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Depa says working on Burj Dubai a 'nightmare'

on May 13, 2009

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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By Alex Delmar-Morgan

Working on the world’s tallest building has been a logistical 'nightmare' and similar projects would be not be undertaken in the future, interior fit-out giant Depa has admitted.

Speaking exclusively to Arabian Business, the boss of the largest interior fit out contractor in the world, has sensationally opened the lid on the logistical headache of deploying 2000 workers over 105 floors on the Burj Dubai, which is set to be 818m when finished in September.

“The challenging part is the logistics,” said Mohannad Sweid, CEO of Depa, who won a US $600 million contract in 2006 to oversee the fit out of nearly 1000 residential and serviced apartments including corridors and lift lobbies in the Burj.

“It’s nightmare that we calculated at the beginning of the project, that affects the productivity of your work,” he added.

While confirming Depa are on schedule to complete the fit out by September 9 this year - also the scheduled grand opening of the skyscraper - Sweid said the most challenging aspect was coordinating his workforce across such a large area and moving building materials and supplies up the tower.

“Actually there have been a hell of a lot of problems. But we are dealing with it and managing it and we will deliver on time,” he said.

“At the end of the day, by the time you get the worker up, by the time he wants to go for a break and or go to the toilet, he loses a lot of productivity. Can you imagine having 2000 people distributed in one tower?” he added.

“Then you have to take materials up and load the materials, and there are other contractors working on site. That was the challenging part and still is challenging [part]. For us I think it’s something we will not do again.”

Sweid said there were no sleeping facilities for workers in the Burj and was unsure as to what is being planned for the top floor of the half a mile skyscraper.

There has been speculation it could be an office, a public space or a restaurant.

Depa is doing the fit out for apartments between the 12th and 117th floors on the middle tiers, above the Armani hotel, and below the office space on the top section.