UAE Focus


November 2014

RTA drones to monitor projects

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a drone service to facilitate the monitoring of its key projects at various stages of completion.

Abdullah Al Madani, the CEO of RTA’s corporate technical support services sector, said a test run was conducted by flying the remote-controlled device to monitor the progress of streetlighting works at the Jumeirah Beach Walkway project, and the completed phases of Dubai Water Canal project.

“The test run provided us with a holistic view of the sites and projects, helping us to follow up on completion schedules,” stated Al Madani.

Additionally, the drones have the ability to reach places that cannot be easily accessed – such as the upper areas of the metro stations and lower parts of bridges – to carry out maintenance or repair work, said the official. According to him, these drones are also equipped to take a series of photographs of locations. “The drone service can also be used in a crisis or during an emergency on the roads,” added Al Madani.


Norton Rose in Ikea deal

International legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the world’s largest furniture retailer Ikea on the development and subsequent occupation of its ‘build to suit’ one-million-sq-ft warehouse distribution centre in Dubai Logistics City (DLC), Dubai.

The project was procured on a build-to-suit basis with Ikea entering into an agreement with a joint venture comprising Gulf Resources Development and Investment (GRDI) and Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC).

Under the agreement, the joint venture will develop the distribution centre to Ikea’s specification with the company taking a long-term lease of the fully developed site on completion.

Middle East construction company Amana Group is the contractor for the distribution facility. The project is set for completion in September next year.


ABB wins Dewa substation deal

ABB, a leading power and automation technology group, has clinched a $55-million deal from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) to build a gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation that will integrate power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in the emirate.

The park is one of the biggest renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. It is expected to cover an area of more than 40 sq km and produce 1,000 MW of clean energy when completed in 2030, said ABB.

The GIS substation will help enhance transmission capacity, boost power supplies and strengthen the reliability of the grid. The second phase of the 100-MW solar power plant in Seih Al Dahal, about 50 km south of Dubai, is scheduled to commence generation in 2017.


dwp honoured at CID awards

Design Worldwide Partnership (dwp) has been honoured at the Commercial Interior Design (CID) Awards 2014, for the creative use of hardwood on Emaar’s new corporate offices in Dubai’s Emaar Square.

The company received the ‘Outstanding use of American Hardwood in the Middle East’ award at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, in September. The award was presented by Roderick Wiles, American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania, to George Kahler, design director, dwp.

This is the fourth year running that AHEC, the international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has supported the prestigious CID Awards.


Consultants sought for cargo terminal

Etihad Airways last month invited technical and engineering consultants, project management and cost consultants to bid for its new cargo terminal project to be built at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The UAE’s national airline invited expressions of interest (EOI) from consultancy companies to participate in the project, which will be located within the East Midfield support zone of the airport. The companies were asked to submit their pre-qualification documents last month. Bids were open to firms with experience in relevant projects worth more than $272 million. The terminal, to be built on land leased from Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac), will enable Etihad Airways Cargo to handle in excess of 2.5 million tonnes by 2025.


Nakheel’s Badrah Pavilion on way

Leading developer Nakheel has awarded a Dh35-million ($9.5 million) contract to Dubai-based Convrgnt Value Engineering for the construction of its new 72,000 sq ft retail project.

Badrah Pavilion will be the sixth neighbourhood retail centre by Nakheel at its Badrah community in Dubai. The new facility featuring 25 outlets will serve nearly 800 homes at Nakheel’s Badrah and Veneto communities. Badrah contains almost 600 townhouses and apartments spread across eight low-rise buildings, which are now being handed over.


Abu Dhabi launches PV panels drive

Abu Dhabi has launched a major drive on the consumer side of the electricity network to install photo-voltaic (PV) panels, allowing private property owners to generate their own electricity through solar power.

The emirate has already granted a number of solar power generation licences to various test sites at institutions. A further 28 licence applications are being processed, mostly from schools governed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

The new wiring regulations are set to allow customers to meet their own power needs and supply any excess electricity generated back into the broader grid.


Agility signs deal with Etihad Rail

Agility, a leading global logistics provider, has signed a deal with Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, to jointly develop the logistics network in the UAE and other GCC states.

Under a memorandum of understanding, Etihad Rail and Agility will seek to establish long-term, mutually beneficial co-operation with the aim of developing and enhancing the network. The Dh40-billion ($10.8 billion), 1,200-km Etihad Rail network will connect industrial areas as well as urban and peripheral communities throughout the country.


CMS makes key appointments

European provider of legal and tax services CMS has made two key appointments in Dubai to enhance its offering to the region’s construction and engineering sectors.

CMS in Dubai appointed Jeremie Witt as its legal director and Natalie Hall as lawyer – both specialists in the construction and engineering sectors. The appointments follow a growing demand for its services in this sector since the Dubai office was launched, especially in the developing markets such as Iraq.


Daikin receives EQM quality mark

Japan's Daikin Industries, an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) market leader, has received the Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) for its air-conditioning products.

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) awarded Daikin Middle East, the EQM for complying with the safety and energy efficiency requirements of the UAE.

This followed a series of tests and inspections that took place at the Daikin factory in Malaysia, which manufactures air-conditioning systems distributed in the UAE and across the region.

Daikin Middle East sells and provides aftermarket support for a full range of air-conditioning equipment and systems in the region.


Highest observation deck unveiled

Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building situated in Dubai has unveiled a new attraction – a journey to the highest man-made vantage point on Earth.

Emaar Properties, the developer of Burj Khalifa, opened doors for the public to the all-new ‘At the Top, Burj Khalifa Sky’, which offers unmatched views of the city. The newest tourist attraction in Dubai, which has been declared the ‘highest observation deck’ in the world by the Guinness World Records, is situated at a height of 555 m.

The tower now offers ‘At the Top, Burj Khalifa Sky’ at Level 148 with an additional stop at Level 125, apart from ‘At the Top, Burj Khalifa’ on Level 124, which will continue to operate as normal.

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