Building department to hire more engineers

Dubai Municipality's building department plans to hire more than 150 engineers this year in a bid to ensure that construction of all new buildings is better regulated.

Dubai Municipality wants to hire 150 engineers this year in a bid to ensure that construction of all new buildings is better regulated. (Valeriano Han
Dubai Municipality wants to hire 150 engineers this year in a bid to ensure that construction of all new buildings is better regulated. (Valeriano Han

Dubai Municipality's building department plans to hire more than 150 engineers this year in a bid to ensure that construction of all new buildings is better regulated.

The move would enable the department to deploy more inspectors on site and monitor the quality of building materials being used, according to Hamad Saeed Almarri, head of building services unit, qualification & building studies section, building department, Dubai Municipality.

"At the moment, there is a limited number of engineers within the department," he said. "But we will hire more than 150 this year, so I think the quality will be better."

Some consultants have expressed concern that a shortage in the number of inspectors is leading to poor quality construction. "We're consistently applying the rules of Dubai Municipality, which we find that some building owners are reluctant to follow because of cost," said Martin Mileham, director of operations, Middle East Business Unit, NORR.

"There is a huge range of quality in Dubai. Our concern is maintaining a level of quality that's sustainable in the long-term.

"Dubai Municipality is doing a good job, it's just that Dubai's a huge place to do it. We need an effective sharing of municipal tasks. There needs to be a coordinating body for all the authorities at the federal level."

Dubai's real estate market has often come under the hammer for compromising quality in place of getting a building finished quickly and at reduced cost.

But Almarri added that any company which fails to comply with building regulations would face serious problems.

"Before any concrete casting or any thermal installation is done, the building inspector should be on the site - if everything is okay, he will give the building the go-ahead, but if there is a problem he will stop work immediately," he said. "If contractors and consultants ignore this process they will face a big problem. Their trade licence would be stopped and they would receive fines."

Almarri added that all materials to be used in proposed buildings have to be certified by Dubai Municapility's central laboratory before approval is given.

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