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BIM Transforming GCC

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With several mega projects, large scale infrastructural projects, and construction of high rises in the process, Middle East, (specifically Dubai and Doha) seem to be the places where the building construction industry is making a beeline. As the region evolves from a desert into a cluster of mega cities and opens up the gate of opportunities for the construction industry- Building Information Modeling (BIM) is likely to play a pivotal role in enabling this transformation.

The six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman with their dynamic, fast growing population and rich economies require a sustainable base for future expansion and sustained growth.

This has prompted their diversification into the non-hydrocarbon sector, with industrialization and upgrades to their existing infrastructure, setting off long construction boom throughout the region. The period till 2019 is likely to witness tremendous activity primarily in infrastructure including transportation, roadways, airports and ports and tourism being used as a stepping stone to achieve the growth targets.

Apart from the international events planned such as World Expo in 2020 and World Cup FIFA 2022, the need to create interlinkage between the member countries is driving the betterment of infrastructure connectivity and focus on utilities, housing, healthcare, education along with tourism. In the backdrop of such massive infrastructure upgrade, BIM
adoption can bring in a transformation.

Industry experts predict a surge in the adoption of BIM. We can already experience this change and increased demand of complete building information modeling benefits by implementing it across the lifecycle for new construction projects. Compared to other parts of the world.

“Ineffective data management of a building can cost $16 billion per year out of which the losses recorded by operations and maintenance phases amount to $9 billion annually. According to the National BIM report published in 2014 by royal institute of British Architects, “BIM implementation can save 33% construction costs and 50% construction time”.

The Outlook

Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the oldest and largest participant in the region’s construction boom, however it does not rely on private participation or hosting events to boost up its image in the global investment arena. The Kingdom through BIM technology & application has made and is making a huge upgrade to its infrastructure
while creating investments zones in its massive economic cities including transportation, logistics, airports, ports and rail-road infrastructure. It is also building the largest port in Rabigh and the world’s tallest Kingdom Tower in Jeddah based on BIM and latest technologies for sustainable development.


UAE: The Exporelated infrastructure development and operations alone are expected to cost approximately over US$9 Billion. The major activity and development where BIM is making a difference is the master plan for Expo 2020 for the Trade Centre in Jebel Ali which is the proposed site for the event. The site, around 438 hectare will include 150-hectare Expo area and a surrounding residential, hospitality and logistics zone, which will play host to the 247 participants and the 25 million visitors expected at the Expo with transport and pedestrian circulation strategies prepared accordingly. It will be a largest expo site ever used for a World Expo.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) expansion of the Dubai Metro’s Red Line, upgradation of existing infrastructure and construction of new one, large scale projects like The World, Dubai, International Airport and hospitality projects for addition of the number of hotel rooms by 2020 will also be based on BIM application.

Qatar: The country has moved ahead with planning cautiously and monitoring the supply and demand to flag off a number of key projects in preparation to host the World Cup FIFA event in 2022. It has undertaken a massive upgrade of its infrastructure including rail and road connectivity, driven mainly by BIM technology.

Kuwait: Kuwait is relatively a smaller nation in the GCC in terms of area. Some of the major projects underway where BIM is being extensively employed are:

– The airport expansion project which will also include a new terminal, likely to be completed by 2016.

– Upgradation of the Metropolitan transportation network which will be operational by 2020.

– Causeway project connecting the Southern Kuwait and Norther Kuwait near the Iraq border to ease traffic congestion.

Demand for BIM in the Middle East has increased remarkably. The construction industry landscapes in Middle East have been swept by the BIM wave and it is not just restricted to buildings but also for infrastructural developments and civil structures. The rail industry will pioneer this change as there is an estimation of over 50 billion dollar rail expansion projects in the pipeline in Middle East. With the booming construction sector in the Middle East, applying BIM will help construction companies reduce the time and effort required to discover constructability issues and clashes, which are rarely discovered using the traditional 2D drawings, and usually only until implementation on site.








Ar. Bhushan Avsatthi
Sr. Manager
(Architecture, Structure, MEP)
Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services

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