By Gerhard Hope www.constructionweekonline.com
Behind the jubilant crowds flooding the Dubai Metro soon after its official launch, all eager to be a part of history in the making, is another story that is no less incredible. It is the story of a vast engineering and construction effort completed in less than four years, a record-breaking time.
In this issue we speak to SS Murali, the GM of the MEP division at Al-Futtaim Engineering. A mechanical engineer, Murali graduated from the National Institute of Technology in India in 1991. He also holds an MBA in finance and marketing. “I started my career with Batliboli as a graduate trainee engineer. After a few years I moved on to Carrier. I joined Al-Futtaim Engineering in 1998.”
He joined as a project manager in the then M&E (mechanical and electrical) division. “In 2001 I assumed overall responsibility for the projects business, which has grown significantly on the back of the construction boom.” The Dubai Metro has formed the capstone of a remarkable career.
“We have been involved with complicated projects before, but nothing as complex as this,” Murali says rather matter-of-factly. The consortium behind the Dubai Metro comprised players from as far afield as Japan and Turkey, making it a truly international effort and achievement.
Murali says proudly that the MEP industry in the UAE is used to working on such a collaborative basis, as it already adheres to the top British, European and American standards, making it an ideal proving ground to benchmark the industry on a global basis.