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Aldar opens six Abu Dhabi academies in September

New age design comes into reality following swift construction work

The central courtyard of the Al Bateen school.
The central courtyard of the Al Bateen school.

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Three academies from Aldar Properties have opened this month for school term after quick construction work over the last year.

The opening of Al Bateen Secondary School, Al Mushrif School and Al Ain International School, brings the total number of schools operated by Aldar Academies to six. All will offer the British curriculum with an international dimension showing recognition of the wide range of nationalities served in Abu Dhabi.

Al Bateen School’s design concept – built by a joint venture of Al Fara’a Integrated Construction Group and Wates Construction - is based on a less hierarchal educational structure, allowing more student circulation and interaction between different year groups.

Facilities include an 850-seat auditorium, performing arts facilities, science laboratories, a design technology faculty, music recording studio and recital hall. Sports facilities comprise of a multi-purpose sports hall, dance studio, 25m indoor swimming pool and floodlit football pitch and shaded basketball courts.

The Al Fara’a-Wates joint venture had won the construction contract to build the academy on 8t July 2010 – an AED150 million contract. The two companies first partnered in the first quarter of 2008 on the back of a ruling that required local contractors to partner with international firms for certain government projects. Surrey, UK-based Wates Construction is one of the oldest contractors in the UK with portfolio focused on school, custodial and renovation projects.

The two companies claim it was their sensitivity to education projects that was particularly critical to their success in winning the contracts.

“Any child spends more than 70% of their time in a school so they have taken everything into consideration if you look at the architecture of the project,” Chimanlal Gangaramani, vice chairman of Al Fara’a Integrated Construction Group told CW in an interview last year. “I would say it is really an engineering marvel.

“Aldar has placed a very special emphasis on this project. It’s an iconic job for the company and probably the cream of families in Abu Dhabi will be going to those schools."

“I think one of the things Aldar valued from our joint venture is our empathy with the education process and our understanding of what the design is trying to achieve,” Matthew Kennedy, Middle East managing director at Wates, added at the time.

Upgraded facilities at the Al Ain International School, which opened on 11 September, include a sports hall, theatre, full size football pitch, swimming pools, large recreation areas, computer suites, specialist classrooms, and more than 40 teaching classrooms.

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Construction Week - Issue 725
Jan 19, 2019