Deyaar Signs Strategic MoU with Huawei



    Deyaar Development PJSC, one of the UAE’s well-known property development and real estate services companies, has entered into a strategic partnership with Huawei with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The new partnership will provide residents of the company’s properties with cutting edge technology solutions, including smart home applications and state of the art network facilities. Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar, said: “Connected homes are no longer a futuristic concept; they are realistically achievable today. By entering into a five-year partnership with Huawei, we are enabling the provision of smart home and advanced technology solutions for residents in our properties across Dubai, which will be equipped with the latest network infrastructure, cloud-based safety, and smart solutions to provide an elevated standard of living for our customers. Huawei is the ideal partner for us in this endeavour, and we are pleased to be joining forces with them.” Colin Hu, Managing Director, Huawei Enterprise, UAE, said: “Our partnership with Deyaar is an excellent example of the expanding reach of the digital transformation here in the region. With technology changing at such a rapid pace, it is especially important for buildings to be equipped with scalable and sustainable network capabilities. The company’s success rightly understands the need to develop cross-industry capabilities in IoT solutions, network security and smart technology in order for residents to enjoy a continuous high-level experience. Huawei has long advocated the fostering of such integration, and is committed to forming strategic partnerships with regional players like Deyaar in order to contribute positively to the Middle East’s emerging digital ecosystem.” 

    Asteco Secures Five-Star Status at Arabian Property Awards



    Asteco was recognised at the Africa & Arabia Property Awards during a glittering gala ceremony at the JW Marriott Marquis recently as the UAE’s well-known real estate firm won the top award for the categories Best Lettings Agency and Best Property Consultancy in Dubai and Best Property Consulting Marketing in Abu Dhabi. The company was also successful in the Best Property Consultancy category for Abu Dhabi. In addition, the company, nominated as Arabia’s best, will now represent the Middle East on the global stage in London on the 4th December, competing with other winning entries from Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, USA, Central & South America, the UK and Asia Pacific for the title of the ‘World’s Best’.  “Asteco has once again demonstrated why we are one of the leading lights in the UAE’s real estate industry. In only the second year of participation, we have been recognised in three categories as the market leaders beating stiff competition from the best of the UAE’s real estate industry and we are now looking forward to representing the Middle East on the global stage later this year” said John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco. In 30 years Asteco has amassed a total sales value of over USD13 billion with a total of 13.8 million sqft sold, the equivalent of 216 soccer pitches! The company has also let 11,363 units totalling 16.4 million sqft and currently manages 13,000 units. The company has also expanded in the last three years with the addition of nine franchisees with a total of 98 staff.  

    HERRENKNECHT New Apprenticeship Year Begins with Five Refugees



    Over 100 apprentices have already been in training at Herrenknecht to date. As the new apprenticeship year got under way in early September they were joined by another 56 young men and women embarking on a dual training system apprenticeship at the Schwanau-Allmannsweier site. Most of them in the industrial sector. This is precisely where there is the greatest demand for well-trained and highly qualified specialists. For the first time Herrenknecht is also giving five refugees the opportunity to join the company and get one of the coveted apprenticeships. The immigrants can thus take their future into their own hands and show what they are capable of. World record setting machines, imposing factory buildings and a state-of-the-art training workshop – when they first start on their new path the 30-hectare company headquarters in Schwanau must be impressive and fascinating to the young people just launching their careers. Especially for the five beginners who only left their homelands of Syria, Gambia and Guinea about two years ago. For them, Herrenknecht's training is both a challenge and an opportunity for integration at the same time. At the express wish of the Board of Management, the young refugees came to Schwanau via the municipal employment program, the government employment agency, refugee aid and social workers at the vocational school in Lahr. They are now creating a future for themselves at their new domicile in the Ortenau region. All of them speak a little German already. Additional extra tuition will help them improve their language skills as quickly as possible. 

    Connecting China: Protecting Highways in World’s Eastern Corners



    Established for over 40 years, the UK coating manufacturer Stirling Lloyd, recently acquired by GCP Applied Technologies (GCP), develops and manufactures high quality waterproofing and surfacing products for use in the protection of infrastructure, including highways, tunnels and bridges. Providing a global reach, the coatings specialist has recently seen a surge in demand from highway and bridge developments in Asia in particular. The company’s portfolio, used in constructing some of the world’s most iconic bridges and structures, is currently experiencing a period of growth in Asia, including a current project on the world’s longest bridge over water. Carl Pearse, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific, has been working with contractors in Asia for several years. “Our experience of waterproofing steel orthotropic bridges with Gussasphalt (GA) and Mastic Asphalt (MA) in similar environmental conditions has helped us secure a number of recent competitive tenders. “Our proven track record in meeting the capacity and on a tight delivery programme, coupled with effective commercial, logistical and technical support all help offer reassurance to the authorities. “There’s a genuine spirit of partnership working with all the stakeholders, which in this instance included client, contractors, applicators and inspecting authorities in Asia. Working in close collaboration with highly professional and highly motivated organisations, with excellent engineering knowledge and commitment to the quality and success of the project has meant that when faced with typical and some specific new challenges they’ve been solved in an open and pragmatic way, helping to keep the project on track.” The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HKZMB) at 500,000m2 is currently the largest single bridge deck project that the Eliminator® waterproofing system has ever been part of. 

    Keolis Build Tomorrow’s Mobility & Address Customers’ Needs



    The Arab Construction World (ACW) conducted an interview the CEO of Keolis at the International Division, Bernard Tabary. The Keolis Group is a well-known company in public transport operations. Present in 16 countries, the company operates urban, suburban, and regional networks on behalf of 300 local authorities. The Group carries over 3 billion passengers every year. The company is also the worldwide specialist in trams. Keolis manages tram networks across the globe, including the world’s largest in Melbourne (250km of track). The Group operates a total of ten different transport modes (metro, tram, train, bus, car, bicycle...) and uses its intermodal know-how around the world. Tabary spoke to us about the future of mobility and the driverless metro trend.

    Q: Outside of driverless metros, what have been the top 3 technological innovations in the past 5 years that have contributed to the concept of “Smart Mobility”?

    Bernard Tabary: At Keolis, innovation is at the heart of our business strategy. Our objective is to invent new solutions for the mobility of tomorrow, either working through our partners or independently. The first innovation I’ll mention, for example, is the autonomous electric vehicle created in collaboration with NAVYA. It enables us to adapt transit to the needs of citizens while also controlling the impact on infrastructure and reducing traffic and pollution. It also facilitates the transportation of staff, visitors or service agents on private sites, improves access and mobility, and optimizes employee work time. The vehicles can carry up to 15 passengers. It has been designed to help organizations and businesses improve performance by streamlining the flow of movement, which makes it ideal for urban areas, airports, industrial sites, amusement parks, or hotel complexes and hospitals. The first public NAVYA shuttle service in the world was launched in Lyon in September 2016. A year after, more than 20,000 passengers were carried onboard the vehicle. The NAVYA autonomous electric shuttles are now being trialed at la Defense, (the business area near Paris), and in London. The shuttles will soon be trialed in Australia, Canada and the US. Another important innovation is the electric bus. Keolis is testing an electric bus called Aptis (Alstom/NTL) in Velizy-Versailles near Paris for one year in the line 23 which links Versailles Europe to Velizy 2 (13km). Aptis can be charged at night in the depot, or rapidly at the end of each line during daily operations. Keolis and the city of Orléans are also testing two electric buses on the network for a period of 5 years. Batteries are being charged in the depot overnight for 6 hours. After being fully charged, the buses can travel 200 km per day. In addition, Keolis operates electric buses in Gothenburg, Sweden. The buses are silent and emission-free and run on electricity from wing power and hydropower. The buses are Volvo and run from Chalmers Johanneberg to Chalmers Lindholmen, through the centre of Gothenburg (100,000 passengers a month). The buses run on batteries that are quickly recharged with renewable electricity at the terminal stops. The buses are equipped with on-board wi-fi and phone charging facilities. Finally, I would add “Plan Book Ticket” to the list of our top three technological advances over the last 5 years. The program was successfully launched in Orleans before summer 2017. It’s an all-in-all digital solution which allows users to plan their journey and purchase and validate tickets via a single app. Functions of the “Plan Book Ticket” solution are already in use on French transport networks. The “Plan” function is available in Lille, Bordeaux, Montargis, Orléans, Brest, Amiens, Quimper and Chateauroux. The “Book” function, an online store connected to a network’s ticketing system, is already in use in Montargis, Orléans and Saint-Malo. Similar digital apps have been developed by Keolis locally in different parts of the world through its subsidiaries in Boston (US), Montreal (Canada), and the Netherlands (networks operated by Syntus / Keolis Netherlands). 

    Q: Why driverless metros? Are there really strong arguments in terms of time flexibility, HR costs, prices, operating cab room and so forth? 

    Tabary: Yes, without a doubt. Driverless technology is an intelligent and innovative mass-transit solution. On the operating side, driverless metros enable higher capacity, speed and regularity, reduced operating costs (30% lower in terms of energy management when compared with a system with drivers), adaptability, and flexibility. It also enables operators to offer added customer services.
    There are also many positives reasons for passengers to use driverless metros. Waiting times are reduced on platforms thanks to more frequent service, faster commercial speed is used compared to conventional metros while maintaining top-level punctuality, and there are higher safety and reliability rates. The introduction of platform doors also limits the risks of accidents and human presence on the track.

    Q: Does driverless mean fully automated? Where is the human element in the driverless metro and is that aspect ever considered to be made redundant? 

    Tabary: Even though the system is automatic, supervision work on a metro system is carried out by men and women from the Operation Control Centre (OCC). We consider the human element to still be an important part of driverless technology and of smart mobility in general. 

    Q: Once, the Dubai metro broke down and I was in it when it happened. We were stranded for 2 hours inside the metro. During this time the PA system got on everyone’s nerves, and then we were asked to leave without even an apology or refund. The chaos it created as thousands scrambled for taxis and the ensuing traffic nightmare was captured by media. It was a driverless metro that broke down. How can Smart Mobility deal with such instances? 

    Tabary: I truly sympathize with your unpleasant experience and realize how much of an inconvenience it must have been. I cannot really comment on that instance since that specific system is not operated by Keolis. What I can say, though, is that at Keolis, when an incident occurs, we tend to rapidly find an alternative mode of transport and quickly restore services to reduce the impact on passenger journeys. We do this thanks to resilient timetables, incident response procedures, integrated operations and maintenance, and alternative solutions that we adopt in the event of disruptions.

    Q: How do you look at the new Riyadh Metro project as a driverless metro while also taking into considerations transport experience, user satisfaction and Operator ROI? 

    Tabary: We cannot comment on ongoing tenders, but I will say that the city of Riyadh has launched a big project to launch 6 lines at once and the construction is progressing well. Riyadh, as well as other cities in the Middle East such as Dubai and Doha, is investing in sustainable public transport to help solve issues related to traffic congestion and pollution. These cities are also focused on improving the quality of life for their citizens through public transport. It’s also good for their economies and the attractiveness of their cities. There’s no doubt that the new transport systems will enhance citizens’ lives. Since we are a leader and expert in automated metro systems, Keolis is closely monitoring the progress of the tenders in the region and is very much looking forward to being a part of these important projects, if selected. 



    Q: How do the Dubai and Riyadh metro projects resemble and differ from the ones in Europe or USA? 

    Tabary: The biggest similarities between the Dubai and Riyadh metro projects and their western counterparts are safety, their capacity to move large numbers of passengers, and their sustainable solutions. One main difference is that the Middle Eastern projects are planning different levels of comfort for passengers, such as spaces specifically for families or “gold” classes. This is very important since the Public Transport Authorities want to attract passengers who are not used to using public transport. There are also more operations staff in the networks in the Middle East and their metro systems and signaling solutions are supplied by the leading manufacturers, meaning they are using the most advanced technology possible. Regarding your question on ROI…it cannot be compared to, say, the London underground built in 1863 or DLR built in 1987. You’ll have to wait and ask me again, maybe in 30 years or so! 

    Saudi Construction Firms to Digitally Transform in 2018



    Saudi construction firms aim for 2018 to be the “tipping point” for digital transformation, ensuring the SAR 178 billion worth of projects can be completed on-time and on-budget, experts announced today ahead of Saudi Build. Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 are advancing complex projects, including high-speed rail, airports, and seaports. As a result, the Kingdom’s construction market is set to grow to SAR 178 billion in 2018, according to a recent report by BMI Research. In anticipation of this growth, construction technology and software solutions are major points of interest at Saudi Build, across architects, designers, engineers, and contractors. “Building Information Modeling software solutions are in high demand in the Kingdom, helping to enhance productivity and collaboration across the entire project lifecycle, and reducing waste and cost. In the current economic climate, technology solutions can drive business competitiveness and new levels of digital business innovation,” said Anwar Al Qwasmi, General Manager for Saudi Arabia at global construction technology company Trimble Solutions. Trimble works closely with leading Saudi projects, including the Abdullah Arif Intersection Bridge in the Holy Makkah Municipality, Riyadh Metro Depots, and the King Abdulaziz International Airport Railway Station in Jeddah. “Saudi Build showcases Trimble’s commitment to ensuring that Saudi Vision 2030 mega-projects are delivered on time and on budget. The construction sector is vital for supporting the Kingdom’s nationwide economic competitiveness and diversified economic growth,” added Anwar Al Qwasmi. At Saudi Build, experience Trimble solutions such as Tekla Structures, Tekla Structural Design, and Trimble Connect collaboration environment, from design through steel fabrication and concrete cast in-place and pouring.

    ASGC Works on The Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Expansion



    ASGC, one of the well-known construction groups in the UAE, has commenced work on the highly-anticipated expansion of The Dubai Mall, a project that will see additional retail space added to the world’s most visited shopping and entertainment destination with over 80 million visitors annually. Following the issuance of initial permits in August 2017, the company has started works that will lead to the addition of a new retail area, forming part of the mall’s Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard expansion. The expansion will form an active link to both Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard and the mall’s Fountain Views expansion. To ensure the highest levels of efficiency in the construction process, the company has applied state-of-the-art technology solutions to assist in the project’s ongoing work. This includes the deployment of sophisticated 3D-laser scanning to allocated utilities throughout the development. ASGC is also using BIM modelling for full coordination of the construction activities. Bishoy Azmy, CEO of ASGC, said: “The expansion of The Dubai Mall will be another significant landmark in the city’s retail landscape. As part of Dubai’s progression in becoming a smart, technology-driven metropolis, we have also incorporated several cutting-edge solutions into our business to ensure that the expansion is delivered with the highest standards of quality, creativity and safety to Emaar Malls.” ASGC is a vertically integrated construction group that is best known for delivering turnkey special projects in the UAE. The company owns the majority of its supply chain and utilises mostly in-house resources, giving it a high degree of control over project quality and timely delivery.