New player set to take on local interior fit out market

A new interior fit out business is about to emerge in the UAE market. Al Habtoor ISG (HISG) will be a joint venture between Al Habtoor Leighton Group and ISG, a UK-based fit-out construction company.

A new interior fit out business is about to emerge in the UAE market. Al Habtoor ISG (HISG) will be a joint venture between Al Habtoor Leighton Group and ISG, a UK-based fit-out construction company.

According to Paul Watson, general manager for associated businesses at Al Habtoor Leighton Group, the target date for starting the new business is 1 July 2008. The partners will jointly invest up to AED 80 million in the venture over the next three years, in support of the anticipated growth.

"The ISG people have a very successful project management/fit-out type business that they run in Europe, the Far East and Western Europe," said Watson. "We're looking to introduce the concept of a fully integrated, turnkey fit-out business to enable us to give the client a full turnkey solution.

"Traditionally, the client will get a core and shell of a building and then various parts will be done by a selection of people. What we're looking to do is bring out the design skills and the management skills of the ISG Group so the client can get a far better solution with less people participating.

"We also want to allow the principle builder to work with us to allow that fit-out to be an integrated one. That means as the building is going up, the fit-out is going up with it.

"The cost saving is significant and secondly the time saving from doing it that way is very significant," Watson added.

The company will be targeting work with hotels, palaces, shopping malls, office buildings and apartments. It will also be trying to tackle the issue of the UAE's stretched supply chain.

"One of the great benefits that this joint venture brings to us is that we're sourcing a different supply chain," said Watson.

"The supply chain in the UAE is pretty full, as most people know. We're sourcing our chain for capacity from the outside, so we're attacking the new market on the basis that we will source the world's best practice internationally and deliver it locally."

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