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MARCH 2012

PLUS KSA event insiders MAskan Arabia on KSA realty sustainable architecture debate

du Chief Commercial Officer Farid Faraidooni

KING of the region From the brand new cities, to the nationwide rail network and the world’s tallest tower. The Big Project goes behind the scenes in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh P.O.Box: 753, Riyadh 1421 Phone: 01 491 4624 / Fax: 01 491 4404 E-mail: Kanoo Machinery LLC P.O.Box: 290, Dubai, U.A.E. Phone: +971 4 3378400 / Fax: +971 4 3373660 E-mail:

Dammam P.O.Box: 37, Dammam 31411 Phone: 03 857 1265 / Fax: 03 857 7139 E-mail:

Jeddah P.O.Box: 812, Jeddah 21421 Phone: 02 263 6171 / Fax: : 02 263 2979 E-mail:

Bahrain Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo WLL P.O.Box: 45, Manama KSA Phone: +973 17738200 Fax: +973 17732828 E-mail: kanoomachinery

MArch 2012

Contents REGULARS Editor’s letter 6


News bulletin 9 Talk 20


Maskan Arabia’s Hossam Al Rashoudi on real estate in Saudi Arabia

Project update 33 Tepe Akfen on the US$11.1b New Doha International Airport project

Roundtable 44 Praseeda Nair chairs a debate on sustainable building practices in the Middle East


Supplier news 50 Supplier profile 49 du chief commercial officer Farid Faraidooni on communication

Tenders 61 Diary 65 Your shout 66

FEATURES 16 News analysis The photo project helping abandoned labourers to share their story

23 Event insider The inside news from Gulf Environment Forum and The Big 5 KSA

28 Interior design Sanitaryware manufacturer and supplier Duravit on tapping the consumer market

36 Cover: King of the region Behind the scenes in Saudi Arabia

43 Comment: AECOM Assistant project manager Romi Sebastian on architectural trends

54 Supplier feature The hazardous effects of paint and the work of one manufacturer to change the industry’s reputation

58 Career ladder McLaren’s strategic restructure and Middle East ambitions

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Publisher Dominic De Sousa Chief operations officer Nadeem Hood Associate publisher Liam Williams TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9158 Editorial director Melanie Mingas TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9117 GSM: +971 (0)56 758 7834

“Watch this space”

Reporter Praseeda Nair TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9137 Business development manager Junaid Rafiq TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9150 GSM: +971 (0)50 104 7864


Business development manager Rhiannon Downie TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9152 GSM: +971 (0)50 554 0116

ebruary 2012 will go down in history as the month the final licences for the construction of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower were granted. The mega project that is the vision of HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, is expected to cost US$1.2b, with the surrounding Kingdom City pushing that figure to $20billion. Foundations are complete and construction continues to spur ahead to the 2017 deadline, when it is hoped the development will bring Saudi Arabia to the forefront of world’s tourism industry. Yet despite the glamour, budget and sheer scale of Kingdom Tower, it is only one element of the ambitions for Saudi Arabia over the coming decade. March will see the second edition of The Big 5 KSA open in Jeddah and statistics released by organisers DMG put the industry into perspective. Not only is the show twice the size of last year’s, but the Kingdom’s total active projects top 1026, and reach a total estimated value of $1.102 trillion. There are six entirely new cities under development, with even more in the pipeline, and infrastructure and industrial development to match, is also underway. This issue we focus on the ‘King of the region’ with a round-up of the major projects and in depth analysis of the problems haunting its real estate sector. As the next wave of development is announced over the coming months, The Big Project will be helping those project partners to make their massive announcements to the world.

Marketing Manager Carole McCarthy TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9157 GSM: +971 (0)55 978 8605 Team Administrator Leila El Madalla GSM: +971 (0)50 912 7459 Designer/Photographer Marlou Delaben Photographer Cris Mejorada Webmasters Troy Maagma Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Joel Azcuna Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Watch this space...

Melanie Mingas Editorial director

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 (0)4 440 9100 Fax: +971 (0)4 447 2409 Web: © Copyright 2012 CPI. 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.

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Kizad and Khalifa Port milestones reached • Khalifa Port phase one “95% complete” • Kizad confirmed to open 2012 Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) developer of mega projects Kizad and Khalifa Port, has announced that phase one of Khalifa Port is now “95% complete”, paving the way for Kizad to open according to schedule, Q4 2012. The milestone was reached with the arrival of the first batch of Super Post Panamax ‘ship to shore’ (STS) container cranes at the Port (pictured). The 44 metre cranes can lift 110 tonnes and were constructed by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. Ltd (ZPMC). A second batch will be delivered in Q2. “I am tremendously proud to be a part of this instrumental project, which will play such a key role in Abu Dhabi’s economic development and promoting new business opportunities,” said ADPC chairman Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. Dr Al Jaber said the UAE’s ports account for 61% of the trade volume among GCC countries, following a 13% annual growth in volume in recent years. “With this remarkable, fast-paced growth, ports are striving to be more competitive, efficient and productive for their customers. Khalifa Port is an example of that – as witnessed with the official unveiling of these cranes today,” he commented at an unveiling ceremony attended by ADPC CEO, Tony Douglas; Captain Shamisi, Vice President of Ports and Martijn Van de Linde, CEO of Abu Dhabi Terminals on the port island. Once completed the port will continue to grow with the addition of bunkering, break bulking and general cargo handling equipment. Khalifa Port will also handle 4 million tons of

raw material cargo a year delivered to the dedicated and already functioning EMAL berth at the port. In addition the port has been designed to accommodate the largest ships currently at sea and those planned for the future. By 2030 Khalifa Port will be able to handle 15 million TEUs and 35 million tonnes of general cargo a year should this be required. “Khalifa Port is destined to be a world class

competitive port and a leader in its field. It will be the region’s first semi-automated port, the first to factor in rail freight, and it will be able to accommodate the largest container ships at sea. Phase 1 of the port is now 95% completed, and the arrival of these cranes signals that we are now on the home straight,” commented Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi, Vice President Ports, ADPC. | 9




$500m investment pledged by ghantoot group in omani hospitality, water and power

Saudi cement hits SAR260 per tonne 30% price increase as export ban begins

C Big 5 KSA to be opened by H.E. Dr Hani Abu Ras Global companies to act on Big 5’s trillion dollar project opportunities

ement manufacturers in Saudi Arabia increased their trade prices ahead of an export ban to secure supply to the domestic market. Arab News reported that Al Jouf Cement Co increased prices from SR200 per tonne to SR260 per tonne, to “reduce losses” during the ban. The exports were stopped by Saudi Arabia’s ministry, which is only allowing cement to be supplied to Bahrain; currently 25,000 bags are exported per week. Safwa factory was ordered to operate at its full capacity while Southern Cement was asked to operate a new line of production and supply 10,000 tons daily to the Western Province. Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Al-Abdali has said factories have been instructed to work at full capacity. The main shortages have affected Mecca and the western region, where a number of major projects are currently underway, including Kingdom Tower.


eddah’s mayor, HE Dr Hani Abu Ras is to officially inaugurate The Big 5 KSA, when it opens in Jeddah on March 10. At twice the size of the first event, the second edition of the Saudi Arabian show is due to welcome more than 500 exhibitors and will feature a new ‘USA pavilion’. During the inauguration, Dr Ras will tour the entire site including the second, purpose built, hall that has been erected by show organisers especially for the event. “We look forward to hosting His Excellency Dr. Hani Abu Ras, the Mayor of Jeddah, at The Big 5 Saudi 2012,” said event director Andy White. “Having doubled the size of the event in only its second year is a significant reflection on the influence of the Saudi construction market across the globe.” Project budgets in the GCC’s largest country are said to be worth US$1.1 trillion.

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Zamil Industry announces 18% consolidated revenue increase Sale prices to steel sector affect overall profits


amil Industrial has released its financial statement for 2011, with mixed results. While consolidation revenue increased 18% over all, net profits fell from US$9.6 million for $16.4, representing a 41.4% decrease YOY. Earnings per share dropped to $0.69 from $0.94 in the same period in 2010. ”The reason behind the decline in performance during the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2011 was mainly due to lower gross margins that were attributed to ongoing competition and pressure on selling prices in the steel sector,” read a statement from the company. “The steel sector profitability had the most impact while the air conditioning and insulation sectors

sustained positive growth. Consolidated revenues increased by 18 percent in addition to increased production volumes in all sector businesses.” Zamil Industry is comprised of divisions specialising in general coatings, HVAC supply and controls and has offices in Khobar, Riyadh and Bahrain. “The decline in net profits for the fourth quarter and twelve months of 2011 was due to the decline in the other income as a result of reclassification of certain figures for the comparison period, in addition to the increase in financial charges and minority interests which was a consequence of the consolidation of RANCO Zamil Concrete Industries Co. Ltd. and Gulf Insulation Group Company as of 1st January 2011.”

Saudi arabia’s projected construction spend for 2012

RAK Properties posts AED 108,419 million profit Profit supported by AED 520,568 million sales revenue in 2011 The UAE’s RAK Properties has announced profits of AED 108,419 million and sales revenue of AED 520,568 million, for 2011, during its annual board meeting, held last month. “The handover of our flagship real estate projects in 2011 proves our leading position in this industry and our contribution to the national economy of the UAE. In addition, delivering these projects on schedule and within budget in 2011 has strengthened the relationship with our clients,” said MD and CEO Mohamed Sultan Al Qadi. The projects include the AED10 billion Mina Al Arab, the AED500 million Julphar Towers and RAK Tower. In addition, the group will launch retails and leasing services in Mina Al Arab and Julphar Towers. We have already started achieving a revenue stream from the leasing of the residential units in three projects located in Ras Al Khaimah and on Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi,” Al Qadi added. The group says its results are proof of a recovering real estate market in the UAE.

Skyscraper Centre goes live CTBUH launches database of every building higher than 200 metres The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats has launched an online database listing every skyscraper in the world standing more than 200 metres tall. Skyscraper also promises “new functionality, information and extensive assets” and also profiles a number of under development projects. “The CTBUH has used its significant professional network to collect data for the site. The information is sourced directly from those involved in the projects,” comments CTBUH production coordinator and director of The Skyscraper

Center project, Nathaniel Hollister. “In addition to the basic images and facts, building profiles on the Skyscraper Center link to significant CTBUH resources, including related video presentations and interviews from CTBUH events, technical papers written by professionals and relevant news articles,” he adds. a statement from the organisation read: “In the near future we plan to add several significant new elements, including robust city and country profiles which will provide important graphs and statistics on specific areas.”

Ducab sales hit AED 4.9bn in 2011 Dubai power cable manufacturer Ducab has credited “successful expansions” new products and strong financial management for its record sales in 2011. At AED 4.9bn, sales increased 39% on 2010, with a 250% increase in sales to the oil, gas and petrochemical sector. “Our success in 2011 was the result of successful expansions and addition of new product ranges, and managing our financials,” said chairman, Ahmad Al Shaikh. “We have ventured into new sectors and markets within different regions, and repaid by due dates loans of AED 235mn, as well as paying dividend to our shareholders. Our shareholders equity also

increased by AED 138mn by the end of last year,” he added. The decision was taken to publicise the private company’s results in light of the achievement made. “Last year was a challenging period worldwide. However, we were able to complete H1 with good results which continued as well in H2 to round up a very successful 2011. UAE National Development continues to be a core focus with 40% of senior management and 18% of white collar staff positions held by UAE Nationals,” he continued. Last year also saw the inauguration of Ducab HV, an AED 500m JV high voltage cable plant, in Jebel Ali, Dubai. | 11




HLG secures US$515 million Habtoor Palace contract

Oman to receive US$500m investment Ghantoot Group eyes power, water and hospitality

Dubai Pearl developer to work on region’s largest integrated complex Habtoor Palace hotels development in Dubai (pictured). The hotel will comprise a fivelevel podium, one 36-storey tower and one 25-storey tower within a total GFA of 350,000 square metres. Design commenced in January and completion is scheduled for H2 2016. “We look forward to working with them again to create a development that will be a landmark for not only Dubai, but the entire Middle East. Our team has spent the better part of six months working with the team from the Al Habtoor Group to finalise the contract for this prestigious project,” Voyer added. Voyer also said HLG is “continuing our push into new geographies”, specifying Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.


abtoor Leighton Group (HLG) has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to build the largest integrated hotel complex in the region. HLG, which is also working on Dubai Pearl has completed developments such as Emerald Palace, Saadiyat Link, Madinat Jumeirah and Burj al Arab, will build the new development on the plot of the soon to be demolished Metropolitan Hotel; Dubai’s oldest hotel. “We have successfully completed a number of projects for the Al Habtoor Group in the past – including the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa and Metropolitan Palace Hotel – and have always maintained a good working relationship with them,” said CEO and MD Laurie Voyer. The newly awarded contract for US$515 million is part of the US$1.33 billion

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The landmark development will include: • 1600 hotel rooms, spread between three hotels (lifestyle, luxury and main) • An iconic Las Vegas-style ‘aqua’ theatre • A French provincial-inspired garden • Food and beverage venue

Rashid Al Balooshi, Ghantoot Group MD


bu Dhabi’s Ghantoot Group is to invest US$500 million in the power, water and hospitality sectors in Oman. This year, the group will establish two power plants and three hotels, and invest in water desalination, transmission and distribution plants, as well as oil and gas projects. The new ventures will create 2000 jobs for Omani nationals. “Over the past few years, the Sultanate of Oman has taken huge strides in driving its economy forward and generating jobs for its nationals. We are keen to partner with the Omani government and play a constructive role in the country’s development,” commented group MD, Rashid Al Balooshi. The first power plant, of 140MW capacity, will be set up in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE to supply electricity exclusively to Musandam and surrounding areas, while another plant, of 120MW capacity, will be set up in central Oman. Ghantoot will also build a 320-room resort hotel in Musandam, and another two hotels comprising a total of 600 rooms. “Our investment in Oman reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth regions in the Middle East,” Al Balooshi added.


Best of ONLINE

Property ROI higher than cash in the bank

Yas Island master plan approved

DAMAC says data from HSBC and CB Richard Ellis proves trend

A new 680 hectare waterfront community for up to 55,000 residents has been approved by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

Rental returns on premium real estate in the UAE have been valued as three times the value of holding cash in a bank account. Wooing local investors, DAMAC Properties has collated information from institutions such as HSBC, Cluttons and CB Richard Ellis, that finds the return on a six month fixed term deposit with HSBC stands at 2.1% while the returns on rent in the UAE can fluctuate from 7 to 12%. “Now that prices have stabilised in premium locations, the high yields make investing in the UAE property market an attractive proposition for any global investor” said Niall Mc Loughlin, senior vice president of DAMAC Properties, who described rental yields as “extraordinarily high”. The returns are further complemented by the local tax environment and absence of capital gains tax. “Over the past couple of years the market has been dominated by end users, but we are now seeing a return of the investors. However,

Niall Mc Loughlin. Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties

unlike the peak of the market in 2008, they are not chasing capital growth; they are focusing on rental yields. It’s a very different market dynamic” Mc Loughlin added. In times of recession the purchase habits of the super rich follow a similar pattern, with many channelling funds into art, rather than banks. Auctioneers Christie’s announced year end results up 9% with Sootheby’s echoing a healthy 14.5%. The Qatari Royal family – the highest investors in contemporary art – will sponsor the forthcoming Damian Hirst exhibition at London’s Tate modern; their recent purchases include Hirst’s Lullaby Spring cabinet (US$15m), and pieces by Roy Lichtenstein totalling ($38m) and Clyfford Still at $61.6m.

Integration of energy efficiency and construction “imperative” The chair of the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), Adnan Sharafi, has said the region’s “tremendous growth” in power and water requirements is only increasing the importance of renewable energy sources. Speaking at the Middle East Electricity Exhibition, held last month in Dubai, Sharafi also drew attention to the nation ‘green economy for sustainable development’ pledge, launched shortly after WFES by H.H. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “The Middle East region is witnessing tremendous growth in requirements for power and water, as well as a growing carbon footprint,

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underlining the need for exploring alternative energy sources and further strengthening energy use efficiency,” said Sharafi. “With the region’s current emphasis on infrastructure development and backed by a growing population, it is imperative that energy efficiency measures are integrated into our built environments. The Middle East Electricity Exhibition serves as an ideal platform for us to share our insights on promoting sustainability,” he added. The council, which endorses The Big Project sister title, BGreen, is the UAE’s official body on environmentally sustainable built environments.

Yas Island Broadway Malyan

Designed by Broadway Malyan for Aldar PJSC, the project will be located on the Emirate’s Yas Island, home to Ferrari World. “The approval of the master plan is a major milestone in the creation of this major new residential area, with the success testament to close partnering with the client and the worldclass skills, expertise and experience of our diverse team of global master planning experts,” said practice director James Rayner. The project will create a series of communities that will become the Island’s residential hub. Surrounded by open space, each community will be linked by road, light rapid transportation (LRT) and cycle networks, in addition to walkways, described as a “key factor in the design”. Surrounding community facilities will include schools, health clinics, extensive sports and recreation facilities, as well as convenience retail and commercial components. The approved master plan has already won an award for the ‘best urban design and master planning project’ at the Abu Dhabi Cityscape Awards 2011.


Caught on camera The men who took these photographs were once working as labourers on construction sites but when their employer absconded during the economic downturn, they were left without passports or money. The Big Project visits a unique photography project helping them to capture their own plight


little under three years ago, photo journalist Karen Dias heard about a group of construction labourers living at an abandoned labour camp, with no utilities, money or passports. They had been “adopted” by founder and head of labourers’ charity Adopt A Camp, Saher Shaikh, who was working to provide them with medical aid, language classes and employment opportunities, and also recover their passports. In a mission to raise awareness of their situation, Dias empowered the men to tell their story through photography; providing cameras and running workshops.

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“What is sad about this story is the employers: they are business men who decided the labourers from their firms were not their responsibility” Struggling to find an exhibition space, Diaz and Shaikh, teamed up with Gulf Photos Plus who donated their space in al Qouz, Dubai, and in January the ‘Inside Sajja: A Labour of Light’ exhibition opened. “What is sad about this story is the employers: they are business men who decided the labourers from their firms were not their responsibility so when their business went under, or they absconded or were put in jail, the men were left without passports and not paid what they were owed,” says Miranda McKee from Gulf Photo Plus.

During the exhibition, large prints will be sold for 400 AED, with postcard-sized prints also available for 20 AED. All proceeds fromthe print sales will be distributed directly and evenly to the workers involved in the project. “This is talent in the most unexpected places. It’s a really positive story of how the men are being helped,” commented Shaikh. Visit The Big Project online to read the interview with Karen Diaz and Saher Shaikh and see the full gallery | 17

TALK | Hossam Al Rashoudi LEFT: Maskan’s residential developments follow a traditional style.

Regulating responsibility Saudi Arabia’s housing shortage is nothing new, but developer Maskan Arabia is looking to tackle the issue through the introduction of new construction techniques and materials. CEO Hossam Al Rashoudi speaks to Melanie Mingas.


study conducted by Maskan Arabia last year, concluded that less than 10% of Riyadh’s required 40,000 units of affordable real estate were handed over in 2011. It’s a single element in a myriad of problems currently affecting Saudi Arabia’s real estate industry, which Maskan Arabia CEO Hossam Al Rashoudi traces back to the unregulated land prices and resulting lack of trust among traders, developers and investors, linked within the Kingdom’s industry. “Today we lack an elevated quality in housing developers in Saudi Arabia and most developers investing in projects are producing sub-standard projects, and the high price of land is continuing to have an effect on this,” Al Rashoudi says, commenting that the newly introduced mortgage law alone will not be enough to tackle the issues. Maskan aspires to “create a difference” in its sector, and reflects its ethic even in the management structure; focussing on a small but strong workforce of 70 specially skilled managers. As co-founder, it was Al Rashoudi who developed the business plan, vision and mission.

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“Saudi Arabia’s other sectors, such as the financial, commercial and industrial, are all regulated. Real estate is one of the biggest sectors and yet it is unregulated” ABOVE: Hossam Al Rashoudi.

Last month, the company signed a project financing contract worth SAR 283 million with BLOMINVEST, the National Commercial Bank and IBAR Development, to build 400 housing units around Riyadh. The project will add to a portfolio that has grown steadily since the company was

established in 2008; 200 residential units have already been completed and the development of a further 200 will begin this year, in addition to the BLOMINVEST deal. According to Alahli Bank, also involved in the new contract, the real estate sector is second only to oil in the development of the country.

construction techniques and materials, to keep prices low.

Al dar premium villas project was awarded first prize, at the Saudi Arabian Building and Infrastructure Summit 2011.

Maturity requirements

“Saudi Arabia’s other sectors, such as the financial, commercial and industrial, are all regulated. Real estate is one of the biggest sectors and yet it is unregulated,” Al Rashoudi says. “Saudi Arabia is bigger than all the GCC and all its real estate markets combined. You cannot bring in the procedures used in other markets because they are not tailored to its demands. You need experts to devise the regulations; experts who understand the local requirements and can devise regulations that are Shariah compliant,” he continues.


While regulatory requirements continue to grow, so too does the need for new residential developments. Current real estate stock is not only in short supply, but cultural factors are driving change in the social landscape, with needs for smaller and individual units also increasing. “The people most in need of housing are Saudi nationals. These people need privacy in their own homes and some require smaller, individual units, so we do have a plan to explore multiple unit development later this year,” Al Rashoudi explains. Observing the fact that the average age of nationals is 21, and that land values have increased 100% over the last five years – 30% over the last 12 months alone – Al Rashoudi

“Housing is apriority for King Abdullah, and I think that having such political support from government will make it much more possible to improve and implement change” summarises the reasons for change in three points: new families are being formed; families require different sized accommodation to previously; and domestic and foreign families are being located to new cities and demanding their own accommodation. With land prices hindering many solutions, one method through which Maskan is attempting to solve the problem is by using new

For Al Rashoudi, all the Kingdom’s housing issues can be tackled with a single solution; regulation. Vast plots of land are owned by businessmen, who face no taxation or service charges yet attached huge price tags for anybody who wants to buy the land for development. Saying that taxation on the land alone would provide greater incentive to sell, he adds that without regulation developers will leave. “It’s good to be regulated and regulation is needed to improve the market and assist it in maturing. This can all be solved in the near future, but if we continue like today developers will be forced out of the market. The new mortgage law, once introduced, won’t be enough to solve this.” It’s not just the private sector losing out. Al Rashoudi says municipalities are facing huge additional costs in infrastructure and related projects, which must by-pass land that is privately owned and too expensive to build over or through. “The real estate market in the Kingdom needs to mature. It is not regulated and therefore does not have the legislation needed to guide it. As a result land prices are dictated by landlords. “The real estate market in the UAE is a very good model, but totally different. The UAE market is a speculator’s market and the Saudi Arabian market is based on real demand. The UAE has regulations and taxation structures, but they haven’t got the regulation on the financial side of things to back up.” The problem may be cyclic, but the bottom line according to Al Rashoudi is “trust, trust, trust”; generated by growth in market, which can only happen if developers can afford to build. Adding to that is the fact that such a young market can seldom afford to have its reputation tarnished – and trust shattered – by bad developments. “Housing is apriority for King Abdullah, and I think that having such political support from government will make it much more possible to improve and implement change,” Al Rashoudi says. “It’s a young industry and the current practices are hurting it.” | 21

TALK | Hossam Al Rashoudi

“This can all be solved in the near future, but if we continue like today developers will be forced out of the market”

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Time to change

LEFT: Last year’s exhibition

Taking place March 25-27 at the Jeddah Hilton, Gulf Environment and Sustainable Development Forum will tackle the issues surrounding Saudi Arabia’s waste management, renewable energy water and waste water industries in light of the growing number of mega projects. Robert Ferrari, international vice president for SNC-Lavalin Environment, previews his presentation Why is GEF important for construction and infrastructure development?

The events like GEF raise the awareness of the Gulf industries of the importance of environmental protection, facilitate the discussions among policy makers on how to create policies and incentives, and enforcement mechanism conducive to develop Green economy; and demonstrate practical ways of delivering projects and operating production facilities in a sustainable manner.

What are you hoping to achieve through your participation at the event?

I will speak at the “Panel Discussion: Making the Business Case for Sustainability in Industry: Cost, Tangible Benefits and ROI”. The topic of my presentation is “Sustainability throughout the project life cycle: Challenges and Opportunities”.  I wish to discuss the importance of taking into consideration sustainability in every stage of the project life cycle. Despite overall good intention towards long-term sustainability, in reality we are facing a lot of challenges to break away from the traditional approach, and develop and build a project in a more environmental friendly manner. Not only because of the additional financial burden for taking extra measures, but also because of the organizational and institutional challenges brought by the changes. We need to work together to turn today’s challenges into opportunities for us and future generations.

What are the biggest challenges facing sustainable development in the region?

The extremely hot climate, desert environment, lack of water resources and delicate situations of local bio species are some of the natural challenges faced, but on top of that, the structure of local industries (predominantly centred around oil and gas, chemicals and petrochemicals) is prone to consume more energy. The lack of efficient public transportation means (metro, LRT, BRT, and train) in most countries in the region and the very affordable prices/tariffs of petroleum and electricity do not contribute to encourage the local habitants in adopting more sustainable ways of daily commuting and life.

How is your organisation committed to sustainable development and or protection of the environment?

SNC-Lavalin is a total solutions service company, and we have a responsibility to inform our clients on how to integrate sustainability throughout every project’s life cycle and to promote the good sense of sustainability to clients and stakeholders, contributing and creating shared value. The concept is not new to us. In 1917, cofounder Arthur Surveyer said that “an engineer is a person familiar with known scientific truths and respectful of the laws of nature, one who plans, executes, and economically manages works that will improve the comfort and well being of humanity”.

Have attitudes towards protection of the environment changed in the region within the construction sector? Yes. There are encouraging signs that several oil and gas companies and construction industry players are taking a proactive attitude and concrete measures to protect environment. Saudi Aramco is a good example.

ABOVE: Robert Ferrari

“We are facing challenges to break away from the traditional approach”

To read interviews with Dr Mustafa A. Ukayli, Director of Maaden Corp and Dr Amyn Dhaya, CEO of GEMS-UtilEco and Professor Professor Tahir Hussain from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, visit: | 23


countries will be represented at the EXHIBITION

LEFT AND ABOVE: last year’s show.

Strong industry; solid growth This month The Big 5 returns to Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events. At twice the size of the 2011 show, it will be supported by a number of satellite events. Here, John Drewett, leader of the Concrete Repair workshop, gives his insights into the Kingdom’s unique conditions and the document designed to assist those managing concrete structures

$7.1 m increase in the value of Saudi Arabia’s construction market over the last two yearS

“This is an expensive exercise and may require temporary closure of the structure while the work is undertaken”

Why is corrosion control knowledge particularly important for concrete structures in Saudi Arabia?

Concrete on its own does not present a corrosion problems but it is often used in construction with steel reinforcement to provide strength in tension. This steel is protected from corrosion when embedded in highly alkaline concrete with low levels of chloride ions. However the environment in Saudi Arabia can be quite saline due to the marine environment and soil conditions. Over a period of time chlorides can penetrate the concrete and initiate rapid corrosion of the steel reinforcement which leads to a reduction in the structural capacity. It is important to understand the corrosion process to reduce the risk of steel reinforcement corrosion in new concrete and deal with the problem when it does occur.

How can corrosion monitoring benefit asset managers in Saudi Arabia?

All concrete structures will deteriorate with time and this will lead to steel corrosion. In Saudi Arabia the warm climate and high chloride levels can lead to very rapid corrosion pitting of the steel. When there is visual evidence of corrosion on the surface of the concrete the steel will often require replacement to restore the structural integrity. This is an expensive exercise and may require temporary closure of the structure while the work is undertaken. By using buried probes in the concrete asset managers can remotely monitor the condition of the concrete and install a corrosion control system before it becomes necessary to undertake expensive repairs. | 25



of the show’s participants are from outside Saudi Arabia


“The Concrete Society in the UK has published a new document which includes a model specification” Why are FRP composites successfully used to reinstate structural integrity in concrete structures?

There are many reasons why concrete structures need to be strengthened such as concrete deterioration, increased loading, change of use and poor construction. Steel has traditionally been used to strengthen concrete but this increase the dead load and there is an on-going problem protecting the steel from corrosion. FRP composites are a combination of high strength fibres and resins fixed to the surface of the concrete with an adhesive which act like an external reinforcement system. These materials are lightweight, thin and very durable so they are ideally suited for use in the Saudi Arabian construction sector.

Why is it important for asset managers in Saudi Arabia to regularly inspect their concrete buildings and structures?

The aggressive environment in Saudi Arabia can cause concrete structures to fail prematurely because it makes it difficult to achieve high quality concrete on site and the saline environment can lead to corrosion of the reinforcement. This makes it important to undertake regular surveys of the concrete to identify any deterioration before it becomes a major problem. There are a variety of NDT survey techniques available to enable asset managers to report on the condition of the concrete and by comparing results over a number of years the rate of deterioration can be identified which can they be used to predict when repairs will become necessary.

Why is cathodic protection often used in the Saudi Arabian market for corrosion control in concrete?

Corrosion control is an electrochemical process where the corrosion site is the anodic site and the passive areas of steel are the cathodic sites. The anodic sites are acting like sacrificial anodes so if traditional concrete repairs are undertaken at the anodic site where the steel is corroding the corrosion will start again on steel nearby. The only effective way to deal with this problem is to use an electrochemical solution called cathodic protection which utilises an anode installed on or in the concrete making the steel reinforcement cathodic and thus in a passive state. Cathodic protection has been used

26 |

400 exhibitors expected at this year’s Big 5 KSA

very effectively for new and existing structures in Saudi Arabia to stop corrosion of the steel reinforcement.

What changes have taken place in international guidance notes which will be of benefit to asset managers in Saudi Arabia?

Andy White, event director, The Big 5 Saudi

“The success of the inaugural event in 2011 blew us away, we saw more than 9000 visitors attend and an impressive 306 exhibitors representing 28 countries. Having to double the size of space available in just the second year is a fantastic representation of the need for such an event in the Saudi market and the long-term interest that the industry is investing there. We anticipate that there will be more than 400 exhibitors at this year’s event, with more than 60 per cent of those already signed up representing international entities – a unique exhibitor dynamic for an event in this region, where the local companies tend to make up most of the participants.”

Over the last two years there have been a number of new documents issued which will assist in the management of concrete structures. The Concrete Society in the UK has published a new document Technical Report No. TR73 “Cathodic Protection of Steel in Concrete” which includes a model specification. At the same time it is about to publish revision 3 for Technical Report No. 55 “Design Guidance for Strengthening Concrete Structures using Fibre Composite Materials”. There is also the new European Standard EN 1504 “Products and Systems for the Protection and Repair of Concrete Structures” which covers the inspection, repair specification, execution of the works, quality control and on-going maintenance.

The Big 5 will take over a space twice the size of the inaugural Jeddah event, held in 2011. Running alongside the show will be: Concrete Zone Facilities Management Zone Concrete Repair Workshop, March 11 LEED Workshops, March 11

FOAMGLAS® FOAMGLAS® Insulation Insulation

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SUPPLIER FOCUS | DuRAVIT The event at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.

“By organizing the spa event, Duravit assumed a trendsetting role in the industry, which keeps us in the customer’s mind on a long term basis” 28 |


The Blue Moon suite was also on display.

Discover the spa with us At the end of February, sanitary ware manufacturer and supplier Duravit displayed its spa and home bathroom furniture in a special event at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Area manager Toni El Kadi explains how the company captured the attention of the consumer market


n cooperation with United Supplies Est, Duravit took over a prime space at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates for three days last month to strengthen its reach into the consumer market. With the tag line “discover the spa with us”, a range of spa products were on display, along with a bathroom

series featuring steam showers; the signature ‘floating bath tub’ and other products from the worldwide catalogue; on a weekend when more than 200,000 people visited the mall. “We pursued the goal to enable the visitors to experience our vision of ‘living bathrooms’,” comments area manager for the UAE, Oman and Qatar, Toni El Kadi. | 29


“Getting attention is a very complex task that always requires new approaches and innovative ideas. In order to reach our customers, we are constantly looking for new ways of communication”

Inipi sauna room.

“It is important to note, that being successful could be evaluated in different manner. First of all, I would like to mention that being located at the Mall of the Emirates, surrounded by both Arabic and western luxury labels, drew considerable attention to our brand and our products. “Secondly, we welcomed national and international visitors, and our partner United Supplies Est. noticed the great response and recorded a rush of visitors after the event,” El Kadi adds.

Living bathrooms

Providing business opportunity comparable in size to the largest trade exhibitions, El Kadi says continuous contact with the consumer market plays a leading role in day to day business.

30 |

“We are of the opinion that the external impact of a company and its brand is a key success factor in competition. “Nowadays, getting attention is a very complex task that always requires new approaches and innovative ideas. In order to reach our customers, we are constantly looking for new ways of communication. “In an environment like this, we are able to get directly in touch with the consumer. “The functional products also aroused the curiosity of many visitors and made it easy to get in contact. “Moreover, by organizing the spa event, Duravit assumed a trendsetting role in the industry, which keeps us in the customer’s mind on a long term basis,” El Kadi adds.

Project update | regional airports

An aerial view of the airport and iconic ‘wave’ roof; inspired by the Arabian Gulf.

Runaway record Tepe Akfen Gulf regional director Yusuf Akcayoglu tells The Big Project about working on Doha Airport’s Sky Oryx Joint Venture and Medina Prince Abdulaziz International Airport, the first PPP financed transportation infrastructure project in the GCC


ABOVE: Yusuf Akcayoglu, TAV’s Gulf regional manager.

32 |

urkish contractor Tepe Akfen (TAV) won the contract for New Doha International Airport’s passenger terminal complex in 2006. Working alongside projects partners Taisei Corporation and Bechtel Incorporated, the joint venture is known as the Sky Oryx JV and is executed under the direction of Qatar’s Government and a specificly appointed steering committee. At the project’s peak there were 20,000 labourers and 3500 engineers on the 600,000 sqm site. International reports estimate the budget stands at US$11.1billion. “Coordination of this multi-national workforce is a great challenge,” says TAV’s Gulf regional director Yusuf Akcayoglu.

“Procurement and logistics were tremendous challenges on this project. To coordinate and ensure the timely delivery of thousands of materials, systems coming from hundreds of suppliers, we employed a team of 100 at our procurement department,” he adds. The eye catching architecture, while iconic, also added to the complicated logistics. To create the wave effect – a feature inspired by the waves of the Arabian Gulf – 70,000 tons of structural steel was erected. TAV’s responsibilities in the project include the construction of the main terminal building, where a huge retail area will be supported by a 100 room hotel inclusive of spa facilities;

Green air

It may be intended for an industry perceived to be one of the least ‘green’ in the world, but the carbon footprint of the airport will be dramatically reduced due to a number of measures taken in the design and construction of the terminal. Insulation and low reflective materials have been applied to reduce the impact of the soaring desert temperatures and the terminal building façade has rotating, moveable louvers, to optimise sunlight exposure.

“By optimising the sunlight radiating into the terminal building, the interior lighting and temperature levels are automatically controlled,” Akcayoglu explains, adding: “Carbon-dioxide sensors, deployed within various sections of the terminal building, monitor the occupancy in the building in order to adjust flow of conditioned air inside the terminal building; which eventually reduces the load on equipment.” Supporting these measures is a waste and waste water infrastructure described by Akcayoglu as “massive”. The measures all fall under the firm’s HSE policy, which facilitated the achievement last year of 65 million man-hours without fatality or lost time to injury, verified by Bechtel, who also recognised TAV among its 100 top contractors in its awards. “We had a challenging schedule to meet. We never compromised safety or quality at construction and the main criteria for our award was outstanding performance coupled with adherence to safety and quality at work,” Akcayoglu recalls. The latest safety figures were released in January of this year and also show that first aid injury saw a 75% reduction over 2011.


seven-star lounges; 102 check in counters; and 33 boarding gates. In addition, TAV will construct concourses A, B and C; the vertical circular node; and the elevated roadway. “New Doha International Airport will soon be the hub to the nation’s glorious airline. We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the quality of our work to millions of passengers that will pass through the airport as Qatar Airways continues its exponential growth. “We believe that this project will be another reflection of the close ties between Qatar and Turkey.”

Project update | regional airports

“We had a challenging schedule to meet. We never compromised safety or quality at construction. Under our Zero Accident Philosophy, we achieved 65 million man-hours without fatality and lost time injury in 2011”

Future models

The project may be a milestone for Qatar, but it’s far from a first in TAV’s airport portfolio. From the first project on the Istanbul Atatürk International Airport in 1997, the contracting giant has completed no less than nine airport projects in Turkey, Dubai, Egypt and Georgia, and currently has a further seven under development in Qatar, Oman, Macedonia and Saudi Arabia. “With our success at large-scale airport developments, we are one of the globally leading contractors for this industry and Engineering News Record, one of the most reputable publications recognised by the construction industry, ranks us among the top five airport contractors in the World since 2008,” says Akcayoglu continuing to say that the next step is to achieve first position. In Muscat, the contract for work on the city’s International Airport covers an airside and landside infrastructure construction package including the runway-apron-taxiway systems. Elsewhere, Akcayoglu lists Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal Complex package; the new passenger terminal at Kuwait’s International Airport; and the terminal expansion project at Bahrain International Airport as being “on our radar”. | 33

Project update | regional airports

“We believe that this project will be another reflection of the close ties between Qatar and Turkey”

Underneath the wave effect canopy at NDIA.

In Saudi Arabia, TAV leads a consortium of national conglomerates; Saudi Oger and Al Rajhi Holding and will be responsible for the design, build and operation of the airport for 25 years. Upon completion of the Medina Prince Abdulaziz International Airport, passenger capacity will increase to 16 million within a decade. With a first phase expansion budget of more than $1 billion, the airport is the first PPP funded transport infrastructure project in the GCC. While Akcayoglu highlights such models are usually implemented when there is a shortage of funding, he explains that the application of this financing structure in the Middle East can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the development and incentivise all parties to shorten the period before ROI is achieved. “The PPP model optimises each party’s interests and the public sector still has the final word

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on decisions taken for the development. The expert company or group brings in the know how, operational experience and financing into the picture in a more timely and less complex manner. “Hence, the consortium that undertakes the contract is encouraged to make the development operational rapidly, as the early completion means early revenue generation,” he says, continuing to list further benefits as the added value a completed project brings to the country and the mitigation of “discrepancies” during the operation readiness/ airport transfer stage (ORAT), which therefore speeds up the process. “The implementation of PPP at Medina Airport will prove that this model is doable. Therefore, in the Gulf, I think that we may hear some more transportation projects awarded under the same scheme in the near future.”

The terminal

24 million passengers expected annually 102 check-in counters located on 5 check-in islands 135 elevators 76 escalators 42 travelators 11 baggage claim carousels 72 passenger loading bridges located at 33 boarding gates. 100-room hotel with spa

Retail area 7-star lounges

COVER STORY | King of the region

King of the region

Saudi Arabia's current infrastructure and public spending programme is worth US$35 billion and will provide 38,000km of new roads, railway network, four new airports, houses, hospitals, schools, ports and industrial developments for the Kingdom's ever growing population. In the mega project pipe line are six new cities, a nationwide rail network and the world's next record breaking skyscraper. The Big Project looks at a selection of the biggest developments transforming the Kingdom over the coming decade

36 |


sking anybody in the industry which GCC market heralds the greatest opportunity for future projects, and the answer will always be Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom’s nominal GDP grew 28% in 2011, according to data from the Central Department of Statistics and massive public spending budgets will see the country transformed within the decade. From the grit of industrial development to the glamour of mega projects, not even Qatar’s World Cup can overshadow the phenomenal growth of a Kingdom many cannot even enter. Saudi Arabia isn’t just building individual towers, housing projects, or malls. It is building entire cities at a time; nationwide transport and utilities infrastructure; industrial bases and ports will soon spring up on both coasts; and in its strategy to diversity from the oil based economy while retaining its position as the world’s

COVER STORY | King of the region

powerhouse, the Kingdom is even pursuing renewable energy projects. Currently there are officially four economic cities under construction, which will become hubs for petrochemicals, mining, knowledge and logistics based economies. Upon completion they are predicted to contribute $150 billion annually to GDP, generating more than one million jobs. The 2011 budget, part of Saudi Arabia’s series of five year development plans, allocated $6.72billion to transportation and telecommunications, that can be used to construction 36,800km of new roads; four new airports; railways and ports designed to support the mega projects and economic cities. Affordable housing will also be boosted with investments to the tune of $67 billion – enough for 500,000 new units – and in realising its tourism aspirations, Saudi Arabia may look to Mecca,

the region that has recently completed a number of transport infrastructure projects to serve the six million pilgrims who visit for Hajj and Umra. With a number of hospitality projects also supporting the demand, a budget of $120 billion has been allocated for development over the coming decade. The Mecca metro line was completed in time for the arrival of 2011’s Hajj pilgrims and its new airport terminal is the world’s busiest for the six weeks a year it is open. Currently, Saudi Arabia retains its place at the top of the active projects list, with 1026 projects valued at US$1.102 trillion currently underway in the Kingdom. The pace may have been set last decade, but in the second half of 2011, the value of awarded contracts surpassed that of the whole of 2010. The coming decade is undoubtedly set to see the launch of projects worth billions of dollars more.

"Saudi Arabia retains its place at the top of the active projects list, with 1,026 projects valued at US$1.102 trillion currently underway in the Kingdom." | 37

COVER STORY | King of the region

“The vision of constructing the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah, belongs to HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal"

The mega project: Kingdom Tower It's the US$1.2 billion mega tower that has been planned since before Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was even completed, and since the tender was first announced in August 2011, work has progressed rapidly.

38 |

largest compaLaden Group , will by Environment Design Inc, Tomasetti and partners Samual Abdulrahman Sharbatly. Also involved Architects; and whose Adrian designed the icon. Occupation is begin within a five years and the building will feaSeasons hotel; serviced apartspace; luxury ums and the highobservatory.

nies) Saudi Bin be supported Systems Thornton development Bakhsh and Hassan is HOK AS+GG, Smith anticipated to staggering mixed-use ture Four Four Seasons ments; office condominiworld’s next est

Kingdom Holding Company currently has a 47.5% stake in the Four Seasons chain, which is co-owned by Bill Gates' Cascade and Four Seasons' chairman Isadore Sharp. The surrounding Kingdom City will feature the 23 hectare Kingdom Tower Waterfront District, mall and communal outdoor spaces, punctuated with residential and commercial buildings. "Prince Alwaleed, Mr. Bakhsh, Mr. Sharbatly and I were impressed by the boldness and simplicity of the AS+GG design. Kingdom Tower's height is remarkable, obviously, but the building's iconic status will not depend solely on that aspect. Its form is brilliantly sculpted, making it quite simply the most beautiful building in the world of any height. "The decision of the partners to build the world's tallest building further demonstrates their belief in investing in this nation," Eng. Al Maiman adds.

Kingdom Tower | 39

COVER STORY | King of the region


n February 21 the final licences were granted for construction of Kingdom Tower; the supertall reaching so high it has increased the average height of current projects worldwide and heralded a new age in skyscraper design. "The vision of constructing the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah belongs to HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who was closely involved in the selection of the scheme currently under design," says Eng. Talal Al Maiman, executive director of development and domestic investments and board member of Kingdom Holding Company and Jeddah Economic Company (JEC). Kingdom Tower will rise more than 1000 metres above a 5.3 million sqm city to the north of Jeddah, on which construction began in January of this year. Including the project budget for the surrounding Kingdom City, investment is expected to reach $20 billion. Bringing together the who’s who of the industry, contractor (and one of Saudi Arabia’s

COVER STORY | King of the region

153 bridges in total are to be constructed for the railway; 20 are already complete


SR 612m

stormwater culverts required, with engineering designs on 526 of these completed and 200 already constructed.

agreement with Spanish Company CAF to supply eight train sets for the Dammam passenger network

King Abdulla Financial District


King Abdulla Economic City D escribed as an “economic city that will evolve over time”, King Abdulla Economic City (KAEC) will undergo phased construction and completion over a 20 year period, which began in 2006. With development headed by Emaar The Economic City, phase one was completed in 2011 and incorporated the seaport, industrial zone, business park and city districts. Today investors are committing to the city and beginning operations in these areas. A contract for $1.3bn was signed last year for phase two. Built along a 64km stretch of coastline, in total the five phases will cover a total area of 168 sqkm, similar to the size of Washington DC. The vision is to establish “the greatest enabler of socioeconomic development in the Kingdom”, and the journey to achieving that will

involve Parsons International Ltd, WATG, Skidmore Owings and Merril, and RSP. Built with the future in mind, the city will be equipped to provide housing and jobs for a population twice the size of Bahrain’s. Transport infrastructure will cover an integrated, multi-modal system for passengers and freight, with rail lines linking to the Landbridge project and Makkah-Madinah high speed line, connecting to all major cities in the country. Energy and water will be provided by two power plants and two desalination plants, located adjacent to the seaport and all will be linked by an integrated telecoms network. Total investment was initially pegged at around $100 billion; $13.6 billion of which will be purely industrial investment.

40 |


iyadh’s custom built financial district is economically designed to meet targets in economic diversification, employment and living standards. The state of the art – and financial regulated – district spans more than 3 million sqm, and will be the region's first financial district to meet such criteria. The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) will secure the sustained dominance of Saudi Arabia as the largest economy and financial centre within the region. It will house the largest community of financial and related professionals and also the headquarters of Capital Market Authority, the Stock Exchange, banks, financial institutions, and all supporting financial and IT service industries. Also constructed by the Saudi Bin Laden Group, Henning Larsen leads the urban planning and also devised sustainability guidelines for the development, including monorail connection between districts and air conditioned footbridges over street level. Through the “optimisation” of building proportions Henning Larsen says it has also managed to

lower the temperature of the city’s outdoor areas by up to 8˚C, through the application of facade materials that “maintain” humidity, vegetation and water features. The firm is also acting as consultant during construction to ensure its objectives are met. Complementing this vision, US architects FX Fowle designed 10 separate projects, including the Mosque, business towers and residential elements. The district will also set up a solar rooftop plant in Riyadh on the roofs a number of clusters. The irst and largest 200-kilowatt rooftop plant in Riyadh, will be installed by Conergy and local partner Modern Times Technical Systems (MTTS). Over 800 Conergy PowerPlus 230M modules will be installed on nearly 1.7 kilometres of Conergy SunTop III mounting systems spread over 1300 square metres. The plant’s 330 MWh annual output will be fed into Riyadh’s power grid via 14 string inverters. In 2010, Conergy erected the kingdom’s first rooftop solar plant at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

COVER STORY | King of the region

Ontrack T

he backbone of Saudi Arabia’s industrial and economic development will depend on the extension of its railway system. Developed under the instruction of the Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO), a recent meeting addressed the progress of the current civil works being undertaken between Mecca and Medina via Jeddah – comprising phase one of the Haramain High Speed Rail project (HHSRP) – where “a number” of bridges and culverts are now ready to be constructed. Admitting the project has faced some challenges along the way, SRO president, H.E Abdul Aziz Al Hokail, said the restructuring of bridges and the relocation of utility installations on Al Haramain Road is both the most difficult and important part of the project. More than 45 bridges, including the Pilgrim Terminal Bridge and the Air Base Bridge on Al Haramain Road have been completed while work is underway on 154 other bridges. In addition, 500 flood drainage culverts have been constructed. Phase two, the construction of stations along the track, is “progressing according to schedule” now Spanish consortium Al Shoula is directly in charge of the sites. The contract between SRO and Al Shoula is worth SR 30.815 billion. Al Shoula will be responsible for construction of railway tracks; installation of signaling systems and communication; electrification and

operational control centre; the procurement of rolling stock; equipment and maintenance of rolling stock and entire infrastructure for a period of 12 years; as well as providing additional energy to meet the growing demand over the concession period. The cross country Landbridge project, will welcome designs from this month, according to SRO and the state owned Public Investment Fund (PIF). The line will be a major freight track for goods and shipping containers moving from Jeddah Islamic Port to Riyadh Dry Port and the King Abdul Aziz Port. Tenders on a 1300km stretch of the project will be launched soon after and there is also a study under way for a link of the Landbridge with King Abdullah Industrial Port in Rabigh The SRC is preparing to issue an operating license and safety certificate for North-South railway, implemented by Saudi Railway Company (SAR), and SRO upgrade, King Abdullah Financial District Monorail, Madinah metro, Makkah metro and HHR. Another Spanish company, CAF, will supply eight diesel train sets with top speeds of 200km/h for the Dammam passenger network as part of a SR 612m agreement. These will cut travel times between Dammam and Riyadh to 3 hours. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance says that combined: “These projects

“These projects will represent a quantum leap in the transport sector in the Kingdom and enter it into a new era to take advantage of the technique of high speed trains in transporting passengers" will represent a quantum leap in the transport sector in the Kingdom and enter it into a new era to take advantage of the technique of high speed trains in transporting passengers”. Considered to be one of the most extensive networks in the world, the completed network will then join to Qatar’s planned railway by 2022. Current railway: linking Dammam, Riyahd and Hardh North south: Linking Al Hadeetha to Riyadh in the south and Jubail in the east Landbridge: Linking Jeddah to Dammam High speed: North of Rabigh to Mecca Future: Yanbu to Gazan, and Khamis Mesheet to the Landbridge line | 41


AECOM’s assistant project manager for the Doha Port project, Romi Sebastian, asks why traditional architecture is ignored today


ver the last decade, the architecture in the Middle East if carefully observed somehow seems to make do without any character. The cities are getting choked in a jungle of concrete, steel and glass. Architecture here is needlessly influenced by concepts predominantly from the West. One of the more difficult problems for expatriates in understanding the cities of the Middle East is their relative lack of a public realm. Globalisation has given form to buildings that resemble objects, have match-box designs with unfortunate functional separations. Designs are built burdened by unnecessary stylistic demands. There seems to be this inherent copy-paste mindset among designers. This advocates methods of tweaking ideas from one cultural context and illogically pasting them onto another. As an architect, I often wonder why there is a perception that any element of the Middle East heritage - be it cultural or spiritual – is identified with the past and backwardness. Why is Glass considered to be a material that symbolises ‘progress’ in the Middle East whereas traditional and practical materials like mud, clay, limestone are often related to concepts of backwardness and poverty? This process of disassociating with one’s own heritage is a very harmful one.

Designing personality

Being the tallest, biggest and longest does not lend personality to the architecture of a place. In recent years, the idea of building ‘green’ has been imported. I see these as being temporary trends set up to support marketing of related fields of construction activity. Sophisticated and expensive intelligent service systems are still marketed, sold and applied. The ‘green’ term is certainly abused and misunderstood by most of the engineering empire. Architects now depend much on intelligent service systems to make up for their neglect in the basic building design. If well designed, a building’s skin should be able to breathe when needed, to shade when required and be responsive to the conditions inside and outside it. One would not require so called ‘Green’ or ‘intelligent’ engineering methods to supplement for a sluggish design process. Targeting maximum LEED points especially in GCC countries requires more common sense

Why is traditional design perceived as “backward”?

and deeper understanding of the effect. I also urge clients/developers to be open minded pertaining to their LEED vision. Inappropriate implementation of add-on techniques has more often than not led to cumbersome processes. Advocating bicycle tracks or trying to invest in a rain-water harvesting system in the Middle East are some instances. Inexperienced individuals do not realise that considering these in GCC countries is a waste of wealth, effort and energy considering the facts that lay before us. For example, the average rate of annual rainfall in the Middle East is significantly less, although ocassionally of higer intensity, but this is not a strong criterion. By trying to harvest rain in the Middle East, one does not actually collect water. It turns into a scenario of collecting mud, dirt, contaminated water. This water then requires additional treatment for reuse - simply meaning one needs to use adequate chemicals and systems to treat it; one requires to spend money for this treatment system; more water is essential just to backwash the filters; electricity is required to operate pumps and trained manpower to maintain the tanks. In short, there’s no benefit for this idea but an endless and incessant burden.

While it may fetch you extra points in the LEED ratings, the whole initiative if analysed is a wasteful one.

Common sense

I do agree to the vision of LEED and the benefit of this to people and the environment. However, professionals must realise the appropriate implementation of this is in the right place and at the right time. There is no point in accommodating ample green ideas and techniques and ultimately land up with a building that’s not comfortable to live or work in. Common sense is the key. Traditional Islamic architecture included many innovative, functional and ecological design principles but none of them have been perpetuated by the new generation architects. As architects, we have to convince the Middle East’s elites and ourselves that the optimistic concept of importing ideas of ’progress’ will only kill the character of a place and its public realm. The future of architecture desperately lies in logical design, controlled urban growth and in the acceptance of one’s own cultural roots. Let us then, go back to these roots. | 43


Missing cultural roots


Moving with the old times The UAE may have one of the highest carbon footprints in the world, but it’s emerging as a regional building and sustainable practices leader. Speaking with industry experts, Praseeda Nair chairs a discussion panel on the shift back to sustainable architecture

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Where does the UAE currently stand in terms of sustainable architecture?

Thomas Bohlen: The UAE has made a lot of progress since 2008 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed announced that all buildings in Dubai need to be green. That’s when DP World decided to take that up as a shield to promote all their buildings in all their units to be green. As a result of that, quite a few buildings have been certified and constructed green. I know from the LEED standpoint that there are at least 100 green buildings being constructed right now in the UAE.

Saeed Alabbar: A lot of progress has been made since 2008. Trakhees regulates anything within the realm of the Dubai Municipality, and in Abu Dhabi we have Estidama. A lot of new buildings need to be certified by some sort of rating scheme, however, we need to keep in mind that the new buildings only represent a small percentage of the total stock. TB: Dubai’s regulations, similar to LEED, lists about a hundred building requirements to be met. Currently these are optional, but it’s a step that will result in a lot of green buildings once the rules are in effect.

TB: There are a lot of buildings from the last few years that were not built sustainably in terms of insulation, and are not using high efficiency equipment. In terms of design, they didn’t meet fresh air requirements, there was a lot of glazing used that was definitely not up to par in terms of U- values and shading coefficients. Energy and water efficiency were clearly not considered by those developers at that time. A lot of buildings still don’t have a management system for HVAC and the ones that do, aren’t well-managed. Monica Palmer: The focus should perhaps shift to refurbishing and revamping the existing buildings, because if you compare what has been built and what will be built, there is a lot

green buildings fall down. Once they get their occupancy, everybody forgets about sustainable principles and continue with their operations as usual.

Ghadi Abou Zeid: If you take the case of refurbishing a building, you might retrofit an energy efficient light solution, and also include controls like daylight harvesting and motion harvesting.

How can green building owners keep a check on management practices?

SA: This issue here is that the new buildings, regardless of how green they may be, make up a very small fraction of the nation’s total building stock. Secondly, this notion of certifying something as -green or sustainable to me seems quite ludicrous. These rating systems and certifications are a means to getting to where we want to go, not the end-all. The operation phase needs to be looked at in detail. Projected energy and water efficiency numbers set the framework for the building to be operated efficiently, but if you’re not having that efficiency in operation you’re not achieving what these requirements are based on. TB: That’s absolutely true. There is a plan called LEED Existing Buildings and Operations, where they follow-up on the measurement verification. It’s good for buildings to be constructed green but they need to be operated as green buildings as well, and that’s where a lot of

TB: Energy and water consumption are the easiest to keep tabs on, but one of biggest things that we can’t control is human behaviour. We have to change our attitudes. It’s a paradigm shift in terms of social and cultural awareness towards sustainability. MP: It’s all about education, and in fact targeting children in schools is a useful way of engaging the public to think sustainably. Even offices could train and motivate their staff to be more conscious about the environment. SA: Also, it comes down to a reporting issue in transparency of data. Not a lot of people know how energy efficient their building is per square metre and how that compares. If an office sees that they’re consuming twice as much as the office next door, it can automatically incentivise people. I guess that’s incentivising people through shame rather than through motivation. | 45

Photographs by Marlou Delaben

How do existing buildings measure up compared to new green buildings?

of room for improvement. About three years ago, there were only a couple of buildings that were deemed green, and now nearly all the new projects are moving in that direction.


“From the LEED standpoint that there are at least 100 green buildings being constructed right now in the UAE”


LEFT: Monica Palmer, Woods Bagot.

In terms of federal laws and regulations encouraging sustainability, how do think the UAE has been faring so far?

TB: The UAE is ahead of some countries in this regard. Some other countries like Germany and some of the northern European countries are farther ahead, but there are a lot of positive things happening here, and that is pretty phenomenal in an oil-supported country. SA: This is something that is being taken very seriously at the Federal and Government level. Dubai and Abu Dhabi might be driving this change, but the northern Emirates need to be included in these regulations. Right now, construction in these emirates is loosely regulated, There must an equalisation of the Emirates through some of these programmes, by standardising the requirements across the nation.

What about driving sustainable practices from an economic angle?

GA: In terms of the trade-offs we see in the lighting industry, a lot of clients ask how much they can expect to save in the long run by switching to LED. If you pay 10 times more by choosing LED lighting, you eventually do enjoy savings on energy from lighting and from lower AC loads, with less heat produced. Even in buildings that have a lot of glass facades, we tell our clients that a lighting solution by itself or a light source alone is not the best way to start saving.

Photographs by Marlou Delaben

“New buildings will only represent one per cent of the building stock in the next five years. Only 20 per cent of those are operating at sustainable levels”

SA: What needs to happen is a change in the operational phase. New buildings will only represent one per cent of the building stock in the next five years. Of that one per cent, only 20 per cent are operating at sustainable levels that they are supposed to, and then we’re talking about only 0.2 per cent of the building stock, and even that may be an optimistic number. TB: Behaviour changes alone can save a good 10 per cent. That’s part of what we’re missing in this country right now.

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How can consumer behaviour be modified to allow green operations within green buildings?

SA: All we can do is provide the means for people to operate buildings more efficiently, and inform them how their buildings are performing. Human behaviour is a very complex. The challenge here is in dealing with our very unique and diverse culture, since there are more countries represented here than in the UN. Trying to instil green values in a transient population is more difficult than it would be in other markets. MP: I’d like to mention all the different nations coming together for the same cause as a proof of the success of these programmes as well. It’s a chance to exchange knowledge and solutions on a global level. People learn about it here and they can spread that knowledge to their home countries. SA: One way would be to continue educational programmes that are already in place. Now a lot more people, even those not involved in the

industry, are asking themselves why don’t we use solar panels, why don’t we cut down our water consumption or why don’t we recycle this. It’s on people’s agendas a lot more, so I think that is a testament to some of the programmes and regulations in place.

How can lighting solutions affect energy reductions? SA: While the major load on energy is the air conditioning, the most logistically feasible change that can be made is in lighting strategies. It offers huge opportunities for making reductions.

GA: Compared to conventional standard lighting, intelligently controlled lighting solutions use up to 80 per cent less energy. In Abu Dhabi, new projects are supposed to submit feasibility studies when using conventional solutions. Because of this requirement, more people are realising the long term savings potential in using LEDs. What we try to do is work from the initial stages of the project so that the light concept from the design side is achieved. You may be investing more economically at the start, but this will pay off eventually.

GA: When energy efficient lamps were new in the market, there were a lot of comments that certain lamps look bad or the light is too white. They didn’t seem concerned about the underlying reason that made these lamps special. Then LED lights came into the industry and changed everything. In Europe, people know why you’re introducing LED in the market, but in the UAE it took a little time to present consumers with the sustainable lighting angle. The first reaction of the market was not because of the energy efficiency of LEDs, but that it actually looks good. An LED lamp was a fashion statement at the time, which was one way for the technology to penetrate the market.

Can aesthetics help in signalling behavioural change?

MP: It’s easy to associate sustainable building with green roofs and earthy designs. They can look technological, modern and futuristic, because it’s about the larger picture in terms of

SA: There’s always an argument about aesthetics versus sustainability, which is a valid point. We shouldn’t compromise aesthetics because is sustainable. These iconic green buildings are great in raising awareness of all the features in sustainable buildings, but if they’re not eco-

nomically sustainable, they’re not environmentally sustainable either.

How are green decisions made in the initial design stages?

TB: Sometimes you can’t tell a green building is green until you go in and notice intangible qualities, like when you experience the daylight or fresh air. One of the biggest impacts on energy use is how the building is oriented towards the sun. If you can convince the client and the architects to change the orientation of the building early in the design process, it can save a lot of money and effort. This kind of input is fully integrated in the design of the building. I find that fully integrated buildings are also aesthetic. SA: We’re constantly working with architects to find the right balance between sustainability and aesthetics. What we see happening now is that decisions taken by architects and developers are substantiated by facts and figures. We can demonstrate through numbers what their design choices will yield in terms of efficiency based on energy performance. Architects can | 47

Photographs by Marlou Delaben

energy consumption and cooling capabilities. For me it’s about taste. Any space should make people feel welcome and comfortable while serving its economic function.

RIGHT: Saeed Alabbar, EGBC.


“Sometimes you can’t tell a green building is green until you go in and notice intangible qualities, like when you experience the daylight and fresh air”


LEFT: Ghadi Abou Zaid, Zumtobel.

see what certain aesthetic add-ons or features could cost them in terms of energy savings and make choices accordingly. MP: I totally agree. The collaboration that happens now is great from the architectural point of view. For example, you can compromise on fewer windows as long as one feature is fully glazed. If our design choices are supported by data and there’s a decent ratio between light entering the building and glazing on the exteriors, then we can go ahead with it. GA: For highlighting the exteriors, different types of lighting can achieve different visual effects. Lighting can complement the design and aesthetics of a building particularly well if it is included in the initial stages.

Photographs by Marlou Delaben

SA: Sustainability is fundamentally about tradeoff decisions. More glass means more daylight and wider views, which makes it more aesthetic; but it also means more energy spent. It’s having the information to make effective trade-off decisions rather than just guessing. It’s the same with all the features in sustainable buildings. TB: The technique of energy modelling is used more and more these days in terms of making these trade-off decisions. They can be run for any design variable, like glass or insulation. You could run 100 cases in determining the best balance between the cost and benefit, to eventually come to a decision. We’re integrating green tech into the design earlier and earlier.

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“Even in buildings that have a lot of glass facades, we tell our clients that a lighting solution by itself or a light source alone is not the best way to start saving”

“This notion of certifying something as green or sustainable to me seems quite ludicrous. These rating systems and certifications are a means to getting to where we want to go, not the end-all” What about the building facade?

SA: There is a misconception that putting glass all over the outside is very bad, but you could have a building that looks all glass but only 30 per cent of that glass is vision glass (glass that you can see through). You can reduce vision glazing without comprising the look of the building by increasing the spandrel panel area. Spandrel panels don’t heat in, acting like a block wall while looking like opaque glass on the outside. You’ll find that buildings constructed in the 70s and 80s here, like the World Trade Centre, and a lot of the buildings around Satwa have incorporated these design principles. This is because at that time, those options were cheaper. You couldn’t afford to have that much glass or huge air-conditioning units so their energy use intensity is significantly lower, and are about 30 to 40 per cent more efficient than new buildings, even those that are certified as sustainable.

GA: The only problem for new developing technologies is that consumers need to choose the right source. Everybody knows about the strengths of LED, and even for street lighting LED is evolving and becoming powerful enough to be considered. LED can be used for facade highlighting, but the biggest enemy of LED lighting is heat. If it’s used outside, the summer temperatures can damage its energyefficient properties and it no longer becomes the solution it was intended to be. With facade lighting, another technique that is energy efficient is to use LED lights to highlight glass buildings from the inside.

Is there any value in returning to old materials and design principles from traditional architecture?

MP: I think they used sandstone and clay in areas like Bastakiya back then. These materials are not viable anymore because their properties are not reliable or sustainable in comparison to newer, sturdier materials. There are movements in the US and other places where there are movements going back to the earth, and older architecture, but these are not practical at all. SA: There’s a high value to the aesthetics of building along Sheikh Zayed Road. If a building didn’t look like that along the skyline it would stand out. Yes, there are lessons to be learned from past architectural designs however we can’t overplay this, as they performed a very different function from the buildings of today.

RIGHT: Thomas Bohlen, MECSD.

TB: You see a lot of aesthetic replication going on in buildings here, like the fake wind towers and the painted exteriors. It would be nice to see them bring back some wind towers that actually work, like Masdar’s attempts.


“Let’s not underestimate how far the country has come from the 1960s. That can’t happen overnight without some consequences”

How can passive architecture help?

MP: We could look at Masdar where everything is densely designed. If you have buildings that are really close to each other, you can keep the heat of the sun away and provide areas for outdoor use like pathways where people can walk even in the height of the summer. Energy saving strategies would include cutting down the use of hard materials like concrete, which stores a lot of heat. The heat island effect is another phenomenon that supports the use of lighter, energy-efficient materials in construction. There are a lot of passive features we can incorporate in the design of a building that can reduce heat island effect, including using lighter materials for exteriors and roofs to prevent heat build- up.

How does urban planning complement sustainable architecture?

MP: The first thing that needs to be done when designing sustainable buildings in line with historical aesthetics is to look at urban planning. Masdar, for example, laid out plots in a way that allows pathways for people to walk in the shade. TB: Shading analysis is one thing in the Estidama programme that LEED hasn’t done yet. This is important to look at when the project is in the planning stages, especially in projects with multiple buildings.

SA: If you consider a very efficient building about 70 kilometres away from where people work and shop, the building cannot achieve even close to its potential. First of all, the emissions from the vehicles sets you back, and the time people spend commuting is also not healthy or sustainable. The amount of money Dubai loses with staff being stuck in traffic is in the high millions, if not billions. This ties in with my first point about the rating system being a guideline, not the end goal. Buildings need to be considered within context to be sustainable.

Would a top-down or bottom-up approach be more effective in signalling behavioural change?

TB: I think it has to be both. There’s so much to be done in a very short amount of time. SA: I think at the moment this is a regulationdriven market by and large in the UAE. The government has made huge measures, so I think right now, the top-down approach is leading the bottom-up movement. The onus is now

TB: A lot of our clients who are interested in coming to the UAE are asking to be green certified and they want to be sustainable. You don’t see that so much in corporations that are here already. There is an outside pressure as well for the UAE to move towards a sustainable future. I think that next 10 years will be very positive for the UAE in terms of sustainability.

The discussion was held at Zumtobel Lighting Centre, Al Quoz, Dubai.

The Panel Saeed Alabbar

Vice Chairman, Emirates Green Building Council Thomas BoHlen Chief Technical Officer, Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development Monica Palmer Architect, Woods Bagot Ghadi Abou Zeid Business Development Manager, Zumtobel | 49

Photographs by Marlou Delaben

TB: I practiced architecture for many years in Arizona, where the climate is very similar to that of the UAE. We hardly exposed glass to the outside of the buildings. It was always recessed with at least a metre of shading over the glazed area. In doing so, we really lessened the impact of the sun on the glass and the effect of the cooling of the buildings. If you look at some of the older architecture developed in this country used a lot of those techniques like deep recessed overhangs, and pockets where windows were shaded. You don’t see the interplay of shade and shadow on the facade of newer buildings here. Bringing back these designs could be a passive technique to bringing back older aesthetics.

on business owners, corporations and consumers to push the bottom-up and be the responsible citizens to lead the green economy going forward.


Supplier news A round-up of the latest news and announcements from industry suppliers in the Middle East




Resin bound paving supplier SureSet has appointed a new agent, Tanseeq LLC, to promote, supply and install the company’s product range in the UAE and neighbouring countries. Resin bound paving is proven in projects across Europe and Australasia where it has delivered a wide range of surfacing and design options for both new build and refurbishment projects. Highly versatile, SureSet resin bound paving delivers solutions to project elements, such as driveways, patios, pool surrounds, roof gardens, play areas, car parks, tree pits and public spaces. “We’re delighted to have been awarded the SureSet agency.  The high quality and broad product range will be perfect for projects of all size and complexity in our region, making SureSet an excellent addition to our existing range of landscape materials,” said Syed Abdul Wajid, general manager of Tanseeq. Based in Dubai, Tanseeq LLC will supply the Surestart set to the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. “When appointing new agents, we look for companies that share our values of quality, support and customer service.  “Tanseeq is certainly such a company and we look forward to working closely with them over the coming months and years,” echoed Joni Carpenter, marketing and international sales manager for SureSet. SureSet surfacing is hand trowelled, UV stable and permeable. To ensure quality installers of the material must be approved.

Pipe manufacturer Victaulic has completed two new production facilities in Mexico and China, and announced large-scale upgrades to its European facility. As part of a capacity increasing programme, a major overhaul and modernisation of the company’s Poland-based production lines is now complete. New equipment and technology has been added and the company has said output has increased in volume and efficiency, to become “one of the most advanced in Europe”. “Victaulic has always been associated with high quality grooved piping systems, and thanks to its continued investment, the company now has one of the most modern foundries in Europe as well as a major increase in its production capacity,” commented Mark Gilbert, Victaulic EMEA-I VP and GM. “At a time when many companies in our industry are scaling back operations, Victaulic is investing and expanding to better serve its customers,” Gillbert added. Production management and process automation technology has been installed and in addition, a new extraction system, enabling the reuse of sand, will lead to a more sustainable production process, reducing consumption of sand in moulding. Victaulic now has 11 international manufacturing facilities and 20 major distribution hubs, and the company’s products are available in 103 countries. The new Chinese facility is supported with an R&D centre.

De Architecten nv architectural studio has signed a contract in Belgium to use an architectural solution which is acquiring increasing space around the world. The use of DuPont Corian high-tech surface – a material which has become re-known for high performance, creative and reliable interior design applications – for the exterior cladding of buildings, is increasing. DuPont Corian offers a design and fabrication precision that is hard to find in other materials. This enables architects to expand their creative horizons.  This high-tech material can be sawn, milled, drilled, three-dimensionally shaped, polished and repaired and is coloured all the way through.  “There could be no better material for this clinic,” comments Sofie Pittoors of De Architecten nv. “Just as an aesthetic surgeon seeks perfection, we did the same for the building’s exterior cladding by applying DuPont Corian, in the glacier white colour.  The result is simply fantastic because the finish is perfect.  Clean is the key word in this realisation: the mitred borders are impeccable, the various elements all fit together to form a seamless whole, with no visible connections or joints, not even on the roof edge.  A wonderful facelift,” adds Pittoors.  “The windows were cold-fitted into the surface of the cladding.  They have no outer frames, only inner profiles.  This is only possible because DuPont Corian has no significant expansion factor,” Pittors explains.

Tanseeq LLC appointed distributor

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Capacity increasing programme gains pace

High-tech surface used for cladding


Content management system to be launched in Amsterdam UAE firm Christie has announced this month that its JumpStart content management system will be launched in Amsterdam. Christie says JumpStart makes designing easier, helping to put “stunning, high resolution content onto a multi-display or titled digital canvas”. The target market for Christie includes venues such as museums, stadiums, universities, corporate offices and retail stores looking for high resolution, reliable content playback across large video walls. “Christie is leading the way in developing simple, user-friendly solutions for integrated, large-format, digital displays,” said Richard Heslett, senior product manager for business products, Christie. “Christie JumpStart can be used with any digital display that has up to four inputs, and is the ideal companion for small and mediumsized Christie MicroTiles video walls – giving customers the ability to get the most out of their MicroTiles displays,” he adds. The programme can be used with any digital display with up to four inputs, and is the ideal companion for small and medium-sized Christie-branded MicroTiles videowalls. The versatility allows customers to “get the most out of their MicroTiles displays”, explained Heslett. Benefits of Christies Jumpstart include: multi-windowing capabilities including video files, applications and text, Seamless integration with Christie MicroTiles, automatically optimising resolution of the Christie MicroTiles display.

1880 the year ecotherm was first founded as a family business

Emirates Building Systems


Emirates Building Systems (EBS), a subsidiary of Dubai Investment Industries has invested in a full-line up of advanced industrial laser cutting machines from Europe. The new range of industrial laser cutting machines is linked through a computer to the manufacturer in Europe, allowing for remote technical assistance. The machines are used in the process of cutting stainless steel, aluminum and carbon steel and are made to be accessible for structural applications where “the volume and precision of the metal required for production is critical.” Another use for the machines includes the applications of tubular trusses and threedimensional structures. “The new state of the art machines can simultaneously cut, level and achieve maximum precision in length and inclination angles. “High speed, pin point accuracy and increased tolerances are some of the added benefits of the new machines,” Samir Akra, general manager, Emirates Building Systems said. Projects completed by Emirates Building Systems, include the Dubai Metro, Al Maktoum International Airport and the Tripoli International Airport, Libya. EBS also supplies steel chimneys, stacks and tanks. “The range is fitted out with self-diagnostic software to increase reliability. Embedded computing systems allow the machine to download electronic drawings, thereby eliminating human intervention and errors,” concluded Akra.

A UAE company dealing in solar, heat and steam systems for the hotel and hospital industry has opened a new branch in Germany. Ecotherm Germany, to be based in Linden, will mainly concentrate on the distribution of high capacity water heaters as well as hot water and construction tanks. “In recent years the demand for Ecoterm high capacity water heaters as well as for Ecotherm hot water and combination tanks increased,” explains DI Hans Faber the technical manager of Ecotherm Germany. The products are noted as having compressive strength and dimensional stability making them ideal for flat or pitched roof construction, wall insulation, floors and ceilings. More than a thousand systems have been installed in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Central America. “With the establishment of Ecotherm Germany we meet a growing number of projects in Germany,” said Ing Bremstaller Herbert, founder and CEO of Ecotherm Austria GmbH whose division has been managing the German facility so far and has 30 years of experience in the field of building services. The company was founded by Ing. Herbert Bremstaller in 1996. The origin of the family company dates back to 1880. The Ecotherm Group worldwide employs a workforce of 110; 55 of them in the headquarters in Hartkirchen. Ecotherms supplies water heaters, solar systems, photovoltaic systems and a range of industrial products.

Steel company subsidiary’s new linup

New European operations launched | 51


“The new state of the art machines can simultaneously cut, level and achieve maximum precision in length and inclination angles”


Celebrating five years of business in 2012, du chief commercial officer Farid Faraidooni, talks business strategy, sustainable business communications and a new TV show that will give one UAE entrepreneur their big break


ast month marked five years of operations for UAE telecoms provider du and to reaffirm its commitment to the UAE’s business community, the supplier will launch its own business focused reality TV show, The Entrepreneur, this summer. Pitting 10 entrepreneurs in a head to head competition for a jackpot of AED1 million, the show will test the business, leadership and marketing skills of 100 finalists, from an expected 5000 entrants. Applications for the show close on March 31 and from the finalists selected, 10 will go on to feature in the televised version. Strategic partners with du during the show will provide everything from office space to legal support for the entrants. The show will be judged by CEO of Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME development, Abdul Baset Al Janahi; Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group’s director of retail, Muna Al Gurg; Nisreen Shocair regional president of Virgin Megastore since 2006; and Yogesh Mehta, managing partner of Petrochem Middle East. The cultivation of an entrepreneurial culture may be a corporate goal for du, but SMEs, female entrepreneurs and Emiratis, are also well catered for; with plans for the latter being a regional first. Supporting other businesses, du also offers specialist SIM cards for expatriate labourers. “There is a lot of demand in the UAE for value-added services that deliver the highest possible quality, and while the market is already a mature one, it is continuing to grow and evolve as consumers become more techsavvy and demand more,” says chief commercial officer Farid Faraidooni, adding: “The need for connectivity is higher today than ever before”. “Our SME plans, Business Super Plan and Her Business Super Plan, are designed to help entrepreneurs by giving them value where it counts for them, and our managed services cover the communications requirements of large companies – giving them peace of mind as we lend them our expertise,” he adds.

Talking value

“A major chunk of UAE businesses comprise of SMEs – estimated at more than 100,000. They have specific communication needs with a focus on reliability and Value for Money (VFM). Our suite of Business Super Plans fulfils this need, they are packed with benefits such as pre-bundled national and international minutes, with data bundles, and have low entry points,” Faraidooni comments. “All construction projects require some degree of communications capacity, and we are able to provide telecom solutions to suit the varied needs of any sector,” Faraidooni explains He continues to say that the UAE’s 100,000 SME’s comprise a huge share of the UAE’s business community.

Integrated communication

Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du.

“The need for connectivity is higher today than ever before, and people are constantly seeking the best value proposition”


Direct dial Focussing on its own success, last month also saw du receive special recognition for its corporate governance schemes from the UK-based World Finance magazine. The only UAE company in the UAE to receive the award – and one of only 53 companies worldwide – judging criteria included quality of policies and procedures adopted, quality of disclosures, elements of innovation in corporate governance practices and excellence in client representation. The Emirati company may not have plans to expand its reach geographically, but du has pledged a commitment to launching a host of new products – from data bundles for PS3, to “world-class” teleport, Samacom, and master control room (MCR) facilities, classed as “scalable media technology platforms and telecommunication solutions”. “Any company looking for a fully integrated solutions can benefit from our services. We offer something for everyone, from start-up smallmedium enterprises (SMEs) to large, established companies, as well as individuals. Our range of services is able to satisfy the vast majority, if not all, of the UAE’s various communications needs,” Faraidooni concludes. | 53


Hazard reduction The most under-evaluated element of sustainable building is human health, says BUiD’s Dr. Moshood Fadeyi. Melanie Mingas looks at his research and tours Jotun’s Dubai factory to find out what can be done to eliminate hazards in the atmosphere


Photographs by Cris Mejorada

n January it was announced that Dubai Municipality is to begin conducting tests on all paints and coatings to be used in the Emirate’s public buildings to ensure they are not hazardous to human health. The tests, to be carried out at the Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL), will certify that materials to be used do not contain heavy metals or volatile organic compounds (VOC). Both are known to be hazardous to human health in their own right, adversely affecting indoor air quality and the health of occupants. Compounding the problem, recent scientific tests have established that chemical compounds also react with the atmosphere to continue emitting harmful toxins for years. The new procedures follow a one day conference held in December 2011, during which more than 200 delegates discussed the most effective way for the municipality to tackle the issue in the absence of formal regulation, such as the region-wide bans seen in the US and parts of Europe.

“Strict regulation is needed in this country for all building types and priority should be given to schools and hospitals” 54 |

“Regulation to date is for government buildings, so the private sector still has that choice,” says Dr. Moshood Olawale Fadeyi, assistant professor of sustainable design of the built environment at the British University in Dubai. “Strict regulation is needed in this country for all building types and priority should be given to schools and hospitals,” he adds. Dr Fadeyi’s has been conducting research in the field of indoor environments, energy and health, since 2004. Trained as an architect, building scientist and building services engineer, Dr Fadeyi also researches construction management, landscape, and urban planning. “Toxic paint raises concern for indoor air quality and that is why we must ensure the quality of all paint is environmentally friendly. The whole purpose of being in a building is to feel healthy,” he says.

Sick buildings = sick people

The highest rates of SBS occur in the workplace, particularly open plan offices, with research showing more incidents have been recorded by women than men – although it is thought this is due to the higher numbers of women working in office environments. High incidences have also been recorded in museums, libraries and schools.

Elements of hazard: the by-products of indoor air chemistry

The combination of VOC and ozone with other naturally occurring elements, such as heat, causes a reaction known as indoor air chemistry. Some of the toxins produced include: Formaldehyde – classified carcinogenic Secondary organic aerosol – soluble and toxic, the particles are smaller than the human red blood cell, meaning they can penetrate deep into the blood stream Benzene – colourless and flammable, benzene is one of the 20 most widely used chemicals in America, with cigarette smoke accounting to half of the country’s national exposure. It is used in the manufacturing of plastics, rubber, resins, nylon, glues, dyes, paints, detergents and pesticides and is known to cause cancer and tumours. Methanol – added to paint strippers, aerosol spray paints and wall paints, it has been linked to headaches, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems. Methanol reacts with VOCs. Styrene – causes dizziness, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Longterm exposure can harm the nervous system of those exposed at work, causing depression, concentration problems, muscle weakness, personality changes, and anxiety. Dichlorobenzene – prolonged and high usage of products containing dichlorobenzene has led to dizziness, headaches and liver problems.

The studies

“There are numerous studies from European, North American and East Asian countries addressing this concern,” says Dr Fadeyi. “Despite this little is known about UAE buildings’ VOC status and there are no conscious efforts or facilities for academics to address this concern. I came to this country more than two years ago and I was baffled about this situation,” he recalls, further commenting on the UAE’s pace of construction. Not only are the hazards of VOC well known, but the effects of using heavy metals

The full interview with Dr Fadeyi can be read at

Dr Fadeyi conducted investigatory IAQ studies in four air-conditioned office buildings in the UAE, using a hand held atmospheric monitor to measure VOC gas phase concentration, in addition to other toxins. The VOC concentrations recorded varied from 900 to 4500 µg/ m³ – the recommended ‘comfort range’ as ascertained in a study by Canadian researcher Molhave, is less than 200µg/m³ | 55

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

Extensive research began in the 1970s, with scientists identifying poor ventilation; high temperatures; airborne and chemical pollutants; and ozone produced by photocopiers and printers, as leading culprits. “For vulnerable people, such as those who are sick, children, elderly people and people with history of respiratory health problems like asthma, they have a low immunity so this is really a concern,” says Dr Fadeyi. The atmospheric toxins aren’t just allergens, in the case of toxic paints they are heavy metals and VOCs, which combine with the atmosphere and atmospheric heat to affect the respiratory system, cognitive function and skin.

have also been documented for millennia, with the ancient Greeks and Romans first noting side effects in workers. In 370BC, it is said Hippocrates attributed a severe case of colic in a worker who extracted metals, to lead exposure, and in around AD50 Pliny the Elder recorded that workers painting ships with native ceruse – commonly known as white lead – wore loose bags over their faces to avoid breathing dust they considered to be noxious. Dr Fadeyi conducted investigatory IAQ studies in four air-conditioned office buildings in the UAE, using a hand held atmospheric monitor to measure VOC gas phase concentration, in addition to other toxins. The VOC concentrations recorded varied from 900 to 4500 µg/m³ – the recommended ‘comfort range’ as ascertained in a study by Canadian researcher Molhave, is less than 200µg/m³. Molhave’s study was first published at the fifth international conference on indoor air quality and climate held at Toronto, Canada in 1990. During Dr Fadeyi’s research he also measured the toluene concentration, which averaged well above the recommended levels of less than 250 µg/m³, reaching 1200 µg/m³. “The message here is that much is need to be done about VOC concentration in our indoor environment most especially that arising from paint,” Dr Fadeyi concludes. Other research conducted in Australia has found harmful compounds still present in the atmosphere, more than ten weeks


“Sustainable design today is about energy and water conservation and carbon foot prints, but it is not about human health”

after application. Further tests in homes in Melbourne identified 27 airborne toxins were still present more than one year after construction, including the carcinogens benzene, formaldehyde and styrene, and a cocktail of methanol, ethanol, acetone, toluene, dichlorobenzene. The phenomenon known as ‘indoor air chemistry’ cna be most simply explained as the continued reaction of volatile compounds with the surrounding atmosphere, long after the paint is deemed to be dry and therefore ‘safe’. “Thermal, light and visual and acoustic properties are other issues that need to be considered when choosing paints,” explains Dr Fadeyi. “There is no strict law about these things and until the issue is taken seriously sustainable design will never be sustainable;it is today about energy and water conservation and carbon foot prints, but it is not about human health,” he concludes.


A different stroke

Jotun is the only Masdar approved paint supplier in the UAE. UAE general manager Trine Finnevolden explains the Green Steps initiative and hazard reduction

Photographs by Cris Mejorada


“If you know something is harmful you should stop using it and nobody should be allowed to manufacture products containing harmful materials” 56 |

orwegian founded paint manufacturer Jotun, is the only paint company in the UAE to be approved by Masdar’s FutureBuild programme, following a series of steps that has seen hazardous materials phased out of its product range. Adhering to the highest standards according to local legislation or Jotun’s own company policies, a number of solvent based products have been replaced with equivalent water-based products, designed to offer likefor-like performance. All Jotun’s products are tested in-house and verified in lab tests conducted by an independent third party. “This region is catching up very well with legislation, and all the initiatives we have seen in the last year are positive,” comments UAE general manager Trine Finnevolden. “If you know something is harmful you should stop using it and nobody should be allowed to manufacture products containing harmful materials, which consumers may buy because they are not aware,” she adds.

Operating across Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East, Jotun exercises a global HSE standard and policy, specifically filling the void that may be left by a lack of local regulations. “In the Middle East there have been many recent discussions on lead and VOCs, but we phased both of these out of our decorative paints many years ago. “We didn’t make a fuss about it then, but now that lead content in paint is increasingly being discussed we are promoting our work with Green Steps,” she says.

The first step

The application of Jotafloor across Masdar, Abu Dhabi, was evaluated based on the re-development of the product as a water-based paint and the entire reduction in carbon footprint from cradle to grave. “The entire impact of the paint is analysed, from production of the raw materials and paint itself to the transportation of the raw materials and products,” Finnevolden explains, adding

Jotun’s Green Steps is a five-point marketing initiative to promote the measures already taken by the manufacturer to reduce harm to customers and the environment. Here is what Jotun says on each of the key elements:

Reducing waste

“Over recent decades we have worked on developing water-based products that have a reduces VOC content. Examples of water-based paint products are Fenomastic Emulsion, Fenomastic Gold, Lady Essentials Silk and Jotashield.

“When it comes to waste, we focus on three key elements: reducing, reusing and recycling waste across all our operations. This commitment begins internally without office and production waste and extends through to helping our customers reduce their own waste. “Recent powder coatings innovations have been designed to give Original Equipment Manufacturers and job coaters more surface milage and improved productivity. For instance, Guard Miles+ provides better powder utilisation and reduce time, maintenance costs and wastage”

Reducing hazardous materials

Reducing carbon footprint

Reducing VOC emissions that it is only a matter of time before other paint companies have no choice but to follow suit, due to legislation and growing public awareness. While many competitors have reduced R&D and marketing activities since the recession, Finnevolden says Jotun has deliberately continued its own; made possible by shifting its focus for revenue streams from new buildings to maintenance and offshore applications. Regional products are manufactured and tested at Jotun’s Al Quoz plant in Dubai, with an additional R&D centre in Norway. The Dubai factory is automised to reduce waste, with raw materials transferred from road tankers to storage tankers – as opposed to barrels – and other material, including everything from water to paper and containers, re-used and recycled. Overall, Finnevolden says the Middle East market has reacted positively to Green Steps and the popularity of products is set to increase, as awareness about raw materials that cause harm to the environment and humans gains pace.

“Innovations such as Jotashield Extreme exterior paint and the Cool Shades Collection of powder coatings, both have heat management properties that reflect more sunlight and thereby control the temperature of the building interiors

“When developing our products, we look for ways to substitute harmful material with less hazardous alternatives. Our R&D division has helped us innovate and maximise the use of raw materials that reduce and remove harmful components. “An example of this elimination of lead from all Jotun’s pains and powder coatings. Moreover, we recently introduced a new APEO and Formaldehyde-free product in the Fenomastic paint range.”

Reducing energy consumption

“A main focus area for Jotun is reducing the consumption of energy in our production, manufacturing facilities and warehousing. Moreover, through innovative technologies, we are also delivering products that offer a reduction in customers’ energy use.

“The carbon footprint measure the impact our activities have on the environment and in particular, climate change. When it comes to poweder coatings, we emphasis on developing low temperature cure solutions that enable customers to achieve greater operational efficiency and energy savings. “In the firle dof marine coatings, Jotun’s Hull Performance Solutions (HPS) is key to the future of fuel consumption manangement and emission control, with premium anti-fouling, priority technical service and reliable tools to measure hull performance over time. “Recent powder coatings innovations for metal appliances and furniture like Guard Gaze, Guard Miles and Guard Miles+ are designed to allow temperature cure, and therefore enable a smaller carbon footprint as compared to traditional finishes.” | 57

Photographs by Cris Mejorada

Green Steps


“If you know something is harmful you should stop using it and nobody should be allowed to manufacture products containing harmful materials”


Repeat opportunity

LEFT: The recently completed logistics centre in Dubai achieved LEED gold certification.

Newly appointed international business development director, James McDowell-Foord, and UAE GM Mark Douglas, tell Melanie Mingas about the restructuring of McLaren Construction’s


ince establishing a regional base in the UAE two years ago McLaren Construction has forged relationships with a number of highly regarded and well connected business partners to execute three projects with unwavering focus on quality to build on an existing – and strong – international reputation. As a business entity, McLaren has been operating in the region for decades, with current UAE general manager Mark Douglas first arriving in Dubai in 1986. The previous strategy saw key staff working remotely and onsite as required, until those key clients began to demand McLaren operates from the region. “We were asked to come here by some of our European clients who wanted us to support them in our business here. Shortly after arriving the financial crisis bit and obviously available work opportunities in the Emirates dropped off dramatically. We took the decision to stay and work for a select clientele and not take the scatter gun approach,” explains Douglas. Continuing to assert that more than 80% of McLaren’s business is from repeat clients, he says that a “dramatic upturn” has been witnessed of late, with four times the volume of work opportunities received Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010. “We very rarely if ever, look at a project or opportunity in isolation. The hardest thing to do as a contractor is to find a new client, but when you have got a good client it’s quite easy to keep them.”

58 |

“We have to date never finished a project late. In any of the sectors and territories we work in, we are an absolute stickler for finishing on time” LEFT: James McDowell-Foord

“The most encouraging thing is that those work opportunities are quality opportunities. They are projects that are most likely to go ahead,” Douglas adds. It is the responsibility of newly appointed international business development director James McDowell-Foord to establish the partnerships that will bring new projects to the company. With Douglas describing McLaren’s USP as “quality”, McDowell-Foord elaborates to explain: “We have to date never finished a project late. In any of the sectors and territories we work in, we are an absolute stickler for finishing on time.” Drawing on the example of the recently completed CEVA Logistics Centre, for Dubai’s JAFZA South, both recall how the project was not only completed six weeks early, but achieved LEED gold standard, rather than the specified silver.

“My role is to uncover business opportunities that fit our profile in the sectors we want to pursue. It is very important to know where you want to go and what you want to do,” McDowell-Foord explains. “I have been making various business trips to Abu Dhabi and Qatar and the way we see ourselves going forward internationally is through joint venture (JV) partnerships with local contractors, rather than just having local representation. They are on the ground and they have the workforce; we have the tried, trusted and approved system processes,” he adds. For McDowell-Foord, the focus is on relationships. Saying that due diligence is a key focus for all potential clients, there is also a need for the client to be right for the contractor. “We have to be sure they are the right client for us. That means that the project suits our expertise, and the sector and we have to be

New ground

McLaren expands on strong business networks, establishing partnerships with other key market players in architecture, project management, quantity surveying and consultancy. The firm also establishes strong ties with the big brands and government entities with “tentacles” in a number of different markets, to ensure that repeat business. “That doesn’t mean that an architect is going to give you a job, it means that you become aware of what is in the market place and also you can present yourself with the architect as a team because most of the work we try to do is design and build,” says McDowell-Foord. “The UAE is a great platform. For example, here we have a project by project, non-exclusive JV agreement with ECC, which has been trading here for 40 years. “Because of the fact they are an established Emirates company it does us an enormous amount of credit when looking at other countries because what has been achieved here is amazing,” he continues, referring to the “phenomenal” pace of progress in the physical landscape, infrastructure and people. Last year saw the start of operations in markets predicted to be key for McLaren’s contracting division; China and India. Mobilisation in China began at the end of last year and it is hoped the first project will arise Q2, 2012. At the end of 2011 the registration process for operations in India also began.

Strategy success

McDowell-Foord’s appointment is part of a wider strategy to re-structure the firm’s management (see box). Driven by two needs, Douglas explains the Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices are more than a hub but a source of business for elsewhere. “Restructuring is part of the routine to constantly reconsider a firm’s operations as it grows, and with such a rate of growth as we have enjoyed in the UK a restructure of senior management was obviously necessary in order to rationalise reporting lines,” explains Douglas. That growth has seen operating profits increase 75% on 2010/11 figures, with that year’s turnover standing at US$ 422.8m, while secured projects for 2011/12 stands at more than $617m. Prior to his current appointment, McDowellFoord worked in financial services, spending six years as a broker in the City of London; a further seven with American Express; and 13 years in construction and related fields. “I probably didn’t see myself moving into construction when I was working in financial services, but I’m glad it happened. It’s an exciting environment in which to work. Whether you are consultant or contractor, you have an end product,” he adds. Douglas says the restructuring programme has been “holistic”, bringing various divisions together to create “a more integrated whole”. The aim is to increase the focus on international markets, building on the success of projects such as the new Sky News offices and studios and Abu Dhabi and a data centre project in Abu Dhabi.


assured that, whether a private or public entity, we are going to be paid for the work. Also I think we have to look at them as personalities as well; will we get on with them?”

As a general contractor, McLaren has completed projects in hospitality, retail, leisure, commercial, top-end fit-outs, and industrial builds such as factories, data centres and cold stores. There is also a strong focus on low carbon buildings. Key projects for McLaren on home soil over the coming year include the completion of Tottenham Hotspur’s training academy and student accommodation in Oxford, Cambridge and London. “We sit here now feeling very optimistic about this company. We see the UAE coming out of this year in a much healthier position in the construction industry in particular than at any point over the last three years,” Douglas concludes.

James McDowellFoord’s appointment is part of a wider management restructure. Other new appointments include: •

John Gatley Main board

David Murphy Director responsible for all operations at the Brentwood and Birmingham offices, in the United Kingdom

Rob Kremis Director responsible for all London operations

Graham Lumberg Director for McLaren’s Northern UK operations

McLaren has been operating in the UAE for two years and has already executed three projects: •

CEVA Logistics distribution centre, Jebel Ali, Dubai. Specified as silver LEED, achieved gold and completed six weeks ahead of schedule

Sky News studios, Abu Dhabi, close to completion

A series of data centres


LEFT: Mark Douglas.

“Restructuring is part of the routine to constantly reconsider a firm’s operations as it grows, and with such a rate of growth as we have enjoyed in the UK a restructure of senior management was obviously necessary in order to rationalise reporting lines” | 59

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60 |

Editorial director Melanie Mingas TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9117 GSM: +971 (0)56 758 7834

Assistant editor Dan McAlister TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9118

UAE Project number MPP2598-U

„„ Project name Dubai Mall Expansion Project Territory Dubai Client Emaar Properties PJSC (Dubai)

Sector W-59/01, Plot No. E12 - C34 in

a $515 million contract on this scheme.

City Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi. Local Concepts Architecture

Under the agreement, HLG will be

Country United Arab Emirates

& Planning (CAP) has been appointed as

responsible for construction of the

Phone(+971-2) 813 0000

the Main Consultant and to also provide

integrated hotel complex comprising a

Fax (+971-2) 445 5661

engineering supervision.

five-level podium, a 36-storey tower and a


Main Consultant Concepts Architecture &

25-storey tower within a total gross floor


Planning (CAP) - Abu Dhabi

area of 350,000 square metres. Demolition

Status Current Project

Tender Categories Prestige Buildings

of the existing Metropolitan Hotel is

Description Construction of Southern Sun

scheduled to commence by end of March

Hotel comprising four basement floors,

2012, with early works likely to begin in

a ground floor, four podiums, 17 upper

Project number MPP2570-U

June 2012. The development is scheduled

floors plus two service floors and roof

„„ Project name Al-Habtoor Palace Hotel Project

for completion in second half of 2016.

Remarks Updated On : February 22, 2012 

Design consultant Khatib & Alami

This hotel will be located at Plot 1-E12

Territory Dubai

Consolidated Engineering Company

on Mina Road in Abu Dhabi. China's

Client Al Habtoor Group L.L.C. (Dubai)


China State Construction Engineering

Address Near Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh

Main contractor Al Habtoor Leighton

Corporation has been appointed as the

Zayed Road

Group (Dubai)

Main contractor. Construction work is

City Dubai

Tender Categories Hotels, Prestige Buildings

progressing on this development. Currently,

Address Emaar Business Park, Bldg. No. 3, Near Interchange No. 5, Shaikh Zayed Road City Dubai Postal/ ZIP 9440 Country United Arab Emirates Phone (+971-4) 367 3333 Fax (+971-4) 367 3000 Email Website Status New tender Description Carrying out expansion of Dubai Mall by more than one million square feet. Remarks The mall is located in the downtown area of Dubai, next to Burj Khalifa Tower, and currently have more than 1,200 shops and 160 food and beverage outlets. This expansion will increase the size of mall development by 8 per cent from its current 12-million square feet. It will involve the addition of further retail outlets and hotel rooms. Tender Categories Hotels, Housing Projects, Leisure Project number OPR547-U

„„ Project name Saraya R-14 Residential Tower Project Territory Abu Dhabi Client Sorouh Real Estate (Abu Dhabi) Address Abu Dhabi Mall, 5th Floor, East Tower, Tourist Club Area City Abu Dhabi Postal/ ZIP 93666 Country United Arab Emirates Phone(+971-2) 444 0006 / 697 8888 Fax (+971-2) 444 0066 Email Website Status New Tender Description Construction of Saraya R-14 residential tower comprising three basement floors, a ground floor, mezzanine floor, four parking levels, 31 typical floors plus duplex penthouse. Remarks This tower will be located at

11 floors have been completed.

Postal/ ZIP 25444 Country United Arab Emirates Phone (+971-4) 343 1111

Project number OPR549-U

Site Office Tel: (+971-2) 6507871. South Africa's Southern Sun Hotels will


„„ Project name B2B Office Building Project


Territory Abu Dhabi

Project manager Cumming International

Budget 1300000000

Client Al Fahim Group (Abu Dhabi)

(Abu Dhabi)

Description Construction of 36-storey

City Abu Dhabi

Main contractor Cumming International

Al-Habtoor Palace Hotel comprising a

Postal/ ZIP 279

(Abu Dhabi)

226-room luxury hotel, a fashion hotel

Country United Arab Emirates

Cost consultant Cumming International

with (424) rooms and a 996-room hotel,

Phone (+971-2) 656 7336

(Abu Dhabi)

including a five-star spa, a sports academy,

Fax (+971-2) 656 7922

Tender Categories Hotels, Prestige Buildings

multiple theme restaurants, meeting


facilities, a shopping arcade and a theatre


showing productions from Broadway and

Status Current Project

Las Vegas.

Description Construction of B2B office

„„ Project name Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Project

Period 2016


Territory Abu Dhabi

Status Current Project

Remarks This building will be located

Client Abu Dhabi Health Services

Remarks This hotel will be located on

on Plot No. P-3B, South 23 in Abu Dhabi.

Company PJSC (SEHA)

Sheikh Zayed road in Dubai. It will be

Local Ali & Sons Contracting has been

Address Executive Bldg., Das Tower, 9th

built on the property that is currently

appointed as the Main contractor. It is

Floor, Sultan Bin Zayed Street (32nd Street),

housing the Metropolitan Hotel, opposite

understood that construction works have


Al Safa Park. The new hotel will comprise

commenced on this development. The

City Abu Dhabi

two basement levels, a ground floor,

local office of Lebanon's Khatib & Alami is

Postal/ ZIP 109090

mezzanine floor and four-level podium

acting as the consultant.

Country United Arab Emirates

with a 36-storey tower covering a total

Main Consultant Khatib & Alami Consulting

Phone (+971-2) 410 2000

built-up area of about 372,000 square

Engineers (Abu Dhabi)

Fax (+971-2) 650 5151

metres. Once completed, the complex will

Main contractor: Ali & Sons Contracting


be one of the region's most luxurious hotel

Company L.L.C (Abu Dhabi)


and entertainment developments. The

Tender Categories Prestige Buildings

Status New Tender

Fax (+971-4) 343 1140

hotels (lifestyle, luxury and main); - An iconic Las Vegas-style 'aqua' theatre; - A French provincial-inspired garden; and - Food and beverage venues. Local/Australian joint venture Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) has been awarded

Main Consultant Aedas (Abu Dhabi)

Project number SEHA/PRE-Q/02/2012

Description Construction of Sheikh Khalifa

landmark development will include: - 1,600 hotel rooms, spread between three

operate and manage the property.

Project number OPR546-U

„„ Project name Southern Sun Hotel Project Territory Abu Dhabi Client East & West Properties (Abu Dhabi) Address Muroor Road, Opp. Al Jazira Club

Medical City comprising (838) beds Tender cost $1365 Closing date March 27, 2012 Remarks Tender No. SEHA/PRE-Q/02/2012 This tender is in pre-qualification stage. The project is in Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The hospital will cover a total area of




Tenders provided by


should be submitted in plain packaging

curved walls contain a distinctive window

Phone(+971-2) 604 0000/ 604 3882/ 604

3-million square feet and will combine

indicating interest in the Sheikh Khalifa

patterning. This pattern is based on the


general hospital facilities with a trauma

Medical City - Main Works Package.

branching pattern of foliage and is derived

Fax (+971-2) 665 4839/ 666 9785/ 604

centre, women’s and paediatric centres.

Packaging to be sealed in red wax and

using computer-generated 'L-System'


Central area of the proposed medical

delivered to SEHA office, Addressed to the

modelling. Local MCM Group has been


campus will contain restaurants, retail and

attention of:

appointed as the Main contractor. Local


education spaces. The project will add

SEHA Corporate Group Supply Chain

Urbanism Planning Architecture has

Status New Tender

to the healthcare facilities on the island

Director - Application for Pre-Qualification

completed schematic design for this

Description Development of North East Bab

that together are also known as Sheikh

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City,

development. The project is currently

Field - Phase 3.

Khalifa Medical City. Client has invited

Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

being documented and construction will

Remarks This project is in Abu Dhabi.

contractors to submit pre-qualification

Main Consultant Allen & Shariff

commence in April 2012.

North East Bab (NEB) oil production comes

documents for the main construction

International (Abu Dhabi)

Main Consultant Urbanism Planning

from three separate oil fields; Al-Dabbiya,

contract. Construction work is scheduled

Main architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Architecture (Abu Dhabi)

Rumaitha and Shanayel. Client has

to commence in 2013. US-based


Main contractor MCM Group (Abu Dhabi)

invited the firms to bid for engineering

Skidmore, Owings & Merril (SOM) is the

Tender Categories Housing Projects,

MEP contractor El Mech Electromechanical

design contract on this scheme. Technical

architect. Client has invited companies

Medical & Healthcare

Works L.L.C (Abu Dhabi)

proposals for the front-end engineering

Tender Categories Housing Projects, leisure

and design (FEED) are due to be submitted

with recent and relevant experience in Main Works construction of major hospital/

Project number OPR532-U

healthcare projects to register their interest

„„ Project name Abu Dhabi Ladies Club Project

in tendering for the Main Works of this scheme by submitting pre-qualification documents as outlined below. Interested companies that meet the below-mentioned minimum criteria are kindly requested to pick-up the pre-qualification application from: Allen & Shariff Corporation 2nd Floor, Building No. 3, Blocks A & B, Al Nahyan Commercial Buildings, Al Nahyan Camp, P.O.Box 110781, Abu Dhabi, UAE Tel: (+971-2) 6427218 Fax: (+971-2) 6427219. The specified non-refundable application fee is to be deposited at the time of collection of the Pre-Qualification Package (Manager's Cheque payable to Abu Dhabi Health Services Company - SEHA). The minimum criteria to be eligible for prequalification are: 1) Applicant has completed at least One Main Works project for a major hospital/ healthcare project in excess of AED 2 Billion in value as a Main contractor in the last (10) years. 2) Applicant has a valid Abu Dhabi trade license. 3) Applicant's (the single company or the local partner in case of the JV Partnership) Contractor Classification is SPECIAL CATEGORY. 4) Applicant has a minimum bonding capaCity of AED 300 Million. 5) Applicant has the capability to provide a Tender Bond of AED 100 Million at the time of tender submission. 6) Annual turnover of the Applicant shall be in the order of AED 2 Billion. 7) Applicant to submit Joint Venture Memorandum of Understanding, if applicable.

Territory Abu Dhabi Client Family Development Foundation

on March 06, 2012. Commercial deadlines will be set at a later date, although an Project number DPR320-U

award is expected before June 2012. A

„„ Project name Dragon II Shopping Mall Project

project management consultancy (PMC) contract has also been tendered for the FEED phase, which will last for 8 months.

(Abu Dhabi)

Territory Dubai

Address Al Mushrif

Client Nakheel PJSC (Dubai)

City Abu Dhabi

Address Formerly Dubai Palm Developers,

Country United Arab Emirates

Jebel Ali

Phone(+971-2) 409 0169

City Dubai

Status Current Project

Postal/ ZIP 17777

Description Construction of Abu Dhabi

Country United Arab Emirates

Ladies Club comprising two storeys plus

Phone(+971-4) 390 3333

basement, including sports facilities, beach

Fax (+971-4) 390 3314

services, playground, swimming pool, gate


house and plant building


Remarks This project will be located

Status New Project

at Plot No. (P1-a), Sector (W53) on the

Description Construction of two-storey

waterfront in Abu Dhabi and cover

Dragon II shopping mall comprising retail

an area of 50,000 square metres. It

mix, cinemas, hypermarket, food court,

will contain cultural, recreational and

kids' amusement, gymnasium, stores,

educational facilities for women in UAE.

cafes, etc.

The Club will include a conference hall

Remarks This project will be located to

and accommodation, multi-purpose

the northeast of existing Dragon Mart in

auditorium, indoor and outdoor sports

Dubai and cover an approximate built-up

facilities, indoor and outdoor swimming

area of 160,000 square metres. Lebanon's

pools and a spa facility, women's health

Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) has

facilities, craft and education facilities as

Project number MPP2602-K

been appointed as the consultant on this

well as children crèche and recreation


areas. The project is being constructed in

Main Consultant Dar Al Handasah (Shair &

3 stages. To be located on a beachfront

Partners) - Dubai

„„ Project name Environmental Remediation Project

site, it will eventually contain a water

Tender Categories Leisure, Housing Projects

park and extensive gardens. The design is derived from the folding of traditional

Project number MPP2603-U

Islamic fabrics and patterns. The complex

feature of the design is a series of large

„„ Project name North East Bab Field Development Project - Phase 3

fabric roof forms derived from the petals

Territory Abu Dhabi

of a flower. These roofs are made from

Client Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore

a unique pattern using 2 types of PVC

Oil Operations (ADCO)

fabric; a solid fabric and a translucent lace

Address Corniche Road

fabric. This design allows for areas of shade

City Abu Dhabi

and areas of natural light. The facades of

Postal/ ZIP 270

consists of a series of wings arranged around a central covered festival space. A

Complete pre-qualification documents

Country United Arab Emirates


The tender covers three packages, the first is for FEED study for facilities at the Rumaitha and Shanayel fields, located approximately 50-kilometres South East from Abu Dhabi, doubling production capaCity to 39,000 barrels per day, using water-alternating-gas (WAS) injection process, as well as water injection. France’s Genesis Oil & Gas Consultants is nearing completion of the conceptual design work on this scheme. Design consultant Genesis Oil & Gas Consultants (Abu Dhabi) Tender Categories Oilfield Development, Hydrocarbon Processing, Storage & Distribution


Territory Kuwait Client Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) City Ahmadi 61008 Postal/ ZIP9758 Country Kuwait Phone (+965) 2398 9111 Fax (+965) 2398 3661 Email Website Description Carrying out environmental remediation of oil fields. Remarks This project is in Kuwait. Scope of work includes the survey of contaminated areas, dividing them into individual project

Olympic Games in 2020. The hall will have

Postal/ ZIP 684

a built up area of 52,200 square metres

as well as preparing technical specifications

Country Bahrain

and will consist of (5) levels and basement

for tenders to enable detailed design and

Phone (+793-17) 822 122

car parking. In addition to the main arena

procurement. Client has invited nine firms


the sports centre will contain a medical

Description Construction of 50-storey

centre, physiotherapy centres, massage

JW Marriott Hotel on a waterfront

rooms, a gymnasium and an anti-doping


test area. It will also contain two warm-up

Period 2016

areas, each with the capaCity of (250)

of an explosive ordnance detection strategy

to bid by February 28, 2012 for the project

Egypt Project number MPP2571-E

Ecology & Environment, CH2M Hill,

„„ Project name Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel Refurbishment Project

PIKA international, Science Applications

Territory Egypt

International Corporation; UK’s Amec, Buro

Client Misr Hotels Company (Egypt)

Status New Tender

constructed according to the international

Happold; Australia’s SMEC International

Address 28 Hussein Wassef St., Dokki

Remarks This project will be located in

standards for hosting Olympic games.

and Worley Parsons. Winning firm will

City Giza

Bahrain Bay Waterfront Development.

Client has invited express of interest (EoIs)

draw up a 9-year project plan combining

Country Egypt

It is being implemented by local Khaleej

from contractors for a new venue at

the individual projects up to 2020. The

Phone (+20-3) 761 0586 / 761 0587

Capital a joint venture of Qatar-based

Al-Sadd Sports Club located close to the

programme will be funded by the UN

Fax (+20-3) 761 0246

Business Trading Company and the local

Al-Waab intersection in Doha. The two

Compensation Commission.


Remza Investment Company. The scheme

packages are enabling works and main

Tender Categories Oilfield Development

Status Current Project

will consist of a 50-storey tower on top

building works and site infrastructure.

Description Carrying out refurbishment/

of a 5-storey podium, with three floors of

Client is scheduled to award the contract

modernising of the existing 13-storey Nile

underground parking. The development

for the enabling package in May 2012

Project number MPP2584-K

Ritz Carlton Hotel

will cover a total area of 97,000 square

and excavation works are expected to

„„ Project name National Bank of Kuwait Headquarters Building Project

Remarks This project is in Cairo. The

metres. East side of the tower will contain

be completed by the end of 2012 and

hotel covers a total area of 64,000

276 hotel rooms and related facilities and

main building package is expected to be

square metres. A joint venture of local

the west side will contain 96 serviced

awarded by the end of October 2012, with

Orascom Construction Industries and

apartments. Five-storey podium will

project scheduled for completion in 2014.

local Arab Contractors has been awarded

contain the banquet hall and meeting

Tender Categories Housing Projects, Leisure

the main contract to carry out structure

facilities, lobbies and common areas, in

rehabilitation works. Lebanon's Arabian

addition to 200 car parking spaces. The

Construction Company (ACC) has been

underground car park will contain 220 car

Project number MPP2604-Q

awarded a contract to carry out the

parking spaces. Contractors have been

interior finishing as well as the mechanical,

invited to pre-qualify for the main contract

electrical and plumbing (MEP) package on

on this scheme. Local YDA & Associates is

„„ Project name Doha Grand Park Project

this development. The $90 million contract

acting as the Design consultant.

will involve work on interior cladding and

Design consultant Yousif Dawood Al

finishing for all rooms, outlets, public

Sayegh Consultants (Bahrain)

places and the casino. The contract is

Tender Categories Hotels, Leisure

scheduled to be completed in (18) months.


management contract. The pre-qualifiers include; US’ Aecom Technical Services,

Territory Kuwait Client Al Shaab National Real Estate Company (Kuwait) City Kuwait City Postal/ ZIP 3885 Country Kuwait Phone (+965) 2242 5303 Fax (+965) 2242 5907 Status New Tender Description Construction of 70-storey, 300-metre-high headquarters building for National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). Remarks This tower will be located in the Sharq area of Kuwait City. Edrasis Middle East, a joint venture of local Ahmadiah Contracting Company and Greece's Edrasis Psalidas, has been awarded a contract to carry out piling and excavation work for the project. Works have already commenced and will take six months to complete. Thereafter, the main construction package is expected

Project manager Hill International Ltd.

seats. The facility will be designed and

(Egypt) Main contractor Orascom Construction Industries (Egypt), Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Company) Egypt MEP contractor Arabian Construction Company - ACC (Egypt) Tender Categories Housing Projects, Hotels


Territory Qatar Client Private Engineering Office (Qatar) City Doha Postal/ ZIP23723 Country Qatar Phone (+974) 4443 4857 Fax (+974) 4443 6291 Email

Project number MPP2605-Q


„„ Project name Multipurpose Sports Hall Construction Project

Description Design and build (DB) contract

Territory Qatar

project involves developing a park similar

Client Qatar Olympic Committee

in design to New York’s Central Park


and London’s Hyde Park. The scheme


Status Current Project for the construction of Doha Grand Park. Remarks This project is in Qatar. The

Postal/ ZIP 7494

will include food and beverage outlets,

designed by UK-based architecture firm

Country Qatar

museum and other amenities. It will be

Foster & Partners. Bahrain-based Projacs

Phone (+974) 4494 4444

built on the area stretching from Al-Rayyan

International is acting as the Project

Project number MPP2597-B

Fax (+974) 4494 4788

road to the tennis centre and from the old


British Embassy to the road leading on to


the Corniche. Local Urbacon International

Status New Tender

has been appointed to develop the

Description Construction of a multi-

scheme. Local KEO International is acting

purpose sports hall designed for basketball,

as the consultant on this scheme.

Design consultant Foster & Partners (UK)

„„ Project name JW Marriott Hotel Construction Project Bahrain Bay Waterfront Development

volleyball, handball, badminton and

Main Consultant KEO International

Project manager Projacs International

Territory Bahrain

gymnastics, with a total (7,500 Nos.)

Consultants (Qatar)


Client Remza Investment Company

seating capaCity at Al-Sadd Sports Club.

Main contractor Urbacon International

Foundations, enabling and contractor


Period 2014


Edrasis Middle East Ltd. (Kuwait)

Address B63 Al-Qadisiya Avenue

Remarks This project is in Qatar. This

Tender Categories Leisure, Housing

project is part of countries bid to host the

Projects, Municipal Services

to be tendered. The tower has been

manager, while local SSH International is providing consultancy services on this development. Main Consultant SSH International Consultant (Kuwait)

Tender Categories Prestige Buildings



City Manama

packages. It also includes the preparation

To advertise please contact: LIAM WILLIAMS Associate publisher Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9158

RHIANNON DOWNIE Business Development Director Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9156

CAROLE McCARTHY Marketing and PR Executive Email: Tel: +971 4 440 9157




Estimated value of Saudi Arabia’s construction market in 2012

US$150bn Public spending and infrastructure investment in KSA construction

US $6bn investment in

residential housing planned in KSA for the next four years

US$8.6bn value of active power projects in Saudi Arabia

US$146.7bn the total budget announced in 2010; the country’s largest ever and a driving force behind many projects


The Big 5 Saudi Arabia

Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events: March 10-13 With more than 2900 exhibitors taking part and more than 58,000 trade visitors, The Big 5 is organised by DMG Events Dubai Ltd. The show will also have a dedicated USA pavilion. For details visit:


World Trade Centre, Dubai: March 13-15 Platform for progressive organisations and professionals in energy, water and environment management also featuring SMARTECH. For details visit:

Sulaymaniah Build Expo

Sulaymaniah Expo Center, Iraq: March 14-17 The second international event, is expected to welcome 25,000 targeted trade visitors and 250 booths For details visit:

Saudi International Building & Construction Exhibition

Dhahran International Exhibition Centre, Dammam: March 18-21 The best opportunity to introduce your company to rapidly and enormously growing construction market of Saudi Arabia. For details visit:

Arabian Construction Week

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, UAE: March 26-28 Organizsed by Clarion Events Ltd, ACW is aimed towards providing a single most base for exhibiting various products/services For details visit:

Arabian Power & Water Summit

Park Hyatt, Saadiyat Island: March 6-7 Speakers at the two day event include representatives from ADEWA, CH2MHILL, Parsons, QEWC and Mubadala. For details visit:

World Eco Construction

Abu Dhabi: April 22-25 Running alongside CityScape Abu Dhabi, The show is accompanied by 12 days of global summits, workshops and training courses For details visit:



CSC Toronto Chapter Trade Show

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto: March 5 In its 34th year, CSC has acquired verteran show status in Canada’s construction industry. The expo will feature a lecture series, educational programmes and presentations. For details visit:

China International Building Decorations and Materials Exhibition

New China Exhibition Centre, Beijing: March 5-8 Also supported by Stone China 2012 and the international exhibition for window and door security. For details visit:

Architecture and Construction Materials

Tokyo International Exhibition Centre: March 6-9 Construction materials for commercial buildings, cultural and public facilities, homes and office buildings. The exhibits also include related equipment, building techniques, tools and software. For details visit:

Buildtech Bangladesh

Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh: March 8-10 Focused on the work of the volume housing and domestic and non-domestic building sectors, this event brings together exhibitors from all over the world for the latest equipments, machineries, tools, and information and industry trends. The event is also known as the biggest sustainable building and refurbishment event in Bangladesh. For details visit:

Green Energy Expo Korea 2012

EXCO, Daegu, Korea: March 28-30 Korea’s first trade fair for the renewable energy industry, and the show’s ninth edition. Annually, the event has grown 40% since 2006. For details visit: | 65

YOUR SHOUT | Where next?

Get involved: Visit: Follow us on Twitter: METheBigProject Become a group member on LinkedIn Or become a fan on Facebook: Thebigproject ME

Your Shout This month, The Big Project asked readers about the most common difficulties experienced when conducting business in Saudi Arabiaaa Yasir Azmat Shah Distributor at SkyAims Telecommunications

The issue of Kafeel, or sponsorship, when working on a private visa always makes things difficult. In addition there is now a red, yellow and green ‘lights’ system, which is becoming a headache for both employees and owners. Saudi Arabia is the only country to have these three signals implemented on anything other than roads!

Narabel Harris HKR Architects, UAE

Not only are the local customs and cultures completey different from other other countries in the region, but when it comes to forming a local joint venture – which every company has to do – the process is time consuming and expensive. Local bureaucracy and the need to translate all documents from English to Arabic, takes a lot of time and the assistance isn’t always there. It also helps to have an Arabic speaker within the company to retain control.

Yassin Mohamed Abo-Rjelah Legal Consultant at Ali Bin Abdullah Bin Ali Lawyers and Legal Consultants, Saudi Arabia

In comparison to the procedures for establishing business in other Middle East countries, I do not feel Saudi Arabia poses that many more obstacles to investors or businesses. Investors may face some governmental rules and regulations; there may be additional requirements or longer processes to go through, but nothing out of the ordinary. These are all just standard business routines.

66 |

To give your shout on next month’s topic, follow The Big Project on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

22-25 April 2012 Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Co-located with

Saudi Building & Interiors Exhibition

The region’s largesT heavy equipmenT show hosTed in Jeddah Time is running out to book space at the Construction Machinery Show, the largest heavy machinery event in the GCC. With over 90% of the total 20,000 sqm now sold, this could be your last opportunity to participate in 2012’s best event dedicated to bringing together the region’s key manufacturers, distributors and buyers. We’ve listened to the industry and created an event with the biggest names in construction machinery combined with the Arab world’s most prominent players. Distributors and dealers are key exhibitors at the event, and only at the Construction Machinery Show will you find the huge variety of heavy equipment, machinery and generators that will be vital in building a bright future for the GCC.

Gold Sponsor

Official Media Partner

Co-located with SBIE, the Saudi Building and Interiors Exhibition, the Construction Machinery Show takes place at a location that is at the very heart of Saudi Arabia’s booming industry. Jeddah is primed to become one of the most important cities in the region and this is your chance to build your business in this exciting market. Power and Lighting by

We will be in Jeddah this April. Will you?

Find out more. Visit ORGANISED BY

The Construction Machinery Show and Construction Machinery Middle East and their entities are registered trademarks. The Construction Machinery Show is held alongside the Saudi Building and Interiors Exhibition under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs. © 2011 Corporate Publishing International. All rights reserved.

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