UAE Focus


December 2015

Louvre is a ‘Project of the Future’

Louvre Abu Dhabi, the world-class museum whose construction is in the advanced stages in the Saadiyat Cultural District, received the ‘Project of the Future’ award at the inaugural Identity Design Awards 2015 for its exceptional design by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel.

The category was only open to projects that are currently under construction, which are expected to be finished within the next three years, and which are establishing the UAE as a centre of architecture and design.

The museum – one of three short-listed projects – was selected during a special live vote during the award ceremony at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina.

The award was received on behalf of Jean Nouvel by senior Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) representatives in the presence of real estate, architectural and design leaders.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature 9,200 sq m of art galleries.


Phase Two of Bloom Gardens ready

UAE-based Bloom Properties has completed Phase Two of Bloom Gardens, involving the construction of 55 housing units in Abu Dhabi, ahead of schedule.

A subsidiary of Bloom Holding, the company is a specialist in the development of integrated and sustainable communities.

The homes, ranging from three- to five-bedroom units, will be ready for handover and occupancy this month, said Sameh Muhtadi, the chief executive of Bloom Holding.

The developer also revealed that the construction of Phase Three of Bloom Gardens, consisting of 147 units, has already started and is set for completion in the fourth quarter of 2016. This phase includes three-bedroom townhouses, semi-detached three-, four- and five-bedroom villas.


Al Manayef project a step closer

Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) has completed preliminary work at Al Manayef, a residential development spread over a record 4.1 million sq m area.

To be developed in the western region of Abu Dhabi, the integrated city will see the construction of homes for government employees with a host of facilities including hospitals, schools and parks.

Musanada said the work includes the construction of internal roads as well as utilities and infrastructure comprising a storm water and sewerage network, drinking water network and street lighting.

Al Manayef will be divided into 12 construction packages and the Abu Dhabi firm aims to complete the project by mid-2018. The city  is expected to be home to approximately 27,000 residents.


Arabtec names new acting CEO

Dubai-based construction giant Arabtec has appointed board member Saeed Al Mehairbi as its new acting chief executive, replacing acting chief executive Mohamed Al Fahim.

Al Fahim, however, will remain on Arabtec’s board, press reports said.

Arabtec, whose largest shareholder is Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments, has been hit by heavy losses this year. In June 2014,  former chief executive and then biggest shareholder Hasan Ismaik left after a dispute with Aabar.


Dubai awards airport road contract

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it has awarded a Dh404-million ($110 million) contract for upgradation of the Airport Road which once completed will cut the travel time on this road from half an hour to five minutes.

The project involves the construction of bridges, tunnels at Rashidiya and Airport Road interchange with each of Casablanca Street, Marrakech Street and Nad Al Hamar Street. It also includes improving the at-grade intersections, and constructing service roads.

The project will help increase the handling capacity of the Airport Road by an extra 5,000 vehicles per hour, said Mattar Al Tayer, the director general and chairman of the board of directors at the RTA.

Meanwhile, the RTA has embarked on an ambitious plan to build 900 km of cycle paths in several residential communities across the city by 2020 as part of the Bicycle Master Plan launched in 2012. It is aimed at encouraging the cycling culture in the emirate, said a Gulf News report.


DSO building wins Leed certification

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, said its pilot green building project Techno-Point has received top Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) ratings in its maiden attempt.

Techno-Point won Leed (EBOM) Platinum rating, garnering 85 out of a possible 110 points. Spanning 117,600 sq ft in area, the commercial building has become the first Dubai government facility to win this certification. 

Meanwhile, DSO is currently working on Dh3.2 billion ($871 million) worth of investment projects including its ambitious Silicon Park development.

DSO chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the projects that DSO is currently working on include the Dh1.2-billion ($326 million) smart city project Silicon Park as well as Technohub, a Dh97-million ($26.4 million) office building for technology entrepreneurs.

Silicon Park is scheduled for completion by the second quarter of 2018.


Hormann opens showroom and plant

Hormann, a leading industrial, commercial and residential doors manufacturer, has opened a new facility which includes a showroom, offices, warehouse and assembly plant in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.

Hormann general manager Christoph Hormann officially opened the new outlet which displays the company’s latest products including garage doors, sectional doors, rolling shutters and domestic doors.

The showroom allows the customers to experience the functionality and user-friendliness of Hormann’s products.

The company is also planning to launch the assembly of three types of high-speed doors: V5015SEL, V5030SEL and V6030SEL.


Dubai Frame project nearly ready

Dubai Municipality has confirmed that work on the $43.5-million Dubai Frame project is nearly complete and is on track to open next month.

The project, shaped like a window frame, is sited near the Star Gate games and rides area of Zabeel Park.

Dubai Frame will facilitate panoramic views of Old Dubai and the skyline of New Dubai from each side.


Perkins+Will wins property awards

The Middle East office of architectural and design practice Perkins+Will won two accolades at the 2015 Arabian Property Awards in Dubai last month.

Dubai-based Perkins+Will was recognised for the ‘Best Residential High-Rise’ for Ellington Group’s DT1 in Dubai, and ‘Best Hotel Architecture’ for the Marriott-branded Diplomatic Quarter Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The judges praised Perkins+Will for its ability to embody the philosophy of their clients with the use of 21st century solutions to create unique community spaces combining functionality and aesthetics.

The 20-storey DT1 tower is situated in Downtown Dubai and rises to 72 m while the five-star Marriott-branded property in Riyadh is a meandering three-storey structure, covering over 40,000 sq m. The design is inspired by the beauty of the country’s wadis and oases.


Dewa’s smart initiatives honoured

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) received top honours at the Asian Smart Cities Awards 2015, which was organised by the Asian Leadership Summit in Dubai.

The utility firm won awards in two categories, ‘Smart Utilities Initiative’ and ‘Smart Technology for Smart City’ at the event held last month under the theme ‘Asian Sustainability Pioneers’ at the Taj Dubai Hotel.

Commenting on the awards, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dewa, said: “We are delighted with this recognition, which celebrates our progress in smart infrastructure for electricity and water.”


Empower wins Bluewaters deal

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) has won a contract valued at Dh125 million ($34 million) from Bluewaters to provide its flagship project in Dubai with 25,000 refrigeration tons (RT) of district cooling services.

The contract will kick off by the end of this year, while the service will commence from the third quarter of 2016. The agreement covers residential, retail and commercial buildings and hotels in the project.

The $1.6-billion Bluewaters Island will feature the world’s largest Ferris wheel as well as residential, retail, hospitality, teleferique and entertainment areas.


DSI launches HQ in Dubai

Drake & Scull International (DSI) has opened its new headquarters in the International Media Production Zone in Dubai. DSI is a regional market leader in the integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of general contracting, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), water and power, rail, and oil and gas, and water and wastewater treatment.

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