A multi award-winning creative construction contractor, Al Sahel is firmly at the forefront of UAE’s urban transformation
Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Ryan Gray
Few nations can claim to match the pace of change being maintained by the United Arab Emirates.
The country has witnessed tremendous development in recent years, underpinned by its key cities – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – that today house some of the world’s most spectacular, sizeable structures. And that trajectory is not set to change by any means, KPMG’s annual Global Construction Survey forecasting the national industry to grow by as much as 10 percent through 2020.
One company at the forefront of this transformation is Al Sahel Contracting Company LLC.
An organisation four decades in the making, it has to date completed more than 250 projects throughout the Emirates, delivering a wide variety of projects such as residential buildings, commercial buildings, luxury villas, high rise buildings, shopping malls, warehouses, schools, hotels, car showrooms, hospitals and even palaces.
“Al Sahel has effortlessly continued its march towards excellence for the past 43 years by developing ambitious business strategies to achieve the company vision of becoming one of the top-performing building contractors in the UAE,” explains Mohammed Hammad, the organisation’s CEO.
“We’re firmly committed to adopting a sustainable perspective with three elements – social, business and environmental. This governs the company’s operations and activities.”
The evidence of this approach lies in firm’s accreditations, currently laying claim to ISO 9001:2015 (related to quality management), ISO 45001:2018 (related to occupational health and safety) and ISO 14001:2015 (related to environmental management).
“The company is committed to enriching the services provided to our clients by accentuating QHSE aspects, covering all areas of business excellence and occupational health and safety while preserving the environment,” Hammad reiterates.
Indeed, this commitment to excellence on all fronts presents itself within Al Sahel’s projects themselves – a portfolio that continues to grow alongside the firm’s esteemed reputation.
“Every project, small or big, holds a precious place in Al Sahel,” Hammad reveals.
“We consider every development as a challenge and apply the company’s knowledge, expertise and dedication to deliver it as per customers’ expectations and in line with Al Sahel’s own standards.”
Asked to call upon some particular highlights, the CEO points to the MEED Quality Awards secured by its projects for three consecutive years between 2016 and 2018, the first of these owed to its efforts as the main contractor on the Dubai-based DMC Butterfly, currently home to both SAP and Samsung.
Consisting of two interconnected office buildings located in the heart of the Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City, the site houses 255,000 square feet of world-class facilities and infrastructure, tailored office space and spacious outdoor space.
The following year’s award came courtesy of Al Sahel’s delivery of Bay’s Edge for DAMAC Properties Group – named National Winner Residential Project of the year. A mixed-use development situated close to Dubai’s Burj area, its furnished apartments, prime waterfront location and iconic silhouette have become a renowned part of the city’s impressive skyline.
“Meanwhile, in 2018, we received GCC Winner of Small Project of the Year for Blue Waters Mosque, and National Winner for Healthcare Project of the Year for Al Jalila Foundation HQ and Research Centre, and were nominated for MEED Industrial Project of the Year for the Dubai-based Al Nabooda Automobiles Service Centre – the largest workshop and service centre for the likes of Audi, VW and Porsche in the world,” adds Hammad.
“And our pipeline is equally compelling.
“We are very excited to be part of a major luxurious development with Dubai Holding for The Madinat Jumeriah Living at one of the most prominent locations in Dubai. Al Sahel has been awarded phase one and two, and is very proud to be considered as one of the potential awardees for the new phases.
“This project marks yet another milestone in Al Sahel’s career and reaffirms the client’s trust in our capabilities.”
Talk of this pipeline turns attentions quickly to the future.
Which begs the question – how will Al Sahel continue to meet the demands, concepts and criteria required by its clientele that are each often more innovative than the next?
The answer, for Hammad, is threefold, the first element owed to the role of its 6,000-strong workforce.
“We consider our human resources to be our most valuable asset,” he reveals. “Al Sahel strives to explore the full potential of its employees and to acknowledge their contributions, investing in the development of all employees at all working levels.
“Every member is given the opportunity to be creative and participate in the development of the company. We give them the resources they need and have a comprehensive training plan that’s set at the beginning of each year to respond effectively to the demands of each department.”
Second is a sound supply chain. The Chief Exec continues: “Supply chain management is very important in Al Sahel. We consider our vendors as partners; we merge our efforts together and share success. In addition, we’re adopting a strategic approach with key suppliers to immense long-term benefits for both parties.”
And the third aspect is technology – a field becoming increasingly important in the world of construction, with the likes of building information modelling (BIM) viewed as crucial in steering businesses beyond conventional methods.
“Given the rapid development in technology and supply chain, the company focuses on remaining up-to-date and are keen on applying agile business techniques to processes and operations,” Hammad affirms. “Implementing new technological developments is very important to increasing overall output and productivity.”
Indeed, by emphasising the importance of each of these elements at all times, Al Sahel can be confident for the future.
The firm’s overriding aims, named SMART targets, continue to become more ambitious by the year, the company clearly focused on staying up to date and applying agile business techniques to its processes and operations.
And rightly so, Hammad expressing optimism about its ability to meet these milestones through the same dedication, hard work and expertise that has helped to build the organisation’s reputation to date.
“Throughout our 43 years of operation, we’ve been able to maintain steady performance, despite market cycles, and succeeded in the application of improvement in every aspect of our operations, both measurable and traceable,” he states.
“How? Because we leverage our inherent capabilities and expertise as a driving force towards achieving these targets. We believe our forward strides maintain a reliable value proposition, and in the end that’s always a reason for being optimistic.”