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Dubai South Invests AED 1 Billion to Bring Innovative Urban Living Concept to Life

Dubai South has awarded contracts worth AED 1 billion for a number of project developments, most notably in the city’s Residential District, adjoining the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The infrastructure and design contracts have been awarded to noted industry leaders, including Parsons Corporation, Atkins Global, Studio International Architects, Al Nasr, Tristar Engineering & Construction and the US-based RNL Design.

Dubai South is confident that these partners will ensure that the latest developments in smart city technology and sustainability are seamlessly integrated into all aspects of Dubai South Residential District, which is specifically designed to deliver life solutions and happiness as key outcomes. The emirate’s flagship urban project, Dubai South is conceptualised to manifest the themes of happiness as set out in the Dubai Plan 2021.

Commenting on the investments in the Residential District, Ahmed Al Ansari, acting Chief Executive Officer, Dubai South, said: “We, at Dubai South, are excited to be working with the leading companies in the construction industry to help create a solid foundation for the future homes of Dubai South residents. Our investments will take us closer to realizing Dubai’s vision of becoming a city of happy, creative, and empowered people.”

He added: “The concept behind the Residential District is rooted in the overarching societal themes of Dubai Plan 2021. Dubai South is reinventing the urban ecosystem by creating a city that is based primarily on the happiness and wellbeing of people. This entirely new and incomparable model of urban living puts people first, while celebrating nature and diverse populations, which come together to form a thriving and healthy community.”

An attractive, affordable community catering to families and young professionals, Dubai South’s Residential District includes schools, nurseries, hospitals, retail outlets, F&B options, a post office, swimming academy and a sports centre. The pedestrian-friendly, aesthetically designed, sustainable city is designed to ensure all amenities and necessities are well within walking distance. Dubai South Residential District will have around 10,000 residential units between villas, townhouses and apartments by 2020, housing an estimated 35,000 residents.

The overall infrastructure development of the Residential District will be completed in phases. Work is already well underway by Al Nasr, one of the UAE’s leading diversified contracting companies, on the first section of the Residential District’s infrastructure, which will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2016. Tristar Engineering & Construction has been awarded the infrastructure construction for the remaining areas of phase one, with this phase scheduled to be completed by Q4, 2017. This will pave the way for over 40 developers to expedite their developments in Dubai South’s Residential District.

Atkins Global, Studio International Architects and RNL Design are contracted to oversee the masterplan and product design for the mixed-use development within the Residential District, which includes apartments, townhouses, schools, community facilities, entertainment, retail and hospitality.

In addition to awarding contracts for The Residential District, Dubai South further awarded Al Nasr with the constructing of infrastructure in Dubai South’s Logistics District as well. Further contracts were awarded to Parsons and Kele Constructions for building the first phase of Sakany Staff Village, accommodating 20,000 residents by 2020. UAE-based City Diamond Contracting was also awarded a contract to build a multipurpose aerospace supply chain facility in Dubai South’s Aviation District.

Details of the project and other developments will be unveiled at Cityscape Global 2016, to be held in Dubai in September. Property sales are expected to begin in October 2016.

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Construction industry experts and government officials assembling in Dubai next month will tackle the threat of fires in the region, an issue highlighted by recent blazes in high-rise towers.
 
The latest statistics, published this month by Guardian Wealth Management, a global financial planning company, claim that up to 80 percent of expatriate residents living in Dubai are not protected against property fire.
 
In the build-up to the Windows, Doors & Façades Event taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 18 - 20 September, the latest fire safety circular issued by Dubai Municipality looks set to change the face of the construction industry.
 
That and the new fire safety codes, underlining the need for the right building façade materials to ensure heightened safety and fire prevention, will be top of the agenda for international consultants, government officials, high-profile construction engineers at the Middle East Façades Summit, the conference taking place alongside the first day of the exhibition.
 
Andy Dean, Head of Façades for the Middle East at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and design firm, believes that UAE high-rise buildings present several unique challenges, including complex evacuation strategies, fire department accessibility, smoke movement and fire control.
 
Speaking ahead of his participation in the Summit, he said: “The much-anticipated update to the country-specific UAE Fire and Life Safety code has been introduced and includes a significantly enhanced section on façade materials (Chapter 4). Since its original introduction in 2012, the market has consequently learned and absorbed this information and, at the very least, an awareness of the need for the control of fire performance has become self-evident, which is the first step in any learning process.”
 
A panel discussion, ‘Fire safety in design – translating policy into practice’, featuring Dean alongside David O’Riley, Brittania International; and moderated by Christopher Seymour from Mott MacDonald, will focus on the effective practices for ensuring highest safety standards of new construction projects as well as the ways existing buildings can be brought up to code.
 
Dean added: “The design challenge here isn’t innovation in safety, but in using robust and verified methods of evaluating new and innovative buildings, construction materials and techniques. However, tools such as building information modeling (BIM) and parametric modelling allow us to identify buildability problems before construction starts and, most importantly, provide us with opportunities to use cutting edge methodologies and materials while ensuring safety measures are met.”
 
In 2012, 70% of the UAE high-rise buildings were estimated to have utilised flammable panelling, but Dean believes the use of such materials has dropped significantly since; thanks mainly to the introduction of the UAE code. 
 
“A great deal has changed and materials going onto new buildings are now fundamentally different as a result,” he said. “Crucially, developers have started looking at their existing building stock as well as new design and this is the next important step the entire construction industry must take.”
 
The Summit will host three separate sessions dedicated to fire and safety in building design, including a panel discussion focusing on the implementation of most recent UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice updates and the ways they can be implemented.
 
Muhammed Kazi, Exhibition Director, said: “With the recent fire incidents in high-rise towers throughout the GCC, buildings safety and fire prevention is more important than ever and the Summit will address that. Its attendees will have the unique opportunity to learn from the expert speakers and government officials what guidelines are in place to ensure building safety and how the recent policies will translate into practice.”
 
A panel discussion assessing most common errors in design and approaches to maximize quality, safety, and building integrity will follow, and the one-day conference will close with a presentation of a project in Beirut designed by the late Zaha Hadid, featuring an innovative façade whilst adhering to highest levels of fire safety in materials selection.
 
Windows, Doors & Façades Event will be the central meeting place for architects, interior designers, developers, façade consultants and fabricators from across the region to source local and international products, network with like-minded peers and learn from experts, taking place from 18 – 20 September 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre.  A full exhibitor list and information about the event is available at www.windowsdoorsandfacadeevent.com.

FAÇADE SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON FIRE SAFETY IN BUILDING DESIGN

Construction industry experts and government officials assembling in Dubai next month will tackle the threat …