Al Futtaim poised to reach greater heights
Al Futtaim Engineering has successfully carried out a number of major scaffolding and access contracts on some of the largest and most prestigious projects in the UAE, including the Burj Al Arab, Emirates Towers and the new Dubai International Airport.The company made an important strategic move last year, and has now become the official distributor for specialist formwork manufacturer Thyssen Hunnebeck. This move enables the company to provide a unique range of products and services to contractors who are looking to procure all their scaffolding, access, and formwork products from one supplier. "We are very optimistic for the future," says managing director John Ashcroft, who points out that, as part of the Al Futtaim Trading Group of Companies, the company is robust, well-structured and prepared for the challenges ahead. In a market that has become one of the most competitive in the entire region, Al Futtaim Engineering has now established itself as one of the most professional and respected companies of its type. In John Ashcroft's own words, they are becoming increasingly 'lean and mean'. Specialist formwork systems from Thyssen Hunnebeck enable contractors to work faster and more efficiently, and also give Al Futtaim Engineering a strategic and competitive edge at the site, explains business development manager Andy Gatling. The company has been active in the oil and gas market for some years, and is targeting this market as an area for further growth and diversification. The main thrust is through its Abu Dhabi branch office working with a number of major clients including ADMA/OPCO (Abu Dhabi Marine Areas Operating Company). The division's high operating standards conform to all the health and safety requirements of the offshore operators which are common throughout the hydrocarbon industry. Al Futtaim Engineering is now looking to expand further into a number of overseas markets this year, particularly with its new partner Thyssen Hunnebeck. The year 2000 was undoubtedly a very tough year for the construction sector but the year 2001 looks increasingly promising with a number of major projects set to commence by mid year. For the past 12 years, Al Futtaim's Scaffolding & Formwork Division has consistently offered quality products to meet the most rigorous needs of the market. Its Spritebrand System Scaffolding - stock equipment for contracting and hire-only operations - is manufactured by Al Futtaim Engineering to provide one of the most adaptable, flexible scaffolding systems available. Cradles and temporary suspended access cradles are also a vital part of the division's access portfolio. Using Skyman H500/800 traction hoists and cradle platforms, Al Futtaim Engineering is able to tackle projects of any size or complexity - as proven on such projects as the Emirates Towers and Burj Al Arab. For permanent access to the building faÁade for general maintenance, Skyman's P3000 range of window-cleaning cradles offers full access to the external faÁade of a building for any type of maintenance activity. A highly-qualified engineering team at the company's Dubai headquarters provides comprehensive working drawings for all types of access and formwork projects, which are submitted along with all quotations for major projects. All access equipment meets relevant British Standards, and the company is also certified to ISO9001. Operatives are trained to the UK's CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) standards, the accepted level for the oil and gas industry. In addition, a fully documented system is in place for handing over all scaffolds and cradles with Al Futtaim Engineering's 'Scaff Tag' system, thus ensuring total compliance with all statutory regulations. Al Futtaim Engineering operates six divisions covering elevators, engineering services, security systems, building products and scaffolding and formwork. Its involvement in numerous large-scale developments in the UAE has given the company a wealth of experience in the project sector and a reputation second to none as a supplier of quality products and services, according to Gatling. "We believe that we are the number one provider of contract scaffolding and cradles in the UAE, and our standards are unsurpassed," says Gatling. "In particular, the Al Futtaim name gives an assurance of high standards, reliability and value for money," he concludes.