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Dubai chosen to host UAE Chapter of BuildingSMART International

27 Aug, 2020

Dubai, represented by Dubai Municipality, has been chosen to host the UAE Chapter of BuildingSMART International. This makes the UAE the first country in the region to host a branch of the global industry body.


BuildingSMART International seeks to create and adopt unified international digital standards for the design of buildings, facilities and project phases. The organisation also aims to improve the exchange of information between software applications used in the industry


Dubai Municipality has established a working group to lead digital transformation in the emirate’s construction sector and the industry-wide adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM), a state-of-the-art 3D model-based process for the design, construction and management of buildings and infrastructure.


His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality said: “Dubai is seeking to promote the widespread use of digital systems and modern technologies such as BIM in the local industry in line with rising global trends. Digital transformation has been proven to bring multiple benefits across the life cycle of structures by reducing costs, shortening implementation time, increasing the efficiency of construction and operating processes, enabling multiple smart services, and increasing opportunities for using 3D design technology.”


Dubai’s Building Permit Procedures Development Committee recently launched a project under the supervision of the GIS Center aimed at designing and implementing the Dubai BIM Roadmap, Al Hajri noted. “The project aims to create a roadmap for the application of BIM technology, develop unified standards across Dubai and create tools to accelerate the issuance of building permits,” he said. A survey conducted as part of the project revealed that about 70% of consultants and contractors in Dubai use BIM in their projects while 40% use it extensively at an advanced level. According to the survey, 72% of engineering companies that do not currently apply BIM plan to use it in the next five years.


“Hosting BuildingSMART International’s branch will help the UAE enhance its global leadership in the field of digital transformation and innovation in the building and construction sector. Its extensive experiences in this domain give it a high global ranking in the areas of road quality and ease of issuing building licenses,” said Al Hajri.


The UAE chapter will focus on supporting the digital transformation of the construction sector in the country in cooperation with government agencies, private companies and specialised educational institutions. It will also promote effective participation in various working groups of BuildingSMART International, especially with regard to building permit procedures, automated verification of building regulations and digital twinning regulations. In addition, it will make key contributions to the development and application of global open source standards to enhance integration between BIM and GIS.


Furthermore, the UAE Chapter will work to boost information sharing and cooperation between entities in the fields of design, construction and management of building assets and infrastructure. It will also raise awareness about the importance of using unified global standards for modeling building information by organising workshops and conferences for industry professionals in the UAE, GCC and the wider region. In addition, it will oversee training programmes, issue internationally accredited certificates, and contribute to the translation of BIM standards into Arabic.


UAE ranks third in the world in the ease of obtaining a building permit according to the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report. Dubai has proactively encouraged the adoption of advanced design and implementation practices in the construction sector by issuing Dubai Municipality circulars in 2013 and 2015. Through these circulars, the Municipality instructed engineering consultancy offices to apply BIM in large government projects as well as vital projects such as hospitals and schools.


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