July 6, 2022 valueeng0

SNC-Lavalin has won a facilities management (FM) services contract by the Wave 2 Schools project of the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Saudi Arabia. Wave 2 is a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme that aims to finance, design, build, and facility manage 60 public schools in Medina, western Saudi Arabia, for a duration of 20 years.

According to a statement, the project is being jointly procured with Tatweer Buildings Company (TBC), as part of a consortium that includes Vision Invest, Al Omran Group, and SNC-Lavalin.

The scope of work includes integrated facilities management services, grounds maintenance, and lifecycle management. In addition, SNC-Lavalin will provide management services and develop processes supported by a Computer-Aided Facilities Management system (CAFM) and a virtual FM helpdesk mobile application that will be easily accessed in real-time by the school administration team to enable timely and effective reactive maintenance, the firm noted.

“We are proud to be part of this significant PPP project that aims to support Saudi Vision 2030 by expanding educational services in various regions across the Kingdom. The repeated wins of TBC’s Wave 1 and 2 Schools Projects are testament to our successful track record as a leading FM services provider and trusted partner to maintain these facilities according to the highest technology, quality, and safety standards,” said Mohamed Youssef, Senior Vice-President, Middle East & North Africa, Projects and O&M, Engineering Services, SNC-Lavalin.

The Wave 2 Schools Project is expected to benefit more than 50,000 students. In 2020, SNC-Lavalin was also awarded FM services contract by the Wave 1 Schools Project of MoE that covers 60 public schools in the cities of Jeddah and Makkah in KSA, the statement said.

As part of Saudi Vision 2030 goals, MoE and TBC are said to be partnering with the private sector to provide high-quality infrastructure for all public schools and an attractive learning environment that will ultimately replace the current facilities. As part of this initiative, MoE and TBC are procuring schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by using a PPP Model under different waves.

With extensive experience in infrastructure projects engineering services, SNC-Lavalin works closely with clients across the Middle East to help them implement advanced facilities management solutions designed to deliver a responsive, consistent operations and maintenance structure and ensure all systems are running to their best potential.

In April 2022, ADNOC awarded a four-year contract to SNC-Lavalin for an offshore power project, while in May, it won a four-year contract for a $1.8bn Saudi-Egypt power project. In June, the firm launched its ‘Engineering Net Zero in the GCC’ report to help the region achieve its Net Zero carbon targets.

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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 6, 2022 valueeng0

Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan has said it has started work on its first European luxury residential project, Sidra, which is billed as an exclusive vacation and housing project in Bosnia.

Covering an area of 500,000sqm, the project is said to be the largest single real estate project in the Balkan nation. With an estimated value of $133mn, the development is a gated community of high specification villas and residential plots designed for modern living. Surrounded by 20,000 trees, the development is in an area that has been classified as one of the healthiest and cleanest in the Balkans, Dar Al Arkan added.

Dar Al Arkan Properties Vice Chairman Ziad El Chaar said: “We are very adamant about moving forward and remaining on track with our development plans for Sidra. We’re also very fortunate to have gained the trust of the Ministry of Public Works to deliver the project based on the highest of standards in collaboration with skilled local partners. As a Saudi company, Dar Al Arkan is eager to create deeper ties to the real-estate and construction sectors and support local and international investment opportunities as drivers of economic growth in Bosnia.”

El Chaar added that Bosnia’s unique Western and Eastern influences give the country a competitive edge. “It’s in a prime position to continue to grow economically, especially with the continued reforms that are increasingly facilitating foreign investment across many sectors,” he stated.

In addition to a variety of residential options, Sidra will feature amenities such as restaurants and cafes, shops and supermarkets, a community mosque, a clubhouse, and a five-star hotel. It is also strategically located to a wide range of attractions including natural caves, rivers, and natural reserves and parks.

Dar Al Arkan recently awarded Cestotehnik d.o.o Tuzla in Bosnia the contract for the execution of full infrastructure and roads works for the whole master plan. The work is expected to be completed in 18 months and will pave the way for the next stages of the real-estate project.

In March 2022, Dar Al Arkan and Omran unveiled a $1.5bn mixed use project in Muscat, while in April, the developer said it completed topping out the $218mn Urban Oasis residential project in Dubai. In June, the developer said it started construction works on the $272mn W Residences Dubai project.

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July 5, 2022 valueeng0

Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate and Al-Futtaim Education Foundation have partnered to create a new art project to brand the construction fence of the Al Badia Terraces at Deira International School (DIS) in Dubai Festival City.

According to a statement, the project saw DIS students from Year six and Year eight working to transform the hoarding fence into artwork showcasing different interpretations of ‘Creative Ecosystems’, thus highlighting the eco-diversity and the diversity of the students.

The artwork exhibition is made to drive a sense of community within the Dubai Festival City’s Al Badia district and a homage to celebrate the city’s students. Al Badia Terraces was first announced by the developer late in June 2022.

The Year six and Year eight students were assigned a dedicated space to design the fence and show their artistic skills. Students were also encouraged to utilise different forms of media and arts to produce a series of artworks focusing on the theme of ‘Creative Ecosystems’.

The creative project offered an exciting opportunity for the students to collaborate and harness their creative thinking based on their unique perspectives, and promotes teamwork, goal accomplishment within timelines, persistence, and self-confidence, the statement noted.

Samer Zabian, Director of Residential & Commercial Property at Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate commented: “We are excited to showcase the creative artwork done by the students at Deira International School, as we always strive to encourage creativity amongst our students in our schools and build a sense of community at DFC.”

The partnership aims to position Dubai Festival City and the community as a vibrant, holistic destination offering a lifestyle that brings visitors and their families closer together to enjoy entertainment, hospitality, and leisure offerings, one of them now being the new eye-catching fence exhibition and the upcoming Al Badia Terraces.

In line with Dubai Festival City’s goal to invest in establishing community relationships and building innovative communities, the collaboration with Deira International School presents the destination’s residents, and tenants with a new sight-seeing destination, the statement pointed out.

In April 2022, Amana announced the completion of the solar PV powered Al Futtaim Auto Park in Al Ain.


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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 5, 2022 valueeng0

Middle East Consultant has announced that its new Wellness in Construction Summit will take place on 28 September in Dubai. The event will focus on a workshop style agenda that is being developed to enable corporates to understand and deliver effective wellness initiatives.

The summit is well timed as Kisi’s ‘Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance 2022’ report outlined that the top overworked cities were Dubai, Kong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Montevideo in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth spots respectively. In contrast, the cities that ranked the best in terms of work-life balance were all European with Oslo, Bern, Helsinki, Zurich and Copenhagen capturing the first, second, third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Index (SCI) which ranks 100 global cities on three different pillars of sustainability also revealed that Oslo, Stockholm, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Berlin ranked in the top five in its ‘Overall’ rankings.

Discussing the importance of wellness in modern workplaces with Paul Godfrey, Head of Content at Middle East Consultant, he notes, “If we take the view that staff are the most important resource that an organisation has, then wellness – and the mechanisms designed to promote it – is very important indeed. Figures from the American Health Association (the body focused on the impact of day-to-sickness on doctors’ time) show that a good wellness programme can reduce absences from work by 17%; can prevent serious escalation of muscular issues by 21%; and can improve attitude and concentration by 18%.”

The topic has gained significant importance in the built environment in recent years, spurred on by a number of drivers including the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Sharing his thoughts on drivers that have led to construction companies setting their sights on improving wellness in the workplace, Godfrey comments, “There are really three factors at stake here: firstly, the growing international focus on movements concerned with mindfulness, spirituality and meditation. These have led to a greater emphasis on integrated health and wellbeing – in other words, ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. This has inevitably had a ‘trickle-down’ effect wherever there are large numbers of people working – the construction sector being an example.”

“One of the effects of the pandemic was the wholesale impact on mental health for millions of people coping with lockdown. Thus, a greater emphasis on how to correct these imbalances – and how to prevent them from impinging on corporate performance.”

He adds, “Another bi-product of lockdown: frozen markets meant an impact on the bottom line – and companies had to ensure that this was not exacerbated by staff absences and poor working attitudes. Hence, wellness programmes suddenly seem like a great idea.”

With regards to whether or not there’s enough awareness and debate about wellness in the construction sector, Godfrey reckons the topic is still very much nascent. He says, “Currently, it’s very much something that only the premier-league businesses look at and implement. If we were to visit the boards of the second-tier businesses, we might find them talking about wellness, but not doing much about it.”

At the recent Future of Architecture Summit, which was also organised by Middle East Consultant, AECOM’s Amer Mneimneh, VP of Urbanism and Planning gave a presentation on the importance of human centric and wellness-focused urban design.

Pressed about the forthcoming summit’s agenda – which will be free to attend for construction industry professionals – and its core focus, Godfrey outlines, “The core focus of the event is a highly interactive workshop session led by five CEOs, who will assess the findings of a wellness survey launched in the July/August combined issue of Middle East Consultant. Discussions will be extremely interactive and totally open to the audience. The one key issue that will be a thread throughout the summit is proactivity: the idea that wellness is actually the epitome of mental and physical intervention before it’s needed too badly.”

The first draft of the agenda is on the summit’s dedicated website already and will touch on topics including: Managing a wellness programme; Being aware of your obligations; Being a part of the wellness revolution and more.

Godfrey lets slip that two keynote speakers have already been lined up for the event in September. He concludes, We’re looking forward to bringing back Gulneet Chadha, CEO of GC Consulting and a world-renowned wellness influencer with 2.1mn Linkedin followers. She is a certified RT therapist and a licensed hypnotherapist. Gulneet will lead a five-minute meditation session for all summit attendees. Mona Tavassoli, acclaimed international wellness speaker and Founder/CEO of Mompreneurs Worldwide, is also on the agenda for the event.”

In June 2022, CRTKL also announced that wellness and happiness are key for Egyptian workplaces, while real estate brokerage Union Square House (USH) has stated that a quarter of homebuyers in Dubai are on the hunt for living spaces that provide mental health benefits.

Read more about the summit by visiting the Wellness in Construction Summit website.

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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 5, 2022 valueeng0

LGMG is set to launch four electric telescopic boom lifts for international markets, the company has announced. The T20JE, T22JE, T26JE and T28JE models, all of which are powered by lithium batteries offer large capacities, low noise and zero emissions. It follows the earlier release last month of the manufacturer’s H-series diesel-powered series.

The new electric booms also provide work heights of 21.8m to 29.8m and outreaches of 16.6m, 17m, 22.3m and 22.5m respectively. A variety of charging modes are available as standard, to meet the needs of fast and standard charging and to match different working conditions and facilities. The charging pile port is optional, while the models’ large capacity battery allows for 2-3 days of work, the firm said.

The models are also four-wheel drive with three steering modes: four-wheel steer, front-wheel steer, crab steer, and one-touch wheel alignment. The units have a floating oscillating axle and a maximum tilt angle of 5° tilt and 45% gradeability. This allows the wheels to grip the ground when passing hard uneven terrain. Accompanying all of this is an on-board diagnostic troubleshooting system.

Wang Yuling, Head of LGMG’s Overseas Application Engineering department, commented, “For our customers, low carbon and energy-saving electric equipment means more rental opportunities and lower operating costs. LGMG’s lithium battery telescopic boom lifts have been launched in China and are well recognised by customers. The launch of these four new models in overseas markets will fill the gap in LGMG’s electric telescopic boom product line in overseas markets, making LGMG’s product line more complete.”

In October 2020, the firm introduced its largest electric scissor lift offering, while in September 2021, Snorkel unveiled its first lithium powered rough-terrain boom. In May 2022, Niftylift introduced its own all-electric booms.

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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 5, 2022 valueeng0

Rob van den Boomen has been appointed as the new Managing Director for Witteveen+Bos EMEA DMCC. Boomen is said to posess strong entrepreneurial and leadership qualities, which the firm says are vital for his new role.

Boomen has held various positions within Witteveen+Bos over the past 30 years, both in the Netherlands and overseas. He takes over as MD from Daniël Dusseljee, who will be starting a new position within Witteveen+Bos in the Netherlands.

According to a statement from the firm, Boomen was most recently Managing Director of the firm’s Indonesian office. In Jakarta, he is said to have led the firm’s Water Management division, among others.

Under his leadership, the department grew into a professional team, leading projects in the field of water management and solving environmental issues related to wastewater and drinking water supplies, the firm said.

His experience is an absolute fit when it comes to tackling some of the major challenges facing the Middle East, such as water scarcity, environmental stress and climate resilience. Projects related to port design, coastal engineering, water supply, wastewater treatment, master planning, landscape and urban design are in the portfolio of Witteveen+Bos EMEA DMCC, the firm remarked.

In May 2022, the firm said it was undertaking the sustainable dismantling of the Netherlands Pavilion at the EXPO 2020 site. The pavilion focused on the the country’s innovation, inventiveness and openness and the start of construction was marked with an ‘innovative water harvest’. The firm also managed the design and engineering for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s laboratory for drones.

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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 5, 2022 valueeng0

Work is nearing completion on the 302-room Grand Hyatt Kuwait hotel, which is being developed by Tamdeen Group in the capital city, it has been announced.

According to a statement from Hyatt Group, the prime hospitality project – which has been conceptualised by architecture and design firm CRTKL – is set to open its doors in September this year.

Featuring what’s billed as a distinctive design and aesthetic, the hotel aims to position itself as an urban sanctuary within a larger destination. It said that the hotel’s design has been conceptualised to seamlessly integrate into the context of its surroundings and complement established architectural lines, while still making a distinct architectural statement of its own, the statement said.

The hotel’s exterior design follows the curvilinear design aesthetic of the 360 Mall extension with a series of layers that splay out with unique characteristics, the Hyatt Group said. These design features are focused on achieving an environmentally responsive building – inspired by and adapted for the local climate and culture, it explained.

On the inspiration and motivation behind the project, hotel designer Dustin Wekesser, Associate Principal at CRTKL said: “The entire 360 Mall Kuwait development is a fantastic project with many great entrances and influxes, but as an architectural team, we wanted to make Grand Hyatt Kuwait feel more exclusive and opulent, to set it apart on an entirely different level of luxury. During the conceptualising phase we thought a lot about scale and how guests would perceive their arrival from multiple distances and reviewed several levels of detail to achieve this.”

He added, “The hotel is clean and bold from a distance, featuring details that are angled and large enough to be observed from the main roads. However, as a guest approaches the hotel, the details get smaller and more intricate, creating a dynamic and vibrant play of patterns, shadows, light and textures.”

As part of an active mixed-use development, the architectural planning of the hotel sought to ensure a fluid connection between the adjacent areas that allow guests the ease of flow back and forth from the hotel to the mall, he said, adding that unique accesses have been created at the main communal levels to bid guests a variety of entry and exit encounters.

In March 2022, SSH was appointed as lead consultant for the Hessah Gardens Residential Towers project in the country, while in April, HEISCO and Mitsubishi Power emerged as the lowest bidders for the 2,400MW Sabiya Power Plant project. In May, Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works said it would appoint a consultant for a sewage plant feasibility study.

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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 5, 2022 valueeng0

As the metaverse rapidly expands along with the evolution of the internet, its application is reshaping the world in terms of how infrastructure is designed, constructed, and operated. Analysing the impact of these changes on an infrastructure software company is crucial, keeping in mind the key role it plays in maintaining a balanced relationship with the physical world and the metaverse.

The metaverse and digital twins are frequently cited as the next big technological leaps, as these two innovations continue to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds. As a result, the intersection of digital twins, the metaverse, and the physical world is an ideal place in which to invest, allowing teams to collaborate and draw on talent from all over the world to solve complex infrastructure problems. The benefits of digital twins and the metaverse can be applied to infrastructure in a variety of ways, especially during the various phases of its lifecycle.

In terms of the design process, users are interacting with digital twins to conduct interdisciplinary design reviews globally across the supply chain and use digital tools for validation. Similarly, augmented reality is being used in the construction stage to visualise and review construction sequencing, reduce risks, and improve outcomes. During operations, augmented reality using infrastructure digital twins can be used to improve safety through simulations, such as maintenance or training, or through remote inspections. For digital twins to be effective, they must be engineering-grade, millimetre-accurate, and contain structured engineering metadata.

One example is the ITER project in France, where representatives of 35 countries are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak – a magnetic fusion device designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers the sun. This is a massive design and construction project with complex engineering models and millions of parts.

ITER wanted to give users the ability to enter the digital twin and experience it, for which they created CATIA models that were brought into SYNCHRO, which is built on the Bentley iTwin platform for 4D construction modeling and sequencing. By leveraging Unreal Engine, Omniverse, and Cloud XR, ITER successfully created an engaging virtual experience for the team to immerse themselves in, without comprising the quality of the model.

Likewise, to leverage the metaverse, users must be able to easily integrate it into their existing workflows. The metaverse must also be accessible through existing workflows and make use of existing web-based, team-oriented streaming tools, while being open to allow users to develop their own metaverse applications.

Communication will undoubtedly evolve and improve in the future, including communication between people, people and assets, assets to people, assets to assets, and a variety of other modalities. As previously stated, managing and balancing our relationship with the natural world is critical in this transition. We should strive to be good stewards of the planet to seek architecture and software designs that minimise computational requirements and reduce our carbon footprint.

Read more:


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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 4, 2022 valueeng0

Technology has seen significant advancements in recent years, helping companies improve their resilience, and ensuring business continuity. This was further accelerated during the pandemic, making it more important than ever for companies to quickly adopt digital solutions to ensure efficient business operations.

As a result of the implementation of these new technologies, the real estate industry is witnessing a rapid digital transformation in its operations. Key real estate players such as developers, brokers, agents, investors, and managers are adopting digital technologies, as well as revising skills and practices, in order to meet evolving customer demands.

As stakeholders of the real estate value chain look towards the future, there is a collective recognition of the need for sustainable, resilient, and affordable buildings. This vision can only be achieved through the adoption and implementation of digital tools. Due to the real estate industry’s capital-intensive, segmented nature, in addition to varying financial circumstances and timelines, adoption of new technologies has always been slower in the sector. However, a combination of trends, including COVID-19, evolving tenant demand, and continued pressure to deliver on environmental, social, and governance (ESG), has now resulted in a focus on digital solutions.

Furthermore, the pandemic has influenced stakeholders to reevaluate the relationship between built environments, and overall well-being, with an increased focus on ventilation, disinfection, touch-less applications, and a better understanding of space usage and density. The pandemic also brought into focus the importance of in-person socialisation and collaboration, resulting in a strong preference for wellness and environmental amenities, suggesting that occupancy strategies will likely change in the future.

Digital solutions are highly contributing to healthier spaces, while making buildings more competitive and facilitating a safer environment. Monitoring temperature, lighting, noise, and air quality in real-time has ensured tenant satisfaction and helped landlords resolve problems more quickly. Digitalisation of real estate requires strategies and privacy standards to understand data at asset and enterprise levels, to discover opportunities and bridge gaps. The use of digital technologies can provide a holistic view of commercial activities, allowing the collection and storage of a vast amount of data (big data), which can later be analysed automatically.

In addition, digital transformation also emphasises knowledge management, as much as identifying the right technology. It is believed that adoption rates can increase dramatically if the right individuals take charge and implement solutions, with multiple teams working together and leaders across segments of the business taking the lead together.

Digital transformation is undoubtedly a key driver to the real estate industry’s evolution. Identifying the drivers behind technology adoption and prioritising the areas of focus are necessary for stakeholders to connect more efficiently. Similarly, real estate players must also develop digital transformation strategies that address key obstacles like data access and capacity building, in order to overcome roadblocks as quickly as possible. It is clear that the industry is on the verge of transformation, and numerous opportunities exist for those that embrace this change.

Read more:

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Source: MEConstructionNews


July 4, 2022 valueeng0

The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has revealed plans to redevelop the Al Bateen Ladies Beach with ‘world-class public amenities’ to enhance its appeal as a leisure and adventure destination for residents and visitors.

In a statement, DMT said that the project aligns with its vision of increasing recreational facilities and improve the quality of life in the emirate. Additionally, it aligns with the municipality’s ongoing efforts to further improve the city’s infrastructure in a manner that contributes to leisure, social engagement, and the community’s growth by providing integrated recreational facilities and high-quality services.

The redevelopment of Al Bateen Ladies Beach will cover more than 36,580sqm and will feature a restaurant, cafes, a prayer room and a convenience store. During the redevelopment project, Al Bateen Ladies Beach will be temporarily closed from 4 July until its completion in the second quarter of 2023, the statement said.

The project will also include a 500-metre exercise loop/jogging track, an outdoor/indoor gym, a paddle court, a volleyball court and a swimming pool, showers facilities and changing rooms to provide resident ladies and tourists with unrivaled beach experiences in complete privacy. It will also include a child-friendly park facilities with slides, trampolines, and swing ropes adhering to the highest standards in safety and quality, the statement added.

HE Dr Salem Khalfan Al Kaabi, Acting Director General of Operational Affairs in DMT, said: “The project aims to develop the beach to become one of the best destinations in Abu Dhabi City for ladies, which offers them leisure activities with more privacy. The Al Bateen Ladies Beach will include amenities that will add to the beach experience for all residents and visitors. We are confident that the Al Bateen Ladies Beach will become popular with Abu Dhabi residents and visitors. We want the women of Abu Dhabi to access world-class facilities at the beach while having access to privacy.”

He concluded, “As our community grows, we will continue developing exciting recreation opportunities to support an outstanding quality of life in Abu Dhabi for years to come.”

In March 2022, Abu Dhabi Maritime broke ground on several new marina and ferry station developments across the city, while in June, Omnix and Abu Dhabi Municipality collaborated to push a mandate relating to infrastructure projects. In July, Abu Dhabi launched a $2.72bn drive to expand its manufacturing sector to over $46bn.

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Source: MEConstructionNews