Asian Games gives a higher Arabian Profile for panel firm

Gerhard Kohlhoff, commercial manager of Arabian Profile, talks to CW about the activities of the Sharjah-based firm and its latest forays into the Qatar market.

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By  Zoe Naylor Published  May 20, 2006

|~|122int200.gif|~|Kohlhoff says that two decades of experience has given Arabian Profile a local reputation for providing not only quality products, but also advice.|~|What type of business is Arabian Profile involved in?

Based in Sharjah, the company’s core business is the manufacture and installation of aluminium, steel and composite panels for roofs and façades. Our product range includes insulated metal cladding, purlins and light steel structures, glass fibre reinforced polyester, and glass fibre reinforced concrete panels.

As well as manufacturing cladding we also provide design solutions, and have the engineering and planning competence to adapt our products to specific applications and requirements.

What was your recent involvement in construction projects for this year’s forthcoming Asian Games in Doha?

Arabian Profile played a pivotal role in materials, design and construction for the Aspire Sports Hall project. This included devising a solution to erect the dome’s internal false ceiling without scaffolding.

In total, we provided 55,000m2 of acoustic false ceiling with hanging system, roof purlins, roof intermediate cladding layer and roof finish cladding, all for a coverage area of 85,000m2.

We also supplied 1,500m2 of panels and curtain walling
system for a feature conical tower as well as 4,500m2 of glass fibre reinforced polyester/honeycomb canopies for all the entrances.

We were also involved in the Doha Women’s Club and the Hamad Aquatic Center, and last but not least we are producing 325 1.8 m-high bollards in the shape of the Freedom Tower in Doha, similar to the Olympic torch fire.
These are made of glass fibre reinforced polyester and will serve as signposts to the various sports facilities.

How important are the Asian Games for the company as a means of winning new work in Qatar?

The Games have provided us with a handful of technically very challenging projects, some of which are still under way. In fact all our present activities in Qatar are connected with the sports facilities.

Does Qatar represent a growing market for the company?

After the UAE, Qatar is definitely the most important market for us. The number and size of projects planned and in progress in Qatar are overwhelming and are a good opportunity for us to succeed in a second booming market.

Due to the new policy in all Gulf countries to invest oil and gas revenues in developing modern infrastructures, there
will be chances galore for the next five to 10 years for all construction-related companies.

Do you see Qatar’s construction market rivalling that of Dubai in the near future?

Out of an imminent necessity to overcome dwindling oil revenues, Dubai has initiated and developed ways to establish a sound and oil-independent industrial infrastructure such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone, and tourism-based projects.

Over the last 25 years a continuous growth has taken place in Dubai, culminating in a construction boom prompted by 9/11, when a major part of foreign invested money poured back into the Gulf. While Dubai’s 20 years’ head start can hardly be matched by Qatar, the potential of Qatar is there and it will definitely grow into a sound economy.

Does Qatar’s construction market differ from that of the UAE in terms of the type of projects underway?

This again is a matter of infrastructure. The UAE consists of seven emirates with different policies, monetary funds and social requirements. The difference between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, for example, is noticeable the moment anyone enters the city.

Qatar in comparison is an emirate ruled by one family. This means that once you understand this market, you are set. But the UAE obviously has a higher variation of projects, requirements and approaches — and flexibility is a vital asset in this region.

What other regional projects has the company been involved in?

First and foremost Arabian Profile is a UAE national company, undertaking the bulk of its work in the Emirates and the Gulf. Over the last two decades we have worked on many of the UAE’s landmark structures including the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Burjuman
Center, Dubailand, Dubai Snow Center, Dubai Mall and Dubai Festival City.

However our products are known worldwide — from power plants in Vietnam to offshore platforms in Norway. We have clients in more than 20 countries including Hong Kong, Africa, Pakistan and Spain.

In addition to being a materials supplier, Arabian Profile assists clients in overcoming project dilemmas. Is this a unique way of operating?

Firstly, we are interested in selling our products. But due to our strong reputation in the market we are often invited during the planning stage of a project to guide and advise the consultant. Twenty years’ experience in the field make us well equipped to take on challenging and sophisticated tasks.||**||

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