Shining Towers in Abu Dhabi is ready for handover
Shining Towers in Abu Dhabi is ready for handover; Khidmah talks about the leasing and property management challenges
Standing tall over the surrounding area, the Shining Towers project in Abu Dhabi comprises two multi-storey towers that appear to ‘lean’ in two directions - sideways and towards one another.
The finishing touches have now been made, and the building is due for handover. Design works commenced in 2008, and were completed in 2009, with Khidmah appointed as the project’s facilities management provider.
Scope of services
Khidmah’s scope of services includes providing leasing, property management and facilities management at Shining Towers. The facilities management includes both hard and soft services.
“Our team is currently in the commissioning stage with the main contractor to ensure the best service to our tenants and increase equity of the asset by retaining clients and the towers’ meticulous upkeep,” says Mohammad Yakoob, facilities manager, Khidmah.
This is not the first time the firm has worked with the client, Al Nahda Investments. It has prior experience with the client through pre-existing developments at C67, Lakeshore Tower, Mushrif Villas and C168.
Mike Tarhini, chief commercial officer, Al Nahda, explains the choice of the FM firm: “Khidmah was selected by Al Nahda to provide the facilities management and project management services based on a strategic alliance and their constantly striving to provide the best services in the field of asset management.
The expectation for the operational aspect is to deliver the best services of its kind in the FM and PM to Shining Towers that will complement the client’s vision in running first class mixed-used towers.”
Khidmah did not reveal the cost of the FM contract; however, Yaboob explains: “We operate an open book policy with our client and we are still fine-tuning the cost of operations in conjunction with our service delivery of leasing, property management and project management.” The contract date with Khidmah will begin on the first leasing of the towers, and according to Yakoob, will be reviewed annually based on performance indicators.
Early bird catches the worm
There’s a lot to be said about getting FM firms involved early in the design and construction phases. Being part of the initial work means the facility manager can advise on how systems being put into place will cope during daily use, and over the duration of many years.
Yakoob says with Shining Towers, Khidmah got involved earlier on in the process. “The engagement of Khidmah during the earlier stages, which was during the middle of construction, allowed us to represent the client in the handover and DLP to make sure all parties delivered the best product.”
He says the aim was to be hands-on in the documents handover, with testing and commissioning to have a seamless transition in warranties and maintenance contracts.
Khidmah has continued to develop benchmarks for itself on the project, aiming to deliver the best possible service. One of the important assets for the firm is presentation.
“This applies to staff and assets that need, at all times, to be at its best with no leniency. Personnel are to be well-trained in communication and follow through with customers’ issues from inception to resolution,” says Yakoob.
In addition, the FM firm is working on developing and implementing a zero-breakdown preventive maintenance program. It’s also important, says Yakoob, to create and implement procedures integrated with the leasing contract, to follow through with the fit-out and moving of tenants. Khidmah is intent on implementing the fit-out manual to provide consistency.
Another way Khidmah hopes to satisfy its clients is by integrating the FM and PM “to provide the best pre-lease and post leasing services that will deliver the best service to our tenants.”
Each project serves up its own set of challenges, and Shining Towers is no different. “The building has a very unique design, with the façade partially straight and partially inclined,” explains Yakoob.
“The access to clean on inclined façades is a big challenge which requires a number of mechanical controls and expertise to hold the BMU firmly and avoid any accidents,” he says.
The property is mixed-use, consisting of residential, commercial and retail which often leads to logistical challenges when it comes to managing a smooth flow of traffic and maintaining zero accident levels. Yakoob says Khidmah has been involved for some time in providing feedback to Al Nahda on accessibility to the development.
“Security is also a challenge due to the commercial and residential mixed traffic, visitors and their timings. Provision of mobility and communication devices is essential for a development of this nature,” adds Yakoob.
There are many ways in which Khidmah recognised the challenges this differently-designed project threw up, and responded to them.
The firm has ensured cleaning services are tailored to the different areas of Shining Towers and not just changed for the surfaces.
“Our pest control team has already been onsite to identify and create a pest control plan that ensures a seamless transition from the main contractor. Our licensed pest control operators will carry out services both pre-handover and then again once the planned maintenance starts onsite to ensure full coverage,” says Yakoob.
The firm has carried out annual maintenance in the mobilisation phase to ensure it picked up any latent defects on the project prior to tenants moving in onsite. Yakoob adds: “Our in-house 24/7 call centre will come for a site visit during the asset collection to familiarise themselves with Shining Towers.
“Thermal scanning of the electrical infrastructure will also be conducted at the time of asset collection and barcoding to ensure any issues are mitigated prior to building occupancy.”
He adds: “We aim to attend to all customers’ concerns and issues in a timely manner — instant service — as Khidmah will have the technical and administrative resources to provide an on-demand service to our tenants.
“We need to create and implement a customer-driven service. There is a need to set the expectations, at the time of lease, to Khidmah’s commitment to the tenants. This should be stipulated upfront and signed off by Khidmah’s facility manager and project manager, and the tenants with names and contact information.
The executed expectation sheet is a contractual obligation between all parties to deliver the best service as it was set before the commencement of the lease.”
He adds customer satisfaction with the services will be measured. Monthly tangible surveys will be conducted to evaluate performance as seen by the tenant. “This will be done to recognise what is working and work on the sections that need improvement,” concludes Yakoob.
Shining Towers, Abu Dhabi
Client: Al Nahda Investment
Lead consultant (supervision) and
engineer of record: Ramboll Middle East
FM provider: Khidmah
Landscape architect: Rafic El Khoury
Landscape contractor: Citiscape
Concept architect: Aedas