Construction Business News Middle East2017

It is that time of the year when Construction
Business News will hold its second annual
Construction Innovation Awards. This
year, the awards have received an overwhelming
response from the construction sector.
With an 80% surge in the number of nominations
across 18 categories this year, the awards
definitely look to become bigger and better.
The October issue also features highlights
from one of the region’s biggest real estate and
property trade fairs, Cityscape Global. The exhibition
hosted hundreds of prominent local
and international companies offering an array
of exclusive deals on projects within the UAE.
In addition to transactions onsite, up to 40
new project launches were announced during
the show from developers such as Aldar Properties,
Deyaar, Dubai Properties, Jumeirah
Golf Estates, Nakheel, and Meydan.
According to Cityscape global data partner,
Property Monitor, offered by Cavendish Maxwell,
when comparing the number of transactions
for off-plan properties during the first
day of Cityscape Global in 2016 and 2017,
the figure has grown to almost three times the
size, jumping from 37 to 106.
Lynnette Abad, partner and head of Property
Monitor, said: “Looking back at the opening
day for 2016’s edition compared to 2017’s,
we can see a dramatic leap in the number of
registered Dubai Land Department transactions
made for off-plan units. Permission to
sell during the show has seemed to catalyse
investor and buyers in the region, and has resulted
in a noticeable increase of activity.
“One of the reasons why off-plan has been
so successful this year is because developers
have found that winning combination of a
very good final price point coupled with attractive
payment plans. This has lured investors
back into the market and opened an opportunity
for end-users who couldn’t afford to
get on the property ladder before.”
There is still four months left for the year to
end. The busiest quarter of 2017 is here and
we have all pulled up our socks to end the year
on a positive note.
editor’s note
Paromita Dey
Nasma, Sharjah’s newest
residential community
Your forever home for AED 995,000.
۱۰% upon booking, and 20% during construction!
The remaining 70% at handover!
Located in the heart of new Sharjah, on the intersection of Emirates Road and Maliha Road,
comes a vibrant new community. With Tilal Mall and the new Sharjah Convention Centre at its
doorstep, Nasma has a lot to offer:
• ۲, ۳ and 4 bedroom freehold townhouses and villas.
• ۱۳-acre community park.
• A school, nursery, medical clinic, shopping centre and a club house.
• ۱۰ minutes away from Sharjah Airport, University City and
Sharjah International Airport Free Zone.
• No service or maintenance charges.
Now is the time to become a home-owner and live the life you always dreamed of.
Your forever home.
۸۰۰-ARADA (27232)
۱۰ // construction business news me // October 2017
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Master developer Meraas has
announced that Dubai Harbour
will have a second cruise
terminal in addition to the
one already revealed in January
۲۰۱۷٫ The announcement
was made during Cityscape
Global 2017.
Dubai Harbour will be the
first cruise destination to
build two terminals simultaneously
which, when completed,
will accommodate
۱٫۲m passengers annually.
The addition of a second terminal
is intended to build on
Dubai’s reputation as a tourism
destination, while capitalising
on strong growth in
the cruise industry globally.
HE Abdulla Al Habbai,
group chairman at Meraas,
said: “Dubai Harbour connects
some of Dubai’s most
vibrant neighbourhoods and
reflects a culture of innovation
envisioned by His Highness
Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice
President and Prime Minister
of the UAE and Ruler of
Dubai, for the emirate. The
project also reaffirms our
commitment to expanding
on Dubai’s rich maritime
heritage and tourism profile,
while supporting the continued
diversification of the national
“By creating a world-class
destination that appeals to
people around the globe,
Dubai Harbour represents
an opportunity to achieve
economies of scale and
drive growth in the maritime
tourism sector. It will also
help maintain Dubai’s status
among the world’s top tourism
destinations for generations
to come.”
Each terminal will be approximately
۱۴,۰۰۰sqm in
size with one single apron of
۹۰۰m. While other ports have
multiple terminals, none have
so far built more than one at
any given time. Meanwhile, in
addition to serving the cruise
ship industry, Dubai Harbour
will feature the largest marina
in the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA). Once complete,
the marina will have
۱,۱۰۰ berths, capable of accommodating
some of the
world’s biggest private yachts.
The masterplan for Dubai
Harbour extends over 185ha
and includes an 81,290sqm
shopping mall, an events
arena, luxury residences, restaurants,
cafes, hotels, and a
yacht club. It will also feature
the Dubai Lighthouse, an architectural
marvel stretching
۱۳۵m into the sky with an observation
deck offering panoramic
Dubai Harbour will also integrate
Skydive Dubai, Dubai
International Marine Club
(DIMC), and Logo Island into
a single integrated community.
Ground has been broken
and 130,000sqm of land has
been reclaimed. The contractor
for the cruise terminal will
be appointed once the land
for the terminal is ready, with
Dubai Habour being constructed
in phases.
There will also be a futuristic
public transport system, water
stations, pedestrian bridge,
and jogging and cycling
tracks. The new development
will offer views of Dubai’s
skyline, the Arabian Gulf and
‘Ain Dubai’, the world’s tallest
and largest observation
wheel. The project will create
synergies with some of
Dubai’s other projects located
in the area, including Palm
Jumeirah and Meraas’ neighbourhood
at Bluewaters.
Meraas reveals updates about Dubai Harbour
at Cityscape Global construction business news me // October 2017 // 11
Real estate
MAG Property Development
(MAG PD) announced the
launch of its AED4bn MAG
EYE project for customers
looking for investment opportunities
at Cityscape Global.
MAG EYE is one of the exclusive
communities being
developed in the heart of Mohammed
bin Rashid (MBR)
City in Meydan Dubai, and
is situated close to the Meydan
Racecourse and many
of the city’s most important
landmarks including the Burj
Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and
Downtown Dubai.
Residents will also benefit
from easy access to the city
via the major Al Khail and
Mohammed bin Zayed roads.
MAG EYE will offer a wide
range of residential options
including various apartments
and townhouse units. While
featuring a calm and relaxing
environment, all units will
have a view of the city’s skyline
and private green spaces,
with outdoor gardens em-
MAG unveils AED4bn project in MBR City
bracing the project’s buildings
to form an oasis.
Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah,
chief executive officer of MAG
PD, commented: “At our MAG
EYE project, we are presenting
an exclusive definition of
family housing by providing
residents with the highest levels
of privacy, comfort, and
residential living at a strategic
location in the heart of Dubai.
“Our strategy for 2017 and
۲۰۱۸ is focused on delivering
real estate projects that
cater to every socio-economic
need in the city. Aimed
at developing what we call
‘Value Homes’, MAG of Value
blends returns on investment
(ROI) with quality real estate,
combining high-quality
developments, ideal planning
and comprehensive services,
and facilities to deliver
enhanced communities.”
The project is an exclusive
private gated community of
۴,۰۰۰ apartments and 536
townhouses that give residents
the option of studios
and one-bedroom apartments,
and three- and fourbedroom
townhouses in Meydan
District 7. Given its full
privacy, all-day security, and
a wide range of green spaces,
swimming pools, retail shops,
gymnasiums, restaurants, and
cafés, the project will offer
residents an ideal environment
for relaxation.
The project will present residents
with integrated solutions
including ample space
for retail shops, a mosque,
and kindergarten, and the
largest health club in the city.
As part of its plan to keep
abreast of modern applications
and advanced methods
of project operation,
the General Maintenance
Department of Dubai Municipality
has implemented
one of the new smart applications,
automatic cleaning
of solar panels that are
used for lighting the parks,
at Al Khazan Park.
Eng Jabir Al Ali, director
of general maintenance department
at Dubai Munici-
Dubai Municipality installs solar panel cleaning robots
matic tuning. The system
does not require the use
of electrical energy and
works on the solar energy
generated from the panel.
In addition to that, it does
not need water at all in the
process of cleaning because
its work depends on
the pressure of the air.”
Al Ali added that the department
is planning to
implement such an experiment
in other projects and
sites too.
pality, said: “Solar energy
projects and applications
have become a priority in
the projects of Dubai Municipality
because of its
economic feasibility and
environmental and health
benefits. The optimal operation
of solar projects
requires the provision of
supplementary services to
ensure the best results of
its design, implementation,
and operation.”
Al Ali added that the application
of cleaning the
solar panels automatically
in Al Khazan Park
is a preparatory stage for
implementing this successful
experience in existing
solar projects and
future projects.
He said: “The idea of the
experiment is based on the
principle of installation
of the automatic cleaning
device operating on the
edges of the panel with a
brush with flexible auto//
۱۲ // construction business news me // October 2017
UAE-based developer, Deyaar
Development, launched
South Bay, a premium residential,
serviced apartment
and hotel property to be developed
at an estimated cost
of AED1bn.
Located in Business Bay,
the 63-storey development
will boast a built-up area of
more than 130ha and offers
fantastic views of The Tower
at Dubai Creek Harbour and
Meydan Racecourse.
The design of the South
Bay tower focuses on verticality,
featuring sleek lines
that effortlessly combine
design with functionality –
something that is echoed
throughout the building’s
interior, said senior Deyaar
officials at the launch ceremony
held on the sidelines
Deyaar unveils AED1bn mixed-use project
of Cityscape Global.
South Bay will be Deyaar’s
first project with three accommodation
residential, serviced apartment,
and hotel units. It will
comprise 926 units, from
studios to three-bedrooms,
of which 448 will be residential,
۱۳۳ will be serviced
apartments, and 345 will be
hotel units operated by a
multinational hotel brand.
Deyaar’s CEO, Saeed Al Qatami,
said: “We’re extremely
pleased to showcase our
newest development, South
Bay, here at Cityscape. South
Bay will be the perfect addition
to our growing portfolio,
as a property suitable
for anyone looking to live at
a prestigious address in the
heart of modern Dubai.
“Business Bay is one of the
most exciting neighbour-
Danish consultancy, Ramboll,
has secured a major win
as a lead consultant for Imkan’s
AED2bn Makers District
development in Abu Dhabi.
The waterfront community
comprises a mix of residential,
hospitality, commercial,
and retail space, spread
across 18ha of land on Reem
Island, and is set to become
one of Abu Dhabi’s most
iconic projects.
Ramboll will provide lead
consultancy services on the
first phase of Makers District,
working alongside international
Architects, BIG
and MVRDV. Soren Holm
Johansen, group executive
director at Ramboll, stated:
“This is a significant win for
Ramboll appointed for Imkan’s AED2bn Makers District
responding to the rise of the
maker movement – a social
movement with an artisan
spirit. With a vibrant hub, it
will become the new beating
heart of Abu Dhabi and
will herald a new type of real
estate development that will
benefit end-users, investors,
and the wider community.”
With over 1,000 residential
units, 11,000sqm of commercial
and retail space, and a
construction value of AED-
۲bn, the scheme is scheduled
for completion in 2020.
ers District. This is testament
to our approach of entering
partnerships with global firms
with a proven track record
in delivering truly outstanding
projects. Makers District
is the first development of its
kind in the region. We conducted
extensive research on
the needs and aspirations of
young, highly networked, and
creative workers who currently
have a limited choice in
where they live and work.
“Makers District is a community
that fills this gap by
our team in the UAE. Our
multi-disciplinary buildings
team are involved in several
high-rises, and mixed-use
projects in the region and
this high-profile win cements
our position as one
of the leading engineering
design companies. With the
consultancy contract valued
at AED120mn, the Makers
District is a very challenging
project, and we are excited
to utilise our knowledge and
expertise to deliver a project
of this scale successfully.”
Commenting on the announcement,
Walid El Hindi,
CEO of IMKAN, said: “We are
delighted to appoint Ramboll
as the lead consultant
for the first phase of Makhoods
to be in today, and
South Bay will be in the very
centre of the city’s leisure
and business district.”
According to him, this
new project will contribute
to Deyaar’s expanding
hospitality property portfolio,
comprising 478 of the
more than 2,000 keys that
the company will add to the
hospitality sector in Dubai
by 2020.
“Residents will enjoy hotel
amenities catering to
their social, leisure, health
and general well-being
needs, including a gymnasium,
swimming areas, mini
golf, and more,” explained
Al Qatami.
The official sales launch for
South Bay will be announced
in the coming months. construction business news me // October 2017 // 13
ARADA unveils AED24bn
real estate project in Sharjah
UAE-based developer,
ARADA, launched Aljada, a
master-planned destination,
covering over 2.2sqkm that
is set to become Sharjah’s
largest ever mixed-use development
project. Unveiled
by HH Sheikh Dr
Sultan bin Muhammad Al
Qasimi, Supreme Council
Member and Ruler of Sharjah,
Aljada is located on the
last major plot of undeveloped
land in the heart of
the emirate.
Delivered in phases starting
from 2019, construction
on Aljada will begin in the
first quarter of 2018 and the
entire project is expected to
be completed by 2025. Aljada
is an all-encompassing
district that comprises retail,
leisure, and entertainment
options, in addition to
a wide range of residential
and commercial offerings,
such as a dedicated business
The Aljada masterplan by
ARADA is designed with
walkability and wide green
spaces in mind, allowing
residents, workers, and visitors
the ability to live, work,
play, and be entertained
within an all-inclusive and
self-sustained precinct.
Aljada’s entertainment and
leisure precinct, the Central
Hub, will be a major draw
for tourists and residents.
The Central Hub will be anchored
by a showpiece musical
fountain display, situated
in a beautifully designed
urban piazza, populated
with an array of cafes and
restaurants. Among the Central
Hub’s other attractions
will be the largest children’s
adventure and discovery
complex in the Northern
Emirates, alongside skate
parks, an extreme sports
centre, and indoor and outdoor
Upon completion, Aljada
is projected to play host
to a total population of
around 70,000. The community
will contain two
linear parks, each 2.2km
long, that stretch the entire
length of the project, helping
to promote a healthy
lifestyle and giving every
resident the opportunity
to enjoy lush green spaces
only a few minutes’ walk
away from their front door.
In addition, two wide treelined
boulevards, totalling
۴٫۴km in length and featuring
carefully curated retail
and F&B offerings, and will
provide a vibrant and busy
connection to every district
in Aljada.
ARADA’s chairman, HE
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al
Qasimi, said: “Aljada reflects
ARADA’s unwavering commitment
to contribute to the
Sharjah leadership’s vision by
creating unique urban communities
with ample green
spaces. We want to offer residents
and investors upscale
living experiences that are
currently unavailable in the
market and ensure a better
life for everyone who visits,
lives, or works in Aljada. We
are confident that this development
will raise interest in
Sharjah even further while
strengthening its position as
a secure and sought-after investment
destination. Aljada
also seeks to attract businesses
looking to establish their
base out of Sharjah, the UAE’s
newest booming economic
hub and a thriving businessfriendly
HRH Prince Khaled bin
Alwaleed bin Talal, vice
chairman of ARADA, said:
“Aljada is a project that
stays true to its roots; it embodies
the heritage of the
city that lies around it while
looking forward to Sharjah’s
future. With design
elements that draw inspiration
from Sharjah’s oldest
neighbourhoods to environmentally
friendly building
standards, Aljada really
does represent the best of
both worlds.”
HE Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan
bin Muhammad Al Qasimi,
chairman of Sharjah
Urban Planning Council,
said: “Elevating the standards
of development in
Sharjah by working closely
with the Sharjah Urban
Planning Council, Aljada
will be distinguished by
its superior architectural
design and unparalleled
quality of public realm,
incorporating best international
design practices.
Master-planned with a focus
on enhanced urban
spaces, the design-led Aljada
lifestyle experience
integrates living, working,
and entertainment, all curated
for a vibrant tightly
knit community.”
The development includes
an extensive residential mix
including standalone villas,
semi-detached villas, townhouses,
lofts, and apartments,
complemented by
generous open spaces and
facilities, including F&B
outlets, schools, healthcare
clinics, and mosques. A
considerable portion of the
masterplan is dedicated to
green spaces and community
facilities, creating an
attractive opportunity for
investors who want to buy
in a new prime destination
that perfectly captures the
essence of Sharjah.
۱۴ // construction business news me // October 2017
Aldar finishes Reem
Island school
Top 5 Web Stories
Abu Dhabi-based developer, Aldar
Properties, has completed the Repton
School project and has handed the asset
over to the operator EKI ahead of
the commencement of the 2017-18 academic
Aldar was the developer of the project,
which consists of two main buildings
– one focused on teaching and
the other on sports. Occupying a 2.5ha
plot, the main school building incorporates
a basement, ground floor, and
three further floors. Athletic facilities
include tennis courts, a 25m Olympic
standard swimming pool, and two
multi-purpose gyms. The school also
boasts a dance theatre. Construction
commenced in May 2016 and finished
in August 2017.
The school is located within Aldar’s
master planned community on Reem
Island and in close proximity to the developer’s
other projects including Sun
& Sky Towers, The Gate & Arc Towers,
Meera, and The Bridges.
ALEC bags Dubai Hills
mall project
The 16th edition of Cityscape Global, the Middle East’s
largest, most influential real estate event, officially opened
on September 11 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Expo 2020 unveils
legacy plans
DSI makes new
Emaar skips
Cityscape Global
Ramboll wins
Imkan’s project
// Snapshot
Commenting, Talal Al Dhiyebi, chief
development officer, Aldar Properties,
said: “I am pleased to be able to hand
over Repton School, after what has been
a high tempo construction schedule, in
time for the new academic year. We
have a track record in delivering schools
that will meet the needs of future generations,
and I am sure that Repton students
will benefit greatly from the facilities
on offer. I am also pleased that it
is located in a catchment area that will
benefit a great number of people living
in Aldar homes on Reem Island.” construction business news me // October 2017 // 15
Dubai-based developer,
Sobha Group, unveiled the
Hartland Gardenia Villas, the
newest collection of fourbedroom
luxury villas with
Dubai Canal views.
This launch is part of
Phase 2 of the villa community
within Sobha Hartland.
Sobha Hartland is
۷۴ha freehold community
in Mohammed bin Rashid
Al Maktoum City. Its prime
proximity near Dubai’s top
attractions makes it a particularly
sought-after project.
With special focus on lavish
space and exclusive features,
the Gardenia villas at
Sobha Hartland will comprise
four-bedrooms on two
levels complete with ensuite
bathrooms and ample closet
space. These contemporary
villas come with a private lift
and will boast of a space of
Sobha unveils 22 villas in
Sobha Hartland
۴۰۴sqm each. Both an investor
and end-user will have
the option of having their
very own outdoor space
comprising a private garden
and terrace.
Additionally, each Gardenia
villa comes with special
retractable glass doors which
allows residents to merge
indoor and outdoor spaces
seamlessly, connecting them
to the private garden and
swimming pool. Hartland
Gardenia will comprise 22
units and completion is expected
by August 2019.
PNC Menon, founder and
chairman, Sobha Group,
said: “We are delighted to
announce the launch of
Hartland Gardenia luxury
villas. These villas will have
features you would ordinarily
find in a mansion like a
lift, four master bedrooms,
private terraces, and garden
and more. Investors and
end-users finally have the
opportunity to own a premium
piece of luxury property
in the centre of Dubai and in
a freehold community along
the Dubai Canal. We have
designed these villas keeping
in mind each type of
lifestyle, investment, preference,
and purpose.
“Given our focus for quality
and large lavish homes
compared to smaller units
offered by other players,
coupled with excellent payment
plans, Sobha Hartland
is by far the most preferred
choice for real estate investments.
Surrounded by 22ha
of greenery and set along
the Dubai Water Canal, the
project enjoys the advantage
of prime location backed by
over 40 years of expertise.”
// Bitesize news
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism
Development Authority
announced that the world’s
longest and highest zip
line will open on the UAE’s
highest peak, Jebel Jais, in
December 2017.
The UAE government has
approved housing loans
worth AED670mn to 1,080
beneficiaries in Umm Al
Quwain under the Sheikh
Zayed Housing Programme.
Dubai Metro has officially
crossed the one billion rider
mark, announced by Matar
Al Tayer, director general
and chairman of the RTA.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed
declared the official opening
date for Louvre Abu Dhabi to
be on November 11, 2017.
۱۶ // construction business news me // October 2017
Dubai-based RKM Durar Properties, a
joint venture between RKM Real Estate
and Durar Al Emarat Properties,
has launched a new ‘U’ shaped twotower
residential project on the banks
of Dubai Water Canal.
The J One project’s Tower A will
have 19 floors offering 257 studios,
one-, and two-bedroom apartments,
while Tower B with 18 floors will
provide 90 two-, three-, and four-bedroom
units. The project, the group’s
first development, will also have six
villas and nine retail units.
The tower A includes two temperature-
controlled pools, spas, gyms,
a sky garden, and a children’s playground.
The tower B has another
two temperature-controlled pools,
spas, health clubs, and VIP lounge.
The entire project is spread across
۸۳,۶۱۲sqm of area.
The project contractor is Ali & Sons
Contracting, which is part of Ali &
Sons Holding. The project is designed
by a consortium of consultants,
including QHC Architects and Engineers
as its architect and lead consultant,
Meinhardt Singapore PTE as
its engineering consultant, and Wrenn
Associates International as its interior
design consultant.
The developer said prices will range
from AED825,000 for a studio to
AED2.2mn for a two-bed unit. Expected
to be completed in Q3 2019,
construction has been finished for the
basement and the first two levels.
Mohammed Miqdadi, general manager,
Durar Al Emarat Properties, said:
“J One is one of the pearls of RKM
Durar Properties and can be considered
a real work of art, designed
specially to provide an optimal living
space of the highest quality to the
residents of the towers.”
RKM Durar to build AED650mn project
Orascom posts $2bn H1 2017 revenue
Orascom Construction has reported
a consolidated first half 2017 revenue
of $2bn in line with the previous year.
Consolidated net income attributable to
shareholders increased 4.7% year-on-year
to $51.7mn in H1 2017 and decreased
۱۰٫۲% y-o-y to $23.7mn in Q2 2017.
The MENA region accounted for 54%
of total revenue, of which Egypt represented
۹۱%, while Weitz and Contrack
Watts comprised 28% of the total. Net
income in H1 2017 in MENA reflects
the improved performance in the second
quarter while net income in the
US was impacted by the realisation
of a deferred tax asset of $20mn, the
company said.
Net income contribution from Besix increased
to $13.5mn in Q2 2017, bringing
the total contribution in H1 2017 to $24mn
compared to $9.5mn the previous year.
The group’s net cash position stood at
$۲۰۲٫۱mn as of June 30, 2017, compared
to $204.1mn as of December 31, 2016
and $186.8mn as of March 31, 2017. Total
equity increased 26.2% to $381.6mn compared
to the level at December 31, 2016.
Consolidated backlog excluding Besix
stood at $4.7bn and new awards
at $747.3mn as of June 30, 2017. The
group expects to sign a number of important
projects during the second half
of 2017 across MENA and US markets,
while the current backlog provides sufficient
visibility on profitability, it said.
Backlog as of June 30, 2017, was impacted
by approximately 20% due to
the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.
Infrastructure and industrial work continue
to account for the majority of
the consolidated backlog, representing
۸۶% of the total. Including the group’s
۵۰% share in Besix, pro-forma backlog
and new awards stood at $6.6bn and
$۱٫۵bn, respectively, as of June 30,
۲۰۱۷, the company said.
Orascom Construction CEO, Osama
Bishai, said: “We continued to expand
our presence in Egypt’s infrastructure
sector during the second quarter and
signed additional projects in power and
roads as well as works associated with
the new administrative capital. Our significant
involvement in all major segments
of Egypt’s construction market
further strengthens our position in key
areas of focus such as transportation
and water treatment.
“In the US, we remain focused on executing
our current projects while evaluating
new opportunities. We are also
pleased to report that Weitz has successfully
completed, ahead of schedule,
the largest student-housing complex in
the US at Texas A&M University, solidifying
its leadership in this growing
sector of the construction market. Furthermore,
we continue to execute our
plan to streamline our US subsidiaries
to improve our overall cost structure as
we aim to grow this part of our business
and increase profitability.”
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۱۸ // construction business news me // October 2017
// Appointments
Global engineering and infrastructure
advisory firm,
Aurecon, has appointed Ben
Stapleton as managing director
for its infrastructure division.
The appointment reflects
Aurecon’s commitment
to providing user-focused
solutions to government and
private sector clients as they
tackle current and future infrastructure
challenges such
as unprecedented urbanisation,
changing community
expectations, and the significant
impact of emerging
technologies. On his appointment,
Stapleton commented:
“Some of the things
that attracted me to this role
at Aurecon are the company’s
energetic approach to
leveraging disruptive technology
and best practice
innovation to help clients
make better decisions about
all lifecycle stages of their
infrastructure assets. Aurecon
is ideally positioned
to help clients make better
use of design and technology
for long term infrastructure
planning, development
and maintenance.”
Faithful+Gould (F+G) has appointed Paul Sweeney as the new
head of programme management for its 160-strong business
in Saudi Arabia. The integrated project and programme management
consultancy has seen rapid growth in the kingdom,
with its order book expected to grow by 15% over the course
of the next year. Sweeney joins F+G from Aecom, where he
performed a number of roles including head of project management
and a director and partner in Davis Langdon in the
UK. With over 25 years’ experience, he brings a wealth of
programme, project, and operational experience, with recent
responsibilities including business unit and financial planning,
performance and delivery, staff development and mentoring,
and business development, among others.
Dubai-based contractor, Drake & Scull International
(DSI), has announced the appointment
of seasoned UAE entrepreneur, Mohammad
Atatreh, as its board member during the company’s
board meeting. Atatreh replaces Khalaf
Sultan Al Daheri, who resigned from his seat
on the board. Atatreh was a board member
of several UAE companies, including Tabarak
Commercial Investment, where he played a
strategic role in the management of the company’s
real estate development and construction
Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), the Bahrain-based international
aluminium smelter, promoted Haitham Al Saegh to manager
for reduction maintenance and services. Saegh joined Alba
in 2001 as an electrical apprentice in Maintenance Carbon
۱ & 2. In 2014, he was appointed as superintendent for
maintenance reduction lines and services, following which
he was promoted to manager reduction maintenance and
services. Commenting on this occasion, Alba’s CEO, Tim
Murray, said: “Alba believes in developing and promoting
Bahraini nationals to take-up leadership positions within
the company. We are pleased with the progress demonstrated
by Saegh and I am confident that he will continue
to raise the bar and deliver strong results in his new role.”
appoints new
Managing director
F+G appoints KSA head for programme management
DSI appoints new board member
Alba promotes new maintenance manager
Movers and shakers in the industry

۲۰ // construction business news me // October 2017
// Op-Ed
Sameer Daoud, chief development officer and MD at Drake & Scull International (DSI),
argues that maintaining focus and discipline to get the job done right is a more valuable
competitive advantage than ever before
Minimise Distractions
Some fear that the construction
sector is heading towards a race
to the bottom whereby competition
is based primarily on price,
sacrificing quality as a result.
The definition of progress, innovation,
and technology can, in essence,
be summarised as doing more with
less. However, this does not mean that
being creative and having fantastic
ideas offers any value in and of itself.
Innovation requires discipline and focus
so that it can be applied and lead
to real results in the real world.
Whenever I hear buzzwords, I
remind myself that much of what
comes out of the mouths of sales and
marketing people evades the perennial
question: “What exactly is the value of
what you are offering?”
I believe this is not a question that
any company should fear. Rather, it
needs to be embraced. If a company
does not have a valid answer, your
business will not survive. This is the
only trend and competitive advantage
that never goes out of fashion!
In theory, having good business
sense is simple; understand the demand
in the market and gather the
resources necessary to meet and satisfy
this demand better than your competitors.
However, when opening any
business magazine, this simple reality
often gets lost in the noise of business
gurus espousing the virtues of innovation
and creativity.
Sure, it is appealing to try and gaze
over the horizon and discover new
opportunities. It is certainly more
interesting to talk about being an
industry disrupter compared to comrug
from underneath its competitors by
introducing a new technology or a gamechanging
business model? But as entertaining
as such ideas may be to listen to,
it is not necessarily good for business. In
fact, this talk is often more distracting and
destructive than it is productive!
There is a constant risk of companies
being diverted from their core
competencies. Counteracting this pressure
demands that you can keep your
focus and discipline. I want to address
two main threats that companies need
to keep front and centre so as not to
lose their focus and discipline. These
are temptation to pursue ‘new’ opportunities
in the form of trends and
technologies, and the allure of ‘diversification’
into the unknown waters of
emerging markets.
Many times, talking about innovation
is about creating positive emotions
that distract from questioning the
real underlying value. As a contractor,
we need to place ourselves in the
shoes of our clients, and understand
the motivations underlying their purchasing
Our services and products need to
fill a need, solve problems, and serve
a function. On top of that, these need
to get delivered at a more competitive
price point than our competitors.
This reality is especially clear in our
business of construction and MEP. For
the clients of contractors, sales pitches
that hit all the right buzzwords are not of
any value. Our industry is not about selling
feelings. It is about solving problems
and creating value for your clients.
There are no short-cuts or slogans
that can make up for second-tier work-
The only
lasting business
relationship is the
one that creates
mutual economic
value for both
peting in a traditional industry with
conventional technologies.
And who doesn’t want to be the
company that swoops in and pulls the construction business news me // October 2017 // 21
Then it was the wisdom of the crowd
that you could not question real-estate
investments, or that the price of oil
would never again go below a hundred
dollars. What are the truths we agree
on today that we will consider to be
mass delusions tomorrow?
The argument is that it should not
matter, as long as you stay focused on
understanding your clients’ needs, and
competing by delivering more value
than your competitors. This is the only
trend and competitive advantage that
never goes out of fashion. When it
comes to both workmanship and materials,
the market’s demand for quality
is relentless. And this is getting even
clearer in the current regional market.
Cutting corners is not a viable longterm
In the end, lasting performance and
competitiveness is about consistency
achieved through focus and discipline.
The only lasting business relationship
is the one that creates mutual economic
value for both parties.
manship or materials. We are focused
on getting the job done and getting it
done right. But even for us, the idea
of creating ‘new’ markets and ‘new’
demand is often distracting.
Where other industries have seen
the entry of companies that have completely
disrupted the competitive landscape,
the construction sector remains
very traditional. The more established
the industry, the more conventional it
is likely to be. But even in construction,
thinking big often gets in the way
of thinking smart. It is easy to miss
more lucrative opportunities staring
at you right in the face because they
seem boring!
The same flawed rationale for pursuing
disruptive innovation is present in
the allure of entering new markets. To
find greener pastures in the form of
profits, one has to leap into the ‘blue
yonder’ not yet reached by rivals, too
caught up fighting to the death for the
crumbs left in the mature markets.
Consequently, the idea that you
need to take risks to get higher returns
is taken for gospel to the extent that
it crowds out better business opportunities
closer to home that are often
overlooked or ignored.
Taking a chance on new markets
and new technologies may lead to
high rewards, but are as likely to leave
you shipwrecked or adrift, floating
aimlessly out at sea, if you are not very
clear about what your weaknesses are.
Just as the novelty of new technologies
is exciting and appealing, so
is breaking into new markets promising
rapid growth. However, often it is
misleading and a distraction from seeing
clearly where you can best deliver value
for clients. This is most times the biggest
business opportunity that is missed.
A large part of the explanation for
this is our temptation to go with the
crowd, and believe whatever the current
hype and trends are, which skew
our perception of reality. In the late
۱۹۹۰s, you were not allowed to question
the valuation of tech companies.
۲۲ // construction business news me // October 2017
Hala Yousef, head of sustainability in the Middle East for Cundall, highlights how sustainability
should be a look in between the old and the new
What is old,
is new
Many locals and long-term residents
can point out the old
parts of town with a familiar
quote, “this is how it all used
to look like”. This is usually directed at
the old heritage side of town or more
commonly, the parts of town that appear
to be on their way to demolition.
The other extreme is the side that one
would see promoted by the media as a
glamourous tourist attraction.
These Instagram-worthy venues
often consist of eye catching highprofile
buildings. And then there are
numerous buildings that historically
reside between the old and the new.
These buildings are the ones that have
spurred up in the rush of the construction
boom, when the real estate industry
was just struggling to cope with the
ever-increasing demand.
These buildings, by Western standards,
are considered relatively ‘new’.
They have the glazed façade providing
it with a modern appearance on the
exterior, however, underneath the surface
they are plagued with problems.
We have all been in these buildings;
the air is slightly too damp or too dry;
in hot humid summer days, we can
see the condensation on the grilles;
when sitting anywhere near a window
means being uncomfortably hot; and
a change to any switch or control
(temperature and light for example)
will result in extreme shifts to the
entire space, leaving certain occupants
too hot, too cold, or in the dark. This
is true for residential, commercial, and
even industrial buildings.
If the buildings are residential,
we usually try to avoid them unless
hunting for a great rental bargain,
thinking that we can put up with
the poor acoustics and will get used
to the noise of cars racing outside.
However, sometimes we only see the
true extent of these issues once we’ve
moved in to the building, to discover
that when it rains outdoors, it also
rains indoors.
These buildings are usually plagued
with issues that range from improper
sealing of the façade, inadequate
controls of systems, inefficient fixtures,
lack of insulation, and many more
poor attributes. These attributes have
severe operating knock-on effects
such as lack of air tightness translating
to condensation issues, improper
HVAC zoning controls translating to
over cooling of spaces, lack of thermal
mass translating to hot interior and
unnecessary load, inefficient electrical
and water fixture translating to high
utility demand, and many more.
All of this translates to higher than
required energy and water consump-
and appreciating
the complexities
in retrofitting
makes it even more
important that we
get it right at the
start of the design
and construction.”
// Op-Ed construction business news me // October 2017 // 23
provisions, suppliers and skill of technicians,
ownership structure, tenancy
contracts, and portfolio analysis. All
these will impact the strategy for
implementing a region-wide retrofitting
drive for the neglected, not ‘old’
and not ‘new’ buildings.
Understanding and appreciating
these complexities in retrofitting makes
it even more important that we get
it right at the start of the design and
construction. Even if it is slightly more
expensive, it will almost always be
cheaper than retrofitting it once it is
operational and occupied. Therefore,
developers and clients must look at a
development’s life cycle rather than
handover or sell. Operational costs
and operational carbon emissions will,
in the life of a project, outweigh the
capital costs and embedded emissions,
making retrofitting a smart, sustainable
way to develop regional growth while
combatting economic pressures.
tion, which were much cheaper during
the construction boom. However, as
utility prices are increasing, these issues
can no longer be overlooked as a
sustainability and quality issue but are
rather a long-term cost issue.
These issues in today’s design and
construction environment are being
phased out by regulation, building
codes, and sustainability standards that
demand better quality. For the majority
of buildings that sit between the new
and the old, they require a fresh drive
to retrofit them to be more sustainable
and in the longer term to be
more financially viable to operate. The
increase of utility prices makes retrofitting
a more feasible option as the cost
of retrofit work to cost savings in the
long-term make for an attractive case.
There are many complexities in
initiating a retrofit initiative. The first
is the regulation of retrofitting without
additional cost to the owners and the
incentives available for non-owneroccupied
buildings and spaces. This
complexity can lead to a more complex
issue of multiple ownership of
the same building. While regulatory
requirements might help harmonise
this complexity, its execution will have
many hurdles. These hurdles include
lack of proper benchmarking as-built
documentation and sub-metering of
utilities. The investigation of greatest
return upgrades can also be a daunting
and complex task.
We have seen many countries that
have long passed the mature market
growth stage that have faced these
complexities and hurdles. The solution
has not been the same for each
country and will not be the same
for this region. The drive for retrofitting
must take into consideration the
region’s own unique driving factors
such as utility price trends, population
and future demand, infrastructure
۲۴ // construction business news me // October 2017
// Cover Story
Federal roads
projects in
different parts of
the country aim
to basically make
the people happy
and provide them a
decent life.”
Eng Ahmed Al
Hammadi construction business news me // October 2017 // 25
Road to success
Eng Ahmed Al Hammadi, director of the Roads Department in MoID, talks about the different
road projects by the ministry to provide high-quality networks to the people of the UAE
The UAE is expected to increase
expenditure, primarily in areas
of infrastructure and developmental
enterprises, which will
reflect positively on the government’s
revenues, according to a recent
report released by an international
consultancy, Knight Frank.
Citing the current preparations going
at full tilt for Expo 2020 Dubai,
the report said the current real estate
and tourism investments are expected
to further consolidate and propel
the economy to further new heights,
especially after the global oil prices
recovered some of the losses sustained
over the past year.
According to state news agency,
WAM, the UAE’s Ministry of Infrastructure
Development (MoID) is
currently managing a portfolio worth
AED1.43bn. Comprising 12 projects,
the ministry’s programme focuses on
several of the UAE’s emirates. The
portfolio contains four developments
for the Ministry of Interior, two for the
Ministry of Justice, one for the Ministry
of Culture Knowledge Development,
and five road projects.
Engineer Ahmed Al Hammadi, director
of the Roads Department in MoID,
highlighted the fact that the ministry is
always acting as a global platform, welcoming
key regional and international
stakeholders in developing the latest
innovations, solutions, and engineering
practices that contribute to the creation
of an excellent infrastructure.
He says: “Yielding in the ministry’s
big role in optimising the strategic
importance and the opportunity presented
by the infrastructure development
in the UAE and giving us the
chance of shaping the future of our
nation by contributing in developing
and more importantly, influencing
the UAE industry through sharing
knowledge, ideas, and ensuring a
successful development.”
Currently the federal roads network
consists of 22 roads of 720km located
in the Northern Emirates.
The ministry is working on the
internal roads at the Bateen Al Samar
Residential Complex in Ras al-Khaimah,
at an estimated cost of AED26mn and
is expected to be completed in the
second quarter of 2018. Eng Hammadi
adds: “The project would be lit with
solar-powered lights, thus contributing
towards decreasing the percentage of
carbon emission, the environmental
impact on the region, and the maintenance
cost. The project would be
executed according to the highest
specifications by relying on several
intersections and traffic signals.”
The ministry has also started building
a number of internal roads at the
Raqayeb-2 residential compound in
Ajman. The project, worth AED13mn, is
to be completed in the third quarter of
۲۰۱۸٫ The one- and two-direction that
comprises one lane in each direction
shall be lit by solar power.
Eng Hammadi mentions: “This will
help reduce carbon emissions and
negative impact on the environment,
leave alone the lower maintenance
costs. The project, to include a number
of intersections and traffic lights, will
be carried out in line with the latest
standards and specifications. The new
internal roads will be an added attraction
to the Emirati nationals to stay in
the 306 modern style houses there.”
The Raqayeb-2 compound is being
carried out by the Sheikh Zayed Hous-
Key projects
• Development and upgrade of
Bade’a intersection on Emirates
road (E611)
• Construction and upgrade of
the new extension of Emirates
Road (E611) in Shaml and
Suhaila areas
• Construction of the new road
connecting Sheikh Khalifa road
(E84) and E99 (Phase 1)
• Construction of internal roads of
new households in the Northern
• Construction of new internal
roads in Bateen Al Samar – Ras
Al Khaimah
• Development and upgrade
of Ittihad road (E11) in Um Al
• Maintenance and development
of Hamad bin Abdullah road –
• Construction internal roads
for the new households in the
southern area of Sharjah
• Construction of internal roads
for 306 households in Al
Raqayeb area
• Performance-based
maintenance contract for all
the federal roads network in the
Northern Emirates
• Construction of pedestrian
bridges and crossings in the
Northern Emirates
• The development and
construction of Umm Al Quwain
interchange and bridges.
۲۶ // construction business news me // October 2017
// Cover Story
ing Programme. He elaborates: “The
compound, highly accredited by the
Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council,
comprises 306 houses, which are being
constructed on a total area of 502sqm at
a cost of AED350mn.”
Another vital project that the ministry
is building is the 6km road that will
extend from the Nujaimat Roundabout
at Sheikh Khalifa Road (Dubai-Fujairah
Highway) to the Federal Road E99
(Eastern Coast Highway). All works are
due to be completed by 2019, with the
road’s first phase expected to be ready
in six months.
Eng Hammadi says: “The entire
project will be finished by the third
quarter of 2019 and will include three
lanes on each side, as well as bridges,
tunnels, traffic signals, side parking
lots, service roads, and pedestrian
crossings. The road is expected to
boost traffic safety in Fujairah.”
Eng Hammadi also mentions that the
Bade’a interchange project currently is
۴۹٫۲% complete. “It is expected to be
finalised in August 2018 with a total
cost of AED200mn. The main goal of
this project is to reduce the traffic jam
occurring at the interchange between
Dubai and Sharjah at Emirates road
(E611). That the interchange will be
widened from three lanes to five on
each direction. The slip roads will
be widened as well with four lanes
instead of two.”
Another project that the ministry has
commissioned to raise awareness about
road safety in a happy manner is to add
more smileys on federal roads. The initiative
aims to spread happiness among
road users, and encourage them to call
on 80088889 in case they wish to bring
emergency maintenance requests to the
ministry’s notice.
Eng Hammadi points out: “Federal
roads projects, which the ministry supervises
in different parts of the country,
aim to basically make the people
happy and provide them a decent life.
Emiratis and residents of the country
are at the centre of the ministry’s policies.
We work to bring happiness and
road safety to them.”
The Roads Department is working
to support road safety along with road
users’ comfort and happiness, which includes
performance-based maintenance
contract assuring road safety, high
quality works, and fast response to any
incidences on the network; road assets
management system integrated with the
performance-based maintenance project

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