An agile, ever-evolving business, Horizon Gulf has been able to capitalise on the booming prospects provided by Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s rapid economic development with its first-class solutions
Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Ryan Gray
Luxurious, prosperous, booming. There are many ways in which Dubai can be described, the city standing as something of an alien metropolis set against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern desert.
While much of the United Arab Emirates economic success relies upon the region’s rich oil reserves (crude oil exports accounting for almost $400 billion of the country’s GDP), Dubai instead built its wealth from maritime activities, attracting merchants the world over.
Resultantly, the city – previously a modest fishing town in the early 20th century – has become an emblem of global modernity, now home to the continent’s busiest cargo port, the world’s largest economic zone (Jefza), and some of the most iconic architecture around, from floating buildings to the 823-metre-tall Burj Khalifa.
“Dubai is famous for its real estate, tourism and innovation,” states local citizen Hazem Fraij.
“It’s the world’s known business hub. The leaders of this great nation continually strive to develop better living standards for its people, and owed to continual improvement processes there are an abundant array of opportunities.”
Indeed, as his comments would suggest, business is buoyant for Fraij.
Heading up Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services LLC as its CEO, this positive regional and wider national climate continues to propel prosperity. Yet this upward trajectory is not new to the company.
Established in 1983 as an air conditioning installation and maintenance contracting firm, lucrative developments offered by both Dubai and Abu Dhabi faciliated its transformation into becoming a building services engineering contractor – a niche that it has since thrived in, owed to an agile mindset.
“Right now, we execute a range of services including HVAC, plumbing and drainage, firefighting, electrical, fire alarm and low-current systems, and building automation and monitoring systems,” Fraij states.
“We remain adaptable. Continuous review and development allow us to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the contracting market.”
Much like any successful engineering company, Horizon’s portfolio provides the best evidence of its reputable offering.
To date, the business has performed installations across a vast array of structures, be it villas, hospitals, hotels, palaces, colleges, shopping malls, and residential and office buildings. But for Fraij, one project in particular springs to mind.
“Al Jalila Children’s Hospital, the first dedicated children’s hospital in the United Arab Emirates, is one that we’re very proud of,” he states.
An ultramodern, 200-bed paediatric hospital standing as the driving force behind tertiary and quaternary care in the region, Horizon Gulf oversaw the supply and installation of all mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works prior to the facility’s inauguration on November 1, 2016.
“The state-of-the-art paediatric medical centre was created under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to affirm his belief that all children should have an equal opportunity for success in life, and the treatment of children suffering from illness or disease should not be subject to geographical chance.
“It leverages smart technology and design, houses the first robotic pharmacy in Dubai and a fully automated laboratory, as well as fostering clinical innovations and astute learning and development programmes within its cutting-edge research facilities.”
The company is well acquainted with developments of this size and stature, the business also having completed work on iconic buildings such as U-Bora Towers and Shangri-la Hotel in Dubai, as well as Shining Towers and Danet Tower in Abu Dhabi.
And owed to the thorough level of excellence completed on each and every job, the company’s pipeline looks equally impressive, powered
by its esteemed reputation.
“One which stands out is the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority Headquarters Project which is going to be the world’s largest and smartest government building, with zero carbon emissions,” Fraij continues, eluding to this specific project as one of high anticipation.
A 20-storey office tower located in Al Jaddaf, Dubai, Horizon Gulf has been employed to deliver 16,500 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels that will enable the building’s self-sufficiency.
“These panels will produce 3,500 KWh and provide power to an auditorium with 700 seats, fitness centre, outdoor jogging track, 1,500 parking spaces, retail space and associated facilities,” the CEO adds.
Indeed, working on a vast array of different projects requires a variety of diversified expertise – something that the business can claim to have cultivated within its expansive workforce.
Training is one way in which this is achieved, the organisation placing emphasis on its adept human resource department which oversees effective processes related to training, hiring and talent retention plans.
Further, it is hoped that the latter of these three elements will soon become bolstered by Horizon Gulf’s new Dubai headquarters, currently under development, which will accommodate employees and various divisions of the business in one place.
“We are proud to take this step as we consider our employees as our assets,” the Chief Exec declares.
“It’s our priority and policy to provide our employees with the best work environment possible. We at Horizon Gulf are looking forward to the completion of this project which will offer improved collaboration and ergonomics.”
Workforce-related investments are not the sole priority of Horizon Gulf when it comes to expanding expertise, however.
Additionally, the company opts to seize alternate opportunities, investing in certain prospects which have the capacity to both enhance and diversify its primary MEP business.
Here, the company’s standing as an authorised entity for fire safety supply, installation and maintenance works, and plans to open an in-house duct workshop are two prime examples.
“Existing local authority regulations related to fire safety products/materials supply and installation and maintenance in projects are watertight,” Fraij reveals in relation to the former.
“Due to this there are limited authorized companies in the market whom we used to outsource this scope of work. We understood the market requirements and demand and have created an in-house fire safety division to cater this scope of work.
“Meanwhile, in the case of the workshop, building materials related to HVAC works are always in high demand in this region, and this facility will serve to cater to both existing and upcoming projects.”
These enterprising pursuits, combined with Horizon Gulf’s expert team, sound reputation and professional leadership and cultures, stand the business in good stead to maintain its prosperous outlook for years to come.
Looking at the next 12 months, increasing revenue and obtaining new projects are primary ambitions in the eyes of Fraij, who also points to the greater management of overheads, supervision and a general improvement of operations and productivity as other key focus areas.
And while the firm strives for continual improvement and new factors of differentiation, the market equally provides reason for bullish optimism – the topic of the CEO’s concluding statements.
“I am happy about the direction of the building engineering services industry,” he states. “Dubai Expo 2020 is just around the corner, providing a lot of scope for sectors such as ours.
“See, any business is a risk. The key is to adapt and evolve as per market conditions. If we effectively follow the basic principles of management and proper risk management, consolidate our short- and long-term planning, and select our clients and suppliers with research and studies, I see no reason for failure.
“I’m confident we will always remain relevant in the market.”