The Ministry of Public Works has unveiled a portfolio of projects worth more than Dh10 billion ($2.74 billion), including a hospital in Dubai and a prison in Sharjah.
The two projects are among the top four innovative and sustainable projects set to be completed by the ministry, who have ensured these projects follow international standards and are designed to rationalize consumption of energy and water.
In a media tour of construction sites in three emirates, the project managers revealed details of the projects that cover infrastructure, education, health and law enforcement.
Located 60km east of Sharjah in Al Dhaid, a massive prison is being built by the ministry with nearly 20 buildings.
Developed on an area of 192,000 square meters with a built-up area of 60,000 square meters, the prison, expected to be completed in 2016, cost Dh307 million, Fathiya Helal Bu Hazza, project manager, said.
“The prison can accommodate 3,282 prisoners. It meets all the requirements of various human rights organizations and international standards. It is being built using a sustainable and eco-friendly approach and will include a control room, a clinic, a court, and a building to prepare inmates,” she said.
Work on the structure that started in January last year is 35 per cent complete. Fathiya said the prison is being designed to save energy and water by using a solar heating system, a central control lighting system, motion and presence detectors and other technologies.
The other big project coming up in Al Ruwayya, Dubai, is Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital, which will replace the old facility by the end of 2016.
The hospital is being built on an area of 54,000 square feet and will have a capacity of 272 beds.
“The project, costing around Dh600 million, is 30 per cent complete,” Afeefa Mohammad, project manager, said. “This hospital has already earned an award for the best futuristic design in the Middle East in 2014 because of the green building methods.”
Afeefa added that six villas will be built as part of the Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital project where patients can stay after receiving treatment.
“This is like the second stage for them, which will help in integrating them back in society,” she said.
Among other projects is a Dh301 million Sharjah villa complex built through the Shaikh Zayed Programme for Emiratis.
“The Zayed Sports Complex will accommodate 2,000 spectators and is 18 per cent complete. It will serve Eastern Region residents, but mostly the General Authority for Youth and Sports,” Rashid Al Nuaimi, project manager, said.
A Dh70 million sports complex in Fujairah will include a huge stadium and gymnasium, an Olympics pool in the second phase and a youth hostel in the third phase.
Al Nouman School, a new eco-friendly school in Fujairah with a capacity for 850 students, was also part of the site tour. The school was described as a “modern and smart building” by Wafa Al Nuaimi, the project’s manager.
“This is one of the modern and smart buildings that the ministry has implemented. The design incorporates a building management system which provides energy saving through equipment control, solar lighting and other technologies friendly to the environment,” she said.
The approaches being taken are all in line with the UAE vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries by 2021,” said the Minister of Public Works, Dr Abdullah Bel Haif Al Nuaimi, in an exclusive interview after the tour.
“We are trying to look into different kinds of projects rather than focusing on housing or roads only, and we always think about the environment and how to make these projects sustainable. One of the projects we are really proud of is Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital, a project which has won many prizes even before it has been completed,” he said.
Speaking about the villa complex in Sharjah, Al Nuaimi said, “The Etihad Housing Complex with 406 villas is mostly being gifted to underprivileged UAE citizens. Those who can pay for the villas can pay in instalments in 25 years and with no interest.”
He also confirmed that they are currently working on many other different projects “including buildings that will not only be saving energy but will be creating energy”.
Al Nuaimi pointed out that the ministry’s projects not only takes growth into account but the quality and sustainability of growth.