Showing posts with label construction-realestate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label construction-realestate. Show all posts

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bahrain Ministry of Works opens key road

Bahrain’s Ministry of Works has opened the new Saar Southern Entrance road from Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway has opened.

The project, opened by Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, comprises a new lane on Avenue 27 along with ramps entering and exiting Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway, is expected to increase capacity by 40 per cent as well as easing access to nearby residential areas and shopping malls.

“The Saar Southern Entrance project is one part of a larger $1.2 Billion masterplan designed to ease traffic congestions along 11 locations. The new access road will improve the flow of traffic for vehicles entering Saar, thus eliminating the queue of vehicles reaching Sheikh Isa bin Salman Highway. By increasing the road’s capacity by 40 per cent, we are confident the project will significantly improve the local road network for vehicle users,” said Khalaf.

Khalaf confirmed that the Ministry submitted a series of projects for review by the Executive Committee, which has subsequently approved 11 urgent projects.

The Saar Southern Entrance road is one of several projects financed by the GCC Development Programme, to be implemented within three to five years. The comprehensive planning process has been implemented to ensure the Kingdom’s strategic road network is able to accommodate increased urban expansion.

 The Ministry of Works seeks to expand Bahrain’s road networks in-line with international standards, to further enhance Bahrain’s investment environment.  – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Dubai real estate transactions up 25pc in Q1

The Dubai property sector has witnessed solid growth in the first quarter with about 25 per cent increase in overall transactional activity in the real estate sector during the period, said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the director general of the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

He was speaking at the first Ramadan Real Estate Majlis hosted by International Property Show (IPS), a major property sales platform in the Middle East, where major developers from across the UAE came for an exclusive Suhoor Networking Night.

The event took place in Armani Hotel, Downtown Dubai and was organised in collaboration with DLD under the theme: “Upgrading Real Estate Sector & Investment Promotion.”

Emphasising Dubai’s position as a safe haven for investors, Bin Mejren said: "We continue our efforts to spur development by providing a sustainable real estate environment that will attract investor confidence in the market."

Dawood Al Shezawi, the chief executive of IPS, said: "This gathering opens doors for a meeting of minds, and is a way to enhance the relationship of government and private sector to improve the real estate market. It is beneficial to deliberate on issues that affect the property market in order to have a better understanding of challenges at hand and come up with probable solutions."

An open dialogue facilitated by Dr Hiba Jaber, consultant at Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI), offered the gathering an opportunity to network and discuss several issues affecting the real estate sector.

These include lower oil prices, a strong dollar-pegged local currency, banks policies on money transfers, reconsidering the mortgage cap set by the UAE Central Bank, possible effects of VAT in 2018, balancing supply and demand, incentives to investors, and affordability of housing for end-users.

Ahmad Thani Al Matrooshi, Emaar Properties' managing director, emphasised the importance of working together in order to upgrade the real estate sector.

“We have a strong appeal to international investors.  As developers, we can do the marketing but we need the continuous support of DLD and banks in completing transactions getting the money abroad,” he stated.

On controlling supply and demand in an effort to improve the market, Masood Al Awar, the chief commercial officer at Dubai Properties, said: "About 80 per cent of the demand will come from the international market. However, as of today, not even 50 per cent come from it which means that we still have a huge market to conquer and investors to attract moving towards 2020."

"So I think all developers will have enough demand for the supply they will put into the market," he added.

“Indeed, it is important to have coordination between different stakeholders to control oversupply. We all have to work together hand in hand, in order to make sure that this market stays in good condition,” added Essam Hasan Saleh, Jumeirah Golf Estates' executive director for business development and property management.

Marwan Bin Ghalaita, the CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) said: “With the rapid growth of Dubai as a global commercial hub and tourism destination, increasing population, more job opportunities, continuous interest of foreign investors, oversupply is not a problem because demand is there and is continuously growing.”

The participants in the Majlis reached the consensus that different stakeholders must come together to motivate and upgrade the real estate sector.

There were suggestions for developers to adapt more to market needs by extending payment plans and providing more affordable housing, as well as for government to provide more incentives to investors both locally and internationally, banks to ease up their policies, and investment promotion authorities to help attract international investment in the real estate sector.

Furthermore, Bin Ghalaita assured the gathering that the real estate market in Dubai was in a healthy position and ideal for real estate investments.

“DLD has put regulations in place, facilitates ease in transactions and accommodates all kinds of investments, so we are doing our part and so must everyone else,” he noted.

Bin Mejren said the forum was a good platform for knowledge-sharing, exchange of views and in-depth discussion on concerns facing real estate developers, sellers, and buyers.

"We hope that this is the first of several events to be held regularly to facilitate more understanding and cooperation among the real estate community in order to upgrade the property sector and attract investors and developers in Dubai," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Orascom deploys Genie boom lifts for giant Egypt project

Orascom Trading has deployed key boom lifts and telehandlers from Genie, a unit of global lifting solutions specialist Terex Corporation for the turn-key construction of world's largest power plant project coming up in Egypt.

The list of lifting solution tools include Genie ZX-135/70 boom lifts, a mix of ten Genie Z-80/60 booms, GS-4047 scissors lifts and GTH-4018 telehandlers, said a statement from Orascom Trading, the authorised Genie distributor in Egypt.

Marking another milestone that reflects its leadership in the infrastructure sector in Egypt and the Middle East, since 2015 Orascom Construction (OC) has been involved in the turn-key construction of two state-of-the-art combined cycle power plants in Egypt — both of which are the largest the world has ever seen.

The project is being built in a consortium by OC with Siemens. Each of the two power plants under construction by OC has a contract value of $2.24 billion and a power generation capacity of 4,800 MW.

Both operate on natural gas with light fuel as a backup to offer an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix for Egypt’s future.

The First Phase of the project was officially inaugurated in the presence of Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany representing Siemens) this March. Construction of the second facility, located on the Mediterranean coast, north of Borolos Lake in Egypt’s Kafr El Sheikh Governorate, started this January.

To adapt to the challenges of safe work on these challenging jobsites, OC has used two Genie ZX-135/70 boom lifts, in addition to a mix of ten Genie Z-80/60 booms, GS-4047 scissors lifts and GTH-4018 telehandlers.

Based in Cairo, OTC offers the full range of Genie products, said a top official.
“Orascom Trading has been our group’s internal equipment provider for the past 20 years, and when it comes to leading brands they definitely know their business. It came as no surprise to us when they signed up as an authorised Genie distributor last November,” remarked Yasser El Saied, the equipment manager for Orascom Construction.

"Now that we have direct access to the wider range of Genie machines, we have had the opportunity to see their superior quality. Our operators have also been able to experience their ease of operation. We are now keen to lay our hands on as many as we can, and as far as the activity of Orascom Construction goes, that means big numbers," he stated.

Working to a tight 2018 delivery schedule, the large numbers of machines operating on the Borolos site means that the environment is extremely busy.

“We are impressed by the versatility and precision of the Genie ZX-135/70 booms which are proving irreplaceable for a wide range of the plant’s highest-reaching tasks," remarked El Saied.

"We are also using them to support jobsite supervisors monitoring the quality of work on going on steel and concrete structures, and to assist in the inspection of completed sections of the plant. Once the job is completed, we will be using them for maintenance duties on both sites," he added.

Ashraf Noshy, the sales equipment manager, Orascom Trading Company, said: "Unlike other similar machines by other brands, we have found that Genie booms are particularly easy and smooth to operate. This also applies to the Genie ZX-135/70 boom that operates without a jolt even when fully elevated. It is also fast to get to the desired height.”

“It’s highly smooth and precise positioning, as well as its ability to be driven at maximum 141 ft height are also key factors that help save time and make work easier. These benefits are much appreciated by our operators,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Arabtec wins regulatory nod for share capital cut

Arabtec Holding, a leading contractor for social and economic infrastructure, said it has secured regulatory approval for its new capital reduction plan.

The move is aimed at slashing its share capital from Dh6.1 billion ($1.6 billion) to Dh1.5 billion ($408 million), said the Emirati firm in its statement to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The entitlement date (the last day of trading before restatement) was June 22. The ex-date, when the number of shares is reduced and the share price is restated (prior to the commencement of trading) will be June 28 (the first day of trading after the entitlement date), it stated.

A major player in the region. Arabtec has several key projects to its credit including iconic buildings such as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and Abu Dhabi landmark, the Emirates Palace Hotel; as well as other technically challenging work on airports and related infrastructure. It was the first private construction firm to list on the Dubai Financial Market in 2005.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Abu Dhabi approves $653m housing loans

The Abu Dhabi government has announced plans to issue new batch of housing loans worth Dh2.4 billion ($653 million) to 1,250 beneficiaries in the emirate as part of its initiative to provide all the necessities of a dignified living and appropriate housing to its citizens, said a report.

The new batch of loans will cover the needs and demands of citizens to build their homes or to re-build in different areas of Abu Dhabi, reported state news agency Wam.

The confirmed batch will include 600 loans in new areas, with 400 loans for completing buildings in existing areas, 150 for the purpose of tearing down and rebuilding, 80 for maintenance and expansion, and 20 for maintenance only, it stated.

In another development, a total of 625 beneficiaries have been selected to receive housing assistance worth Dh417 million under the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, said the Wam report citing a top minister.

Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and chairman of the programme, said the good news was conveyed ahead of Eid Al Fitr to bring a smile on the faces of the eligible recipients.

"This underscores the leadership's commitment to bring joy to citizens on the happy occasion and the government's persistent efforts to improve the quality of life for citizens," he added.

from Construction Realestate

Damac offers big savings this Ramadan

Damac Properties, a leading luxury real estate developer in the region, is offering savings of up to Dh500,000 (136,099) on a select range of ready properties including apartments and villas in Damac Hills, Jumeirah Golf Estates, the Burj Area, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Jumeirah Village Circle.

The special Ramadan offer, which runs until June 30, covers free packing and moving, free furniture package from Marina Home or Home Centre, a free three-night stay at one of Damac’s hotels as well as Dubai Land Department registration fee of 4 per cent paid on the buyer’s behalf.

Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president, said: "With savings of up to Dh500,000 when buying ready property from Damac, this Ramadan we are bringing dream homes closer to customers than ever. With this promotion, we aim to facilitate the purchase of a ready property and help customers to decide to move into their new homes by making their move more affordable and convenient."

"There is no better time to take this step and move in. Customers who take advantage of this special offer will be able to entertain family and friends in their brand new home," he added.

Last month and as part of its Ramadan promotions this year, Damac also launched Casablanca Villas, a collection of fully furnished and serviced luxury boutique villas in Dubai inspired by the enchanting vibes of Casablanca.

With this promotion, Damac Properties is offering investors and customers the opportunity to pay 60 per cent of the property value upon completion.

Making its mark at the highest end of stylish living, Damac Properties has cemented its place as the leading luxury developer in the region, having delivered over 18,500 homes, with a development portfolio of more than 44,000 units at various stages of progress, observed McLoughlin.

"This includes 13,000 hotel rooms, serviced hotel apartments and hotel villas that will be managed by operator Damac Hotels & Resorts," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wood flooring trends in 2017 inspired by nature

Interiors in 2017 are all about going back to basics, connecting ourselves with nature once again. In a world that's so fast-paced, we as humans have an innate need to hold on to the natural, the organic, said an industry expert. 

This is now being translated into interior design trends, with homes focusing on having a harmonious, natural and calm feeling, stated Nordic Homeworx, the exclusive distributor of Kährs, one of the oldest wood manufacturers in the world, based in Sweden.

It was founded in 2006 by a Swedish national Pauline Madani to bring premium Swedish wood flooring into Dubai. Nordic Homeworx is not only the exclusive distributor for the Kährs but also the agent for the brand in the Middle East. 

"Creating a home with a soul. Having a natural wood floor at home is a big part of creating that feeling- because wood is a material that affects all senses," remarked Emanuel Lidberg, the creative design manager for Kährs in Sweden.

According to Lidberg, a current trend in Scandinavia is big windows, covering a whole wall from floor to ceiling in an effort to erase the lines between indoors and outdoors. 

"This means that the light falls in a way that can cause reflections on the floor, confusing our sense of colour. That is why we're seeing matte surfaces becoming a big trend in the near future," he stated.

Wood floors provide a natural warmth and beauty to a home that very few other flooring materials can. Wood floors also add style to a home, are easy to care for and clean, comfortable to walk on and are non-allergenic and child-friendly, said the expert.

"Though investing in a high-quality natural wood flooring in Dubai will most likely have a high initial price, it will surely cost you less over time. This is due to the fact that much like most high-end brands - more research has been done into the product, skillful manufacturing implemented and high-quality raw materials used," observed Lidberg. 

"There is usually a valid reason for a wood floor's price. It generally takes a little bit of investigation into the brand to understand better. We also recommend you to look into other clients' experiences through testimonials or word-of-mouth as an additional background check into the supplier," observed Lidberg.

The 160-year history of Kährs is the story of a strong passion for nature and the environment; for wood as a material and for interior design, combined with innovative thinking and a commitment to the highest quality standards, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

ENBD REIT to distribute $9.7m interim dividend

ENBD REIT, a leading Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust in the UAE, will be paying an interim dividend of $9.71 million ($0.0382 per share) as its first dividend payment since listing on Nasdaq Dubai in March.

The Nasdaq Dubai-listed REIT said the payment will be only made to those investors who own shares in ENBD REIT before market close on July 2. The dividend record date will be July 5, said the statement from the company.

The dividend payment represents an annualised dividend yield of 7.13 per cent, based on ENBD REIT’s closing share price of $1.08 on June 21 and an annualized dividend yield on net asset value (NAV) per share of 6.6 per cent on the current NAV as of March 31. 

It is the intention of ENBD REIT to continue to distribute dividends to shareholders on a half-yearly basis, said a top official.

"The board of directors is pleased to announce ENBD REIT’s first dividend payment since the successful listing of our ordinary shares on Nasdaq Dubai in March," remarked its director Tariq Bin Hendi.

"In the period since listing, our management team have worked hard to deploy the capital raised by the transaction. We have already announced one successful acquisition, which has diversified our holdings into alternative asset classes, and we have a strong pipeline of further acquisitions, which we intend to be announcing soon," stated Bin Hendi. 

"We look forward to continuing to deliver strong returns to our shareholders," he added.

ENBD REIT has key investments in properties across Dubai’s office, residential, and alternative real estate asset classes. In March, the company successfully raised $105 million when it listed on Nasdaq Dubai.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Swiss-Belhotel to launch new residence brand in Bahrain

Global hospitality group Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) has signed a management agreement with Hassan Lari Property Development & Management to operate Swiss-Belresidences Juffair in Bahrain.

This latest announcement marks the debut of the Swiss-Belresidences brand in Bahrain.

Mohamed Lari, general manager of Hassan Lari Property Development & Management, said: “We look forward to working with a reputed partner like Swiss-Belhotel International. Swiss-Belresidences Juffair has been designed keeping in mind the comfort and flexibility that today’s modern travellers demand, and will offer guests an enriching experience.”

Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “GCC is a strategic growth market for us and we are delighted to announce this superb new property in Bahrain with Hassan Lari Property Development & Management. We are truly grateful to the owning company for having given us this fantastic opportunity and are confident Swiss-Belresidences Juffair will appeal to both leisure and business travellers."

Expected to open by the end of 2017, Swiss-Belresidences Juffair is an upper midscale hotel apartments complex featuring 129 well-appointed two and three bedroom serviced units each equipped with fabulous facilities including a full-fledged kitchen.

Enjoying a prime location in the city, in close proximity to popular shopping and dining attractions, the hotel also boasts outstanding recreation and dining facilities such as a swimming pool, a large spa connected with the health club, a mini theatre, a kids club, an all-day-dining restaurant and a deli corner in the lobby.

The growing demand for quality hotels across the Middle East is helping to fuel the rapid expansion of Swiss-Belhotel International in the region.

Gavin M. Faull, chairman and president of Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “This new signing reinforces our commitment to the Middle East where we currently have more than 3,500 rooms under development. We are excited to expand our presence in the region and offer our guests more choice in this evolving market where we have been operating with great success for over a decade.” - TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

GE wins Jordan power plant maintenance agreement

Global technology and engineering conglomerate GE said its power unit has signed a multi-year agreement with Samra Electric Power Company (Sepco) in Jordan to provide full maintenance services, including parts and repairs for critical power generation equipment at its combined cycle power plant located in the Zarqa region of the kingdom.

The 1,175MW Samra Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Plant feeds power into the national grid for both residential and commercial use, said a statement from GE.

This agreement will cover seven GE gas turbines that are installed and operating at the Samra Station. GE will also provide its Advanced Gas Path (AGP) upgrade for 9E units and its MXL2 upgrade for GT13E2 units at the site, it added.

It will help to lower maintenance costs, improve the availability of assets at the plant and enhance operational output and efficiency, said Amjad Al Rawashdeh, the managing director of Sepco, after signing the agreement with Fadi Tabboush, the executive sales director of GE’s Power Services business for East Mediterranean, Iraq and Pakistan (EMIP). 

“The collaboration with GE marks our focus on the continuous improvement of operations at Samra and the better utilization of assets at the power station,” noted Al Rawashdeh. 

"Jordan’s energy needs are estimated to be growing at about five per cent per annum. GE’s expertise and advanced solutions will help us to support the cost-effective supply of power to meet the requirements of people and industry in general," he added.

The agreement with Sepco underpins the transformational value that GE can bring to our customers, he added.

Joseph Anis, the president and chief executive of GE’s Power Services business in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, said: "We are honoured to help Sepco reduce maintenance costs and improve asset performance at Samra for greater plant availability and more reliable operations."

GE’s AGP solution to be deployed at Samra blends hardware and digital innovations to deliver industry-leading performance and operational flexibility, he explained. 

The solution offers extended availability with the industry’s longest gas path maintenance interval of up to 32,000 hours and can help prolong the life of the turbines and parts to as much as 96,000 hours, as well as increase output, enhance efficiency and reduce fuel costs, stated Anis.

"GE has supported the development of the energy sector across the Middle East and North Africa and Turkey for more than 80 years. Today, GE-built technologies support the generation of more than two-thirds of the region’s electricity," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Emaar Properties names Jain Group CEO

Dubai's Emaar Properties, leading property developer and builder of the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa, has appointed Amit Jain, as the new Group chief executive officer.

An industry veteran, Jain has over 20 years of experience in senior positions with real estate, banking industries and as management consultant. He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a CFA Charter holder from the CFA Institute, US.

He was previously the group's chief operating officer and chief executive of Emaar's Dubai operations, said the company in a statement.  

Since Emaar's former CEO Abdullah Lahej left the company to take his responsibility at Dubai Properties Group in April last year, Jain had been handling the responsibilities of the CEO position on an acting basis.

In another development, Emaar's hospitality unit has confirmed that it will be managing its first hotel in Saudi Arabia.

“We would like to clarify that entering into a hotel management agreement is in the normal course of business for Emaar Hospitality,” Emaar Properties said in a statement issued to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The agreement is not expected to have a material impact on Emaar Properties’ financials, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Amlak partners with Dubai Land Department

Amlak Finance, a leading specialised Shari’a compliant real estate financier in the Middle East, has announced a key partnership deal with the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

This strategic co-operation aims at doubling customers’ properties, enhancing the investment appetite for the Dubai real estate market, and stimulating growth in the sector, said Arif Alharmi, the managing director and chief executive of Amlak Finance, after signing the deal with Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the director general of the Dubai Land Department.

This follows Amlak Finance’s recent launch of its exclusive ‘Double Your Property’ product to double customers’ properties through creating a suitable environment for real estate investors and promoting the real estate sector’s contribution to the overall development of the emirate under the umbrella of DLD, he stated.

Under the deal, DLD will provide support to Amlak in identifying potential investors who qualify for this investment proposition.

This first-of-its-kind product targets resident and non-resident investors who have equity in UAE property. This includes individuals that have already purchased properties or those who have now reached the end of their finance or mortgage tenure, said Amlak in a statement.

The product will provide eligible investors with increased returns on their real estate investments as well as other attractive financing terms including refinancing options for up to 80% of the current market value, it stated.

Alharmi said the company looked forward to offering its new ‘Double Your Property’ product to wider audiences.

"At Amlak, we are continually enhancing products and services we offer to our customers in line with current demands and we believe this new offering is well-suited for the market. Our DLD partnership and recent product launch will further increase investment transactions in Dubai," he added.

On the tieup, Bin Mejren said: "We are delighted to collaborate with Amlak Finance especially since this collaborative initiative is in line with our vision to promote Dubai’s position as the world’s premier real estate destination and a byword for innovation, trust and happiness."

"Such strategic partnerships will increase real estate transactions activity, provide a channel for non-residents to invest in the Dubai market, and at the same time it will encourage existing property owners to redirect investment to the real estate sector, and ultimately promote investment in the Dubai real estate sector on a global scale," he added.

Under this aagreement, Amlak will also provide support for customers by facilitating the entire new investment process using the refinanced amount. Customers will be able to enjoy complete access to Amlak’s diverse real estate portfolio and will receive a complementary property management services, it added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Arcadis names new Middle East CEO

Arcadis, ae leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets, said it has appointed Dr Kamiran Ibrahim as the new chief executive for its Middle East operations effective July 1.

Dr Ibrahim currently holds the position of managing director for UAE and Oman and will succeed Graham Reid, who has accepted a position at RES Group in the United Kingdom, said a statement from Arcadis.

Dr Ibrahim joined Hyder Consulting in the UK in 2003 and moved to the Middle East in 2006. Prior to the Arcadis acquisition of Hyder Consulting in 2014, Dr Ibrahim held a number of senior executive leadership roles, including that of regional business director for Geotechnics/Tunneling and regional managing director for the Utilities/Water sector.

Following the Arcadis acquisition, he assumed two regional roles at Arcadis, - Managing Director of Qatar and the Global Business Leader for Water - prior to his current role leading the growth of the UAE and Oman businesses.

Dr Ibrahim is a civil engineer with over 30 years’ experience in business development and operations within contracting and consultancy firms across the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

He has a proven ability to drive and implement operational success in large international organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Highways and Traffic Engineering (MSc), and a PhD in Civil Engineering (Geotechnics).

Throughout his professional career, he has had key leadership involvement in the design and management of numerous high profile international projects, aimed at improving quality of life of the people within their respective localities.

Stephan Ritter, Arcadis' executive board member responsible for Europe, UK, the Middle East and Global Excellence Centers, said: "We are grateful for Reid’s contribution to the integration of our activities in the Middle East and for building a resilient business in challenging times. Graham led the region with a strong focus on clients and successful project execution. We wish Graham all the best in his new role."

Welcoming Dr Ibrahim into the fold, Ritter said his unique combination of relentless client focus, outstanding track record and business acumen were amongst his strongest attributes.

"His significant leadership capability and deep understanding of the Middle East region, as well as Arcadis’ clients and people, make him a natural successor. I am delighted that he has accepted the CEO role in the Middle East,” he added.

On his appointment, Dr Ibrahim said: "I am passionate about leading multi-disciplinary teams to overcome clients’ business challenges, and I am committed to bringing the very best of Arcadis to our clients."-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

India's Sterling and Wilson wins major UAE power project

India-based engineering firm Sterling and Wilson has won both the turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance contract for the world’s largest single location solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The plant is being jointly developed by Marubeni, a Japanese integrated trading and investment giant, along with Jinko, a global leader in the solar industry, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea).

Sterling and Wilson, one of the dominant global forces in the solar PV space, said the project will deliver a capacity of 1177 MWp, easily surpassing the current largest 850 MWp single location plant in China.

With construction already under way, the  plant, which is spread over a desert area of 7.8 sq km, is scheduled to be fully integrated with the grid in a record timeline of just 23 months. To top it all, the project was awarded at the lowest ever recorded bid in the history of PV solar, stated the Mumbai-based Sterling and Wilson.

The Marubeni consortium had successfully bid a tariff of $2.42 cents per kilowatt hour, marking the lowest cost ever for solar power, it stated.
This is a positive demonstration of the promising future of clean energy, reducing the dominance of fossil-fuel-backed power plants.

Sterling and Wilson pointed out that the prestigious project would be playing a major role in helping Abu Dhabi achieve its aim of sustainability and energy diversification, through the use of clean energy/low carbon growth in accordance with the world’s vision of long-term environmental stewardship.

The plant, once commissioned, would save around seven million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, a number that would be a national landmark, it stated.

To put it in perspective, 1,177 MWp can power around 195,000 homes, thus contributing to the welfare of the current as well as the future generations of the people of the UAE, said a top official.

"We are fully geared and very excited to be a part of this important milestone in the global solar market," said Bikesh Ogra, the president for renewable energy at Sterling and Wilson.

"Owing to the favourable government policies, India is now the third largest market for solar in the world, allowing Sterling and Wilson the opportunity to become the leading solar EPC in the country. The company has created a global brand and has now grown to be the world’s largest solar EPC player outside US and China," he remarked.

Laying emphasis on the need to be competitive, Ogra said: "The strongest contributor to this tariff is the capital expense driven by lower equipment cost and a highly efficient system design. Our unique design offerings and state-of-the-art robotics optimises the yield and performance of the plant."

Sterling and Wilson also has to its credit 1400 MW of best-performing solar power plants in various geographies with a powerhouse of more than 3,000 qualified engineers, project managers and designers.

As the acceleration of growth in the energy sector has increased worldwide, Sterling and Wilson has ventured into the wind and energy storage sectors, covering the entire canvas in the renewable sector, said Ogra.

Backed by its robust resources in project management, project implementation and project engineering, with projects completed in the Philippines and South Africa, and a number of projects in Zambia, Niger and Morocco under construction, the company is fully geared to deliver more than 3,000 MW every year, he added.-TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Iran targets 6,500km of new railroads in 5 years

Iran plans to construct 6,500 km of railroads by 2022, the head of International Transportation Office at Iranian Railways was quoted as saying in a media report.

The figure also includes underdeveloped projects, while the construction of further 3,500 km of railroads after 2022 is currently under study, Hossein Ashouri was quoted in an Iran Daily report, which cited Trend News Agency.

In the past four years, Iran invested $1 billion each year on railroad projects, and for the next five years the figure would reach $1.5 to $2 billion annually, general director of Islamic republic of Iranian Railways Saeed Mohammadzadeh was quoted as saying earlier.

Currently, Iran's railroad network extends to 10,170 km, the report said.

One of the railroad projects is the 175-km Rasht-Astara segment, which would require an investment of $1.1billion. Upon completion, the North-South Transport Corridor will become fully operational.

from Construction Realestate

Dubai to launch world’s first Crowd Endowment Park

Dubai Municipality & Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy (MBRGCEC) have announced the revival of the over 125-years’ age-old custom of the endowment of palm trees by establishing the Endowment Park, a first collective endowment park & dates factory in the world.

The project is located next to Mushrif Park, Dubai and will be spread over an area of 15 hectares.

The new park combines the business model of crowdsourcing (a concept that has been successfully used in many economic projects) with the concept of innovative endowment adopted by the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.

Hussain Lootah, director General of Dubai Municipality said: “We all know that Dubai is pioneering in innovation in different fields, today we announce one of its innovations in the charity field.  This is in line with the year of giving declared by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, the strategy of the year of giving launched by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Alihsan park will be the first collective-endowment park in the world under the name of UAE community.”

“We will work soon on the infrastructure of the endowment park and we will then open the door for the community to donate palms from their houses and farms.  The production of this park will be packed in an endowment date factory located in the same park.  The dates will be distributed to needy segments,” Lootah added.

Dr Hamad Al Hammady, secretary general of MBRGCEC said: “The Endowment park in Dubai is one of the initiative that supports the directives of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President in regard to the year of giving, it also adopts the concept of innovative endowment launched last year by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.  The centre works to establish innovative initiatives to open the doors for the whole community to be part of endowment.”

The first collective-endowment Park in the world will be established with the members of the UAE community donating the palm trees, which in turn will become an agricultural endowment.

The project will also include a charity date-packing factory, which will allocate its entire production towards the needy members within the UAE community. The project has an expected annual production capacity of around 150 tonnes of dates.

The Endowment Park aims at opening the doors of sustainable charity to all its community members. The entire concept is derived from the 125-year old custom originating from the Hatta region, which had the social custom of endowing palms by traditionally donating the proceeds into charity and favouring the needy members of the community.

During the second half of 2017, Dubai Municipality will announce the launch of the invitation to donate towards the palms endowment for the park as soon as the infrastructure is completed on the project. The municipality will also issue the specific requirements for each endowment palm tree in order to ensure the quality of production within the Endowment Park. – TradeArabia News Service

from Construction Realestate

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Abu Dhabi group inks deal to develop Fujairah Port

Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer of the emirate's commercial and community ports, has signed a 35-year concession agreement to develop, manage and operate the upcoming port in the UAE emirate of Fujairah, a report said.

As part of the agreement, the entity has announced the establishment of Fujairah Terminals, a new operational arm wholly owned by Abu Dhabi Ports, reported WAM, the Emirates official news agency.

The agreement was signed by Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports and Captain Mousa Murad, general manager of Port of Fujairah.

In attendance were Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, chairman of the Department of Industry and Economy, Fujairah and chairman of the board of Port of Fujairah, and Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports.

Sheikh Saleh said: "We look forward to working closely with Abu Dhabi Ports in making this strategic partnership mutually beneficial both in the short and long term and enhancing Fujairah Port’s capabilities and strengths both regionally and internationally.”

Dr Al Jaber said: "This concession agreement reflects Abu Dhabi Port’s and Port of Fujairah’s efforts to develop infrastructure in the UAE in line with the leadership’s vision to help drive economic and trade growth across all sectors. We strongly believe that developing Fujairah Port and increasing its capabilities will enable it keep up with the industry’s constant growth.

"Abu Dhabi Ports will utilise all its capabilities and expertise to enable Fujairah Ports to achieve its objectives, based on best practices. In particular we plan to leverage the geography of this strategic port to contribute to the development of the UAE's commercial and tourism sectors."

The announcement is testament to Abu Dhabi Ports’ efforts to strengthen the development and operation of ports and terminals across the UAE and its contribution to the growth of a diversified, knowledge-based economy. Through the establishment of Fujairah Terminals, the agreement will grant Abu Dhabi Ports the exclusivity to enhance existing infrastructure in addition to managing all container, general cargo, ro-ro and cruise ships in the port. It further extends this exclusivity throughout Fujairah for container business.

The agreement also includes deepening of berths to enable the port, which already serves clients and companies in the entire Gulf region, Indian Ocean and Indian Subcontinent, to cater to larger vessels.

Abu Dhabi Ports will be investing in the infrastructure of Fujairah Ports, further enhancing its capabilities. Development includes deepening of berths to -16.5 m to allow bigger vessels to come to the Port of Fujairah, building an approximately 300,000-sq-m yard of storage space, as well as an additional 1-km quay to accommodate the expected growth in the number of ships arriving to the port, increasing shipping operations in the process.

Abu Dhabi Ports will also work on equipping Fujairah Ports with new and advanced equipment such as STS post panama quay cranes, RTGs as well as new IT systems, bringing efficiency to operations and better equipping it to meet the needs of global shipping companies and service operators in line with the highest international standards. Maqta Gateway, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, will be engaged to develop a port community system that links port communities with various departments, facilities and operations.

Captain Mohammed Jumaa Al Shamsi said, "Signing with the Port of Fujairah marks a major milestone for Abu Dhabi Ports. This significant investment will see Abu Dhabi Ports share best practices with Fujairah Ports, which is one of the most important economic and commercial ports operating in the UAE, to further complement services offered at both Khalifa Port and Zayed Port. This agreement will offer clients on the east coast more options, it will also allow the re-export of goods that arrive at Khalifa Port to India, Pakistan and East Africa in addition to receiving general cargo for clients in the northern emirates."

"The agreement has numerous mutual benefits, including the witnessing of significant growth in the Port of Fujairah in the coming years with the objective of being able to receive vessels of all sizes, in addition to an increase in freight operations, general cargo and passenger services." he added.

"This agreement was the culmination of the joint efforts and extensive research conducted by Abu Dhabi Ports and Fujairah Port Authority, including economic and environmental studies, to implement the best means to enhance the capacity of Fujairah Terminals. Abu Dhabi Ports will utilise all its capabilities and expertise to enable Fujairah Terminals to achieve its objectives," Al Shamisi concluded.

Abu Dhabi Ports will commence with the development of berths and yards in 2018. The port will remain operational during this time to service existing and new clients. Additional capacity and new quay cranes will begin operations in 2021, including the post panama quay cranes.

The Port of Fujairah is the only multi-purpose port on the Eastern seaboard of the UAE and is strategically located on the Indian Ocean coast, close to the east-west shipping routes. Its location offers shipping lines efficient transshipment options and an excellent platform to serve the entire Gulf region, the Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan, the Red Sea, East Africa and several neighbouring countries.

The port's capacity is expected to reach 1 million TEUs and 700,000 tonnes of general cargo by 2030.

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Bahrain’s residential market 'confident' despite challenges

Bahrain’s residential and retail markets have begun showing higher level of confidence despite economic pressures, according to a report by property expert CBRE.

Retail and food and beverage (F&B) developments remain popular investment choices in Bahrain as “experiential” and “entertainment” focused retail concepts are beginning to influence shopping centre designs, stated CBRE in its Bahrain MarketView for the first half.

A number of festival waterfront and neighbourhood retail projects are opening or currently under construction, it stated. 

The Avenues is set to open in late 2017 with 33,000 sq m GLA (gross lease area) and The Oasis, a large regional shopping centre in a prominent location opposite the grand mosque in Juffair, will be launched next year. 

Heather Longden, the associate director, CBRE Bahrain said: "Retail and leisure are seen as the main drivers of tourism for the country and international retail operators, including The Avenues and Alshaya Group continue to work with the local market to evolve the offering."

“In addition to brick and mortar retail businesses, Bahrain is also set to enter the e-commerce sphere with Amazon Web Services (AWS) opening in the kingdom,” she added.

A subsidiary of online retail giant Amazon has announced plans to set up an office in Bahrain to support local businesses, as they transition to Cloud services.

According to the CBRE report, the residential sector in Bahrain has experienced an undersupply situation for over 25 years with a housing shortage of 75,000 units estimated in 2017. 

The majority of the shortage is in the low- to middle-income segment catering to the needs of Bahraini families.  

Current demand in 2017 based on population statistics and typical household sizes is for 290,000 units while there are only 216,000 completed units across all property types in the market.  An intensive government-led strategy is under way to close the supply/demand gap with 40,000 units scheduled to be introduced under the housing plan by 2020, stated the report.

Commenting on the residential sector, James Lynn, the director, CBRE Bahrain, said: "Areas popular with expatriates for both apartment rental and sales continue to be Juffair, Seef, Amwaj and Reef Island. One of the most active districts of Bahrain for new residential development is Juffair, where there are a number of large-scale residential tower projects under construction and planned for completion in 2017 and 2018."

"This is anticipated to lead to a significant increase in freehold supply over the next two years in this area of Bahrain (Juffair). In 2016, the micro market comprised of 2,800 freehold units and this is expected to rise to over 5,000 units by 2018 which is almost 79 per  cent growth within a short two-year period," he added. 

In terms of rental rates, CBRE has recorded that residential rents remain amongst the highest in Seef District, including Reef Island, which is unsurprising given the close proximity to shopping malls, offices and other services and entertainment options. 

As per the Survey and Land Registration Bureau data, the majority of Bahrain's real estate transactions (85 per cent of the total in 2016) were completed by Bahraini nationals, while about 10 per cent was closed by Gulf nationals.

GCC buyers are predominantly from either Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, stated the property expert.

"The rising cost of power and water utilities for expatriates has started to impact on key rental decisions. Consideration of home sizes, room layouts and general energy efficiencies within properties are now key factors in the home selection process, more than ever before," remarked Lynn.

CBRE said the new residential properties completed in early 2017 include The Grand and The Tweet in Seef, and The Nest in Sanabis, which are all Bin Faqeeh developments. 

Fontana Gardens by Royal Ambassador has also recently been opened.  Dilmunia villas are now being handed over and are starting to come on to the rental market, however, as the immediate area remains a construction site, tenants are wary about leasing, it added.  

“The Sharq is expected to be the next development on Dilmunia to be opened later this year and the entire project is due for completion by 2020.  Fontana Infinity has been opened for off-plan sales and as with all Royal Ambassador projects sales have been positive in the first quarter of 2017,” observed Lynn. 

With regard to the lingdom’s hospitality sector, the Bahrain Economic Development Board recently reported that 15 four- and five-star hotels and beachfront resorts with a combined investment of more than $10 billion will open in Bahrain over the next five years. 

The brands include: The One&Only Resort, Wyndham Grand Hotel, Fairmont, Vida Hotel & Resort, Ibis Hotel and Pullman Hotel.  These hotels will add to the kingdom’s existing supply of more than 190 hotels and resorts. This includes 18 five-star hotels, 48 four-star hotels, 35 three-star hotels, 81 serviced apartments and 11 resorts. 

According to the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA), 12.3 million tourist visitors entered the kingdom last year, up six per cent from 2015 with 88 per cent of day and short trips from Saudi Arabia over the King Fahad Causeway, which forms the majority of the hotel room demand for Bahrain.

The current average hotel occupancy for the region in 2016 to date is 60 per cent in comparison to 53 per cent for the city of Manama, Bahrain.

"The region is seeing an influx of new hotel rooms in spite of reduced demand and prolonged economic challenges primarily as a result of deflated oil prices. The majority of hotel rooms available in the Bahrain market in 2016 were in the four-star market constituting 43 per cent of total room supply," stated Longden. 

In terms of future supply of hotel rooms in the development pipeline, there are an additional 5,100 rooms planned to be introduced by 2021 in the five-star category which will further advance the standard of property in the Bahrain market,” she added. 

On the office market, CBRE said it remains segmented across geographical locations and also between individual properties, with some landlord fairing better than others in attracting corporate tenants. 

Total Grade A and Grade B stock is 1.2 million sq m in the capital and there is a vacancy rate across the board of 33 per cent, stated the property expert.

Newer towers with services on site for office workers and attractive initial commercial terms are drawing major occupiers from older or less suitable buildings. 

"Prime average monthly rates are now as low as BD7 ($18.4) per sq m and this provides affordable opportunities for occupiers. The Seef area has a considerably higher occupancy rate and despite some tenants deciding to move from the area, demand remains steady," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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Immensa opens first 3D printing facility in Dubai

UAE-based Immensa Technology Labs, a leading Additive Manufacturing (AM) company, said it has launched the country’s first 3D printing facility. It houses over eight 3D printing systems and offers more than 30 materials for production.

Immensa was established in Dubai last year with the objective of being a solution provider bridging the gap between the uses of 3D printing technologies, materials and the practical use of such technologies.

It is the first privately-owned company specialising in the development and advancement of 3D printing in the UAE, said the company in a statement.

The launch comes in line with the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The new hitech facility is equipped to build and manufacture production quality parts, components and one-off prototypes for customers across a variety of industries using a wide range of advanced technologies, it added.

Speaking at the launch, Fahmi Al Shawwa, the chief executive of Immensa Technology Labs, said: "There are ample opportunities for organisations in the UAE to adopt AM to enhance their efficiencies and competitiveness, and we are focused on providing world-class and viable 3D printing solutions."

"Our team is passionate about 3D printing, design and manufacturing, and we cover the entire process to help our clients every step of the way, from design concepts and material options to technology selection, 3D printing production and post-production processing," he added.

Al Shawwa said the company was focusing on providing clients with an effective, efficient and financially viable use of 3D printing.

"We solve our customers most complex problems by providing multi-material, digital manufacturing solutions. At Immensa we can fabricate and produce objects that were physically not possible without 3D printing," stated the top official.

Immensa’s facilities in the UAE house a wide range of technologies including selective laser sintering, stereolithography, extrusion and material jetting.-TradeArabia News Service

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Emaar Hospitality launches 360-degree virtual tours of Dubai hotels

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties, has introduced panoramic, 360-degree virtual tours of its hotels in Dubai.

The 360-degree virtual tours, captured in high-definition photographs and videos, offer visitors the opportunity to experience the unique value propositions of each hotel, discover its myriad facets and make an informed decision – be it for booking hotel stays, restaurants or pampering oneself at spas.

The 360-degree virtual tours cover properties under the premium luxury hotel and serviced residences brand, Address Hotels + Resorts; the upscale lifestyle hotel and serviced residences brand, Vida Hotels and Resorts; and the new contemporary mid-scale hotel and serviced residences brand, Rove Hotels.

Olivier Harnisch, chief executive officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “Introducing innovative digital experiences is part of our strategy to further enhance the guest experience. The 360-degree virtual tours open doors to the delightful and exceptional lifestyle offerings at our hotels, enabling visitors anywhere in the world to make informed decisions and plan their stay in vivid detail. We will continue to explore newer opportunities to strengthen our online engagement with our guests, underlining our commitment to provide value-added customer-centric experiences.”

The virtual tours take visitors through the spectacular architecture that define properties under Address Hotel + Resorts, including Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Marina, Address Dubai Mall, Address Montgomerie, and Palace Downtown. The 360-degree virtual tours also take visitors through the exceptional ambience offered by Vida Downtown and Manzil Downtown, as well as the three Rove Hotels that are currently operational in central locations across the city – Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre and Rove Healthcare City.

Each virtual tour, assembled through panoramic photography and videography, will provide all the features of the hotel in vivid details. From the exteriors to the interior, whether it is the lobby, restaurants, lounges, spas, event spaces, or the intricate details of rooms and suites, you can experience it all online.

The launch of the 360-degree virtual tours of all hotels is part of the ambitious digital transformation that Emaar Hospitality Group is bringing through several innovative initiatives. The objective is to enable visitors to become familiar with the hotels and understand the real value that awaits them. They can then simply make their bookings via the website itself, adding to their convenience.

The virtual tours can also be experienced over smartphones through the new native apps that Emaar Hospitality Group has launched. Setting an industry-first, these apps powered by Go Find It Technologies SA, enhance the digital lifestyle experiences of guests at Address Hotels + Resorts, Palace Downtown, Vida Hotels and Resorts, Manzil Downtown and Rove Hotels. The apps of Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts, Palace Downtown and Manzil Downtown have gone live with the Rove Hotels App to go live shortly. - TradeArbia News Service

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