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Power by decree: Dubai ruler mandates on back-up power

A temporary blackout at Dubai Mall reinforces the understanding that no major project can afford to be without a reliable back-up power system, while the intervention of Dubai’s ruler on the matter is music to the industry’s ears


Temporary power solutions are a vital pillar of operations in just about every industry, and in the last month, a dramatic demonstration of this was provided by power outage at Dubai Mall, plunging retailers    and shoppers into darkness.

The power outage was caused by a minor confusion between DEWA and Emaar, and the problem was quickly rectified, but it served to highlight how vulnerable even the most seemingly robust infrastructure can in fact be.

Indeed, the reality is that even when industrial and commercial projects are built and completed, it is usually a good idea for operations to retain some sort of stand-by power on-site, in case of just these sort of emergencies.

Moreover, in a boom for the temporary power industry in the UAE, the Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Ruler of Dubai, subsequently has announced that real estate developers and firms must install additional back-up gensets on all projects of touristic, commercial and cultural value.

Needless to say, as common as blackouts are in even the most developed countries all over the world, the disconnecting of power to the world’s largest mall is not the sort of publicity that an aspirational city like Dubai desires.

As if to reinforce the point, Dubai’s ruler also made a personal visit to DEWA’s headquarters to be briefed about the power outage in Dubai Mall, accompanied by Dubai’s Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

One generator manufacturer that has been particularly quick to seize upon the news is Himoinsa, which has recently been involved in providing high capacity back-up gensets for both Al-Futtaim’s Dubai Festival City and Doha Festival City retail developments.

In the case of Doha Festival City, Himoinsa’s stand-by generator set is guaranteed and has been proven to be able provide a 100% load response within as little as seven seconds of the power being cut.

In light of the Dubai Mall incident, they detail that all applicable buildings must now have sufficient emergency power in the event of a failure in the main grid to cover power needs for lighting, lifts, automatic doors, security cameras and firefighting and security equipment.

This ruling will presents a potential windfall for the dozens of manufacturers in the segment, and a welcome piece of good news in this climate of global and regional economic listlessness.

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Construction Week - Issue 725
Jan 19, 2019