MEP Awards 2017: Meet the sponsors

Dimitri Papakonstantinou, managing director of Plafond, on why his company has partnered with the MEP Middle East Awards 2017 as category sponsor


Please tell us a bit about Plafond

Plafond is a fit out and MEP contractor, part of the Emirates Airlines Group of companies, which was established in Dubai and operates across the region. 

We have extensive experience across several sectors from hospitality, F&B, airports to theme parks and heathcare. With over 1,800 staff and labour ranging from gypsum carpenters and marble masons to ductmen and electricians, our clients range from end users to main contractors. Therefore, we either subcontract to main contractors as a single trade sub-contractor or offer turn-key solutions contracted directly with the client.

We subsequently established an FM department about a year ago offering further service to our clients beyond the defects liability period (DLP). 

What was your main motivation for signing up as a sponsor this year?

We had partnered with ITP Media Group for the MEP Awards last year and we were very pleased with the success of the event. The MEP Awards attract the key decision makers and the top influential people in the industry. Plafond is one of the fastest growing contractors in the UAE, and we would like to make use of this platform to introduce our brand to new potential clients. This will also help us network and strengthen our relationship with our existing clients and industry peers.

What are you looking forward to the most at the awards this year?

We look forward to finding out the winners of the MEP Awards this year. We also look forward to meeting new people and forging valuable relationships within the industry.

What are your company’s future plans? 

We have experienced substantial growth over the past three years and plan to continue on this path into the future. We have recently been awarded the MEP package for the new HSBC headquarters in Dubai and are tendering on some very interesting hotel fit out projects that will move the company to the next contractor tier. 

How is the market shaping up? What market trends have you noticed this year? 

I believe that the construction industry will see some major changes in the fairly imminent future. From 3D printing to pre-cast and modular, we will soon have to review how we do things. As a company, we want to keep up with the changes that are on the horizon and we have adopted BIM on several of our projects as well as set up a modular MEP facility. 

What are the main opportunities and challenges in the market?

The UAE, and specifically Dubai, remains our main focus over the next few years. Several exciting projects from the Expo-related works to the mega developments around the Creek will provide substantial workload and growth to many contractors. This will provide further opportunities not only for growth but also for the exploration and development of new technologies in the industry. This is sorely required as construction as an industry remains relatively archaic compared to advancements in most other industries.

The challenge of our industry and of the region remains that of general liquidity. This compounded with the fact that contractors are still required to sign up to onerous conditions and timelines put extreme pressure on many companies.  

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