Supporting the UAE’s Ports and Harbors with the Highest Standards for Facilities Management

Jan 18, 2023 6:18:13 PM

Imdaad Ports and Harbours - Case StudyThroughout its history, ports and harbours have been at the heart of the UAE’s growth and prosperity. In a relatively short period of time, the ports sector in the UAE has grown to encompass some of the biggest and busiest ports in the world. The footprint has also expanded to cover a wide range of services, including bulk cargo, petrochemicals, dry docks, industrial areas, warehouses, and cruise ship terminals. These breadths of functions require a comprehensive range of support services across port operations, and facilities management responsibilities for these massive undertakings have long been entrusted to the Imdaad Group by many of the biggest names in port management.

Imdaad Group Port and Harbour Services

Imdaad Group started earning the trust of ports and harbour operators in the UAE in 2007 when they began partnering with DP World. This contract has been running without interruption for the past 15 years and covers the entirety of Dubai’s iconic Port Rashid. In addition to Port Rashid, Imdaad is relied on for soft and hard facilities management services by Khalifa Port (267 locations), P&O Marinas (including fishing harbours), P&O Ports, Dubai Maritime City, and Dubai Harbour (including two cruise-ship terminals, yacht marina, a helipad, Skydive Dubai, a harbour masters’ club, and a residential community). These are some of the world’s busiest and most successful maritime operations and servicing them requires dedicated commitment and expertise that must match and support their standards of excellence. 

The services that the Imdaad Group provides across these assets are comprehensive, and cover:  

  • Soft services, including building cleaning, façade cleaning, equipment washing, and yard cleaning with sweeper vehicles
  • Disinfection and sterilization services
  • MEP works
  • Civil works
  • Maintenance of firefighting and fire detection systems
  • Maintenance of terminal buildings and basic infrastructure
  • Maintenance of water, sewerage, storm water, and irrigation lines
  • Maintenance of streetlights, generators, and chillers
  • Supply of electricity to pontoons
  • Road sweeping using mechanical sweepers and litter picking
  • Supply of fresh water to vessels 

In addition to soft and hard facilities management services, ports and harbours have varying requirements necessitating deep technical work. For example, maintenance of some IT & automation assets such as RFIDs and cables; as well as marine coating and maintenance of seawater pumps that can often get clogged and damaged by seaweed, and which require specialized sandblasting to clear and prevent damage.


Corrosive Environments and Harsh Environmental Conditions

Port infrastructures are by nature dynamic, fast-paced, and large-scale facilities. They are designed to operate in a uniquely harsh environment, dominated by the presence of corrosive salt water, and are impacted by coastal dynamics that have a profound effect on materials and operations. This accelerates the progressive deterioration of assets; environmental conditions make it difficult to inspect, maintain, and repair civil work, infrastructure, and machinery without disrupting operations or compromising safety and security.

Licensing and Permits for Staff and Machinery

Servicing these facilities are teams that have the requisite special services training and licensing by the relevant authorities. Teams range from cleaners to dedicated, in-house, and resident experts and engineers; and their availability needs to adapt to port and harbour seasonality, work variability, and time constraints. 
Permits and work authorizations need to be strictly adhered to, and the variety of business units, ranging from port operations, tourist attractions, yacht clubs, etc. means that different management will have different requirements across distinct platforms. Senior supervisors are typically reviewed and approved by the client, and key staff or personnel working in special areas must undergo special training and obtain specific licensing to enter and work there. At the cruise terminals, for example, Imdaad crews maintain the buildings for the police, civil defense, and the Immigration Department – each requiring its own work authorization and entry permits, supervision, and reporting. 

Reporting and Documentation

Documentation is stringent across operations, and different authorities have requirements that suit their specific systems, requirements, and formats. Compliance with them is essential and has operated successfully in that environment for decades. The Imdaad team is well-versed and well-prepared to ensure that documentation and processes are always up to date.

Time Constraints

Working within these limited time windows, especially for cruise ships and other marine vessels, means that services need to be delivered and synchronized with other operations within confined areas, tight deadlines, and dependencies from other parties contributing to the overall management of operations. 

The Imdaad Group Commitment

Ports and harbours play a strategic role in the economic prosperity and growth of the UAE, and its connectivity with the world. Their role encompasses the enablement of trade, tourism, recreational activities, and industrial development. The consistency, safety, and reliability of their operations must be ensured throughout the life cycle of their assets. To achieve this, they rely on trusted partners like the Imdaad Group for their facility management to ensure the proper functioning of buildings and infrastructures, as well as the integration of people, space, processes, and technologies. This translates into optimal service, operational, and maintenance management across assets and facilities.