftsmen, engineers and concentrate on the overall sustainable growth of the organisation.

Contact: 24501357 Fax: 24503202


BREAKING GROUND IN CONSTRUCTION The company has partnered with an international leader in Green Construction to bring an advanced, eco-friendly building method that promises to revolutionize Oman’s construction sector When was the company established and how did its existence transpire? We came across a revolutionary system in Europe and were impressed by its efficiency and sustainability. Being environmentally conscious industrialists, we found the construction concept commercially inviting. We registered the Company in 2008 and started the approval process with local government bodies. Of course, it wasn’t a cakewalk . We went through rigorous approval process and were also closely scrutinized by reputable engineering consultancy firms in Oman. Today, we are a Municipality approved construction Company serving Oman’s construction needs. We are also establishing a fully automated manufacturing plant in PEIE Nizwa, which will produce various elements of building material example- Columns and Beams welded frames, Insulated Wall panels, Polystyrene molded slabs, BRC mesh and gypsum blocks. In what ways are your products are ecofriendly / GREEN? Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources and account for a significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change. Enshaat’s construction methodology strictly follows British Building Codes plus offers advance sustainable solutions which are based on Green building codes LEED ® We use materials that are eco-friendly and made with high recycled content. Our wall panels provide 50 mm of thermal insulation using polystyrene and polyurethane mix which is a recycled material . Our rib slab has Polystyrene between ribs at 600mm c/c, toping slab of 90mm and a rib of 120x200mm, the minimum thickness of our slab is 330mm

Ahmed Al-Barami, CEO, Enshaat Construction & Building Material Mfg. L.L.C. including the polystyrene. Due to the thickness of molded expanded polystyrene, the thermal and acoustic insulation are at maximum. Another green material used for interior walls are our Gypsum blocks. Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral which is processed and reinforced with fiber glass. Gypsum blocks have smooth finish on both sides. It is easy and fast to install and completely eliminates plastering. It is more durable and stronger than regularly available alternatives. When we compare an average building built with conventional methods to eco-friendly methodologies like ours, you will find that the Green sustainability building solutions surpass conventional construction by far! Some obvious benefit are: • Environmental benefits • Economic benefits • Health and community benefits Apart from the obvious ones, what advantages does the system present? Our construction methodology comply with BS codes hence is approved by Muscat Munic-

ipality for application in Residential, Commercial and Industrial construction. Apart from the obvious advantage our system also offers: • Speedy construction (up to 50% faster than conventional construction) • Reinforced Columns and Beam structure based on British Building standards • Flexible to architectural, structural and custom design specification • Significant cost saving. What are some of your current projects? We are a new construction company in Oman, nonetheless we have also been well received by Ministries, Municipalities, Consultants and Contractors. It is evident from the assortment of projects we have undertaken in a short span. Apart from the construction industry support, we have been receiving encouraging interests from organizations like Al Noor Charity , Dar Al Att’a, financial institutions etc.

Contact: 92881155 OER DOSSIER March 2010 41



COMPLETE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS In 2009, Kehlan has managed to develop two new show rooms, one at Ghoubrah and the other one at Salalah. Both the show rooms started functioning during this year. Another show room will come up at Nizwa


ehlan, a company established in 1976 as a construction company, today is one of the leading first grade trading & contracting company. It based its operations in the Sultanate of Oman with a phenomenal success in the construction industry with many prestigious projects, to the trading of various specialized building materials.

The construction division has completed three major projects during the year 2009. While the construction of SNCO Mess, Accommodation and Extension to Officers Mess being the largest one, the construction of LCD factory at Sohar and Residential/ Commercial complex were the other two.

The prospective view of the West Gate Palace Hotel Project in Ruwi minor projects throughout the year 2009. The Imports Division continues on the research of new solutions and products on the building materials technology and Kehlan’s continued participation/visits to worldwide exhibitions have made the research easier to reach to its aim.

Kehlan Trading Division has put much effort to

be a part of the trading segment of the Oman market, with a variety of innovative products. In this year the company added QPR a cold cement mixure, which is very useful for the tarmac/road maintenance. Yet another sanitary from India ‘Liberty Whiteware’ was also included during this year. The company has also concluded a discussion/dialogue with CBI Europue (Italy) for Raised Access Floors, Ceiling Materials and Wall Cladding. While ‘Cotto’ tiles from Thailand were included in the year 2009 to Kehlan’s tiles gallery, in the year 2010, it has added ‘Swastik’ from India.

Kehlan’s Chairman, Sheikh Said bin Saif Al Mazroui, sends his message to the company’s valuable clients/customers, “Your support is our strength, and we look forward to your continued support. We will always remain to serve you.”

New showroom at Al Ghoubrah

During the year 2009, Kehlan has managed to develop two new show rooms, one at Ghoubrah (Opposite Oman Arab Bank) and the other one at Salalah (Opposite bank Muscat). Both the show rooms started functioning during this year. Kehlan is now progressing with opening of yet another show room at Nizwa, by the middle of this year. The Ceiling Division has made tremendous effort in completing different major and

For the year 2010, the company has entered into a contract for the Construction of a 4 Star Hotel (West Gate Palace) in the Ruwi High Street. Kehlan’s activities and operations established under tile of “Heavenly Homes” in India and “Bait Al Jannah” at Muscat are continuing with its own target.

42 OER DOSSIER March 2010

Kehlan has now joined with world’s best team in the field of swimming pools and fountains and started its ‘Pools and Fountains’ division as Kehlan Pools & Fountains (KPF). APF design is supported from United States.

Contact: 24484227 E-mail: Website:



SPREADING WINGS Lamasat has been making waves in the markets in Salalah with their innovative uPVC windows and doors


t has been an incredible journey down south for Lamasat. In just three years of operations, the awareness levels of Upvc Windows and Doors have risen to a great extent, a concept first pioneered by Lamasat. While the product has its inherent advantages, what makes it unique lies in the fact that the product has demonstrated the feature of withstanding the corrosive weather conditions of the city. Currently Operating with a modest factory, the state of the art factory has commenced construction and will be fully operational within the next six months. Plans are also afoot to introduce a range of unique interior home dĂŠcor products in a phased manner.


OER DOSSIER March 2010 43



SCALING NEW HEIGHTS After a decade in the business, Windows2000 is forging ahead with a newfound vigour and pride


total commitment is paramount to reaching the ultimate in performance. That is what can best explain the triumph of Windows2000, the leading uPVC windows and doors fabricator company in Oman. Marking 12 glorious years of existence and dominance in the uPVC market of the Sultanate, this pioneer company is all set to scale new heights and rewrite rules of business with their revamped vision and technology. Under the able leadership of the founder and Managing Director, Mr. Said Al Saqri, the Company has carved a niche and a distinct identity 44 OER DOSSIER March 2010

in the market. Already using one of the best technologies and uPVC profiles in the world, Windows2000 has relocated to a fullfledged automated factory in Rusayl with state-of-the-art machinery having capacity to produce completely fabricated/ready to use product many times faster than the conventional methods of production. It is the result of the continuous and undeterred efforts of the Windows2000 team that the levels of awareness and acceptability of uPVC windows and doors have shot up tremendously in the last 5 years. Just 3-4 years

back, the concept of uPVC was met with much skepticism. It is now when the level of awareness and use of uPVC is quite commendable, other companies have managed to step into this market. Windows2000 has always adopted a customer-centric approach in its operations and services. It is infact quite interesting to see how Windows2000 has managed to widen its clientele from only private customers to a number of prestigious commercial projects while retaining its customised product manufacturing. Oman United

with their uPVC Windows and Doors and effectively eliminated the problem at hand. Likewise it also offers the best possible uPVC solutions for weather resistance, fire resistance, anti-burglary and termite resistance, besides maintaining eco-friendly quality of the product. Another feather-in-the-cap of Windows2000 is the introduction of Coloured profiles of uPVC. Hitherto available in just white, uPVC windows and doors are now available in several colours like mahogany, walnut, douglas, blue, green, red and various shades of oak and cherry, thanks to the association of Windows2000 with a reputed German manufacturer. The paint is extremely effective against the harsh climate and corrosive environment of the region, and comes with a 15 year warranty (for the colour) as well. The Company’s factory at Rusayl has the state-of-the-art spray booth for coating on its profiles. For last twelve years, Windows 2000 has served the people of this great nation with best products in the windows and doors market. It is certainly not surprising to know why it is has been awarded with His Majesty’s Cup for top 5 factories in Oman. Windows2000 prides itself in bringing a ray of happiness every morning in the homes of its valued customers and contributing in the growth of Oman’s economic strength, with a promise to reinvent the uPVC industry and yet again set new benchmarks in the uPVC windows and doors market of the country. Insurance Head office building in Al Khuwair, Cruise Terminal building at Port Sultan Qaboos, Bareeq Al Shatti in Qurum, Ministry of Fisheries in Al Khuwair and some prestigious projects in Oman are just some of the several reputed projects in its kitty. The prime reason for this extra-ordinary achievement is the extra care given to quality and timely delivery of its products to the client. Coupled with the best technology and their superior workmanship in uPVC industry, the competent workforce of Windows2000 has always upheld its end of the deal and delivered projects on time and with absolute success. This has not only boosted its operating volumes but also placed the

brand on a pedestal of top-notch quality and assurance. Windows2000 also takes immense pride in the fact that it does not compromise on price or ethics, just to stay ahead in the game. It has been involved in the projects where while the volumes were negligible, the technical requirements were even higher. For instance, Oman Air’s Station Commander’s Office and the Engineering and Maintenance Office at the Muscat International Airport. These were in very close proximity to the runaway and the noise levels were disrupting the work. Windows2000 replaced all the existing doors and windows

Contact: Website: OER DOSSIER March 2010 45



INNOVATION IN HOME SOLUTIONS El Beit introduces a diverse range of products accompanying their uPVC doors and windows to offer a unique blend of functionality and style


l Beit was established with the aim of introducing a complete range of products suited to the present day lifestyle and could be offered as a package to customers looking to build a house. While uPVC doors and windows are already established products, El Beit has introduced floor decking, wall claddings, external blinds, Japanese curtains, Oakleaf and awnings to its product portfolio, thus providing clients with a unique package enabling them to shop under one roof. The products (barring Oakleaf ) that El Beit offers are not made of conventional materials, like wood. It is in fact an amalgamation of wood and uPVC as explained in the illustrated photograph.

1. Decking: This is a mix of wood and uPVC and widely used in swimming pool areas, courtyards, etc., where the advantage is neither it gets warped due to excessive exposure to water nor gets heated up during scorching sunlight. Also, the anti slippery property of this material is a perfect solution for areas like flooring near the swimming pools. 2. Wall Cladding: Again a composition of

wood and uPVC, this product is uniquely suited for external applications like the plain wall surfaces. The Advantage of this product is that it is maintenance free, resistant to termites, long lasting while the lusture of the product remains for ever. This product is available in a range of colours and designs. 3. Curtains and Blinds: Unlike the usual fabric curtains seen everywhere, we offer Curtains which are of a rough fabric and do not overlap. These novel curtains do not roll up like the conventional ones but move horizontally. Vertical blinds are also available and may especially be used in areas where there is a harsh exposure to sunlight. These blinds effectively block out the sun as well as provide a classy edge to all kinds of interiors, be it offices or residences. 4) MSD: MSD not only offers aesthetic solutions but also the highest technical qualities of interior and exterior decorative wall cladding. 5. Oakleaf: is yet another special product which lends a rustic look to interiors. On the surface, it appears to be wood, but is in fact made of foam that’s resistant to water

and termites. Fixing is easy and the life of the product is guaranteed. But most importantly, one that all homeowners will find a blessing, maintenance is a piece of cake!

Contact: Website: 46 OER DOSSIER March 2010


UNMATCHED QUALITY Providing its customers with reliable quality, prompt after-sales-service, and reasonable price lie at the core of New Era’s business policy


pecializing in UPVC doors and windows, New Era Doors & Windows (NEDW) is a joint venture between two brothers, Nasser Al Touki and Saif Al Touki with 100 per cent ownership. Located in Rusayl Industrial Estate across a 2700 sq mt space, the company was established in 2008 and within a short span of time has achieved a prominent place in the market as a provider of contemporary UPVC products to individual customers and also to the large commercial and government clients in the ministries.

Unique products Tested and certified by Deutsche Institute fur Normung e.V, New Era UPVC Doors and Windows profiles are engineered in accordance with the best in class specifications, using imported and high tech machines and quality UPVC profiles and genuine accessories materials. This ensures that every product is supplied to the highest quality, and performance standards of the best in the market. The raw materials are brought from Scheffer, Germany to the company factory which sprawls across 1000 sq mt. The doors and windows that are manufactured from this material are superior to wood or aluminium as they are more durable, water resistant, heat and sound proof, thermite proof, low maintenance, fire resistant and energy saving. NEDW has put all its emphasis on UPVC doors and windows with an aim and focus of continuous improvement of its products and unmatched quality and customer service at very competitive prices.

Naseer Al Touki, GM & Partner, New Era UPVC Doors & Windows

Providing its customers with reliable quality, prompt after-sales-service, and reasonable price lie at the core of the company’s business policy.

As people are

People power

aluminium frames

The dynamic combination of highly skilled people and state-of-the-art technologies has helped the company to build its crucial resources and strength; New Era believes in repeat customers, hence provides value for money. The staffs are fully trained to offer advice on the best product to suit every home and budget. New Era Doors & Windows offers innovative new solutions to help customers grow profitably. “As people are switching from aluminium frames to UPVC doors and windows for their obvious advantages over aluminium, New Era is offering services that are customized to suit the purse of private villa owners, and meet the large-size products of govern-

switching from to uPVC doors and windows for their obvious advantages over aluminium

ment sector. If customers give us a chance, we can create a new look for their projects,” says Naseer Al Touki, General Manager and partner, New Era UPVC Doors & Windows.

Contact: 24447071/72 e-mail: OER DOSSIER March 2010 47



CUSTOMER FIRST Al Amana offers its customers a wide range of options for its projects in all price categories with extremely refined designs


hrough the years, Al Amana Building Materials Co’s zeal for customer satisfaction has reached new heights. Its range of products and the innovative designs have captured their imagination. Quality, innovation and customer service have remained our company philosophy from the start. As the company is known for our unique position in the market for high quality and world renowned range of European products, it continuously makes effort to provide prompt and complete answer to specific needs of every type of requirements, be it hotel, residences, and communities. Al Amana offers its customers a wide range of options for its projects in all price categories with extremely refined designs that meets the requirements of customers who seek not only style, but also functionality and value for money, from the structural construction up to the finishing materials, be it bathrooms and tiles, kitchens, floor finishing materials, hardwares, construction chemicals, general building materials or even electronic locks for hotels.

Our Brands AL AMANA has the best known brand of bathrooms and tiles worldwide, Villeroy & Boch Bathrooms & tiles, and has always stayed ahead in race with evolving designs and requirements in the industry, thereby putting their claim into practice – Passionate and Stylish design. Villeroy & Boch bathrooms & tiles collections transform the bathroom into an area of leisure at home, with stylish innovations and suitable 48 OER DOSSIER March 2010

ergonomics that will change your perception of the bathroom – elevating it from “integral” to an “essential area” of classic design, hand in hand with pioneering concepts for everyday well-being or absolute luxury. To complement Villeroy & Boch, other best brands of sanitary fittings and accessories and tiles are also with us.

• • • • • •

• Bradley- (USA) Commercial wash •

room innovation. Stainless steel washroom accessories. Versace / Gardenia / Piemme / Delconca / Leonardo / ABK / Cedir –brands of Italian tiles

Other Al Amana brands & products:

• Fosroc - a world leader in the delivery of Grohe – (Germany) Middle East’s well known name for mixers and accessories. Dornbracht – (Germany) Designed by world-renowned designers and specially crafted sanitary fittings and accessories for special clients. Geesa - (Holland) Leading bathroom accessories brand for hotels & resorts and residential projects. Geberit- (Switzerland) - Innovative sanitary solutions. Flushing cisterns, bath room fittings. Teka - (Germany) Kitchen sinks & mixers. Duscholux - (Germany) Bathtubs & shower enclosures.

• • • •

tailored Constructive Solutions for virtually any type of construction project combining high quality products, expert technical support, customer service and innovation. Onity- (Spain) The most reliable technology in hotel and facility electronic locks with added security and convenience. Format - (Italy) Door handles Tarkett - VINYL FLOORING General Building Materials – All kinds of wood and hardwares.

Contact: Wadi Kabir: TeL: 24815080 Fax: 24817554 Ghubra: Tel: 24498783 fax: 24498784


SAFE PLUMBING By using quality raw materials, and following a strong quality control system, TPI is capable of introducing a high quality system for customer satisfaction.


ne of the pioneers in importing PP-R, Plumbing System to the Middle East, Techno Plastic Industry (TPI) is located in Rusayl Industrial Area. A 100 per cent Omani enterprise, TPI is also a member of the Building Technology Group. Techno Pipe System Due to its high chemical and physical property, plastics are widely used in day-to-day activities now. And polymers in general are gradually replacing the traditional metallic systems, especially in food applications. TPI operates in this environment and its product portfolio consists of Techno Pipe System which is a complete range of Polypropylene Random Co-polymer Pipes & Fittings, for hot and cold water connection and for food Industry. To be precise, Techno Pipe System is a new high technology system of pipes and fittings suitable for liquid and gas connection in a building. The products are plastic fittings for welding, fittings with metal insert, and other accessories like clips, plastic mountain plate. The dimensions of Techno Pipe System are fashioned according to the specification of DIN 8077 pipe dimension. The System is made of a Random Copolymer polypropylene realized from Borealis especially for this use. The quality standard of the raw material used and the range of dimensions available allows user of Techno Pipe System create a Water Connection Net of various forms with a lasting high reliability. By using quality raw materials, and following a strong quality control system, TPI is capable of introducing a high quality system for customer satisfaction.

Saeed S. Khawwar, Chairman, Building Technology Group The following features can be attributed to this effective system: • High resistance to eletro-chemical corrosion • High resistance to stray electric currents • Low thermal connectivity • Low pressure drop • Low noise • Lasting reliability • Ease of installation and handling • Sizes suitable for small and large installations • Hygenic and non-toxic • High quality production and guarantee. Raw materials for the pipes are imported from Europe and Korea and manufactured here in the Rusayl factory of TPI which sprawls across 7000 sq mt, the capacity being 1,00,000 kg – 1,50,000 kg per month.

Expanding the horizon The clientele for TPI is wide range which includes building material shops, contractors, project owners, real estate developers in both private sector and government sector. The demand is increasing and hence the company is gearing towards expansion. It has already taken up a 20,000 sq mt plot in Sohar to produce plastic fittings. At present, TPI is exporting its products to UAE, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and Algeria and looking beyond for expanding its market. “The market is favourable for TPI, and skilled workforce is brought from outside as there is a shortage of skilled manpower in Oman, which remains a major challenge for us,” says Saeed S. Khawwar, Chairman, Building Technology Group.

Contact: Tel : (968) 24446290 / 24446671 Website: OER DOSSIER March 2010 49



COMPETITIVE EDGE Manazel’s competitive strength underpins its growth plans and a vision of being the largest marble company in Oman


the company include Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Health, Royal Oman Police, Saud Bahwan Group, Zubair Group, Khimji Ramdas Group and hotels like Barr al Jissah (Shangri-La), Sheraton, Park Inn and Banks like Bank Muscat and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

anazel Construction Company LLC, based and incorporated in Oman is engaged in processing and trading of marble and granite as well as executing turnkey and civil construction contracts involving marble and granite. It has over the years, built a market acknowledged reputation in its field through execution of several contracts. Manazel is a part of the Muna Noor Group of Companies. It has one of the most modern and well-equipped plants in Oman, which is capable of processing various types of Marble and Granite. Manazel possesses at its premises in Ghala, state-ofthe-art cutting and polishing machines along with a variety of hand tools and equipment to enable it to execute an entire range of jobs. The unit is well geared to process any kind of intricate job with marble, granite or other natural or artificial stones. The marble and granite is procured from worldwide sources such as Italy, India, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Brazil, China, Oman etc. Manazel has developed tie-ups with many leading suppliers in the marble and granite industry worldwide, which ensure availability of high quality marble and granite. At any point of time, Manazel’s stock control unit ensures the availability of adequate stock of slabs and tiles. Apart from this, a few of the routinely under taken works include cut-to-size steps and risers, vanity tops, kitchen tops, wall cladding etc. Other decorative marble/granite products are: Balustrades, columns, fountains, handrails, 50 OER DOSSIER March 2010

Sustainable Performance Manazel’s competitive strength under points its growth plans and a vision of being the largest marble company in Oman. The company has consistently relied on its following competitive advantages in achieving a robust and sustainable performance: Pawan Singh, General Manager

fire places, dining tables, coffee tables, cladding partitions, flower pots, garden chairs, decorative medallions, etc. Manazel relies on a highly experienced and professional management team having skills and expertise in procurements, project management, designing, engineering and laying of marble and granite. The company has delivered a diversified range of projects including projects for various ministries, hotels, commercial and residential projects, education institutions, industrial projects, hospitals and stadiums. Over the years, Manazel has established an impressive track record of delivering large and complex projects especially in the hospitality sector. Some of the major clients of

• Extensive experience in the local market • Experienced and professional management • Long term relationships with reputed clients • Consistent track records of delivery schedules • Highly committed promoters with a strong financial base • Long term relationships with Principals/Suppliers across the globe “The synergetic efforts of our skilled workforce with our quality control enable Manazel to execute a variety of jobs according to project/client specifications within the agreed time frame. Manazel possesses the ability to undertake complete turnkey jobs – from designing, fixing and presenting shop drawings to final completion,” says Pawan Singh, General Manager, Manazel Construction Company.

Contact: 24593665 Fax: 24590760 E-mail:


ELEGANT & ECONOMIC ALTERNATIVE Decorstone not only adds luxury to homes but also fits modern life style and is recognized as one of the top 10 manufacturers of cladding stone globally


riving around the city, you must have noticed some commercial buildings and residences with various shades of elegant decorative stone walling. That is Decorstone – the alternative to natural stone, which adds to the beauty of your home. In 1979, a young dynamic Koshy P. Thomas came from Kerala to the city of Muscat. All around him was mountainous terrain with the promise of abundant raw-materials to start a building product industry. He questioned and pondered over the difficulty of the task. An idea began to develop in his mind --- “Why not find an alternative that looks like natural stone, but lighter and cheaper!” Very much driven to offer an alternative to natural stone to the building industry, Koshy Thomas, out of his love for beauty and environment, created a look-a-like but unique product named Decorstone. After a decade of research in the field, he applied modern technology to traditional raw materials. Decorstone was scientifically developed in 1986 to the highest international standards. The product has many characteristics distinguishing it from other competing materials. Easy to install, it requires no maintenance; it is lightweight, and has weather protection attributes. The product range ensures fast colour, choice of design and strong chemical resistance; ultimately the end users benefit with high quality product at a competitive price. The acceptance of stone veneer has moved to such a level that it is quickly absorbing

Koshy. P. Thomas, Inventor & MD, Decorstone

market share from bricks, plaster and other texture finishes.

Element of quality Decorstone not only adds luxury to homes but also fits modern life style. Recognized as one of the top 10 manufacturers of cladding stone world-wide, Decorstone is probably the simplest and most attractive cladding materials available in the market today. Reputed among special building materials, Decorstone has accredited international recognition for its outstanding leadership in Prestige and Quality and has received international Grand Prix Award in 1999.

Transfer of Technology Decorstone is transferring its technology to interested investors around the globe who seek new opportunities. The company is dedicated to the worldwide manufacture and sale of the finest building stone veneers. In order to meet this objective, Decorstone licences the use of its formulas and pro-

vides the necessary training for interested investors. The technology used to manufacture these products eliminates excessive dependence on manpower. Decorstone has a strong Research and Development program that ensures innovation in the development of new products and methods. Its professionals make Decorstone’s presence felt around the world. Koshy P Thomas’ autobiography ‘A Romancing Stone’ is written to encourage youngsters where he explains the rough path he took for the invention of this beautiful product. His technical handbook for Decorstone and the Health and Safety Handbook are used by many in the industry around the globe. “We will operate with a single vision, but with diverse capabilities,” says Koshy P. Thomas.

Contact: 24796164 E-mail: Website: OER DOSSIER March 2010 51

Dossier - English - April 2010  

Dossier - English - April 2010

Dossier - English - April 2010  

Dossier - English - April 2010