Big Project ME March 2018

Page 1

Publication licensed by Dubai Production City


MARCH 2018





Our game-changing new range is nothing short of a quantum leap in excavator development. Designed around you, these Next Generation excavators will totally transform your job sites, with the new 320 GC providing lower cost of acquisition and fuel burn, the new 320 achieving higher levels of productivity and the new 323 delivering unrivalled performance in the toughest applications. So get ready to witness the revolution of an entire industry and rewrite the rules of operation. Contact your local dealer to find out more. #RewriteTheRules


Issue 144 March 2018 08






16 Keep investing in Dubai

40 Answering the Sultanate’s Call

04 ME Construction OnlIne

The biggest stories from Big Project Middle East’s home on the web


Zaki Ameer explains why investors should keep the faith in Dubai’s property market

prOjecT prOfIle

Big Project ME speaks to Adel Mehri of Hill International about the firm’s Oman airport projects

08 Kuwait City museum district 18 Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla 50 Cityscape Abu Dhabi The bIg pIcTure

In prOfIle

shOw preVIews

Museum project in Kuwait City will form the heart of a new national cultural district

In conversation with Andrew Mackenzie, partner at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

12 Bentley acquires Indian firm

26 Disrupting Construction

InTernaTIOnal news

US tech giant buysout S-Cube Futuretech, an Indian construction software company


Big Project ME gets a taste of the good life with a visit to 1/JBR, designed by EDGE

14 KSA residential market - Q1 2018 36 Existing Building Stock MarkeT repOrT

Knight Frank report analyses Kingdom’s residential real estate sector at the start of the year


Craig Ross of Cavendish Maxwell outlines the problems that come with old and existing building stock

Big Project ME previews the upcoming real estate trade show in Abu Dhabi

52 Top Tenders Tenders

Big Project ME lists the Middle East’s biggest construction tenders for March 2018

56 Responding to Opportunity lasT wOrd

Omer Al-Jamel on how KONE is responding to changes in demand

March 2018 1

© 2017 LACASA Architects & Engineering Consultants All Rights Reserved

MEP DIRECTOR I’m Reem Dayoub and I am a

I am constantly advocating for efficient MEP systems As a MEP Design professional I enjoy the challenging aspects of my role; Finding the balance between efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. I am constantly advocating for efficient MEP systems to ensure that we not only meet our clients’ expectations, but also exceed them every chance we can. At LACASA, these values are shared across every team; each doing their best to create quality-driven, sustainable, efficient, and elegant buildings.


LACASA is committed to providing quality-driven designs within a multidisciplinary environment. Established in 2006, the firm has grown significantly over the past eleven years. Today, LACASA boasts a diverse portfolio encompassing all types of developments and across the entire MENA region. While it is said that perfection doesn’t exist, we believe that perfecting design can be achieved by cultivating extraordinary talent.


time for change



hange is an inevitable part of life. As we grow, we evolve and adapt to the world around us – whether it’s physically, or perhaps more crucially, mentally. Without that evolution, there isn’t any hope of progress, and there’s nothing worse than seeing potential being wasted because someone isn’t willing to take the steps necessary to improve themselves. Therefore, it’s been interesting to see how the construction industry has reacted to the introduction of new laws, regulations and taxes from the UAE government. We’ve heard a bit of muttering and complaining behind the scenes, but for the most part, there has been an acceptance that these changes are necessary for progress as an industry. This is something that has also been noted by Andrew Mackenzie, who I spoke to for this month’s In Profile. As an arbitration and disputes legal expert, Mackenzie has had a first had view of the industry as it went through its period of upheaval, post the collapse of the real estate market. While he says that some lessons have been learnt from that turbulent time have been learnt by companies who suffered through arbitration and dispute resolution, the majority of companies in the industry seem intent on making the same mistakes again. Thankfully however, the UAE government seems to have recognised that there needs to be a change, and as such, have made moves to introduce greater regulation – whether it’s VAT, green building codes or meeting safety and construction standards, the industry, from top to bottom, will be required to be more proactive and considered

4 March 2018 +971 4 375 5472 eDItORIAL eDItOR GAVIN DAVIDS +971 4 375 5480 SUB eDItOR AELRED DOYLE ADVeRtISING cOMMeRcIAL DIRectOR JUDE SLANN +971 4 375 5714 SALeS MANAGeR CHERYLANN D’AbREO +971 4 375 5482 DeSIGN

when building their projects. And that can only be a good thing. The onus is now on these companies and organisations to take the lead and show that they’re willing to be a force for positive change in the industry. Looking ahead, things are moving quite quickly with regards to the Value Engineering Summit. Having met a number of experts from across the construction industry, the response to the summit has been incredible – clearly this a topic where many of you have something to say! Do keep an eye on the summit website – www. – as we’ll be updating it regularly with the list of confirmed speakers, topics and discussion points. It’s definitely not something you’ll want to miss!


Licensed by tECOM to registered company, CPI trade Publishing fZ LLC whose registered office is 207 – 209, building 3, Dubai Studio City, Dubai, UAE

Gavin Davids editor @MecN_Gavin © Copyright 2018 CPI trade Media. All rights reserved while the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

t a h t e r u s a e r t a is g Learnin e r e h w y r e v e r e n w o will follow its CCS Candy is the world’s leading construction estimating and project control system and we never stop improving. Our products are continually developed and enhanced in line with industry trends, user requirements and the latest technology. Register now and create your own opportunities and maximise your capabilities using the best construction software tool there is.

In reponse to our client’s demands, we are proud to announce the expansion of the CCS Gulf office to include a much larger training centre in Dubai. We train you for success and nothing less. DUBAI - SCHEDULED TRAINING COURSES FOR 2018 Course








C201 - Construction Estimating & Valuations


AED 2,130






C202 -Construction Planning & Programming


AED 2,130


C301 - Integration of Estimating & Planning


AED 1,065

C305 - QTO Workshop


AED 1,065

C203 - Contract Allowables & Cost Control


AED 2,130

C205 - MEP Estimating


AED 2,130

19 10 23-24 14-15

Contact us on +971 4 346 6456 or or register online at







Nakheel to build largest mall in the Middle East


First Middle East Hindu stone temple to be built in UAE

Site Visit: India’s Construction Disruptors


Cheaper construction tech will speed up KSA development


Alec wins Dubai Hills Mall solar project


The power of the sun 6 March 2018

Video: The blackest building in the universe

I am a great believer that everyone should benefit from progress in a society, whomever and wherever they are. Thankfully, this is something that is shared by the leadership of the UAE and again this initiative proves that investment into areas beyond our cities is a fundamental part of the growth of this country. I’m sure anyone who has been to the Hatta Heritage Village will understand its importance, particularly in reminding us of a traditional way of life. By delivering solar panels to these people we are not only making the most of our resources but also helping more remote and important communities to grow. Across the world, people are deserting their traditional lives in the country to live in cities, but rural communities have a huge role to play in our future and are neglected at our peril. It would be great if the panels could also be shared with other non-UAE nationals, so they could also understand why it is crucial we protect these communities. Name withheld by request

The name defines us! 35 Years of engineering excellence Mechanical, Electrical, IT, Electronics & Wet Services Consulting Dubai - Johannesburg - Cape Town - bengaluru Tel +971 4 338 4277

The Big Picture

Strict standards SSH worked with internationally known museum specialists to ensure that the ASCC project adhered to the strict standards expected of world-class public cultural buildings.

New museum district launched in Kuwait Project in Kuwait City will form country’s new national cultural district SSH, in partnership with the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, has launched a new museum district in Kuwait City – the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC). Together with the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, the project will form Kuwait’s new national cultural district. SSH was appointed by Al Ghanim International as the lead architect and engineering designer on the project. Working with world-renowned museum specialists, SSH says it was able to present the ASCC project to the Amiri Diwan of Kuwait, adhering to the strict standards expected of worldclass public cultural buildings. HH Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, and representatives of the Amiri Diwan attended a private inauguration of the district. “The Cultural Centre is a fitting and spectacular addition to Kuwait’s cultural heritage and sets 8 March 2018

out to embrace the rich diversity of the world’s finest achievements. As the largest museum project of its kind in the world, SSH is proud and honoured to have been involved helping HH Sheikh Sabah and the Amiri Diwan to fulfil their cultural aspirations for Kuwait and the region,” said George Abi Hanna, managing director of SSH Kuwait. The district will consist of six main buildings: a Science Museum, Fine Arts Centre, Natural History Museum, Museum of Islamic History, Space Museum and theatre. Each building will feature permanent and temporary exhibits and artwork. “Walking through the cultural district beneath the canopy of the street will be a journey full of surprises, with stunning views deep into the heart of the museums, where visitors will see framed vistas of priceless exhibits,” said SSH on its website. The museums themselves will be a celebration of Kuwaiti, Islamic and Arab culture and

PROJECT DETAILS The museum district will consist of six main buildings: Natural History Museum Science Museum Museum of Islamic History Space Museum Fine Arts Centre Theatre

history, while also embracing and showcasing the rich diversity of the world’s finest cultural achievements, the firm added. “Kuwaiti architecture is represented by the main street, which meanders echoing the traditional ‘Ferej’. This creates exciting spaces, Islamic patterns, corners and walkways, mirroring the experience of walking down a traditional, busy Kuwaiti street,” said Hanna, adding that the project is being procured on a design-build basis. The Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre was launched in 2016, with the $775m project intended to showcase performing arts and create a theatre quarter in a parkland setting. It features state-of-the-art theatres, concert halls, cinemas, conference and exhibition halls and a library archive. SSH was also appointed to this project by the contractor, Al Hani Construction and Trading Company, which built it on a design-build basis as well.

The Big Picture

Nakheel’s Palm Tower nearly 80% finished Luxury tower will have 432 apartments and house a 289-room St Regis Hotel According to a statement from Nakheel, concrete work on its Palm Tower luxury project is nearly 80% finished. 42 floors have been completed so far, while the remaining eight residential floors are said to be on track for completion in the third quarter of this year. Once complete, the Palm Tower will rise 240m above the man-made island and will feature 432 luxury residences, a 289-room St. Regis hotel and dining and leisure facilities. The St. Regis will occupy the first 18 floors of the tower, while furnished studios and one-, twoand three-bedroom apartments will be on the upper floors. Nakheel notes that the tower will have one of the world’s highest rooftop infinity pools (on the 50th floor, bordering all four sides of the building), as well as a restaurant complex and public viewing deck on the 51st and 52nd floors. The developer says tower residents and hotel guests will be able to take advantage of the St. Regis Beach Club, part of Nakheel’s Palm West Beach complex. The tower is also close to Al Ittihad Park, which spans 1.1m sqft across the man-made island. The top floors of the tower will also be accessible from the under-construction Nakheel Mall nearby, the developer’s new retail and dining destination, which will have 350 shops, restaurants, attractions and entertainment outlets. Visitors will be able to access the Palm Tower’s 52nd-floor viewing deck from the mall, also scheduled to open in 2019. The developer also confirmed

Swimming in luxury The Palm Tower will have one of the world’s highest rooftop infinity pools on the 50th floor, bordering all four sides of the building.


Height of the Palm Tower

that construction on the St. Regis Beach Club is underway, with a contract worth $21.6 million awarded to Ghantoot Gulf Contracting. Scheduled to be completed in 2019, the project will complement the St. Regis Dubai – The Palm, a 289-room hotel in the Palm Tower. The club will feature a range of dining options, along with an infinity pool stretching 100m along the Palm Jumeirah beachfront and gym and fitness facilities. In January 2018, Nakheel announced net profits of $1.54 billion for 2017, up 14% on 2016. The developer generated a net profit of $454.6 million in Q4 2017, a 58% increase on the same period the previous year. The developer said that it handed over 1,439 land and built form units in 2017, taking the total number of handovers since 2010 to 12,700, while its retail, hospitality and leasing businesses also continued to perform well. “2017 was another good year for Nakheel. The company met its business and financial targets for the year and continued to support the local economy by awarding construction contracts worth almost $2.17 billion in 2017,” said chairman Ali Rashid Lootah. In 2018, the developer has also awarded construction contractors for its 800-room joint venture with RIU Hotels and Resorts, signed another agreement with AccorHotels (Ibis) to manage a new hotel at Jumeirah Village, and started building a community club at its new Warsan Village community. March 2018 9

The Big Picture

RTA tests world’s first autonomous pod

Transport authority partners with Next Future to develop transportation units On the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Next Future Transportation kicked off tests on what is being billed as the world’s first autonomous pods, which are designed to travel in dedicated lanes and can cover short to medium distances. The tests are part of the RTA’s Dubai Future Accelerators initiatives. Pods can be coupled in 15 to 20 seconds or detached in five seconds, according to the transport authority. Each pod is fitted with cameras and technology to facilitate the coupling and detaching process, which the RTA

says can be activated while the pods are in motion. “The pilot test of driverless units is directed by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the context of transforming Dubai into the smartest city worldwide. It is also part of RTA endeavours to provide autonomous transport through carrying out technological tests on autonomous transport means under Dubai’s climatic conditions,” said Mattar Al Tayer, directorgeneral and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA. According to the RTA, the pods weigh 1,500kg and can

Part of a wider strategy The pods are part of Dubai’s Autonomous Transport Strategy, which aims to convert 25% of mobility journeys in the city to autonomous transport by 2030.

10 March 2018

accommodate 10 people. Each pod is fitted with a rechargeable battery capable of sustaining three hours of operation, while the recharging process requires six hours. The pods can maintain an average speed of 20km/h. “It echoes the Dubai Autonomous Transport Strategy aimed at converting 25% of mobility journeys in Dubai to autonomous transportation by 2030. The move also contributes to achieving the integration of public transit means and people happiness through providing smooth, quick and innovative transit means,” added Al Tayer. The prototypes were produced in Italy and run

on a virtual pre-configured, programmed lane, overseen by the operational system. Weighing in on the pod tests, Al Tayer noted: “Its success will bring about a breakthrough in transportation systems that offer innovative mobility solutions and ease snarls in the city. The RTA is keen on ensuring the principle of safety in all services delivered to clients. These autonomous pods have three protection systems in order to ensure full control and avoid crashing into anybody. The main system comprises 3D cameras, the second one is a standby system based on ordinary cameras, and the last is operated manually by the operator.”

Image courtesy of UN Studio

We nurture winning teams.

If you ask us what empowers us to deliver engineering solutions to landmark projects in 28 cities across 10 countries, the answer is: we nurture winning teams. Our teams come from experience, from diversity, from values, from beliefs, from knowledge, from tenacity. At the heart of our work lies the belief that every project is as unique as our people are. They come with unique needs and unique attributes, thus demanding unique solutions.

Image courtesy of Killa Design

Want a winning team on your project? Talk to us today.


Designs DUBAI













No. 202, Commercial Bank of Dubai Building, Abu Baker Al Sidique Road, Deira, P O Box 119146, Dubai, UAE. T +971 4 2564882 F +971 4 2564883

The Big Picture

3 1. Bentley SyStemS acquireS S-cuBe Futuretech Bentley Systems, a US firm, has acquired Indian concrete building design and documentation software company S-Cube Futuretech. It said the acquisition of the Mumbai-based company will enable it to expand its concrete building design and documentation offering, not only in India but also in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Bentley said S-Cube Futuretech’s applications deliver flexible and powerful design and documentation solutions for structural concrete building engineers and designers, including RCDC, RCDC FE, RCDC Plan and Steel Autodrafter. The solutions offered by S-Cube Futuretech provide users with capabilities complementary to Bentley’s structural analysis, steel design, BIM applications, and STAAD, RAM and AECOsim building designer solutions, said the American company. Santanu Das, senior vice president, Design Engineering, Bentley, said: “S-Cube brings a wealth of experience in providing concrete design and drawing automation for the India, Middle East and Southeast Asia markets.”

12 March 2018



Nigeria’s government has approved a budget of $6.7bn for the construction of the Ibadan-Kaduna standard gauge railway project

2. iVecO SecureS large iVOry cOaSt municipality deal IVECO and its West African partner, the Moroccan Premium Group, have sealed a deal that will see them supply 105 vehicles for waste management operations in the city of Abidjan and surrounding areas. Serving a population of some 1.7 million, IVECO said the complete order includes 30 Daily, 21 Eurocargo

and 54 Trakker trucks, and contributes to the Ivorian government’s goal of finding a lasting solution to improve the environmental and sanitary conditions of its capital city. This is part of the country’s plan to revive Abidjan’s lustre as “the pearl of the lagoons”, as emphasised by Ivorian Minister of Health, Environment and Sustainable Development Anne Désirée Ouloto.


Premium Group represents IVECO’s full line of commercial transport vehicles, from light to heavy freight trucks, as well as heavy-duty trucks for quarry and construction missions. Through the Premium Group, IVECO serves fleet owners with facilities based in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, Senegal and Togo. Its partner also sells into the CAR, Chad, Niger, Guinea and Benin.

The Big Picture


Russia’s sports ministry is suing companies building the World Cup stadiums for $50.8m over delays in construction schedules



South Africa has fined China Construction Bank $6m after it failed to comply with financial laws

3. hOrmann intrOduceS new liFting Barrier tO the middle eaSt German manufacturer Hormann has introduced its new lifting barriers in the Middle East, equipped with Emergency Fast Operation (EFO) functions to secure passages of up to 10m in width. In a statement, it said that the new barriers are suitable for very frequent use, capable of managing approximately

2,000 movements in a day, and come with a long service life equivalent to approximately three million movements. The new lift barrier’s H version, along with its integrated hydraulic operator, is 1,300mm in height and up to 10m in length, and fits low foundation depths. Its lifting speed is the same as its lowering speed, at 18.5cm/s. Darius Khanloo, managing director, Hormann Middle

East and Africa, said: “For optimised security of entrances and exits, lift barriers are recommended. Its integrated hydraulic operator provides automatic lifting and lowering. Our lift barriers meet the high safety standards that Hormann products are known for.” The barriers also come with reflector strips and optional LED lights, which make them visible at night to prevent vehicles from crashing into them.

4. Saudi aramcO and gOOgle Owner in talkS tO Build tech huB in kSa A large technology hub could take shape in Saudi Arabia, if talks between Saudi Aramco and Google parent company Alphabet result in a deal. Should the two firms come to an agreement, Alphabet will support Aramco in building data centres around the Kingdom, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Senior executives at both companies, including Alphabet CEO Larry Page, are said to have been engaged in talks for months. The deal is being driven by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The partnership is expected to boost the development of Saudi Arabia’s technology sector, a key part of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative. A joint venture with Aramco would give Alphabet’s Google a foothold in the region, and could see the company benefit from customers in the oil industry looking to shift computing operations into the cloud. Globally, Google has been competing with Amazon and Microsoft to rent out computing power and storage. Currently, none of the companies run data centres in the Middle East.

March 2018 13

Market Report

Saudi arabia reSidential Market Overview - q1 2018

demand generators Demographic factors will continue acting as demand generators for the residential market in Saudi Arabia.

The residential market has for some time been softening, highlighted by lower levels of transactions and a correction in sales price across major cities in Saudi Arabia. This trend is mainly due to a deceleration in economic growth triggered by the fall in oil prices and is exacerbated by a combination of more inherent factors, namely the lack of affordability and limited access to financing, a supply shortage in the mid- to lower end

of the market, and the lack of suitability of the existing stock. While we see this current situation prevailing in the short term, we remain broadly positive as a result of government initiatives looking to address key challenges restraining the residential sector in Saudi Arabia, including high land prices, supply/demand imbalances and affordability. Regulatory efforts such as the white land tax, the large housing schemes and

the mortgage law display clear intent from the government to engage with the issues facing the residential market. While efforts are slowly filtering through, we see these initiatives as a step in the right direction for a more active real estate market over coming years. Longer term, demographic factors will continue acting as demand generators for the residential market in Saudi Arabia. This includes a large

population which has seen a sustained growth rate over the past decades and a long-term trend towards smaller size households. On a macroeconomic level, the economy is expected to gradually adapt to the new norm in oil prices as it diversifies away from its dependence on the hydrocarbon sector in line with economic reform programmes. Therefore, GDP growth should regain some momentum in the medium term, mainly driven

“In recent quarters residential real estate prices have flattened, which could be an indication that the market has bottomed out and may be close to stabilising, following a year of rapid decline�

14 March 2018

Source: Knight Frank, Ministry of Justice, General Authority of Statistics, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)

Raya Majdalani, research manager at Knight Frank, provides an analysis of the Kingdom’s residential real estate sector at the start of 2018

Market Report

prices, and increased challenges from the implementation of economic reforms. Residential Sector Overview The real estate sector has been the keystone of government initiatives in recent years, and various measures aimed at stimulating the property market across the kingdom are underway. Recent initiatives include the release of regulations for the introduction of a 2.5% white land tax on undeveloped land plots, the approval of regulations for the use and listing of real estate investment trusts (REITs), the introduction of a new mortgage law to boost Saudi Arabia’s home ownership rate, the development of a home-building programme named Sakani by the Ministry of Housing, the launch of the Wafi online programme, and the creation of a real estate refinance company by the

residential sector have declined due to the lower level of activity. In recent quarters we have seen that residential real estate prices have flattened, which could be an indication that the market has bottomed out and may be close to stabilising, following a year of rapid decline. Data from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) reveals that while real estate residential loans granted by the bank were up sharply from 2011 to 2014, the rate of growth decelerated to 8% in 2015. The growth in housing loans remained stable at 8% in 2016, despite measures aimed at addressing the affordability of housing, including a rise in the loan to value ratio. Nonetheless, the growth of residential loans outpaced the growth rate of overall bank lending, a mere 2% for 2016, as consumer confidence remains generally low.

Public Investment Fund. On the back of decelerating economic growth, triggered by the slump in oil prices which began in the second half of 2014, the residential sector saw a slowdown in performance which has continued throughout 2017 in a context of tightening liquidity. On the supply side of the residential market, the reduction in government spending is affecting the financing of real estate projects, resulting in delays and scaling back of many real estate and infrastructure projects. On the demand side, real disposable household income has been dampened by weaker economic conditions. Tightening liquidity and fiscal consolidation measures have altered consumer confidence and eroded spending, which has in turn undermined real estate transaction volumes and values. As a result, sales prices in the



q2 2014

q3 2017

q4 2017

q2 2017

q1 2017

q4 2016

q3 2016

q2 2016

q1 2016

q2 2015

q4 2017

q3 2017

q2 2017

q1 2017

q4 2016

q3 2016

q1 2016

q2 2016

q4 2015

q3 2015

q2 2015

q1 2015

q4 2014


q3 2014


q2 2014


q1 2014


q4 2013


q3 2013


q2 2013


q1 2013


q3 2015

KSA residential price index

q1 2015

Total value of residential transactions, in SAR billions

q3 2014


q1 2014


q4 2013


q4 2017

q3 2017

q2 2017

q1 2017

q4 2016

q3 2016

q1 2016

q2 2016

q4 2015

q3 2015

q2 2015

q1 2015

q4 2014

q3 2014

q2 2014

q1 2014

q4 2013

q3 2013

q2 2013

q1 2013



q3 2013



q2 2013



q1 2013


% growth rate

Residential loans Retail real estate loans, SAR millions

Total number of residential transactions

q4 2015

by non-oil GDP, which should provide support to the recovery in the residential market. Recently introduced strategic reforms aimed at creating a favourable environment for investment and strengthening the non-oil sector have placed a focus on real estate, which is forecast to double its contribution to economic output throughout the period to 2030. Moreover, the implementation of various urban regeneration initiatives, including mixed-use communities and investment in infrastructure, is expected to catalyse sustainable development and a more active residential market. The drivers for the Saudi Arabian residential market appear to be generally positive for the long term, despite some key risks to market performance. These include heightened geopolitical risks weighing on consumer sentiment, further volatility in oil

March 2018 15


Why you Should Keep InveStIng In dubaI’S property MarKet

Zaki Ameer, founder of Dream Design Real Estate, explains why investors should keep the faith when it comes to Dubai’s property market

After its initial boom, when the Dubai property market plummeted into its recession between 2007 and 2010 it took some time for investors to regain confidence in Dubai as a safe destination for property investment. Scores of residents and foreign investors managed to cash in at the high of the market, but countless investors also saw major losses during the crash, before the market slowly re-emerged, albeit slightly bruised and battered.

Since then, many keen investors have rightfully come to view Dubai’s real estate market as a long-term game, rather than merely a short-run opportunity to make a quick buck. 2007 was a crisis for Dubai and the market was unsure how to respond, causing many to 16 March 2018

leave the country and property prices to drop dramatically. Dubai’s RERA has since been created, with the aim of making it a more stable place to invest, but much work is yet to be done before a sense of security is widely felt, and to ensure money stays and is invested in the UAE. Over time, investors have again begun looking to the future with a keen yet cautious eye. With the city’s real estate market conditions beginning to recover and stabilise, builders, developers and owners-turned-sellers have begun putting into place manageable payment plans geared towards middle-income earners. The focus has shifted to gradually building a unique

property portfolio allowing continuous, long-term growth and reinvestment, rather than just short-run hits. Many government-led developments which had recently emerged also adapted their positions to make purchasing more accessible to average-income earners. In the past, payment plans were more stringent, such as the 70/30 structure, which meant a big chunk had to be paid off during construction, and sometimes even before it had started. Plans today are a lot more flexible, such as 20/80, making payments affordable by the majority who are middleincome earners looking for more spaced-out payment schedules. With strong regulations and laws

put in place by the Dubai Land Department, payment plans are pre-approved prior to any formal launch, which improves reliability. Cementing the idea that Dubai is emerging as fertile territory for investors, according to the 2017 Annual Transactions report released by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), in 2017 there were 69,000 transactions in Dubai, valued at an incredible $77.5 billion. The report states that Dubai’s real estate market attracted investors globally, including Gulf nationals, Arabs and foreigners, with almost 40,000 investors undertaking around 53,000 transactions worth in excess of Dhs 107bn. These statistics present a positive forecast for renewed cycles of growth


on the horizon, confirming the strength of the market and its ability to grow, and presenting fantastic opportunities for both experienced and green investors. It is also worth mentioning that the buyer profile today is very different from the historic type. The current client consists of end users, expats, long-term investors and first-time buyers. This type of buyer creates stability in the market and builds a large pool of buyers that are less sensitive to external factors, and encourages expat spending. Also interesting is that despite the city’s reputation for being an incredibly costly place to live or visit, Dubai actually places 34th on the global rankings according to New World Wealth, which means that places such as Monaco, New York, London, Paris, Rome

“Over time, investors have again begun looking to the future with a keen yet cautious eye”

and Milan are ahead of Dubai in terms of property prices. This suggests Dubai is still considered affordable territory for property investment and, with the surging economy, will be one to watch in the long term, especially as supply and affordability meet demand and economic growth. Of course, one of the most important factors to note is that with Dubai playing host to Expo 2020, the current prediction for international visitors stands at 25 million people from 180 nations across a period of six months. This places Dubai in the eye of foreign property investors, as well as being a rental base for many for as long as six months, housing visitors and exhibitors. Property demand will be extremely high during this period and beyond. Prior to 2020 is

the ideal, most lucrative time to purchase property in the city. Expo 2020 and other factors will definitely contribute to making Dubai’s properties lucrative, offering high rates of return. One can also take advantage of the many delayed projects put on hold from the last boom that have gradually kick-started, which has overlapped with the ongoing property development plans, creating an oversupply of affordable and luxury properties on the market. Numbers tell the story, and leading up to Expo 2020, more jobs and economic creation are forecast. It’s all about taking advantage of a market that has passed through its birth and fall phase; standing tall on its mature merits, the city is looking to attract investors with long-term plans.

March 2018 17

In Profile

“Many coMpanies have had it good for too long. they haven’t had Much regulation, they haven’t had to adhere to specific building codes. the region in general has been reactive rather than proactive, but that is changing” Big Project ME speaks to Andrew Mackenzie, partner at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, about how he intends to develop the firm’s construction arbitration practice, and where the region’s construction industry is headed

18 March 2018

In Profile

March 2018 19

In Profile


t the start of the year, international law firm Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla announced that it had expanded its capabilities in the GCC region through the appointment of Andrew Mackenzie as partner in its UAE Arbitration practice. Coming off the back of a recent shake-up of the firm’s UAE operations, the appointment of Mackenzie was hailed by executive chairman Dr Habib Al Mulla, who said it would allow the firm to support clients operating in the Middle East through the lifecycle of their operations, from structuring and advisory all the way through to dispute resolution. Joining Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla from Hogan Lovells in the UAE, Mackenzie brings with him an expertise in international arbitration law, with a particular focus on construction, engineering, energy and insurance disputes. He has been based in the UAE for more than eight years and has full rights of audience in the Dubai International Financial Centre courts, and has also been admitted as a solicitor in both his native Scotland and England and Wales, where he is also a solicitor advocate in the higher courts. Mackenzie acts for international corporations and governments across the Middle East, Africa and Asia on complex commercial disputes under a variety of civil and common law systems, having tried cases in all of the major arbitration forums (both treaty-based and commercial), representing developers, contractors and consultants from around the world for a variety of projects. 20 March 2018

With the senior leadership of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla determined to establish the firm as a leader in construction arbitration across the GCC and wider MENA region, Mackenzie’s expertise and experience is invaluable to their plans for expansion and growth over the coming years. “Dr Habib and I share one vision, which is to ensure that the team is ranked number one for arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution across the entire region. Our dispute resolution team is already ranked as Tier One in the UAE, so we are on an excellent footing. We plan to continue advising our clients both globally and regionally, offering them the best legal advice in the market, in the most commercial and cost-effective manner possible,” Mackenzie says during an interview with Big Project ME at the law firm’s offices in Business Bay, Dubai. “We plan to focus on working across the region for our clients, in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Muscat, in conjunction with our colleagues there. Dubai is also a major hub for doing business in Africa and we benefit from the fact that we’ve got a very large footprint in Africa as well. We’re in Johannesburg, Cairo and Casablanca, and because of that we can also tap into the North African states, where there are more than a trillion dollars’ worth of projects ongoing,” he continues. “It also means we can capitalise on being the region’s largest legal hub. We’re already a business hub for work in sub-Saharan Africa, but we want to compete with the likes of London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, and we’re well on our way to doing so.” Having been brought in to head the international arbitration and construction team, Mackenzie aims to focus on disputes, arbitration and litigation.

tapping into new markets Andrew Mackenzie says that having a diverse and international team of lawyers will allow Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla to expand its reach across the MENA region.

With seven lawyers under him, all construction and arbitration specialists themselves, he aims to have a diverse and international team that can conduct proceedings in three languages – Arabic, English and French – while also having a mix of experience and local knowledge. “I also do front-end construction work as well. I know my way around the standard form EPC, FIDIC and NEC contracts. Dr Habib is also a very wellknown arbitrator and UAE law expert. He oversees the ligation and arbitration departments, and works closely with both teams. “We have a wonderful synergy at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.

We have the local experience of all regional local laws, and we have the common law and international background as well. “We are also the only international law firm to have rights of audience in the UAE courts, which means we can conduct arbitration processes from their commencement right through to the enforcement of the final award, providing a far more seamless and cost-effective service for our clients,” he says. Having moved to Dubai at the tail end of 2009, Mackenzie had a first-hand look at how the regional construction industry operated right when external pressures were at their highest levels.

In Profile

“It also means we can capitalise on being the region’s largest legal hub. We’re already a business hub for work in subSaharan Africa, but we want to compete with the likes of London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, and we’re well on our way to doing so” “Over the last nine years, I have worked and led on some of the most sizeable and complex construction and energy disputes in the region, involving multiple parties, contractors, consultants and government entities. It was very useful to have that experience and exposure to all the different players in the sector. You understand and appreciate the different viewpoints in the industry,” he says. “From there, I broadened my practice to include other areas of disputes, linked or related to construction, as well as increasing my experience of other general commercial disputes. Arbitration was 90% construction and

engineering related, and I worked on a number of disputes that were typically main contractor and subcontractor focused. I also gained considerable experience working for architects and engineers, which also involved acting for their insurers, who are an often ignored part of the construction industry. The main players often don’t see it from an insurer’s perspective or understand what motivates them. It was fascinating to see how disputes that are very clearly construction disputes can evolve into very complex coverage claims under contractual risk policies or professional indemnity policies.” This experience is likely to

stand him in good stead, given that the last few years have seen a slump in performance for the regional construction market. While experts predict that 2018 is likely to see an increase in project awards in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the region is still grappling with the issue of funding for developments. As a result, the likelihood of disputes and arbitration in the industry is likely to increase, especially since Mackenzie says one of the fundamental lessons from 2009 still hasn’t been learnt – the importance of adhering to a contract. “I think a fundamental issue that crops up time and time again is lack of adherence to the contract. Parties tend to ignore it once

it’s signed. The negotiation and drafting process can take months, or in some cases years, if the project is delayed. Then, typically, the parties take it and stick it in the drawer. They just never read it and forget that the contract is supposed to be the fundamental basis upon which they’re supposed to be delivering the contract. “When they do this, it ultimately leads to issues arising on the project, because they forget to comply with the provisions of the contract. You often have that honeymoon period when both parties are getting on really well, and neither party wants to break that by appearing to be too contractual. March 2018 21

In Profile

“There’s certainly more adherence to the contract. I find that there’s certainly an understanding internally, for those who had learnt their lessons and lived through it, to take the contract more seriously, and to update their internal processes and procedures” “Ultimately, it leads to smaller issues building up and snowballing and becoming global claims, which then leads to largescale arbitration, because the parties often end up poles apart on issues that they had never properly engaged or discussed.” Despite having been very successful at arbitration for the last decade, Mackenzie insists that if he can stop a client from going into arbitration, he always will. Not only is it an all-consuming process, it is also time-intensive, costly and rarely results in both parties walking away fully satisfied with the result. “Addressing the concerns as they arise (where possible) is far more preferable than engaging in formal dispute resolution. “Communication is part of this issue. If the claims aren’t

being discussed, if the warnings/ notices aren’t coming to the right people, the ones with the purse strings, they can then turn around and say, ‘We paid $2.4 billion for this project, and now you’re saying it’s going to cost us $3.4 billion, and you’re telling me this at the 11th hour?’” However, Mackenzie does point out that there has been some improvement, particularly in regard to companies being more reluctant to press ahead with formal dispute resolutions and go straight into arbitration. “That was basically the only real option following the crash in 2009 – everyone who could went to either the courts or arbitration. There were those that could not afford it and pulled out of the market. Their bonds were called and there was very little they

could do about it at the time. There’s a reluctance now to go to formal proceedings. I have seen parties more willing to enter into settlement negotiations. There’s certainly more adherence to the contract. I find that there’s certainly an understanding internally, for those who had learnt their lessons and lived through it, to take the contract more seriously and to update their internal processes and procedures. “Unfortunately, these lessons were learnt through a baptism of fire. You saw companies go through these horrendous disputes, which were very time-intensive and costly, and as a result of that they’ve incorporated the specific lessons, but I would say they’re in the minority,” he warns ominously. This is especially frustrating, as he says it’s not like there hasn’t

been enough opportunity. The market has gone through three dispute cycles since 2009, he points out, adding that it looks likely to be edging towards a fourth. “2017 was quiet, but again, without sounding too corny, it was perhaps too quiet! People were battening down the hatches. They just wanted to get through 2017 and hope that 2018 would bring more growth. But tie that in with the oil price rise, and tie that in with the increase in liquidity, which will slowly return to the market, I think we’re going to see people get a bit more bold and assertive, a bit more prone to launch formal proceedings than they would have been six months ago.” Despite his wariness, Mackenzie does see positive developments on the horizon. Based on recent experiences with

battening down the hatches 2017 was quiet as companies battened down the hatches and looked to get through the year, but Mackenzie predicts that 2018 will see companies get a bit bolder and more assertive.

22 March 2018









In Profile

government-backed developers, he believes that change is coming – and not a moment too soon, with events like Expo 2020 coming up in a couple of years. “It’s actually a very topical issue because a major quasigovernment developer has actually put out a call-out for a contractor-led framework recently. Basically, the old traditional form of tendering is being seen as outdated, outmoded and generally not fit for purpose. It can leave a contractor overcommitted, which can lead to a developer being unable to complete. Some of the UAEbased and regional developers have felt that most keenly. “It’s slightly contractorled at the moment, but I think the fact that developers are prepared to look at it seriously is a good indication that a quasi-government entity is thinking to itself, ‘Do we just want to carry on as normal?’ “It’s about more communication and relationship building with contractors, and finding a better way to develop these projects, rather than the traditional design and build contract that’s based on a model. If you have that framework and understanding that a number of contractors have fed into it, then you have a panel to choose from. This way, contractors are going in there with their eyes wide open.” While these steps are certainly welcome, Mackenzie does think more can be done by government entities, particularly when it comes to developing communication and relationships with the region’s contractors. This will allow all stakeholders to move away from the traditional design and build contract model and find a better way to develop projects in a more collaborative manner. Another positive development in recent years has been the work 24 March 2018

allaying concerns Dubai’s leadership was quick to recognise the potential of the DIFC courts and positioned them as the region’s premier dispute resolution service.

“The leadership of Dubai saw the possibilities of the Centre as an alternative dispute resolution hub and acted to ensure it was as attractive, trusted and user-friendly as possible”

done with the DIFC courts, he adds. Although there was initial resistance to the idea, and a lack of awareness of what was on offer, Dubai’s leadership has acted quickly to allay concerns and position the courts as the region’s premier dispute resolution service, he says. “The leadership of Dubai saw the possibilities of the Centre as an alternative dispute resolution hub and acted to ensure it was as attractive, trusted and userfriendly as possible. They have progressed to build upon that foundation and done it very well – to make sure that the market is now aware that they have this option, and pulling in expertise and experience from many different areas and jurisdictions to ensure that it has a truly global perspective. “Other centres across the MENA region and are now using

the DIFC as the model to follow.” “I think there still needs to be a degree of education that needs to take place in the construction industry. I think when people look at the DIFC, they think they need to have some connection to it or that it’s mainly for banks and other financial institutions. Many people don’t appreciate that the choice is still within the parties’ control.” With payments continuing to be the biggest issue facing the construction industry, just as it was a decade ago, he says that the DIFC can help improve the situation. “Cash is the lifeblood of the industry and cashflow is critical. So to actually say, “Okay, you have a payment dispute, in 30 days you can get it resolved at a very low cost in the DIFC small claims tribunal (if both parties have agreed in the contract), then that could go a long way to resolving a number of payment issues. “For the larger, more complex disputes, the DIFC has launched their own specific Construction Technology Court, which is modelled on the TCC in London. There’s an ongoing education process for the industry, which is a positive development. More needs to be done, but they’ve made a tremendous start.” Finally, Mackenzie brings up another topic that he believes will have a significant impact on the construction industry. January 1 was the launch of VAT in the UAE, and he is keen to stress that entities in the region, particularly in the construction industry, need to start considering the implications. “For the sophisticated players, the ones who are used to working in regions where this is already in existence, or have been keeping an eye on it and planning for it, it will be a far smoother transition. What’s noticeable, and using VAT as a prime example, is

In Profile

“Many of our clients have not fully planned for the introduction of VAT, hence why they have approached us, and we have taken various steps to not only provide them with advice and guidelines prior to the introduction, but also, as of this year, created a tax-specific department” that some entities didn’t even contemplate – even though it was discussed widely in the market – what the implications were for the introduction of VAT. “The introduction of VAT is merely the beginning of greater regulation, and indeed increased taxation of the industry – of all industries. The prospect of corporation tax is already in the early stages of discussion, but I think we should expect to see a draft law within the next two years,” he forecasts. “Many of our clients, and other players in the industry, have not fully planned for the

introduction of VAT, hence why they have approached us, and we have taken various steps to not only provide them with advice and guidelines prior to the introduction, but also, as of the beginning of this year, created a tax-specific department that is dedicated to assisting our clients across the Middle East and Africa on all aspects of tax compliance and efficient tax structuring.” Coupled with this is the UAE’s – and Dubai’s – ambition to become greener and more efficient, using smart technology and renewables. In the last few years, stringent regulations

around green building codes and energy usage have been put in place by the authorities, while government agendas and policies have been adopted to drive change across the economy. As a result, companies will have to change and adapt to keep up with the new reality. “I think part of the industry is prepared, but the ones that aren’t, are going to suffer. Many companies have had it good for too long. They haven’t had much regulation, they haven’t had to adhere to specific building codes. The region in general has been reactive rather than

proactive at times, but that is changing. Greater regulation and the adoption of internationally recognised standards is certainly on the increase. “Moving from a reactive to a proactive stance is an inevitable part of growing and developing an industry. These regulations are coming, and I think you’ll see that the companies adhering and abiding by the regulations will be singled out and rewarded with additional contracts, because the government wants to see this agenda progressed and have the private and public sector embrace best practice,” he concludes.

adapting to succeed Companies that adapt and adhere to the new rules and regulations introduced by the government will find themselves winning additional contracts as a reward for embracing best practice.

March 2018 25

Site Visit

Big Project ME gets a taste of the good life with a visit to 1/JBR, Dubai Properties’ new luxury development, which is being designed and overseen by EDGE

building the one 26 March 2018

Site Visit

March 2018 27

Site Visit


ast December, social media in Dubai was abuzz about a 30-second advertisement that poked fun at the stereotypical representation of luxury property developments in the city, which tends to veer towards the ostentatious and over-the-top. Speaking in a clipped English accent, the star of the video – a mid-30s Daniel Craig look-alike – tells viewers that if they’re looking for dancing fountains to Instagram or chandeliers dripping with diamonds, then they’re looking at the wrong building. Boldly proclaiming that “it’s

not for everyone”, the advert for the 1/JBR project racked up more than two million views within five days of being uploaded to YouTube. At the time of writing, it currently sits at close to five million views, with the local real estate market keeping a keen eye on its progress. Developed by Dubai Properties, 1/JBR is branded as an “exclusive luxury sea-front tower” with views stretching along the Arabian Gulf, taking in other high-profile destinations and attractions such as BlueWater, Dubai Eye, Skydive Dubai and Palm Jumeirah, among others. Scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, the 46-storey tower is being built by Dubai Contracting Company as the main contractor, while Edge is the design architect and lead consultant for the project, working alongside

PROJECT DETAILS Project Name: 1/JBR Client: Dubai Properties Lead Consultant: EDGE Lead Contractor: Dubai Contracting Company Gross Floor Area: 45,096sqm Total Built-up Area: 73,756sqm

WSP, the structural and MEP engineer and architect of record. Overseeing operations on-site as the project management consultant is North25. With construction progressing rapidly, Big Project ME was invited by EDGE to tour the site and gain a deeper understanding of how the project is taking shape and offering a fresh take on the concept of luxury, highend residential developments. Situated at the top of Jumeriah Beach Residences and flanked by five-star hotels like the RitzCarlton Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, 1/JBR has a gross floor area of 45,096sqm and a total builtup area of 73,756sqm. Despite the size of the project, EDGE faced a number of interesting challenges when it came to the design of the structure, given the surroundings and the limited

high-end location 1/JBR is situated at the top of JBR Walk and is flanked by the RitzCarlton and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa.

28 March 2018

Site Visit

Clarity and simplicity With so many complex buildings around, EDGE decided that the best way to make 1/JBR stand out from the crowd was to keep things simple.

space it had to work with, says Ivar Krasinki, founding partner and design director at the firm. “We wanted an iconic presence in JBR that is like no other. There are a lot of complex buildings around here, and this one is exactly the opposite of that. It stands out because it’s not trying too hard, and that makes all the difference. The whole project is defined by clarity and simplicity. We don’t want unnecessarily complex details and materials changes.” The initial design for 1/JBR was created by EDGE as part of a competition to develop a building concept that would provide a fresh and distinctive experience for residents, Dubai Properties adds in a statement to Big Project ME. “After various design options and proposals, EDGE was selected as the winner and awarded the complete design of the flagship project. The design principles behind the building are guided by two main goals – waterfront views and spatial clarity. The minimalist aesthetic is seen in every part of the building and its interior design. “As a result, each space conveys a sense of serenity not commonly found in residential buildings. The rooms are designed

to be well-lit, with ideal views and uncluttered volumes. Luxury building occupants are generally more concerned about privacy than the average person.” The developer said one thing that sealed the deal in EDGE’s favour was that the consultancy had conducted studies that proved conclusively that a private lift lobby for each tenant was achievable without compromising

on floor plate and overall building efficiency, creating added value. Krasinski says the building was initially planned to be a G+1 structure, as that was all Dubai Municipality allowed at the time. However, the potential of the site was too obvious to ignore, which necessitated a change in plans. “This site would have been really under-utilised if they had kept it at G+1. It would have been

a huge waste of this prime land. Through negotiating with Dubai Municipality, we now have G+46,” he says, adding that 1/JBR has been enhanced to ensure that each aspect of the building provides a luxury experience for residents, with any changes to design being done with the utmost care so as to provide future owners with a finished property that is distinctive across all its attributes. Martin Baerschmidt, founding partner and managing director at EDGE, also chimes in, pointing out that the firm spent nearly a full year winning the project and spent most of 2014 coming up with schemes for the CEO of Dubai Properties to consider. “The building, as Ivar mentions, was quite a different shape. We thought that the Palm Jumeirah was a very strong design generator, and also BlueWater, which is now a Meraas/North25 project. We actually had a V-shaped tower, but we then went to a single loaded and straight-

guiding principles Dubai Properties says that the design principles behind the building are guided by two main goals - waterfront views and spatial clarity.

March 2018 29

Site Visit

Continuous dialogue Dubai Properties and EDGE maintain a continuous two-way dialogue about the project, with each side researching and conducting studies into how to improve every element of the tower.

against-the-beach design that was right up against our plot limits. We think it’s a great solution. It’s very elegant, simple and clean.” From an engineering and design point of view, Krasinski says the design of the building was a major challenge. “The building is very thin in one direction, so we had to work very hard to get the beams right, to keep it from swaying back and forth, which was quite difficult because you also have to keep the ceilings as high as possible. You also have to keep your pipes up there, so the lower the beam goes, the fatter it becomes, and the worse it is for the rest of the project,” he explains. Baerschmidt adds that while nothing major will be changed in terms of design at this stage of construction – with the building at level 10 for the core, and the floor slabs at level six, it’s a little late for that – there is still scope for minor adjustments and tweaks to be made. “We’re not going to add any lift shafts or anything major at this stage, but there has been talk of a little change in one of the loft floors, which was a double height, but we’re now talking of turning it into two typical floors. That’s on level 31 at the moment, and as we’re at level 10, 30 March 2018

we need to manage that quickly if necessary. We would have to go back to the wind tunnel, which is done in Canada, and re-structurally engineer that, while also making sure that the MEP and everything is right when they’re doing the castings on-site. “Even till today, we have meetings with Dubai Properties regarding some of the frontal elements of the project, the

canopy, the lobby. They are still tweaking these elements because they want to be the best at market in 2019, not best at market when we won the competition in 2014.” This is a continuous two-way dialogue between the EDGE and DP teams, he explains, with both sides continuing to do research and studies into how to improve every element of the tower, from wall materials through

Minor tweaks While nothing major will change in the design of the tower, there is still scope for some minor changes to be made, as the designers look to keep the tower as contemporary as possible.

to furniture and fittings. The biggest challenge by far, though, has been to manage the location. Baerschmidt says the construction team knew from day one that they would be working with two very prestigious hotels on either side of the project. Therefore, it was essential to work with them from the start of construction. “Dubai Contracting Company has been very good in doing the site set-up that we’re standing in right now, and logistically everyone sees JBR as this busy place, but during the working week, it’s actually not so busy. It’s very busy at nights, obviously, and in construction that’s sometimes an issue, but we have managed around the problem. I think it’s what most contractors have to deal with in most cities, to be honest. “I’ve been in Dubai for nearly 21 years, it’s been a place where you can always find a lay-down area next door – but now, more and more, you’re crowded in

Site Visit

“It stands out because it’s not trying too hard, and that makes all the difference. The whole project is defined by clarity and simplicity. We don’t want unnecessarily complex details and materials changes”

Working together Martin Baerschmidt (L) and Ivar Krasinki have led the coordination and collaboration efforts on the project, and have worked to find solutions and compromises that best benefit the project team.

between two other buildings and I think that’s starting to become the norm. You just have to get used to it,” he asserts. Dubai Properties adds that it closely monitored the logistical challenges around the site, with schedules run tightly to ensure minimal disruption to the public and surrounding businesses. “The contractor has had to pay close attention to the deliveries of materials, to keep noise to a minimum as well as not to increase the traffic in the area,” the developer says, adding that it was crucial for the team to find a balance around the construction site that would allow constant progress on the development while also taking into account the challenge of having only one main entrance/exit point. “It was really difficult, actually,” Krasinki says. “It took

us quite a while to even decide where we wanted to put the trailers [for the site offices]. But we got it resolved. It’s not the most elegant entry, but it works.” Work on the 1/JBR site has been ongoing for the last two years, since the start of excavation and piling works with other subcontractors. When the programme was originally set, the original tender was for 900 days. That has since been extended to 960 days following discussions with all the tendering parties, says Baerschmidt. This remains the target for DCC, and Dubai Properties asserts that the project remains on schedule for a finish in Q4 2019, adding that the contractor was chosen for its proven ability in following and meeting project schedules while also meeting expected industry standards.

Furthermore, Baerschmidt expresses complete confidence in the contractor, highlighting that the construction schedule has been well maintained, with workloads being closely managed. “The contractor works what they believe are the right number of hours per week. They’re doing a good job; the team is here six days a week. Obviously, they need a little rest on public holidays and at times they inform us that they won’t be working – for instance, on January 1 they sent us a notice saying they wouldn’t be working due to the fireworks and other activities happening in JBR. But in general, they’re here early morning till late at night.” Before the project even broke ground, management from Dubai Properties sat down with local authorities and neighbouring hotel management

to explain the situation that could arise from the project and the effect it could have on the construction phase. By taking various stakeholders through the sequence of construction, work times and methodology and making them more aware of the project, the 1/JBR team are able to maintain communications with residents and hotel management, allowing advance notice to be given when heavy construction works are planned. As part of this commitment to make as little impact as possible on the community and not cause too much traffic disruption, the team has ensured that most materials are stored on-site. “Using state-of-the-art construction techniques and tools also allows Dubai Properties to self-monitor during the construction phase,” March 2018 31

Site Visit

“The building is very thin in one direction, so we had to work very hard to get the beams right, to keep it from swaying back and forth. You also have to keep your pipes up there, so the lower the beam goes, the fatter it becomes, and the worse it is for the rest of the project” the developer says. “Noise monitoring sensors were installed around the site so that we could ensure that any work done at night would cause a minimal amount of noise. The hotels and residents were also given the ability to contact the project management team if the work on the site was too noisy during the night or during an event being held at the hotel.” In order to ensure that the expected completion date is met, EDGE has also been playing an active role limited access Due to the site’s location and tight confines, the project team had to come up with creative solutions to store materials and move equipment around the site.

32 March 2018

in leading the coordination and collaboration on-site, say Baerschmidt and Krasinki. “It’s been quite smooth. There are always coordination issues, but we get them resolved quite quickly. We did the entire building in BIM, so there are far fewer clashes than there would be in a normal project. BIM is something that we use extensively. We adopted it five or six years ago and felt that we were early adopters. In fact, we made WSP work on this project in BIM. At that

stage, in 2014, some firms were quite reluctant or not used to working with it,” the duo reveal. “But I always recall the best meeting I had, where I saw nearly a thousand MEP drawings and walked through them with the DP management. The MEP manager walked through the BIM model and said, ‘We’re okay. We can see from the BIM model in one hour that a thousand drawings are coordinated and that we have no clashes,’” says Baerschmidt. “That’s how we work on the

design side. On the site, there’s a lot more hard copy which is still hand marked up, and we’re okay with that. The process works, the product is getting built and to the end user, there’s no difference whether it’s hard copy or BIM.” In addition to the use of construction technology, a strong emphasis is put on communication and collaboration between all stakeholders. In order to achieve this, the developer has assigned a project management team to 1/JBR, to create a detailed target schedule of construction.

Site Visit

“We did the entire building in BIM, so there are far fewer clashes than there would be in a normal project. BIM is something that we use extensively. We adopted it five or six years ago and felt that we were early adopters”

Working in coordination Dubai Properties’ project team worked in tandem with the crew onsite at 1/ JBR, helping to resolve issues and obtain permissions from authorities.

“This work is done before the contractor is active onsite, as it gives the team time to set up and to track the progress of the project. The project management team is an important and necessary component to each Dubai Property building, and it ensures that contractors and consultants are all up to date on a project,” it explains to Big Project ME.

The developer also worked with Dubai Municipality and the RTA to help alleviate the risk of traffic problems by creating an extra exit from Mamsha Street to allow trucks to head straight back towards Dubai Media City, rather than along JBR. “The relationship with DCC is fantastic. We have telephone conversations with their management regularly,

taking on board suggestions EDGE’s project team were happy to listen to what the contractor had to say and take on board their suggestions, if necessary.

34 March 2018

and we go to meetings with them, Dubai Properties and North25 as well,” Baerschmidt adds, citing an example of when DCC were coming up out of the ground and they felt they could make some column and wall thickness changes that suited them for their construction. By allowing the contractor the freedom to make these changes, the lead consultant ensured that everybody would benefit – from either a time saving or cost perspective – and that the project would continue to progress smoothly. As the tour comes to a close, both Baerschmidt and Krasinki reflect on the impact 1/JBR will have once completed. Calling it a labour of love, both insist that from a professional and personal point of view, this project is the pinnacle of their careers. “This is definitely the top project for me right now. We started off with the concept of clarity, minimalism and peace, and we still have that,” Krasinki says. “We like to do things in a minimalist way, and that leads to all sorts of other things. It’s a reflection of my own philosophy. You need to be calm. Situations change and we duck left and right, we go wherever we need to go. We work it out.”


existing problems New buildings only account for 2% of building stock, meaning the vast majority of buildings in the country have been constructed with little regard for energy efficiency.

The Problem of exisTing building sTock

Craig Ross, head of Project and Building Consultancy and partner at Cavendish Maxwell, talks building stock 36 March 2018

A noticeable trend in the construction sector during 2017 has been a growing awareness among clients and consultants of the ageing building stock in the region. Words like refurbishment, retrofit and reuse have become commonplace in meetings, conferences and debates, and the existing building problem is the elephant in the room that is conveniently avoided when looking at the (over) supply of new builds.


Whether you are involved in the operation and maintenance of an existing building, acquiring an asset as a form of investment or considering the purchase of a home, many properties are reaching the stage where an enhanced understanding of condition is critical to ensure lifespan is prolonged, investment is not wasted and the buildings that shape our region keep up with the demands

of an aspiring smart city. Let’s consider the most challenging requirement of a truly smart city: sustainability. The extreme environmental conditions in this region, coupled with the common type of construction used previously, resulted in the UAE ranked second highest in terms of CO2 emissions per capita and placed in the top 10 countries in terms of electrical and coolant use back in 2009. This prompted a series of government initiatives to improve matters, including considerable investment in renewables and mandating green building regulations. These are great steps forward, and the new regulations and energy-saving technology are fairly easy to integrate into new buildings, through changing regulations, designs and specifications prior to construction. Some clients have sought to exceed regulations on their projects by implementing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard, resulting in some very efficient and hightech smart building designs. However, we must appreciate that new buildings only account for around 2% of building stock, and as a relatively young country, compulsory green building regulations have been introduced at a late stage, with the vast majority of buildings constructed with little regard to energy efficiency. This means that even if all new buildings have a zero-carbon rating, the existing building stock will keep the carbon footprint unacceptably high and refurbishment and retrofitting options will most certainly be required. This has been a common topic of discussion this year, with several debates with local and international experts on

“Due to our relatively young building stock, there is a huge value in grasping the historic data generated through local building operation and management; understanding statistics and trends in the data is key to understanding how buildings work in practice in this region”

the challenges we face. While moderating some interesting panels at the October Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI)/ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) event, the meaning of the term ‘smart city’ was an important subject on which the threats and benefits of globalisation were discussed, particularly UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’. Other important topics included the issues of affordable housing, development financing and transition to new technology, addressed with the Dubai Land Department (DLD), which was keen to discuss how international standards and lessons can be applied locally. After all, a clear benefit of working in a relatively young country is the ability to take advantage of leapfrog technology, skipping over yesterday’s out-of-date technology and adopting the cutting-edge technology of the modern world. Architectural conservation and the issue of reusing existing buildings versus demolition was also considered and discussed, with a lively panel organised by the local Institution of Structural Engineers and chaired by experienced local engineer Rashad Bukhash of the UAE Architectural Heritage Society. It became clear that architectural, engineering, building surveying and contracting disciplines all share common concerns and challenges with the existing stock, albeit from different perspectives. Issues of health and safety in existing buildings (most notably fire safety) have also been debated many times, and interesting points were made at various panels and think-tanks throughout the year, with experts like Peter van Gorp of AESG and Andy Dean of WSP contributing. The

March 2018 37


“We must appreciate that new buildings only account for around 2% of building stock, and as a relatively young country, compulsory green building regulations have been introduced at a late stage” challenges of safety, energy and services retrofitting were tackled with Saeed Al Abbar, chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, and commissioning services in retrospect was discussed with Maen Nimrawi of KEO Consultants. Alongside scholarly debates, there has also been significant maturity in the design of new buildings through involving property and facilities consultants in the concept design stages, using operational knowledge as a feedback loop rather than an afterthought. This is a great move from various design team leaders in understanding the issues of existing buildings for a new building design, a practice that has been rare and often only addressed far too late in the process to be truly effective.

Jointly owned property and mixed-use communities where refurbishment, fire safety and energy-saving options require communal funding contributions also require a sound understanding of existing conditions, lifecycle and reserve funding. While there has been a visible improvement in awareness of these matters, enhanced greatly in the residential market by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), studies have often shown an existing deficit that can only be addressed through good property management and a practical forecast and programme of remedial works. Many properties in the region are nearing the end of their ten-year decennial liability term, and construction practice associated with the crash period has resulted

signs of maturity There has been significant maturity in the design of new buildings, through the involvement of property and facilities consultants in the concept design stages, thereby using operational knowledge as a feedback loop, rather than an afterthought.

38 March 2018

in some premature ageing and a lack of accurate ‘as built’ data. To assist clients in overcoming this problem, new drawings, schedules, asset lists and BIM models of existing buildings have been provided to allow accuracy in planned remedial and refurbishment construction works. Due to our relatively young building stock, there is a huge value in grasping the historic data generated through local building operation and management, and understanding statistics and trends in the data is key to understanding how buildings work in practice in this region. For example, our survey technology is now powered by our data partner Property Monitor, in order to analyse the vast quantity of modelling data shared with our cost consultant

and facility management partners. This allows bespoke lifecycle cost and community service charge models to be produced, taking into account modern hybrid methods of component subdivision that can be quite complex, rather than using outdated and inflexible strata models. To provide a pioneering building consultancy perspective fitting of a smart city, we must keep ahead of the curve and the fast pace of modern technology. Embracing empirical data and analytics is now just as important as core building pathology skills. To conclude, 2017 saw growing awareness of the complexities of both our existing building problem and how we can overcome this through core building surveying skills in conjunction with the combination of new technology and historic data.

Bringing the latest

construction news from across the GCC

Project Profile

Answering the sultAnAte’s CAll

With the opening of the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport scheduled for this month, Big Project ME speaks to Adel Merhi from Hill International to find out how the consultancy helped bring to fruition two of Oman’s most vital aviation infrastructure projects Earlier this year, Oman’s Ministry of Transport declared that the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport would open on March 20, with

40 March 2018

all incoming and outgoing flights to be transferred from the old terminal to the new one. Dr Ahmad Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications,

said the new terminal would serve as a “focal point for the world”. Claiming it would be a landmark of modern state monuments, he also highlighted

that the new terminal would greatly benefit the sultanate’s national economy, particularly in light of the growth seen in civil aviation and other sectors.

Project Profile increased capacity The revamped Muscat International Airport will be able to handle more than 12 million passengers annually, with ultimate expectations rising to 48 million a year.

The revamped Muscat International Airport will have the capacity to handle more than 12 million passengers annually, with ultimate expectations rising to 48 million passengers a year. Spread across an area of 335,000sqm, it will have 6,000sqm of duty-free shopping, 8,000 parking spaces and 96

check-in counters. The total built-up area of the passenger building is 580,000sqm, with the terminal consisting of three suites, each with three levels. Retail outlets on both sides of the building cover an area of 12,000sqm. There are lounges for first and business class passengers, offices for airlines

and other airport facilities. The building also accommodates a four-star, 90-room hotel. With 40 aerial bridges and 29 waiting areas, there are ample systems to handle the increased volume of passengers and the larger aircraft currently in operation across the world’s airlines, such as the Airbus A380.

As handover is scheduled to happen imminently, Big Project ME met with Adel Merhi, Head of Projects and Country Manager for Oman at Hill International, to discuss how the American construction consultancy helped bring the airport to completion. Having started its services on the project on 1 January 2013,

“The client’s brief for the projects has been achieved. They wanted state-of-the-art airports, and they’re going to get that. They’re not building airports to compete with the rest of the GCC, they are building airports that answer the requirements of the country” March 2018 41

Project Profile

Hill International was hired by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Public Authority for Civil Aviation of the Sultanate of Oman to provide consulting engineering services for the $5.2 billion expansion and modernisation of the Muscat and Salalah airports. “On this project, we are not the project managers – we are the supervision consultants, and we provide commercial and contractual services,” Merhi says. “However, we work very closely with the client and the project manager, who was here before we arrived. Now the project management team is part of the client’s team, and basically the client has taken on the role of the project manager. They work closely with us to coordinate all the interfaces on the project. “It’s really about working hand in hand with the client, and this is done through various high-level meetings and also through many other interface meetings that take place on a weekly basis, sometimes twice a week, as and when required.”

latest technology In order to ensure the smooth operation of the airports, the latest technology and interfaces have been installed, in order to ensure high performance and operational levels.

With the opening of the revamped airport so close, the majority of construction work is well over, barring a few minor items. “Mainly, the challenges we faced on this project are normal for a project of this magnitude,” Merhi says. “They were mainly around the interfaces between the different contract packages, and we worked with the client [to resolve them]. They were very helpful. There was assistance from the top senior management

from the client’s side, working with us and the contractor, to resolve those interface issues. We had, and still have, a dedicated team for the interfaces between the different contract packages.” Having this level of cooperation is crucial, Merhi says, pointing out that the airport uses the latest technology and it is crucial that all systems work smoothly. To achieve this, the client’s team, Hill International and the designers coordinated with each other to ensure

working together All the stakeholders involved with the projects have worked hand in hand to ensure the successful delivery of the airports.

42 March 2018

that the latest technology was implemented on the project. The other airport in the contract signed by Hill International at the same time as Muscat International Airport was the Salalah Airport, which opened in June 2015. With the airport fully operational, Merhi says it stands up to comparison with any other airport in the GCC region and has been crucial to the economic growth of an important region of the country. “When you come to the airport, you feel like you’re in an international, high-level airport,” he says. “That gives a good impression to visitors, and there are a lot of visitors who come directly to Salalah from across the GCC. Salalah as a region is expanding. Many hotels are under construction, and I believe that the airport is going to help expand tourism. This is a new airport with two new runways and a new terminal. “While it was a normal construction process, for us the biggest challenges are, whether it’s a small building or a major project, always challenges with interfaces, and that was no different with the airport of Salalah. We had interfaces

Project Profile

“We work very closely with the client and the project manager. Now the project management team is part of the client’s team, and basically the client has taken on the role of the project manager. They work closely with us to coordinate all the interfaces on the project” between different systems that we needed to address, which we did in a professional way, and we managed to deliver a state-of-the-art airport.” One issue was ensuring there were adequate materials and supplies in place. Given that the city is on the other side of the country, well away from the main hub of Muscat, Merhi says proper planning was crucial. “Of course, Salalah is not the capital, but we dealt with the issue of supplies with proper

planning well ahead of time. We had people dedicated just for procurement, making sure that materials come in on time. Some of the materials were supplied locally – the concrete and blockwork, things like that. “Anything that was available from Salalah was used, but others came either from Muscat, from the region or internationally. We kept a procurement log, and if there were any possible delays for anything, we knew in advance and could then get

in touch with the suppliers directly, and even travel with them – to make sure that things were delivered on time.” With Muscat International Airport now set to be delivered as well, Merhi reflects on the two projects, stressing that they will have an impact on Oman’s economy for years to come. “The client’s brief for the projects has been achieved. They wanted state-of-the-art airports, and they’re going to get that. They’re not building airports to

compete with the rest of the GCC, they are building airports that answer the requirements of the country. I believe that the country is coming into a big expansion phase, and so these airports are a vision for the future. “They were really good projects [to work on]. Hill International had worked, and continues to work, very closely with our clients and stakeholders to deliver the Salalah Airport, and now the Muscat Airport as well,” he says.

impact on Oman Both airports will have an impact on Oman for years to come, as they will answer the sultanate’s requirements and demands as it looks to expand and develop its economy.

March 2018 43

Rail Infrastructure

Mel Awasi

The FuTure oF rail

Mel Awasi, director of Rail at Cundall, outlines how technology is driving change in rail transportation The technological revolution, urbanisation, population growth and climate change are increasing the demands on our societies and cities. Different parts of the world pose different challenges, but the innovation of new technology and how we adapt and incorporate this is essential. We need to challenge some of the current and future trends to ensure we include everyone in the way we shape the future. Station concept and function are changing fast. More than just a place to start or end a journey, a station is a community hub, a retail destination and a cultural space. The station of the future 46 March 2018

may no longer be called a station. As we see the technology of travel change, elements such as virtual ticketing and highspeed travel promote seamless journeys, and we see this feed communities and urban areas for the better. This affects economic growth and reinstates stations as the focal point and heart of the areas they serve. Stations are becoming more customer-focused, integrating the use of intelligent technology to support customer needs. Rail of the future will need flexible and long-term use in order to adapt and maintain a standard of best purpose. Acting as big data collection

points and using the Internet of Things (IoT), rail will be on the cutting edge of information collection and trend prediction. At the heart of the debate on the future of transport, it is essential to rethink mass transportation strategies within a technological revolution. We can model how factors like climate change can impact how we approach future thinking and design, but ultimately the question must always be asked: How do we future proof? Challenges and opportunities Climate change – Historically, rail networks and buildings have been designed and optimised

using climate and weather data. Can we continue to use this as the basis for design? It may have worked well in the past, but what will happen when this historical data is no longer relevant or is out of date? What will happen to rail networks or buildings developed on the basis of those criteria? Is it time to take a new approach to designing for the future? Do we need to explore developing pedestrian tunnel networks underground in the Middle East, to facilitate movement of people as temperatures continue to rise? Alternative energy sources – Are we investing enough in the development of clean energy

Rail Infrastructure

Becoming a reality With high-profile support and backing, the Hyperloop is becoming a realistic option for transport of passengers and freight.

technologies in the Middle East? The region has enormous untapped solar energy potential which we need to harness, store and transfer on a large scale This is no longer an option but a necessity, as the region is grappling with environmental issues like industrial pollution, water scarcity and unsustainable energy consumption. Imagine a station or even an entire rail network that is net positive – not taking energy from the grid, but putting it back. Not adding to global warming, but decreasing it. Urban growth – Globally, urban areas are predicted to grow by approximately 2.5

“We can model how factors like climate change can impact future thinking and design, but ultimately the question must always be asked: How do we future proof?”

billion people by 2050. Planning and designing for this rapid increase is essential not only in the transport sector but across the entire city infrastructure. Digital revolution – Big data, the IoT and smart apps and tech help us record and analyse data more accurately than ever before. With the intelligent use of technology, we can now predict and plan better for the entire commuter seamless journey. Can the journey and experience be customised to suit each person? Hyperloop – The Hyperloop has become one of the biggest investments in the future of transport. With high-profile support and backing, this

is now becoming a reality. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) plans to announce a fully commercial track in 2018, and its CEO, Dirk Ahlborn, says that the first passengers could use Hyperloop within just three years. Could the Middle East lead the way again, and be the first to turn this concept into reality? The region is making some exciting leaps in embracing innovations and new technologies, while also investing heavily in the future, but we have a lot more to do to address some of the challenges ahead and prepare our infrastructure for the future. March 2018 47


Louay Dahmash

Middle east leads digitisation drive Louay Dahmash, head of Autodesk Middle East, explains how a growing push for digitisation is reshaping how the construction sector operates in the region In 2017, more than $85 billion of building contracts were handed out across the GCC, with a predicted yearly increase of 7% that should continue through 2018. The Middle East is witnessing a surge in investment and interest in business and leisure activities and infrastructure. High-profile international events such as Expo 2020 have added impetus to the dynamic landscape, with reports stating that the UAE alone is expected to account for $33 billion of Expo-related projects. 48 March 2018

It’s well-known that the construction sector is one of the least digitised industries. Large projects across asset classes are typically 20% over schedule and up to 80% over budget. In some markets, construction productivity has actually declined. Digitisation is about businesses using connected systems at every stage of the projects. It is about working with tools and practices based on information and communication technology. They are no longer mere tools to help companies do the same things a bit better. Instead, they fundamentally change the way business is done.

Catalyst for change Computational design and generative tools are changing how buildings are designed, while virtual reality, augmented reality and reality capture are changing how we interact with design.

Computational design and generative tools are changing the way we design, allowing infrastructure we couldn’t even imagine. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and reality capture are changing the way we interact with the designs, and BIM is connecting entire teams to provide vital information for successful project delivery. In a world where the next 20 years will see the largest global population boom in history, the pressure on the industry has never been higher. We can no longer use the same tools to meet increasing worldwide

demand for construction output, as innovation is vital. The Middle East, particularly the GCC region, is ahead of the world in recognising that digitisation of the construction process can significantly reduce risks and enhance the viability of infrastructure projects, as well as improve asset lifecycle. The UAE has already led the way with the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s creative use of iterative BIM. The BIM design model was used to create a scale model for physical wave testing that informed the geometry of the perimeter and the position of inlets and concrete breakwaters.


“Digitisation is about businesses using connected systems at every stage of the projects. It is about working with tools and practices based on information and communication technology. They are no longer mere tools to help companies do the same things a bit better. Instead, they fundamentally change the way business is done”

Dubai’s Museum of the Future also employs BIM and generative design, especially for the complex steel diagrid geometry. Such complex structures need an iterative analysis process such as generative design for teams to quickly manipulate and study numerous iterations, to accommodate architectural and structural requirements. Generative design uses algorithms to generate every possible permutation of a design solution and allows the user to select the design that best fits the end requirements. It offers an easy preview, to

create optimised complex shapes and internal lattices that are impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. This is where additive manufacturing (AM) comes in play. The uniqueness of AM lies in its ability to combine multiple materials to create a single material that meets the unique requirements of any project without compromising on its strength and structural integrity. The new materials are often stronger, lighter and more efficient than the traditional ones. Current AM products include aircraft parts, medical

implants, automobile chassis and even entire buildings. With the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the emirate is determined to ensure that every new building in Dubai in 2025 will have 25% of its structure 3D-printed. The mandate will begin in 2019, starting at 2%, with a gradual increase to achieve this strategic goal. This strategy will reinforce the UAE’s commitment to support and facilitate innovation as it uses

emerging and new technologies to reduce costs across sectors, and will ultimately restructure economies and labour markets, as well as redefine productivity. BIM, additive manufacturing and generative design are changing the construction industry, disrupting the status quo and challenging the creativity and vision of AEC professionals. They provide AEC professionals with futuristic solutions to construct sustainable and memorable structures that go beyond function and serve a grander purpose that conveys history, culture, ambition and success. March 2018 49

Show Preview

Increased level of competition Developers are expected to unveil new pricing strategies and attractive plans as they seek to attract investors.


Cityscape Abu Dhabi expects to see developers being more competitive in 2018 New reports on the Abu Dhabi and UAE real estate market have cited a swathe of developers introducing more attractive payment plans in light of current market conditions. Research heavyweights JLL and Cluttons both say 2018 will likely witness a new wave of attractive off-plan pricing deals as developers work harder for investment. Many of the UAE’s prominent real estate developers, particularly those based in Abu Dhabi, are gearing up to create 50 March 2018

and unveil new pricing strategies for investors at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which takes place 17-19 April at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Carlo Schembri, exhibition manager for Cityscape Abu Dhabi, says, “With the current market conditions highlighted in the JLL and Cluttons reports, such as the sustained drop in demand and the knock-on effect of VAT for property owners, we’ll expect to see developers being more competitive at Cityscape Abu Dhabi this year,

with the introduction of a wave of new attractive plans. “While selling properties on-site is not a new feature for the show, we do expect to see an increased level of competition among developers this year, which can only be good news for investors.” Additionally, a number of Dubai developers will be making their first appearance at the three-day exhibition, set to capitalise on the opportunities the capital presents as an emerging market and international hub

for industry decision-makers. Farhad Azizi, CEO for Azizi Developments, said: “With Abu Dhabi being the capital city, Cityscape is the premiere real estate and infrastructure event that brings together a powerful network of buyers, investors and developers looking for residential and commercial real estate opportunities in the region.” Azizi is one of many Dubai developers turning their attention to Abu Dhabi in the coming months to showcase their latest projects. Others

Show Preview

“With the current market conditions highlighted in the JLL and Cluttons reports, such as the sustained drop in demand and the knock-on effect of VAT for property owners, we’ll expect to see developers being more competitive at Cityscape Abu Dhabi this year” attending Cityscape Abu Dhabi include Danube, Kleindienst and Tiger, with Binghatti Developers and MAG Properties. “Cityscape Abu Dhabi is an optimal platform for our organisation to affirm our commitment to the UAE Vision 2021, sharing our mission to build sustainable, progressive and elegant residential and commercial developments,” adds Azizi. Both reports note a decrease in prices for Abu Dhabi, with Cluttons stating a 4.1% decline in house prices from last year and a further predicted decrease in rents of 5-7%, forcing developers to find new ways to attract investment.

Schembri adds: “With the price of oil still recovering, and as we reach the market’s phase of bottoming out, developers have adapted to bring on new investors without sacrificing the status of purchasing property in Abu Dhabi. “Many developers continue to target the middle-income housing segment and have shifted their developments to attract this audience. With reduced unit size and construction costs, and a large appeal to investors, it has been a winning formula.” While the conditions described in the reports suggest a future decline in prices and rents, additional future gains for

investors with foresight could be made for those purchasing now. “In fact, now more than ever, the current state of the real estate market provides prospects for savvy investors. As we see the market mature in the UAE and Abu Dhabi, long-term investment will become a more common occurrence and those who can recognise market conditions and react accordingly will be able to capitalise,” says Schembri. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the show will see the return of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi

Conference, featuring a range of unique topics and speakers providing valuable insight into the capital’s real estate market. The UAE capital’s largest and most influential property investment and development event, Cityscape Abu Dhabi brings together investors, developers, government officials and real estate professionals. The three-day event will host hundreds of developers from Abu Dhabi and overseas showcasing their latest projects. Cityscape Abu Dhabi returns with support from Platinum Sponsor MAG Property Development. For more information, please visit www.cityscapeabudhabi. com or call +9714 336 5161.

Making a first appearance A number of Dubai developers will be making their first appearance at Cityscape Abu Dhabi as they look to capitalise on the opportunities in the UAE capital.

March 2018 51


Top tenders BeMA – Beirut MuseuM of Art Project Budget $100,000,000 Project Number WPR2520-LE territory Lebanon client Beirut Museum of Art Address 108 Sursock Street, Ashrafieh city Beirut Phone (+961-1) 325 045 email Website Description Construction of a museum Period 2020 status New Tender site supervision consultant Hala Warde – HW Architecture (France)

tender categories Construction & Contracting tender Products Art Galleries

floWliNes rePlAceMeNt & MAiNteNANce services Project – BAhjA Budget $85,000,000 Project Number WPR2932-O territory Oman client Petroleum Development Oman Address Mina Al Fahal Street city Muscat 113 Phone (+968) 2467 8111 fax (+968) 2467 7106 email Website

Description Engineering, procurement, construction, precommissioning and commissioning of various equipment such as off-plot manifolds and flow-lines, rig location well pads, overhead lines and sectional flow-line replacements and removal status Current Project Main contractor Al Baraka Oilfield Services SAOC (Oman) tender categories Gas Processing & Distribution, Oilfields & Refineries tender Products Offsites & Utilities, Refinery/Offsites & Utilities

roADs coNstructioN & eArthWorks Project – hArADh & hAWiyAh Budget $50,000,000 Project Number WPR2720-SA territory Saudi Arabia client Saudi Arabian Oil Company

city Dhahran 31311 Phone (+966-13) 872 0115 / 874 2222 fax (+966-13) 873 8190 / 874 1655 email supplierHelpDesk@ Website Description Construction of roads and carrying out earthworks Period 2020 status Current Project Main contractor Mofarreh Marzouq Al-Harbi & Partners Company Ltd (Saudi Arabia) tender categories Infrastructure tender Products Earthworks, Roads Construction

Al shAfAr tWiN toWers Project – kArAMA Budget $50,000,000 Project Number WPR2883-U territory United Arab Emirates client Al Shafar Development (Dubai) city Dubai Phone (+971-4) 397 1999 fax (+971-4) 396 0520 email info@ Website www. Description Construction of twin towers comprising 35 floors, with a major shopping centre on the ground floor Period 2019 status New Tender Main consultant Design Centre Engineering Consultants (Dubai) MeP consultant Design Centre Engineering Consultants (Dubai) tender categories Leisure & Entertainment, Prestige Buildings tender Products High-rise Towers, Residential Buildings, Retail Developments


52 March 2018

PROJECT INTELLIGENCE, TENDERS & SUPPLY CONTRaCTS IN ThE MIDDLE EaST is used by: • Contractors & Sub-Contractors • Consultants, Design, FEED & EPC Companies • Manufacturers, Suppliers & Traders • Service Providers, Insurance & Banking Sectors • Recruitment, Logistics & Facilities Management and many more.... Tel: +971 2634 8495 Fax: +971 2 631 6465 Email:


Middle East tenders UAE Pixel toWers MixeDuse DeveloPMeNt – MAkers District Project Number WPR2782-U territory United Arab Emirates client Imkan Real Estate (Abu Dhabi) city Abu Dhabi Description Construction of seven mixed-use residential towers with a total built-up area of 83,000sqm offering 480 residential units Period 2020 status New Tender Main consultant Ramboll Middle East Ltd (Dubai) Main Architect Dewan Architects & Engineers (Dubai) Main Architect (2) MVRDV (Netherlands) landscaping consultant Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) – Denmark cost consultant Turner & Townsend (Dubai) tender categories Prestige Buildings tender Products Residential Buildings

MohAMMeD BiN rAshiD solAr PArk Project – PhAse 5 Project Number MPP2698-U territory United Arab Emirates client Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) Address Head Office, Near Wafi Shopping Mall, Zabeel East city Dubai Phone (+971-4) 601 9999 / 324 4444

fax (+971-4) 601 9995 email Website Description Construction of a major solar independent power project (IPP) with capacity of 300MW status New Tender tender categories Power & Alternative Energy tender Products Independent Power Plants (IPP), Photovoltaic Plants, Solar Energy

viDA hotel Project – uMM Al QuWAiN Project Number WPR2918-U territory Northern Emirates

client Nshama (Dubai) Address Emaar Square, Bldg 3, Level 7 city Dubai country United Arab Emirates Phone (+971-800) 674 262 / (+971-4) 335 3342 Website Description Construction of a hotel comprising a ground floor and 4 additional floors, offering 4 chalet blocks and auxiliary blocks Period 2019 status New Tender Main consultant Al Gurg Architectural Consultancy (Dubai) MeP consultant Al Gurg Architectural Consultancy (Dubai) tender categories Construction

& Contracting, Hotels tender Products Hotel Construction

Oman NujuM Al AMerAt MAll Project Budget $5,000,000 Project Number WPR2875-O territory Oman client LuLu Group International (Abu Dhabi) Address Y-Tower Building, Al Nahyan Camp city Abu Dhabi Phone (+971-2) 418 2000 / 443 9111 fax (+971-2) 642 1716 email Website www.


54 March 2018

Tenders Description Construction of a shopping mall Period 2019 status Current Project Main Architect Engineering Innovation Design & Consulting (Oman) MeP consultant Engineering Innovation Design & Consulting (Oman) structural consultant Engineering Innovation Design & Consulting (Oman) Project Manager Engineering Innovation Design & Consulting (Oman) interior Design consultant Engineering Innovation Design & Consulting (Oman) Quantity surveyor Engineering Innovation Design & Consulting (Oman) Main contractor Sam Engineering LLC (Al-Taher Group) – Oman MeP contractor Electro Mechanics LLC (Al-Taher Group) – Oman tender categories Construction & Contracting, Leisure & Entertainment tender Products Retail Developments

Period 2019 status Current Project Main consultant Khatib & Alami Consolidated Engineering Company (Oman) Main contractor Oman Shapoorji Company LLC (OSCO) MeP contractor International Electric Company LLC (Oman) tender categories Construction & Contracting, Medical & Healthcare tender Products Hospital Construction

Saudi Arabia Al-WAjh DoMestic AirPort Project – tABuk Project Number MPR1545-SA territory Saudi Arabia client General Authority of Civil Aviation (Saudi Arabia) Address Bin Malek Street,

Old Airport Area city Jeddah 21421 Phone (+966) 2 640 5000 fax (+966) 2 640 1477 email Website Description Renovation and upgrade of the domestic airport status Current Project Main consultant Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants (Jeddah) Main contractor Al Mabani General Contractors (Saudi Arabia) tender categories Airport, Construction & Contracting tender Products Airports Development & Management

Bahrain Burj Al sAyA toWer Project – BusAiteeN Project Number WPR2866-B

territory Bahrain client Social Insurance Organisation (Bahrain) Address Diplomatic Area city Manama Phone (+973-17) 532 222 fax (+973-17) 530 209 email public.relations@ Website Description Construction of a residential development featuring two twin towers comprising a total of 128 apartments, a twostorey parking podium and 13 retail units on the ground floor status Current Project Main contractor Al Ghanah Group WLL (Bahrain) tender categories Construction & Contracting, Leisure & Entertainment tender Products Residential Buildings, Retail Development

the royAl hosPitAl exPANsioN Project – Al GhuBrAh Budget $35,000,000 Project Number WPR2926-O territory Oman client Ministry of Health (Oman) Address Opposite Khoula Hospital, Bldg No. 105 city Muscat PC 113 Phone (+968-24) 602 177 fax (+968-24) 602 647 Website Description Expansion of a hospital


March 2018 55

Last Word

Responding to Opportunity Omer Al-Jamel, regional business development manager – New Equipment (Middle East and Africa) at KONE Middle East and Africa, outlines how the vertical movement specialist is adapting to changes in demand Has the introduction and enforcement of green codes and solutions in the market meant KONE has had to adapt or modify its products?

Our environmental policy is to provide innovative, safe, high-quality and environmentally efficient products and services. KONE manufactures its products in compliance with the latest green code, ISO 25745, to deliver the latest ecoefficient solutions. Consequently, the enforcement of these codes in the market did not require any modification to our existing products. In fact, we were the first company to achieve the best A-class energy efficiency classification for an elevator installation, according to ISO 25745. Our current machine room-less volume elevator, KONE MonoSpace 500, is up to 90% more energyefficient than our elevators from the 1990s. The KONE EcoDisc hoisting motor

56 March 2018

and highly efficient drive system delivers even better energy efficiency, helping to reduce both operating costs and the building’s carbon footprint. Has there been an increase in demand for greenfriendly products?

After the enforcement of the green codes, customers became aware of the importance of greenfriendly products and their effect on lowering the total cost of ownership. The demand has increased from customers, and especially those stakeholders who are responsible for paying for the running costs. To them, the benefit is higher as energy consumption is expensive. What are some of the other major trends in the market?

The global elevator and escalator industry is shaped by two major mega trends: urbanisation and technological disruption. The world’s cities are constantly growing.

They attract billions of people, and by 2050, more than two in every three people on the planet will live in urban areas. Estimates tell us that around 200,000 people move into cities across the globe each and every day, which is the equivalent of 140 people every minute. It is by understanding urbanisation and focusing on improvements for people that KONE can create better buildings, better low-carbon cities and a better world. Rapid technological advancements in connectivity, mobility and computing power are changing many aspects of our lives. Technological disruption drives change and means a faster pace of business and new expectations for ways of working. New technology gives us a great opportunity to serve our customers in smarter and more exciting ways. Any small saving in energy consumption of equipment would create

a greater impact on the aggregate on a global level. What are some of the latest KONE R&D developments?

Our R&D activities aim to optimise material use, including packaging and waste; avoid the use of hazardous substances; maximise material durability and recycled content; and minimise water consumption. There are a number of innovations that increase energy efficiency, including: • KONE UltraRope sets a new benchmark for high-rise buildings. The super-light KONE UltraRope technology provides unrivalled elevator eco-efficiency, reliability and durability, while also improving elevator performance. It eliminates the disadvantages of existing steel ropes – high energy consumption, rope stretch, large moving masses and downtime caused by building sway. KONE UltraRope can

enable future elevator travel heights up to a thousand metres. • KONE’s comprehensive and flexible People Flow Intelligence solutions are designed to meet market demands. They are based on industryleading technology that can be adapted according to changing needs, which enables efficient building management and adds real value to a property. KONE People Flow Intelligence comprises solutions for access and destination control, as well as information communication and equipment monitoring. • KONE JumpLift is a construction time elevator with a temporary machine room that can be moved upwards as construction progresses. It enables a faster, safer construction process, earlier closing of the facade, reduced downtime and safer transportation in all conditions.













Experience the Progress.

The Safe Alternative: New Liebherr Rough Terrain Cranes LRT 1090-2.1: 47 m / 154 ft full power boom LRT 1100-2.1: 50 m / 164 ft pinned boom Safe & Strong

High lifting capacities with a maximum of safety due to VarioBaseÂŽ Globally uniform load charts conform to ANSI, EN and further standards Safe access points and flat deck


Simple and easy to operate Operator friendly extra wide and tiltable crane cabin Sales and service directly from the manufacturer

Saudi Liebherr Company Ltd. P.O. Box 9972 Dammam 31429 K.S.A. Phone +966 (0) 13 831 4815 E-Mail:

Liebherr Middle East FZE P.O. Box 2540, Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai / United Arab Emirates Phone: +971 4 8891 888 E-Mail:

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.