December 5, 2023 foasummit0

A US $383mn contract has been awarded for the development of the Oman Cultural Complex. The project is expected to be spread over an area of 400,000sqm in Muscat. The project, which is being set up in the Madinat Al Irfan district, will be completed within a three-year period.

According to a report, Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, signed the agreement with a consortium of two companies for the project.

The Oman Cultural Complex is said to be a modern landmark and an edifice featuring the country’s civilisation, culture, scholarly accomplishments, and institutional entity.

The new cultural district brings together three major buildings around a wide, central square – the Oman National Theatre, which boasts a 1,000-seat auditorium and a 250-seat flexible auditorium; the 20,000sqm five-storey National Library and the National Archives partially open to the public, including nearly 20km of archival shelf-displays.

The complex also features an exhibition centre, a cultural centre and a cinema, the report concluded.

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Source: ME Construction News


December 5, 2023 foasummit0

Saudi officials have announced plans to spend US $92bn to transform Riyadh ahead of Expo 2030. The investment aims to make Riyadh one of the most sustainable cities through initiatives, including the King Salman Park Initiative and Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), as well decarbonisation of the urban transport – within the next seven years.

Princess Haifa bint Mohammed Al Saud, the Vice Minister of Tourism, was speaking during the third edition of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum, which opened on the sidelines of COP28. Senior Saudi officials took to the stage to discuss the Kingdom’s sustainable urbanisation progress.

“One of those ways is to have more green spaces, and it’s the King Salman Park Initiative that we are going to develop in the middle of the city to enhance and create that,” she explained.

Under SGI, more than 43m trees and shrubs have been planted across the Kingdom since it was set up in 2021, with 94,000ha of degraded land (equivalent to 146,000 football fields) being rehabilitated across the country.

In his address, Saleh Al Jasser, Minister of Transportation, Saudi Arabia, highlighted some of the actions being undertaken across the Kingdom to decarbonise urban transport.

“We are implementing remote work in government agencies, which helps reduce demand for daily travel. To shift to less carbon intensive modes of transport, we have set ambitious targets to increase the share of public transport, with the Riyadh bus and metro projects well underway,” Al Jasser concluded.

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Source: ME Construction News


December 3, 2023 foasummit0

Big 5 Global: Unite the Global Construction Community

Big 5 Global, known as the largest and most influential event for the construction industry, has been at the forefront of bringing together real estate developers, architects, contractors, engineers, consultants, manufacturers, and distributors from around the world, since its inception in 1979.

This year marks the 44th edition of the event, set to welcome over 100,000 participants from 150+ countries. With access to cutting-edge built environment solutions, premium strategic content, technical workshops, and prestigious awards, the event has become a pivotal platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and forging long-lasting business relationships.

Discover How ZWCAD Empowers the Construction Industry

ZWSOFT is proud to be a part of Big 5 Global, where our team will showcase its latest innovative CAx solutions to industry professionals and enthusiasts alike.

At ZWSOFT’s booth, visitors can immerse themselves in a series of informative mini-seminars designed to delve into critical topics and streamline the contractors’ and designers‘ workflows, including ‘ZWCAD, A Highly Compatible and Efficient 2D CAD Software’,”Collaborate Using ZWCAD Mobile App”, and so on. Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to experience ZWCAD’s powerful features firsthand and engage in discussions with experts from the ZWSOFT Middle East team. These experts will provide dedicated product demos and share insights into industry trends and best practices, offering a pathway to success within Dubai’s dynamic construction landscape.

ZWSOFT is committed to facilitating industry professionals to succeed with its cutting-edge CAx solutions. Meet ZWSOFT at the Big 5 Global in Dubai to explore the future of the construction industry.


Expo Name: Big 5 Global
Expo Date: 4 – 7 December 2023
Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre
Booth Number: SS1 D28
Get Free Tickets: Welcome | Big 5 Global 2023
Expo Website: Big 5 Global | 4 – 7 December 2023 | Dubai World Trade Centre
Exhibitor: ZWSOFT

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Source: ME Construction News


December 1, 2023 foasummit0

The Big Project Middle East and Middle East Consultant editorial teams have confirmed that over 130 individuals attended the 2023 edition of the Construction Intel Summit KSA. The event featured 25 speakers from key regional and international firms, who discussed and debated a variety of topics relating to the vibrant Saudi construction market.

The event opened with a welcome address from Paul Godfrey, Head of Content at Middle East Consultant, following which, the event’s first panel discussion of the day began ‘Growing the Kindgom’s Talent Pool and Retaining Knowledge’. The panel discussed: what players in the built environment have already achieved in alignment with the nation’s focus on Saudisation; is the industry on track to support and achieve Saudisation goals by 2030; what challenges private construction firms face, and what initiatives can the government role out to enable them to develop and retain motivated Saudi talent, and more.

The session was moderated by Reem Seraj, Business Support and Vision 2030 Realisation Manager, Saudi Arabia at AtkinsRéalis, with speakers including: Clive Cashin, Project Director, Saudi Arabia, Serco; Faiyad Peterson, Country Director – KSA, Cundall; Laeeq Hassan, Associate Director & Chair of the RICS KSA MAP / Mace Arabia & Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor (RICS); Marcus Taylor, Partner, Taylor Sterling, and Hrvoje Cindric, Director – Middle East Planning Lead, Buro Happold.

The session was followed by a presentation from Thinkproject’s Yazan Alshalan, which was titled ‘Unleashing Technology’s Potential for Smart Construction and Operations in Giga Projects’.

The Driving Giga-Project Success panel was split into two parts, with the first focusing on data and the shape of project success. The session was moderated by Paul Godfrey, with speakers including: Allison Wicks, Quality Integration Specialist, Qualitaz; Ben Jackson, Head of Project and Development Services for the Middle East & Africa, JLL; Cary Kopczynski, CEO & Senior Principal, CKC and Nivine Issa, Founder & Managing Director, Terra Nexus.

Polypipe Middle East’s Adam Smith then engaged in a fireside chat with Paul Godfrey on the topic of advanced water management in today’s mega-projects. The session looked at the innovation in drainage and water management that has accompanied the growth in scale of KSA’s projects.

The second part of the second panel discussion, which focused on cost and supply chain then took part. This segment was moderated by Mohamed Moussa, Member of the RICS Engagement Group – KSA / Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, KSA, with speakers including: Ahmed Abdelrazek, Senior Consultant, TBH; Darren Burke, General Manager, ALEC Engineering & Contracting; Fernando Freitas,  Director, Omnium International Limited; Mitesh Bavdekar, Director, KPM Engineering and Wees Abraham, VP – Operations & Strategy, Shade Corporation.

Following the lunch break, another fireside chat took place. Here, Paul Godfrey spoke to Paul Sweeney, Development & Program Director at Compass Project Consulting about the key initiatives and focus areas that businesses need to invest in, if they are to successfully drive forward challenging giga-project timelines and deliver the complex matrices of project management.

The final panel discussion of the day took a deep dive into ‘Sustainable Infrastructure’ in the Kingdom. The session discussed the current state of urban infrastructure development within the Kingdom’s giga-projects and how some of the issues that have arisen have been tackled; what has been planned in terms of sustainable energy and water infrastructure and what has been delivered; the development of next generation mobility solutions including air taxis, and more.

The session was moderated by Karie Akeelah, Partner, Trowers & Hamlins with speakers including: Ahmed Sayed, Middle East Business Development Manager, ACCIONA; John Shenton, Chair of Dubai Hub at CIOB; Michael Marriott, Infrastructure Manager – KSA, KEO International Consultants, and Kamal Farah, Director, Desert Board.

The final presentation of the day was delivered by Jens Otterstedt, General Manager, Al Masaood Bergum on modular construction and how it is enabling dramatic improvements in the speed of construction and brings many advantages, and can also provide significant advantages in terms of sustainability.

The 2023 Construction Intel Summit KSA was supported by:

Strategic Content Partner: ALEC Engineering & Contracting
Silver Sponsor: AECOM, AtkinsRealis, Desert Board, KEO, K Tech Consulting,
Bronze Sponsor: Thinkproject
Supporting Partners: Al Masood, Climatize, Compass Project Consulting, Cundall, JLL, Omnium, Polypipe, TBH Consultancy
Endorsed by: Chartered Institute of Building, American Concrete Institute

To learn more about the 2023 Construction Intel Summit KSA, please click here.

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Source: ME Construction News


December 1, 2023 foasummit0

COP28 is upon us. Dubai has prepared to host more than 70,000 delegates and world leaders in their latest round of debate and collaboration over climate matters. Through my work with regional governments, industry associations and private enterprises I know that brought to the table will be discussions around the areas that have the most impact and potential for yielding practical outcomes. Foremost among these will be the strategies to reduce the  carbon emissions associated with infrastructure, including the built environment, which is collectively responsible for an estimated 79% of the global total.

Blueprints for success

With buildings being behind 39% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, it is no question that the sustainability of the construction sector will be a top focus for participants at COP28. A successful conference would be one in which steps are clearly outlined for stakeholders to take practical action for infrastructure and buildings included. These measures must allow for the regeneration and preservation of the natural environment and provide fair treatment to those that are exposed to climate change impacts, while creating economic value for future generations.

This may seem like a tall order, but it isn’t unattainable. A sustainable, low-carbon world is possible. We have the tools and the expertise to create it. We can design, develop, and operate our built environment using a lifecycle approach, where we account for the whole lifetime of an asset and its associated carbon and costs. We must collaborate, we must raise awareness, we must build capabilities, and we must share budgetary requirements and risks while identifying opportunities for mutual action. Perhaps most importantly, we must remember that asset decarbonisation is a process, not an outcome. We must monitor progress, be transparent about our restraints, and redesign our efforts as we go.

Laying foundations for a greener future

Building and infrastructure designs are evolving. They now integrate environmental sustainability and low-carbon solutions, including reducing virgin materials and energy demand, and eliminating fossil fuels. Modern designs also incorporate circularity principles and sequester carbon where possible. We see industry certifications such as LEED, PAS2080, EDGE, International Living Future Institute, BREAM, and others set better standards for net-zero journeys. And through closer collaborations between clients and consultants, we are seeing costs starting to fall in projects such as MC2 Masdar City Campus and Expo City, which is hosting COP28 delegates.

In the construction and commissioning phases we also see this incorporation of sustainability and decarbonisation principles. Organisations have begun to focus on materials, energy and water usage, and waste management throughout construction. We are seeing, for example, more electrification of equipment. We also see efforts to reduce transportation, including employee and contractor commutes, and to introduce more efficient vehicles and equipment. Additionally, projects are improving how they use water, including going so far as to recycle it on site. And we also see the recycling of construction waste materials, which are reused in interior design or some structural elements. What is most encouraging is that clients’ tender requirements are what is driving these changes. Costs are now increasingly shared between client and provider, which is a model that is less likely to break down than if one party bore the burden.

Once in operation, buildings can benefit from enhanced management practices in energy, water, and waste, based on measurement, optimisation, and the selection of alternative pathways. For energy, these alternative pathways lie in the procurement of renewable power and the reduction of fossil-fuel usage. For water, pathways include local recycling and reuse. For waste, we must repair, reduce, reuse, and recycle. If we want to see sustainable, low-carbon assets, we must invest in high-performing automation, digitisation, and predictive practices. We have seen sustainable building operations deliver cost savings in the range of 10% of the costs of business-as-usual practices. We also see low-carbon businesses reduce their maintenance costs and improve their overall wellness and user experiences.

Policies will underpin success

All this change will not happen in a vacuum. We need governments to set policies and regulations to drive the sustainability agenda and incentivise low-carbon performance of new and existing construction projects. At COP28, as they work to define the objectives that will translate to the ground rules, governments have an opportunity to show the direction and path of changing technical specifications and the needed improvements in the value chain. From the government end comes the catalyst, spreading awareness from middle to executive management, and explaining how capacity-building is needed to make our climate goals a reality. Strong leadership and information sharing will underpin the success of these capacity-building exercises.

Once robust corporate policies are set in place, it will come down to the diligence of managers to augment procedures as envisioned. From the boardroom down to individual projects, a new culture must emerge, pervading scope, principles, responsibilities, and updates. Procurement, energy and water usage, and waste and materials management will all need to be transformed. And if “transformed” evokes images of digitalisation, it is because technology provides an obvious means of streamlining the emissions-reduction program. Data and AI together present an incredible opportunity for advanced analytics to drive the design, delivery, and operation of efficient, sustainable, and smart built assets.

Watch this space

It is possible to get where we need to be on sustainable buildings and infrastructure. But I cannot emphasise enough that a more resilient world is only Mission Possible with the right partnerships – partnerships where the line between client and provider is blurred; partnerships where risks are shared; partnerships where governments continue to lead, where financiers focus on long-term value creation, and where new technological innovations support our vision. As COP28 commences, I – and I’m sure my peers in the construction industry – are optimistic that conference participants will seek to create the frameworks that will enable these partnerships to form and flourish.

The post Mission possible: Setting construction on course for building a more resilient world appeared first on Middle East Construction News.

Source: ME Construction News


December 1, 2023 foasummit0

A survey conducted by Assystem has revealed that over half of infrastructure projects around the world fail to meet time, cost and quality objectives. The survey of over 700 project control professionals working globally on transport, energy and urban development projects, revealed only 47% of projects worldwide achieve time, cost and quality objectives.

Project controls professionals provide guidance and assistance to project managers for the resolution of complex engineering project controls issues, and help with the planning, scheduling, cost analysis and monitoring for major engineering programs or high visibility projects, the firm said.

Skill shortages, limited investment and a lack of uptake in technology, innovation and data production/analysis were cited as major reasons for failure. Only 23% of projects and portfolios believe their teams have all the necessary skills to perform their function successfully.

The survey also revealed that investment levels present a significant challenge to project delivery, with uncertainty around financial backing for major projects causing scheduling delays, which cause project inefficiencies and cost increases in turn.

“While some of the challenges facing the infrastructure sector are systemic, the silver lining is that there are means to improve project success rates available in the short to medium term. Today, technological advancements, particularly assets such as digital twins, powerful data-rich dashboards, and artificial intelligence, have the potential to revolutionise project management and turn the tide on the global infrastructure challenge,” said Kevin Corcoran, Senior Business Unit Director for Transport and Infrastructure, Assystem.

Respondents said digital transformation is a key driver of successful delivery, with confidence doubling when projects are paired with a digital delivery plan, noting that such cutting-edge solutions require initiative and investment to adopt and deploy them effectively.

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Source: ME Construction News


December 1, 2023 foasummit0

The development of Poland’s second large nuclear power plant has been approved by the Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment. The project will take shape in the Patnów-Konin region, with construction expected to begin in 2026.

Poland said that it aims to reduce coal dependence by building four to six nuclear reactors, with a total capacity of 6-9 GW between 2026 and the mid-2040s.

In August 2023, PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa, a joint venture of the Polish companies ZE PAK and Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), submitted an application to the ministry for a new plant.

As per the application, the proposed plant will have two units and generate 22TWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to approximately 12% of the current electricity demand in Poland. The plant is expected to begin supplying power in 2033.

In November last year, the Polish government announced the first plant, with a capacity of 3750MWe, would be built in Pomerania, using technology from US-based Westinghouse. An agreement setting a plan for the delivery of the plant was signed in May by Westinghouse, Bechtel and PEJ.

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Source: ME Construction News


November 30, 2023 foasummit0

‘Eden House – The Canal’ has been launched by Dubai-based H&H Development. Taking shape near the Dubai Water Canal in Jumeirah, will feature 100 modern housing units along with other key amenities, and aims to redefine modern living experiences and sophistication, and is part of the developer’s expansion, following the response to its ‘Eden House’ brand in Al Satwa.

According to a statement, the developer has signed up Sotheby’s International Realty as the exclusive broker for the high-end project. This collaboration is said to underscore H&H Development’s dedication to delivering unparalleled services and possibilities to its diverse clientele.

With over ten years of success, unrivalled expertise, and a vast network of international buyers and sellers, Sotheby’s is a pioneering force in the UAE real estate market, setting the benchmark for excellence in premium property sales, the statement explained.

“We are proud to join forces with H&H Development, a pioneer in upscale real estate. The ‘Eden House – The Canal’ represents the expression of elegance and we are honoured to be the exclusive sales partner for this remarkable development,” said George Azar, Managing Director of Sotheby’s International Realty.

H&H said it has also partnered with Global Partners, an institutional fund manager, regulated by the DFSA, specialising in the UAE’s growing real estate market. Martin Linder, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Partners, expressed delight at launching the sale of ‘Eden House – The Canal’, in collaboration with H&H Development.

“Global Partners was founded by a group of highly experienced global investment professionals and prominent family offices in the UAE who share a common vision to bring exceptional alternative investment opportunities in the UAE to a wide global investment audience. The sale of ‘Eden House – The Canal’ aligns with our commitment to bringing exceptional residential offerings to the market in the UAE,” Linder explained.

Miltos Bossinis, CEO of H&H Development added, “We are pleased to unveil ‘Eden House – The Canal,’ marking a decade of unwavering dedication since our establishment in 2007. This flagship development harmonises comfort, convenience, and sophistication to offer residents an unparalleled quality of life. Meticulously designed to meet evolving needs, our commitment to exceeding expectations is evident in every aspect. As we enter this significant chapter, we are devoted to delivering maximum value to our esteemed customers.”

“Our collaboration with Sotheby’s International Realty and Global Partners aligns with our vision of redefining modern living, leveraging Dubai’s status as an international financial hub. With a passion for excellence, H&H Development continues to push boundaries, reshaping modern living through our distinctive project portfolio,” he concluded.

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Source: ME Construction News


November 30, 2023 foasummit0

Housing benefits worth US $2.1bn have been disbursed by Abu Dhabi authorities ahead of the UAE’s 52nd National Day.

The disbursement of the housing benefits was approved by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, on the directives of President HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

According to a report by WAM, the package will cover over 5,685 beneficiaries across the emirate, includes housing loans of all types, with a total value of $1.63bn, from which 3,714 UAE nationals have benefited.

The package also covers exempting low-income retirees and families of those who passed away in 2023 from loan repayments. This segment of the package totalled more than $156mn, from which 549 Emiratis benefited, the report noted.

The package also included the granting of residential lands and ready-made houses to 1,422 UAE nationals at a total value of more than $259mn, incorporating the cost of works to provide infrastructure for residential lands. This brings the total value of housing benefit packages disbursed in Abu Dhabi during 2023 to $3.66bn – 9,292 UAE nationals are said to have benefitted from the packages.

Lauding the initiative, Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, said the wise leadership’s interest and continuous support for the housing sector in the emirate has led to achieving the aspirations of citizens, meeting their needs in a way that secures a decent life alongside family and social stability.

“Abu Dhabi Housing Authority is working to translate the directives of the leadership through its programmes and services, through which it seeks to achieve the vision of the wise leadership and provide for citizens in a way that contributes to the achieving of happiness, comfort, and family stability for UAE families,” he concluded.

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Source: ME Construction News