by ArabianBusiness.com staff writer Sunday, 05 April 2009
It is expected that more than 33 percent of Dubai's budget expenditure in 2009 will be earmarked for infrastructure projects. In spite of the slowdown in the economy in general and the real estate in specific, opportunities in the infrastructure sector in the region remain high.
Drake & Scull International is a leading end-to-end contracting company providing mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), infrastructure, water and power and civil contracting services and has provided quality engineering services to the Middle East since its formation in the UAE in 1966. The firm is making several moves to prepare for its future operations in the region.
In an interview with CEO Middle East Khaldoun R Tabari, vice chairman and CEO of Drake and Scull International, answered our questions:
It is said that what Dubai has achieved in the infrastructure development in the past ten years is what usually takes 50 years to be achieved by other countries. How would you describe opportunities in the infrastructure market now, taking into consideration the demand against what has been achieved and against the current global crisis?
This is true; Dubai and the UAE have an infrastructure system second to none. Dubai has achieved enormous growth and vast developments in the past ten years.
This infrastructure work and urban planning is part of a bigger strategic plan, and it was these developments that attracted the masses to Dubai in the 90s and continues until today. The infrastructure works are still moving forward. The global crisis will not affect the city's infrastructure plans as severely as Europe or the US.
We are a strong, well-established company that offers diversified services in infrastructure, water and power (IWP) in addition to our MEP and civil contracting services. We have been operating in the UAE for over 40 years.
We started with IWP a few years ago when we were awarded the contract for the Jumeirah Beach Residences district cooling scheme. At this time it was the largest district cooling plant worldwide.
We also offer engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services from Dubai to the MENA region.
The Gulf region has huge infrastructure needs due to rapid population growth. The population increase in countries such as KSA and Qatar is exceeding five and seven percent, respectively. DSI is also looking into expanding into these markets. This expansion will ensure DSI rides through the global crisis.
There is a tendency to clean energy. How is that affecting the market? Is it increasing the cost or creating difficulties in resources?
Clean energy is the future. DSI continuously searches for new enhanced technologies to introduce to the regional market. There is always room for improvement and we must be aware of the responsibility placed upon us to safeguard the environment and provide commercially viable solutions.
Our commitment to improving environmental controls saw DSI invest in new and innovative technologies. The result was the introduction of IWP solutions that provide, among other services, district cooling technology. This technology is an energy-efficient solution that, in the long-term, reduces the overall demand on the electrical grid and controls toxic emissions.
How is the recession in the property sector affecting DSI?
Opportunities exist at every stage of the business cycle. We have been in the UAE since 1966 and the company has continued to grow, despite the ups and downs, by identifying opportunities and taking advantage of them. This current situation is offering many opportunities - we have the means, the finances and the resources to invest in them.
DSI has three business streamlines - MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing), civil and IWP (infrastructure, water and power) contracting services. This makes us truly unique and gives us the competitive advantage to withstand the current slowdown in high-rise construction.
MEP contracts are big business in the region, as large-scale developments demand a cool head and dependable industry expertise. Alison Luke reports on the commissioning of one of the Middle East’s largest cooling plants, which will service Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai, and the firms behind the project.
Alison Luke, Saturday, 21 October 2006, ArabianBusiness/Features
Dubai is moving is in the right direction for an energy efficient future says Gareth Luckin, managing director of Drake & Scull Group’s Industrial Water and Power Division. He explains to Alison Luke how district cooling is playing its part.
Alison Luke, Sunday, 01 October 2006, ArabianBusiness/Interviews
Can the MEP sector keep pace with the scale of construction in the Middle East market? With news of staff poaching and selective tendering the answer may appear to be ‘no’ but today’s volume of tenders it also providing golden opportunities for contractors. Alison Luke reports.
ArabianBusiness.com staff writer , Thursday, 30 November 2006, ArabianBusiness/Features
Drake & Scull International (DSI), a mechanical and electrical engineering contracting company in the region, has secured a US $40 million (AED 146.8 million) contract to provide complete mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) solutions for the Infinity Tower at Dubai Marina
ArabianBusiness.com staff writer , Saturday, 23 December 2006, ArabianBusiness/News
A joint venture between Drake & Scull and Thermo has won a US $90 million (AED333 million) contract from Emirates District Cooling Company (Emicool) for the construction of two plant rooms at the Motor City project in Dubailand
ArabianBusiness.com staff writer , Saturday, 10 February 2007, ArabianBusiness/News
Drake and Scull has won a US $48 million (AED178 million) contract to provide mechanical, electrical and plumping works for the Park Rotana mixed-used development, which will form part of Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Park tourism project.
ArabianBusiness.com staff writer , Saturday, 26 May 2007, ArabianBusiness/News
Drake & Scull International (DSI) has been awarded a US $15.6 million contract by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior to install a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling system for the Special Forces Facility that is currently under construction in Sulaibhia, Kuwait.
ArabianBusiness.com staff writer , Saturday, 21 July 2007, ArabianBusiness/News