Building housing for nationals will remain the top priority for at least the next five years
Abu Dhabi General Services Company is a public joint stock company backed by the Abu Dhabi government. It was established by Abu Dhabi ruler and UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan in 2007 with the passing of Law 27.
The company is commonly known as Musanada, which means ‘support’ in Arabic. The name reflects the firm’s main goal of supporting its clients, which are agencies within the Abu Dhabi government. As Musanada only serves the government, it is funded centrally by the emirate’s executive council.
Musanada’s board is chaired by Abdulla Rashid al-Otaiba, who is also chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport. The company’s chief executive officer is Mohamed Rashid Khalifa al-Fahed al-Mehairi. Other board members include Mugheer al-Khaili, general manager of Abu Dhabi Education Council; Falah Mohamed al-Ahbabi, general manager of the Urban Planning Council and Khalifa Mohamed al-Mazrouie, general manager of Abu Dhabi Municipality.
Musanada is commissioned to provide best-in-class shared services to the Abu Dhabi government in four business areas: design and construction project management, which includes housing and infrastructure; facilities management; technology; and business support.
The most active unit is construction, which is currently overseeing 82 projects with a total value of AED33bn ($9bn). Of these, 20 are housing and infrastructure schemes, 14 are in the education sector, 12 are civic and sports projects, and 36 are special projects and office buildings.
The largest projects are Al-Wathba North near Al-Ain, which is currently in the design stage. The infrastructure work will be divided into four phases totalling AED8.5bn, with an estimated completion date scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016. The scheme will be similar in scope to the South Shamka project 45 kilometres away from Abu Dhabi city, which is a AED7.5bn development divided into four infrastructure packages. Construction started in August 2011 and will be completed by the end of July 2014.
Another of Musanada’s housing schemes is the Al-Ghayathi project in the Western Region, which involves building 786 villas. Construction started in August 2012 and will take 20 months to complete. Smaller housing schemes include the Falah project with 158 villas, due to be completed in December 2014, and the Abu Samrah scheme in Al-Ain with 61 villas, to be completed in April 2013.
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Other design and construction projects include the Abu Dhabi Future Schools programme and the headquarters building for the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority. The first phase of the schools scheme involved the construction of 15 schools. The second phase covered the construction of 10 kindergartens, and phase three will deliver 11 more schools in July 2013. The fourth phase is in the design stage and will provide another eight schools. All the school buildings have been designed to meet Abu Dhabi’s green buildings standards.
The headquarters building will be used by the accountability authority, and will have eight floors offering premium office space. The total built-up area will be 22,900 square metres.
Musanada manages facilities for 39 government entities across Abu Dhabi city, Al-Ain and the Eastern Region, and the Western Region. In total this covers 3,383 buildings, which include 275 schools, 2,109 mosques and 899 government buildings. The firm manages and provides 24/7 operations support for the Abu Dhabi Government Network (Adnet), which is connected to 49 state organisations. It also manages the Shared Government Data Centre, which stores data for government bodies, the government’s human resource management system and a telephone helpline for enquiries. Musanada’s business support services include a travel service and the provision of office consumables.
Musanada’s key objectives are to reduce costs by economies of scale, improve client satisfaction, enhance transparency and raise accountability. Creating jobs for Emiratis is another important goal. The company is working with the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group and is participating in the government’s Absher programme, which encourages trade partners and suppliers to hire UAE nationals.
While the immediate impact of this initiative is employment, the longer-term outcome is developing the skills of the local population. This is particularly important in the more remote parts of the Western and Eastern Regions where employment opportunities are limited.
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