HyderConsulting Middle East's MD, Wael Allan, says “the economic landscape in Dubai has changed drastically in terms of business.” This calls for a particular approach on the part of consultancies as they strive to maintain growth.
“The best strategy is a simple strategy. It is about having a sustainable business. I guess during the boom we tended to do things differently, where we designed things simply for the sake of design. I think with the boom people tended to forget some of the basics of client care,” says Allan.
“I think whenever there is a crisis in the economy it brings maturity to the market. Expectations from clients become a lot higher because now they are questioning why they need something much more, and why they need to spend a certain amount of money. Therefore I believe only competent companies that bring operational effectiveness to bear will survive in the region. In the past, there was so much work I think clients were looking for anyone who was willing to do it; now it is going to be a lot more focused on the value proposition.
“So I believe operational effectiveness is absolutely key, and that is what we are trying to do in all our sectors: to improve performance, to do things better with less cost and shorter time, and obviously then you have got to balance those parameters depending on client needs. I think another thing that has really changed in terms of ensuring growth in the future is that we as professionals tend to define excellence from our own perspective, when excellence really has to be defined in what the clients think excellence is. Some clients may want quality at any costs; other clients may require a specific level of quality for a certain cost; we have to customize our offering to suit client needs, rather than what we define as their needs,” says Allan.
As for the future, Allan says future growth in Dubai will be much more controlled. “We do not anticipate the kind of growth experienced in the last three to five years, at least for the foreseeable future definitely. I think 2010 will be a tough year. A lot of the backlog of companies has been exhausted, so they are looking for new work. And I think companies that have reacted properly to the slowdown will survive and do well. If there is any region to be in during a recession, I would say the Middle East offers the best opportunity, compared to much more developed economies like the US and the UK.”
Richard Smith, group chair of carbon critical design at Atkins, describes the current situation as “quite complex”, and stresses “we are not under the illusion that things will just bounce back to what they were. What will come out of this is that things will be different to what they were before.” In this regard, Atkins is exerting considerable effort in trying to understand the current situation and marshal its resources accordingly.
“The Atkins business model is totally dynamic, and is always being reviewed. Some of the larger contractors I have spoken to have not been that affected. They lost work, then won other work. Their turnover is down a bit, but not fundamentally. Then there are people who have had horrendous experiences. And then there are those still recruiting because they have work in Saudi Arabia, for example. It is kind of how the dice fell.”
Atkins design director Keith Hill says working in Dubai is substantially different than working in more mature markets like Europe. “When you are working here, timelines are more constrained, but things actually get built. So you tend not to have that big a lag on a project, whereas in Europe there is quite a lot more prior consultation, which is all good and what should be done. So the industry differs slightly in its approach to major projects.
“Combined with the economic crisis, people are a little bit more nervous than usual. Maybe they have not tied up all their downstream issues, and there are no people at the end of the line queuing to snap up the assets, as they were before.” Added to this, says Hill, is “a case of, I guess, more process in the paperwork now, mirroring the European market more, and becoming more prevalent here. This is all good, as it brings a different level of innovation and understanding to bear, but it is bound to slow things down further.
“If you are actually going to audit yourself every time you do a development or a master plan, you cannot do it in a snap judgement way, because then you are not according it your due respect.”
What this all means at the end of the day is “in my view a slightly more mature market,” says Hill. In terms of specific challenges, he cites ongoing transition as a major issue. “I think we are in that big transition stage right now, certainly if you look at Abu Dhabi as a focal market. It is now the centre of attention again, probably as it used to be back in the 1980s.”
Smith confirms that the market in terms of MEP specifically has also changed drastically. “The market has obviously gotten a lot bigger, a lot faster and a lot more complex, especially in terms of buildings going through technological step changes. We had reached a point where buildings as single entities could become so big that the primary focus was no longer building services but infrastructure in the vertical plane.
“If you go back to 2003, it was really difficult to present a business case for a hotel. Then we went through the dizzy period of 2005-2007, where any hotel in Dubai would be full within a month of opening and would have no problem in turning a profit. In this scenario the business case potential was a no brainer, which is no longer the case. The people who make those sorts of investment decisions are now going to make sure they obtain the best advice and look very carefully at how they procure the solutions they need,” says Smith.
Allan says another key focal market at the moment is Saudi Arabia. “Most companies operating in the region are anxious of going into Saudi Arabia. To them it is an unknown. However, I believe it is core to our strategy to be in Saudi Arabia. It is the largest country in the GCC, offering the most attractive opportunities for multinational companies in design and consulting. To be honest, I believe we should have been there much earlier, but it is never too late. Saudi Arabia is spending a huge amount on infrastructure and also on the private sector as well, so it offers both public and private sector opportunities,” says Allan.
Regional director Eddie Foster says Scott Wilson is looking at the rest of the region. “We had already started to view the Bahrain office as a springboard for other things, because we recognised that Bahrain itself is a relatively small market over the long term. Of course, the slowdown has focused our efforts even more on operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. We now have representatives in all those countries, and we hope to have some good news on projects there very soon. We are chasing a lot of work in Saudi Arabia.”
In order to succeed in this approach it is critical to adopt a ‘two-front’ approach, says Foster. “We are working on two fronts: As an international company working on specific projects, which we have been doing, on and off, for many years; the second front is to JV with a local entity, which we are in the process of formalising. As an international consultant, we can look at big projects on a project-by-project basis. But having a JV with a Saudi company will bring us closer to the grassroots market. It basically opens up more doors.
“Last year, completely independent of the recession, it was decided that Scott Wilson would move towards a more sector-orienta-ted organisation rather than being organised geographically. It does not mean the regions are not important, but that the sectors have a bigger say in how we operate in any region. We are split into certain sectors such as environment and natural resources, highway and transportation, infrastructure and buildings and strategic consultancy, which includes marine and airport work.”
Foster says a major reason for this approach is that it prevents people from working in isolation. This means “our skills and resources can be applied wherever necessary. It will also help us tell which sectors are doing the best – these figures can be lost when reporting as a country office. This makes our growth strategies and opportunities clearer when analysing the figures.”
Allan concurs that a sectoral approach is more viable given the current market conditions. “A key strategy for us was to restructure based on market sectors. This brings with it a heavy focus on clients and their needs, and certainly the needs have changed drastically in the Middle East.” The restructuring was based on three sectors, namely property, transport and infrastructure and water environment.
“That really helped us break the barriers between different offices, and look at the whole Middle East business as one. So that was part of the key strategy. During the recession, resources become scarce, and there are obvious issues created by the credit crunch, such as cash issues. For us, diversification – geographically and product-wise – is not a strategy.
“Our strategy is to focus on our core competency, enhance that through operational effectiveness, and really concentrate on what we know well,” says Allan. “The fact that property has slowed down, combined with our decision to be sector-driven, means we have got a better balance of the business than just being profitability-driven by the property sector.”
Arup associate director Jeff Willis agrees that the looming clouds of the downturn do indeed have a silver lining. “The way we perceive the slowdown is that it should be a benefit, as it will give us more time to think and plan. I have experienced a number of such economic downturns which affect all industry, and not just construction, although this one is worse than others in its global impact. I heard the phrase that the slowdown will lead to a ‘flight to quality’, which is something we do not mind at all.”
AECOM has a long heritage in the Middle East, having worked in the region since 1965. It has 3,200 staff in the GCC, as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. On 6 April 1990, AECOM evolved to an independent firm formed by the merger of five Ashland entities. While its official founding was in 1990, some of its predecessor firms had distinguished histories dating back to the early 1900s.
Since then more than 30 companies have joined AECOM, and in 2007 it became a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Today it is listed on the Fortune 500 as one of America’s largest companies, earning more than US$6 billion in revenue annually. It has 45 000 talented professionals in 100 countries.
Saadiyat Island Cultural District (US$210 million)
AECOM is providing programme management services for the Saadiyat Island Cultural District which, when completed, will include some of the world’s most significant museums and cultural facilities, such as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum designed by Frank O. Gehry, the Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum by Lord Norman Foster, as well as more than one million square feet of mixed-use facilities. AECOM is also supplementing the master planning, landscape architecture, economics and architecture/engineering services on selected facilities. As programme manager, its professionals are managing the Cultural District and about two-thirds of the public realm, which includes all external works beyond the building fabric, from signage and lighting to irrigation systems and drainage.
Libyan housing and infrastructure (US$65 billion)
The Libyan Housing and Infrastructure Board (HIB) is a government agency funding a US$50-billion-plus (60-billion Libyan dinar) programme to improve housing, roads, bridges, water and utilities to Libyan residents. As programme manager, AECOM is helping the HIB orchestrate the myriad projects involved.
Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi
AECOM is responsible for building engineering services at the high-profile Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Abu Dhabi. It is located on Al Sowah Island, which has been masterplanned by Gensler Architects in conjunction with the Mubadala Development Company. Adjacent developments include the Abu Dhabi Financial Centre and a proposed hotel. It is a 360-bed hospital building with MEP provision for expansion to 490 beds. The total project area is 5.1 million square feet, including the 2.2 million square foot hospital, a 50 000 square foot central utility plant area and 2.2 million square foot parking for 3 200 vehicles. The maximum building height is 24 storeys.
Buro Happold, established in 1976, offers civil and structural engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, quantity surveying, building services and environmental engineering, health and safety management, infrastructure and traffic engineering, ground engineering, façade engineering, fire engineering, computational fluid dynamics analysis, inclusive design consultancy, project management, urban design and a range of specialist CAD services.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Located on Saadiyat Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Buro Happold is the multi-disciplinary engineer on the project. Most works will be contained in a strictly-controlled indoor climate, alongside workshops, an education centre, restaurant and café facilities. A variety of passive energy systems are being investigated, including natural cooling of the buildings and the optimisation of water use. The iconic ‘desert Louvre’ has been designed to withstand Abu Dhabi’s extreme climate, which includes airborne dust, sand, salinity, humidity and the occasional sandstorm.
Burt Hill maintains a network of offices in the US, the UAE and India. In 2005 it changed its name from Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates to Burt Hill, Inc. After working on projects in Dubai and the Middle East, it launched an office in Dubai Investment Park to serve clients in both private development and government. In 2007 it launched its India office to further serve the international community.
The firm provides a wide range of services including architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape and research, with particular expertise in sustainable design, technology integration, energy management and historic preservation.
Scott Wilson Group plc offers strategic consultancy and multi-disciplinary professional services in the railways, buildings and infrastructure, environment and natural resources and roads sectors. It is a global integrated design and engineering consultancy for the built and natural environments. It has a global network of 80 locations, employing over 5 500. Its key key regions are the UK, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India and the Middle East, with regional centres in London, Hong Kong, Warsaw, New Delhi and Bahrain/Dubai.
Diyar Al Muharraq, Bahrain
Located on reclaimed land off the north coast of Muharraq, this is one of the largest mixed-use developments in Bahrain, and will house 100 000 people. This 12 million square metre development comprises a main island and five smaller islands, offering 40 km of waterfront land. The project includes residential, recreational, educational, medical and retail facilities. The project is divided into two phases, with Phase 1 covering six million square metres and 1 200 houses. Scott Wilson is the consulting engineer, and is taking on a number of roles, including concept master-planner, marine designer and modeller, supervising engineer and environmental consultant.
Shankland Cox specialises in architecture, landscape architecure and master planning, engineering and project management, with offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It famously oversaw the iconic US$80 million Dubai Etisalat Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Al Ain Convention Centre District
Shankland Cox is the architect on this AED3.5 billion ADNEC project. It comprises a convention centre, a cultural centre, hotels, a serviced apartment complex and a multi-storey car park. It also includes a cluster of mixed-use low-rise buildings within an integrated micro-city that places the convention centre at the heart of the development.
Founded in 1946 with an initial focus on structural engineering, Arup first came to the world’s attention with the structural design of the Sydney Opera House, followed by its work on the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Arup has since grown into a truly multidisciplinary organisation. Most recently, its work for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing has reaffirmed its reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs that reinvent the built environment.
Arup has been working in the Middle East since the early 1970s. It has offices in Doha in Qatar and Dubai, providing clients in the Gulf with a multidisciplinary service offering in response to increasing demand for the delivery of high-quality, international-standard projects. Its team in the Gulf works closely with many Arup teams worldwide, providing clients wit access to its full range of skills and experience across the firm.
On certain projects, Arup teams will also collaborate with selected local consultants to ensure that all project requirements can be met. Subjects such as energy efficiency, material usage and sustainable design are integral to its practice of holistic design and central to its guiding principal of shaping a better world.
Davis Langdon LLP, known globally as Davis Langdon and Seah International, is a construction consultancy firm headquartered in London, with 30 offices throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, and over 100 worldwide. The firm is headed by senior partner Rob Smith, and has a turnover of £154 million throughout Europe and the Middle East and £580 million globally. It has 2 239 employees in Europe and the Middle East and around 5 000 employees in 110 offices working in 28 countries.
On 21 May, building.co.uk reported that the Europe, Middle East and Africa arm are expected to vote on a proposed takeover by £3.8bn-turnover US consulting giant AECOM. It is understood the deal could be completed shortly after the 70 voting partners in the Europe, Middle East and Africa arm of the cost consultant decide whether to approve the takeover by the 45 000-strong firm.
Ithra Culture Centre, Saudi Arabia
It was reported in March 2009 that Davis Langdon is providing consultancy services for the Ithra Culture Centre, a landmark cultural and iconic project in Saudi Arabia. The Bahrain office has also been appointed to provide cost-management services to Norwegian architects Snohetta, which has designed the centre to resemble five pebbles standing in the desert. Buro Happold is structural and mechanical engineer.
The centre is being built on the site of the first well in the Kingdom to produce oil in commercial quantities, namely Well No. 7 on the oil-rich Dammam Dome. Covering 65 000 m², the stainless steel clad buildings will house exhibition halls, museum, auditorium, a mosque, library and the country’s first public cinema.
The five different ‘pebbles’ create a gross floor area of circa 70 000 m². Each main component of the project will feature inside a different ‘pebble’ all linked together by an internal plaza.
Saudi Aramco aims to complete the US$400 million scheme by 2011 and open it to the public in 2012.
Atkins in the Middle East and India draws on the group’s 17 300 staff worldwide, and directly employs 3 000 professional staff in eight regional offices. These comprise multi-disciplinary teams who work with clients from the outset of a project. Atkins’ design capability extends across all business divisions, from innovative architecture for the hotel and leisure sectors to detailed engineering and design for major infrastructure projects.
Business Bay Executive Towers, Dubai
This Dubai Properties development, currently under construction, comprises five residential towers varying in height from 27 to 47 storeys, with a total of 1 041 apartments, from studios to luxury penthouses, with a swimming pool, spa and 6 186 m² of commercial space.
Iris Bay, Dubai
This 170m-high, 32-storey tower for client Sheth Estate International, with a total built-up area of 36 000 m², topped out at the beginning of the year. Designed, engineered and project managed by Atkins, the tower comprises two identical double-curved shells rotated and cantilevered over a four-storey podium, underneath which are three levels of basement and underground parking for 920 cars.
SCHNABEL AG is a globally active firm of planning consultants with core competencies in data centre design, safety engineering, building services and network technology.
It is an international service provider specialising in complex, real-estate related engineering services. As independent engineering consultants it advises customers worldwide in the planning of highly available, complex building services. It has offices in Dubai and Romania and subsidiaries in India and Germany.
Founded by David Heffernan in 1997, Septech is a leading water infrastructure company in the region. It provides in-house business units that specialise in offering solutions to the water, wastewater, mobile water, precast infrastructure, marina and utilities-management sector.
Septech has a 20-year exclusive partnership with Bellingham, the world’s largest marine developer. It locally designs, manufactures and installs Unifloat floating concrete marina systems, floating wave attenuators and dry stack storage solutions, as well as providing marina management and consultancy services.
The latest development at the group is the extension of its presence across the Middle East through the creation of a regional office in Muscat, Oman. Septech Muscat LLC forms part of an ongoing overall GCC expansion strategy.
The office, which includes a group of ten engineers and water specialists, is dedicated to building long-term relationships to identify future opportunities, as well as managing all Septech projects in Oman.
SPECIALISED ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS
SpEC was established in 2006 in Dubai, with offices in Abu Dhabi and Cochin and Calicut in India.
It has 40 experienced building services engineering professionals. SpEC is associated with leading international consultants.
Its expertise is utilised in areas like marina construction, energy efficiency, green energy, specialist building interior, façade and external lighting, advanced security systems, life safety, IT and multimedia and hospital and airport systems.
Halcrow is a leading UK consultancy founded in 1868 by civil engineer Thomas Meik. It originally bore his name, and later those of his sons, Patrick and Charles.
It worked extensively on port, maritime and railway projects in the North of England, Wales and Scotland, before undertaking its first commissions outside the UK in the 1890s.
Halcrow has offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, with major project sites in Ras Al Khaimah.
With a track record in the Middle East stretching back continuously over 55 years, Halcrow has been instrumental in building the infrastructure that underpins the quality of people’s lives in the region today. Halcrow is a full member and signatory of the BuildSafe UAE organisation.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
As lead consultant for the £23 billion first phase of Yas Island, Halcrow delivered all primary infrastructure in preparation for the influx of Formula One spectators, as Abu Dhabi hosted the final race in the 2009 Grand Prix calendar on 1 November. Works included roads, potable water, sewerage, power and irrigation systems, as well as provisions for district cooling and vacuum solid waste.
Essential utilities and infrastructure pave the way for phases two and three, leading up to the development’s scheduled completion by the year 2018.
Yas Island is home to the world’s second-largest underground water tank, capable of holding 91 million litres of drinking water. Drawing on its Pakistan-based design centre, Halcrow engineers were able to complete all design work for this part of the project at half the original cost.
Sharjah Sewage Treatment Plant
Recent master-planning work demonstrated that the existing treatment works will reach full capacity by 2010, and as a consequence the Sharjah Municipality commissioned Halcrow to design the Phase 8 plant to provide sufficient treatment capacity until 2020.
To meet the site constraints, and high effluent quality requirements, an MBR plant was selected for Phase 8. As well as producing a reliable effluent quality, an MBR would provide more treatment capacity per square metre than conventional process technology.
As the treatment works is located in the middle of a residential and light industrial area, odour control was a concern to the client, and a significant amount of design time was dedicated to this, which was complicated by the high ambient temperatures and the high sewage loading from septic tanks.
The phased expansion of the effluent distribution systems has resulted in a complex, manually-operated distribution system. The new system required integrating with the existing one to allow the higher-quality effluent from the Phase 8 extension to be sent down the existing effluent pipelines to where it was needed in Sharjah.
To achieve this, a new pumping main was designed, which allowed the four existing effluent pump stations to discharge into a central irrigation pipeline with automatic wasting of surplus flows through pressure sustaining valves to a new sea outfall.
The P&T Group is the oldest and largest international architectural engineering practice in South East Asia with over 1 600 staff, with offices in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Bangkok, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Dalian, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah.
P&T was established in Hong Kong in 1868. It offers a full range of architectural, structural and mechanical engineering, planning and project management services, with full support from in-house interior and graphic design divisions. Model making, extensive computer and photographic facilities, as well as full administrative support, complete its total design service.
Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi
With a site area of 24,642m2 and a gross floor area of 210 358 m², this Tamouh Investments development consists of two separate plots of land within the City of Lights part of Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi. The larger plot of 14,190m2 has the two 28-storey Sigma residential towers and the 34-storey Omega office tower. These sit above an eight-storey podium containing parking and ground level retail and two levels of basement parking. The podium deck level is landscaped with amenity facilities. The smaller plot of 10,452m2 is on the waterfront and has the Marina Bay I and II residential towers of 25 and 29 storeys. There is a five-storey parking podium and three basement levels. The buildings have clean outlines with uncluttered façades, with extensive use of glazing.
NORMAN DISNEY & YOUNG
NDY opened its Dubai office in 2008. Its UK and Australian offices have been responsible for a number of major projects in the UAE and other Middle East countries. The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai with services designed in NDY’s London office is the highest-profile project handled in this manner.
In 2008 NDY was invited to take the role as engineering services consultant on the 1.2-km-high Nakheel Tower in Dubai, a project cancelled as a result of the fallout of the global financial crisis. Despite this setback, the Middle East remains a key strategic area.
Abu Dhabi International Airport
The final section of the roof for Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies Hangar 6, which will be capable of housing three A380s and six other mid-sized aircraft, was lifted into place in April 2010. Hangar 6 is an L-shaped three bay hangar with 32 000 m² of hangar space. The work is being undertaken by Aircraft Support Industries. The newly-lifted roof is 40 m high and has a 28 m clearance throughout.
NDY’s MEP engineering included air-con, power, lighting, communications, hydraulics and fire services.
Air-conditioning the hangar was a unique challenge. A displacement system was used to air condition up to a height of 15 m, despite the roof being 40m high. It allows temperatures to be returned to preferred levels within two hours of the hangar doors closing. Other notable features include the fire suppression system, which utilises leading-edge discharge methods. The system is capable of discharging 1 700 litres/second of foam/water solution. The hangar also includes HV reticulation and substations, centralised 400 Hz generation and reticulation, hazardous zone electrical services and high uniformity lighting systems.
In 1954, Kling Consult originated in the enterprising activities of Karl Kling, a young engineer who made a name for himself in the booming post-war construction business. Starting a small office in his hometown in Krumbach/Bavaria, he assembled a team of engineers and soon gained a huge reputation within the region.
Always responsive to the demands of an ever-changing industry, Karl Kling’s small office in the southern German town grew into an international consultancy centre providing and distributing engineering services throughout the world.
In 2004, Kling Consult took its first steps in the UAE, and built up its office in Dubai to undertake services and activities.
With its 350-strong staff in Germany and Dubai, it has become one of the most respectable design and engineering companies in Western Europe and the Middle East, serving a wide market.
The Galleria project has been designed with a classical façade enclosing a contemporary core. The development consists of 12 storeys, three basement levels, more than 400 hotel rooms, numerous retail units and several restaurants and assembly rooms.
The central core of the building is formed by an eight-storey mall, where it is envisaged that the first two storeys will be for boutiques and the remaining floors for hotel use.
The individual rooms offer views across the Jeddah skyline, as well as views into the mall.
Excavation and shoring works are scheduled for completion by July 2010.
King’s Road Tower, Jeddah
Sageifat Al-Safa announced in January that King’s Road Tower, with its distinctive ‘pearl’ in the middle, is in the final phase of construction. Upon completion it will be Jeddah’s tallest tower, boasting the world’s largest digital advertising screen.
The tower comprises 34 floors for office use, two shopping levels and attached parking floors. Kling Consult is responsible for the architectural design, MEP structural design and interior design.
With over 150 years’ experience and a global team of experts, Hyder Consulting Middle East is proactive in applying its insight and knowledge to create innovative solutions that generate sustainable and commercial advantage for its clients and the communities they serve. It offers multidisciplinary engineering and scientific services to clients in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and the Asia-Pacific. The division is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyder Consulting Hyder Consulting, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Revenue for the Hyder Consulting Group for March 2009 was £319 million (£233.7m in 2008).
In its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2010, released in June, the firm stated that Middle East revenue amounted to £93.9 million, 12% lower than the prior year, with staff numbers reduced by 370 to about 1 200 following the slowdown in Dubai, which now accounts for 30% (2009: 45%) of its total Middle East revenues. The firm’s long-standing presence in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain has helped it win major projects there, and more recently it has been winning projects in Saudi Arabia, including the tallest building in Riyadh. In Dubai, Hyder was the architect and engineer of record for the Burj Khalifa, and the surrounding infrastructure of Downtown Dubai.
CMA Tower, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Set to be the centrepiece of the King Abdullah Financial District, the tower will be the new headquarters for the Capital Market Authority, which will occupy the top floors of the 385 m high tower.
The design for the signature tower comes from a collaboration between architectural firms HOK and Omrania & Associates, with Cyril Sweett providing costing and project management services for the project.
Constructed from steel with fully-glazed façades, the form of the tower takes its cue from the four other towers comprising the project. Much shorter than this tower and of varying heights, they all have similar angular forms creating an appearance similar to that of crystals.
With offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha in Qatar and Damascus in Syria, WSP Middle East is one of the region’s leading, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies, with a 350-strong team providing sustainable and cost-effective engineering and architectural solutions through innovative thinking.
Blue Bay, Sharjah
Sharjah-based developer Marsa Al Nejoum Real Estate has signed an agreement with WSP Middle East for the infrastructure design of the Blue Bay Villa project. Work on the project’s water canal has been completed, which represents two thirds of the infrastructure total work. Blue Bay is the first phase of the Nujoom Islands project. With 95% of the land being natural, the villas are being built in an eco-friendly manner, using natural elements, recycling of wastewater and solar energy.
Red Engineering Middle East designs low-carbon MEP systems for some of the best buildings of their kind in the world, including super-luxury hotels, ‘green’ supermarkets and data centres, and AAA class offices. It operates internationally, co-ordinating global teams to provide exceptional quality, speed and value, together with an innovative approach that regularly cuts energy use by over 50%. It is not a satellite or subsidiary of any overseas company. It is Dubai-registered and based, owned and staffed by people with a long-term commitment to the region as a whole.
Yasmeen Rotana Hotel, Damascus, Syria
Red has been appointed to undertake the full MEP design, vertical transportation and audio visual elements for the 55 000 m² five-star 350-bed Yasmeen Rotana Hotel in the Mazzeh area of Damascus, Syria. The design was produced in six months from April 2009. A key factor was the site selection. Located on one of the major interchanges within the city, integration of the MEP plant requirements to minimise the impact on the architectural solution was critical. This project is the first in Syria to have six basement levels.
KEO INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANTS
KEO International Consultants has offices in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Gharbia, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman and Washington in the US. It is a global provider of total professional consulting solutions in the construction industry. Founded in 1964, the firm has garnered international recognition as a dynamic and highly capable leader in the delivery of planning, architectural design, civil engineering and project management services. KEO is structured as five unique consulting firms, each highly specialised and a leader in their respective field. These are KEO Strategy, Planning and Urban Development; KEO Design; KEO Project & Construction Management; KEO Infrastructure and KEO Contracts and Quantity Surveying.
KEO International Consultants has been appointed by Diyar Al-Kuwait to design and manage the construction work on a mixed-use development project at Lusail in Qatar. The 70 000 m² waterfront site will provide 130 000 m² of office space, 30 000 m² of retail space and 640 residential units.
Three office towers are situated along the northern portion of the site with their address along the Main Street and step from 25 storeys at the northeastern corner to 29 storeys at the northwestern corner of the site. Elevated sky gardens are located in strategic locations of each tower to offer tenants a connection to nature and break up the mass of the building.
DEERNS MIDDLE EAST
In the field of electrical, mechanical and energy engineering solutions and building physics, Deerns is one of the largest independent consultancy firms in the Netherlands. It has offices in the Netherlands, Germany, Dubai, China, Spain, France and the US.