Site visit: The One at Jumeirah Village Circle

CW takes a tour of First Group’s The One at Jumeirah Village Circle, a 496-key hospitality project that is located in Dubai and due to complete in September 2018

Site Visits

The One is a 44-storey, four-star hotel located in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), which is scheduled to complete in September 2018.

Currently under construction, The One at Jumeirah Village Circle is being developed by First Group and will be operated by Wyndham Hotel Group under the Ramada Plaza brand.

Dubai-based First Group has several developments on the way, including three other Ones. Namely, The One Hotel at Business Bay, The One at Jumeirah Village Triangle, and The One Dubai Marina.

The developer’s other hospitality projects include Wyndham Dubai Marina, Sky Central Hotel, Metro Central Hotel Apartments, Grand Central Hotel Apartments, and First Central Hotel Apartments, all in Barsha.

The One at Jumeirah Village Circle is located at the apex of two of Dubai’s main road arteries, Al Khail Road and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, alongside a number of other hospitality projects in the neighbourhood.

This 496-key hotel will have two speciality restaurants and an all-day-dining eatery, along with a swimming pool, gymnasium, steam rooms, and a sun deck.

Construction work has reached parking podium two as of December 2016. When Construction Week visited the site, shuttering was taking place on the roof of podium two.

Adnan Nalwala, executive director of Akar Technical Services, says: “We are excited about developing a premier hotel property in Dubai. This development further strengthens our portfolio of hotels in the Middle East, adding a new dimension to the overall expansion of our brand.

“Aligned with UAE’s Vision 2021, Akar is deeply committed to developing real estate projects that add value to the long-term strategic development of country.”

Main contractor, China Railway 18th Bureau Group, was awarded the tender in January 2016, and the contract was awarded in April. The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) works contract was awarded to Akar Technical Services in August 2016.

Speaking to Construction Week, Akar’s project manager onsite, M Selvaraj, says: “Work on the main structure began in June 2016 and, right now, we’ve completed the structure for podium two. The construction casting is completed up to podium two.”

He adds that construction on the main structure will be completed by January 2018.

The building will have four levels of parking. The ground floor and basement will consist of a hotel reception, mechanical equipment room, staff dining, utility quarters, kitchens, a storage room, and service rooms.

“The structure from [the] ground floor until the fourth floor is a conventional slab structure, and [the] fifth floor and upwards will have a post tensioning slab,” Selvaraj explains.

Zhou Lin, project manager from China Railway 18th Bureau Group, says that the hotel will have 160 parking bays in the four podiums. On the MEP front, Akar’s Selvaraj continues: “The first fix – such as the containments, which are the concealed works within the concrete – is ongoing. The second fix – making the supports and installing the pipes and taps – is expected to be done by February 2017.”

Enabling and piling work was carried out by Turkish firm, Zetas Zemin Teknolojisi AS, while ground breaking took place in December 2015. Lin says: “We started working on the foundation in July 2016, following which, work began on full scale with a workforce of 200 labourers.”

Selvaraj also explains that fire and safety procedures laid out by Department of Planning and Development, Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (Trakhees), are being followed. “They have a set of rules and regulations [concerning safety]. There was a special training course given to workers in case of an emergency, such as what are the escape routes, how to reach the assembly point, how to use product tools, what safety applications need to be followed on site, and wearing personal protective equipment [PPE].”

He adds that all the works are being carried out on time, without any injuries on site.

The 44-floor structure has been designed by NORR Architects, which has worked on Emirates Towers, Emirates NBD HQ in Dubai, and Le Royal Meridien Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Lin explains that the façade will comprise glass and aluminium composite panel (ACP) cladding.

The hotel will have 11 elevators – eight passenger lifts and three service lifts, Selvaraj states. The fifth floor, which will be level one of the hotel, will include the hotel lobby, a restaurant, and a VIP lounge. “Guests rooms and will begin on level four of the hotel and will go up to the 40th floor.”

Selvaraj explains that the building layout from level five and upwards will consist of guest rooms and service rooms. The rooftop will feature a bar and restaurant, and other activity rooms. The hotel will have plant rooms on the 18th and 19th floors.

The MEP works’ project manager also alludes to the challenges that are currently being faced: “At present, civil activities are ongoing, and here, the challenges we face are access issues, which are taking major equipment [to] the basement without damaging MEP equipment or affecting civil work in the areas.”

Most of the major MEP equipment – including heat exchangers, water softener plant, and chilled water pumps – will be placed in the basement, Selvaraj adds.

Speaking about the total workforce, he continues: “There are an average of 250 labourers working onsite at the moment. About 200 from China Railway, around 20 from our side, and 30 others.

“Once the civil work completes and full-scale construction work commences, the workforce will go up to a minimum of 500. We expect the MEP workers alone to [number more than] 200 during the peak construction period.”

He adds that labour work timings are from 6.30am to 5.30pm, while staff working hours are from 8.30am to 5.30pm, with Fridays off. “Based on the site requirements, we work on Fridays or during the nights.”

With work progressing according to schedule, Lin is confident that the project will be completed on time, without any significant delays. China Railway plans to hand over the completed project in early September 2018.

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