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Fire Engineering in the Middle East

Establishing a registered branch within the UAE has been a long but worthwhile process. The journey began in 2014 with the establishment of a Founding Committee consisting of Peter Stephenson (BuroHappold), David Black (Burohappold), Terry Johnson (Dubai Civil Defence), Matt Bright (Dubai Civil Defence – now Dubai Malls Emaar), Mike Kelly (Dubai Malls, Emaar, now The Heart of Europe) and Steve Brown (Dubai Malls, Emaar – now relocated back to the UK).

Following extensive research into the most appropriate route to register a not-for-profit branch of an International Institution, such as the IFE, the Founding Committee chose to register through the Dubai Association Centre (DAC). The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is the licensing arm of the Dubai Association Centre and we successfully obtained registration and a licence (No. DAC-0004).

Having registered the Branch in the Middle East the committee were successful in obtaining approval for a local bank account in Dubai with the Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB). The process for approval of a bank account took approximately 18 months and we encountered rejection from two banks before obtaining the approval from the EIB. During this period we received fantastic support from the DAC and Chamber of Commerce and have made significant progress in promoting the corporate mission statement of the IFE and local Branch objectives.

Dubai Civil Defence have been very supportive of the branch formation and significant events to-date include:

  • Presentation of Fellowship Certificate to Major General Rashid Thani Rashid Al Matroushi – December 2013
  • Presentation of Fellowship Certificate to Lieutenant Colonel Ali Almutawa – July 2015
  •  Promotional stand at Intersec Dubai 2014 and 2015
  • IFE Examinations held at Al Awir Training Centre in 2014, Dubai Trade Center in 2015 and Tyco Training Facility 2016. Tyco have kindly supported the 2017 examinations which are to be held at their training centre in Dubai.

The Founding Committee have been in discussions with several regional organisations and UK based companies to obtain sponsorship to support the branch and facilitate it’s growth and development – on going discussions continue for this support.

In accordance with the IFE Memorandum and Articles of Association, By-Laws and Standing Orders the IFE GCC UAE Branch will look to establish regional IFE Groups in other GCC Countries such as Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the main Branch acting as the administrative centre for the region.

A business plan has been prepared and submitted to the IFE UK Head Office and the objectives of the Branch are:

  • Engage GCC Nationals and ex-patriots in the region to share knowledge, experience and understanding under the umbrella of the IFE.
  • To consolidate the IFE GCC UAE Headquarters in Dubai to serve all 7 Emirates and ultimately use Dubai as a platform to expand the IFE Branch Network into other GCC Countries by establishing and supporting local groups.
  • To encourage and develop a Branch that will have GCC Nationals on future Committees.
  • To grow membership in the region at all grades particularly at Affiliate level in the first 1-2 years of operation through Continued Professional Development (CPD), professional review and IFE examinations.
  • To continue to provide a venue for IFE examinations in the region.
  • Produce IFE material and publications in Arabic to further engage with GCC Nationals.
  • Encourage and support membership retention of all current members.
  • Encourage Engineering Council registration for EngTech, IEng and CEng.
  • To establish working groups to encourage and support the development of International Best Practice in the Middle East.
  • To work with and support our members and sponsors across the Middle East.

The Founding Committee believe the following are the key to success in the region, namely:

  • Engaging with GCC Nationals and regional Civil Defence, particularly Dubai Civil Defense.
  • Encourage diversity of membership.
  • Retaining the established IFE brand identification.
  • Offering enhanced sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
  • Attaining an agreed increase in membership and encouraging diversity by promoting all sectors within the industry.
  • Providing and building a successful conference programme within all GCC Countries and Internationally.
  • To establish an agreed regional business process in line with IFE guidelines.
  • Connecting and collaborating with other professional associations, particularly those looking to establish in the Middle East.
  • Forming local Specialist Interest Groups.
  • Establishing and supporting regional IFE Groups and providing administrative support.

As part of the formal registration at the Dubai Association Centre the branch will be operating from the following business address:

The Institution of Fire Engineers GCC UAE Branch

Sheikh Rashid Tower

PO Box 9292

Dubai UAE

During the licensing process initial discussions have taken place with Dubai Civil Defense (DCD) and an offer of office accommodation at DCD premises has been made by Lt. Colonel Ali Hassan Almutawa. The branch acknowledges this support and will continue to develop strong links with DCD. The branch was formal inaugurated on the 28th November 2016 attended by Steve Hamm representing the Board of Directors from the UK HQ.

For more information, go to www.ife.org.uk/branches/GCC-UAE

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Branch President, GCC Branch – The Institution of Fire Engineers.

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