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Sat 18 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

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In the name of progress

Will someone call developer Cayan and tell it there’s a financial crisis going on? Because, considering the progress being made on its projects, the Saudi Arabia-based firm appears blissfully unaware of the global recession. Chief development officer Ahmad Kasem talks to Construction Week about building through the downturn.

In the name of progress

Will someone call developer Cayan and tell it there’s a financial crisis going on? Because, considering the progress being made on its projects, the Saudi Arabia-based firm appears blissfully unaware of the global recession. Chief development officer Ahmad Kasem talks to Construction Week about building through the downturn.How many projects are you overseeing at present?

We have three ongoing projects in Dubai. Infinity Tower and Silverene, both of which are in Dubai Marina, and Plaza Residences in Jumeirah Village.

How are they progressing?

All three are making good progress. Infinity Tower and Silverene are on schedule and Plaza Residences is coming along. We have cast the raft at Plaza Residences and should be getting the building permit within a week. Then we will be moving onto the main construction.

Tell us about the project.

The Plaza Residence project will be comprised of three buildings and two smaller ones. The middle one will be 16 floors, and the two either side, will both be ten floors. Two residential buildings of four storeys will be wrapped around these, so the project will include five buildings in total. We got delayed in the design stage so we convinced Jafza to give us a permit to cast the raft so as not to delay the process further. CRC Contracting is the main contractor.

What do you have on, outside Dubai?

We have the Lamar tower in Jeddah, and we have three more projects in the pipeline in various parts of the Middle East including Saudi Arabia. In addition to that, we have a further two projects in the pipeline. All will be announced in the next two months, which will be in Dubai.

Can you say where in Dubai?

I can say that they are not in the Marina. It’s not really the launch of a new Cayan project as we will be co-developing these projects. But the details are not concrete as yet.

You are making good progress while certain other developers are struggling. To what do you attribute this?

Cayan has a history of delivering what it intends to deliver from day one. We sell a large portion of a lot of our projects the minute they are designed. Then we go after delivery. The speed hasn’t changed at Silverene since we broke ground. We only started in Nov 2008 and we are now at the 11th floor and 10th floors [Silverene is comprised of two towers] after completing four basement levels plus the ground level. Both towers are progressing in parallel. That’s a big accomplishment in only eight months.

Are you on course for the scheduled completion date?

Yes we are. Completion is scheduled for the end of Oct 2010. The physical handover will follow afterwards.

What other companies are involved in the project?

The main contractor is Arabtec. The value of the contract is US $182 million (AED670 million). The MEP contractor is a subsidiary of Arabtec called Efeci. The enabling works contractor was Delta, while RMJM is the architect and consultant. Project management is being handled in-house.

Why was the decision taken to deal with project management in-house?

On some projects you need additional expertise but we considered this to be an easy project. Although the plot size is three times the size of the Infinity Tower plot, or any other project in the Marina for that matter, we still feel like it’s a relatively straightforward project. From a structural standpoint it’s very simple. We simplified the design so that we could accomplish what we were looking for very quickly.

What has been the biggest challenge in Silverene?

The staging area presented a challenge. We had nowhere to place the equipment, so we managed this through the phasing of the project. As we finish one area, we collect our equipment and move it to a different staging area and then we repeat this process. We are more than happy with progress to date.

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Fredrick 10 years ago

Actually it's proud about Ahmad's comments on the issue which is now Globally happening and further how they facing with that just ignoring it . Regarding on house project management where you can reduced lot of money going outside plus you have the controlling of the project in your way without any third party involvement and now a days we can't trust anybody not even in construction. as a QS I hope they will carryout in nice-way to complete and example to all others.