Presidential plans for the Gulf’s future

Within a fortnight of each other, the hierarchies of two of the most important organisations for MEP professionals rolled into town.

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By  Alison Luke Published  December 16, 2006

|~||~||~|It’s not often that you get to meet a president. Getting to meet two in a lifetime has got to be an even bigger achievement, but if you were in Dubai this month you had the chance to tick both boxes within a matter of days and have something to tell the grandchildren.

Within a fortnight of each other, the hierarchies of two of the most important organisations for MEP professionals rolled into town.

With a man at the top whose portfolio covers the international agenda, it had to be only a matter of time before the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) made it to the Gulf.

Until now, it appears that Hong Kong has had most of the Institution’s attention, but the take-off in the Middle East region has finally caught its eye.

CIBSE was in Dubai to rally support for the setting up of a local Chapter of the Institution to serve it’s expatriate members.

The interest seems to exist among the members as well, judging by the fact that the event managed to muster a fairly decent sized audience on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) already has an established base in the Gulf; it was hosting a much larger, three-day Chapter Regional Conference.

But why should you care? We’ve all sat through conferences and come away thinking ‘why did I bother?’ And with the workloads that most MEP professionals have on their backs at the moment, we all know that there’s precious little time to be wasted.

Well the good news is that both groups seem to be fully aware of this fact. The top men of CIBSE and ASHRAE didn’t travel thousands of miles simply to admire the massive scale of ductwork and kilometres of cabling that are being installed in the region’s projects. They came with tales of forthcoming help.

The recognition that project demands have been changing faster than the guidelines to create them has been noted. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East, where ever more elaborate projects are pushing the boundaries of the textbooks.

But maybe this is set to change. News came from the ASHRAE event that it is compiling a new set of guidance specifically aimed at the climate in this region.

While CIBSE is aiming to get the many professionals that pass through the Gulf to step outside the airport lounge for a few hours and give advice on new technologies and guidance.

If the industry giants live up to their promises, working in the MEP industry will become easier. And you never know, visiting presidents could become a regular thing.||**||

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