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Face to face: Berk Pasinler, Emirates Buildings

by Michael Fahy on Apr 19, 2014

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Meanwhile, the thick insulation has also proved to be attractive for other reasons to the US army when building accommodation units in Afghanistan.

“The system is bullet-proof. If you shoot, the bullet will stick inside,” he says, adding that it is also resistant to earthquakes.

Pasinler said the company is also in talks with firms in Iraq about exporting the system, as well as targeting hurricane-prone regions.

Most of the villas built to date were installed by Dome Contracting, which has been in business since 1996, but was acquired by Emirates Buildings just after its launch in 2000.

It initially began working purely on government contracts for Abu Dhabi Municipality, the Department of Presidential Affairs and the Armed Forces. Its first big contract to provide 200 units of low-cost housing was extended twice. The work covered villas in Samha, Al Mafraq and Khalifa City B.

The first turnkey contract it gained for a wider community scheme was in Al Ain, where it built Oyoun Village, containing 148 villas, a clubhouse, tennis courts and five swimming pools for Sorouh Real Estate.

Over the past two years, it has been providing 500 villas a year for public housing projects on a shell & core basis, rather than as a turnkey contractor, but it is currently under negotiations to build a further 3,000 being delivered under government programmes.

“It’s for turnkey (but) it depends on the negotiations. We may just provide the system and another contractor completes the rest. It depends on the government authorities and the developer as well.”

It is also “pushing for Dubai” to start a second branch there, and is looking into providing units to the oil & gas sector.

It is already a special grade contractor so is qualified to install buildings, he says, adding that the high level of fire resistance offered by its units make them more efficient than using steel that has to be expensively coated to achieve the same levels of protection.

“Our licence is very large,” he says.

“We also have a developer licence and we can be a developer as well, but it is not the correct time to start development in Abu Dhabi.”

Its future growth, he argues, “will depend on the new capital injection”.

“As GM I did my job and returned all of the money back. So it’s my turn to ask again. If this comes, maybe you will see another developer in Abu Dhabi, or it can be Dubai or Saudi. Who knows?”