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Permanent revolution

Dubai's construction industry has become infamous around the world for moving at breakneck speed, with a constantly supply of buildings being erected throughout the emirate.
Robeel Haq
Robeel Haq

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Dubai's construction industry has become infamous around the world for moving at breakneck speed, with a constantly supply of buildings being erected throughout the emirate.

From the iconic Burj Al Arab to the flagship Emirates Towers, it seems Dubai's skyline has become testament to the feverish pace of change in this part of the world.

Of course, this situation isn't limited to residential buildings and office towers, but extends to the logistics industry too, with an influx of warehousing facilities being launched in the emirate's numerous free zones and industrial areas on a regular basis.

For example, Logistics Middle East have a news story about Dubai Industrial City (DI) leasing its first phase of warehousing space, measuring an impressive 1.5 million square feet, with plans to capitalise on strong demand by launching another 1.5 million square feet during its second phase.

What makes these storage facilities unique is the fact that DI has received fire-safety accreditation, which effectively marks a new paradigm in regional warehousing.

Such innovation is praiseworthy and has already paid dividends for Dubai Industrial City and boosted the Middle East's reputation at the same time. As a result, we can probably expect other players in the market to make similar initiatives within the next few years. Carbon-neutral warehouses, for instance, have become the new industry vogue in Europe and North America, with the Middle East ready to jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.

This would support the guidelines issued by Dubai's government at the beginning of the year, which stipulated that new developments must be constructed using sustainable methods, with a set of clear-cut building regulations expected in December. In this issue we have explored some of the potential green building codes that Dubai Municipality could adopt and how companies have responded to the forthcoming changes.

It's worth noting that amidst the speculation, Dubai-based construction firm Amana has already taken a proactive stance and started to finalise a deal with "a large government body" to build a facility that meets US Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The company is currently training around 10 of its inhouse engineers for LEED-certified projects.

However, others such as ProLogis believe that the final system in Dubai may resemble something similar to the hybrid Estidama building code in Abu Dhabi. Certainly, a patchwork of different building codes across the UAE would be likely to pose problems for national companies.

What is clear is that the final regulations - when they come - will have a massive impact on warehouse building in the area. But is the logistics industry prepared?

If you have any comments to make, we would love to hear from you. Please send your views to robeel.haq@itp.com

Robeel Haq is the group editor of ITP Business' transport magazines.

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