This third edition of Gulf Fire continues to build upon the magazine’s highly successful launch at Intersec in January 2016, and since then it has clearly consolidated its position as the only quarterly fire safety and firefighting & rescue journal to circulate across the Gulf States and the wider Middle East region.
In this latest edition of Gulf Fire, we report on the 6th Annual Fire Safety Technology Forum UAE held in Dubai on 27 April 2016 under the patronage of His Royal Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Nahyan.
This important annual gathering was attended by Civil Defence officers, international firefighters, fire engineers, fire protection companies and associated parties. The theme of the Forum included the very topical issues of fire safety and prevention in tall towers, given the string of serious fires in such buildings that have occurred in the Gulf in recent years. Fresh in everyone’s minds were the dramatic nightime images of the blazing exterior of the Address Downtown Hotel during the final hours of New Years Eve 2015.
Another of this edition’s features focuses on some of the many operational command and control challenges that confront firefighters when tackling serious fires, especially in high-rise towers when crews probably face the most extreme physical challenges in bringing an outbreak under control.
Indeed, the incidence of recent tall tower fires reported in past editions of Gulf Fire underline the fact that any lessons to be learnt following such incidents need to be carefully analysed and understood, so that outcomes can be shared and embraced across the international firefighting and fire safety communities, not just in the Gulf, but globally.
Developing technology in both passive and active fire protection measures plays a large part in creating a safer environment for residents, business and commerce generally. Similarly, the evolution of new firefighting and rescue equipment plays a large part in reducing the operational front-line risks to firefighters when they go into action amid the smoke and heat of a fire situation.
The pages of this edition feature a number of examples of developing technology that contribute to an overall higher level of safety, both for the community at large, and for firefighting personnel. These include features on Effective Fire Detection and the use of Thermal Imaging in Firefighting Operations.
There are, of course, many other examples of the constant quest to provide new scientific applications to products that assist to minimise the dangers of fire. Many of these are on show at the various major international fire exhibitions coming up. The month of June sees two such important gatherings; the NFPA conference and exhibition in the USA, and in the following week when London hosts the annual Firex Show. In November, Riyadh will stage the IFSEC Arabia event. Gulf Fire will be represented at all these shows and will duly report upon the highlights and trends in its subsequent editions.
In 2014, the Gulf region’s building boom gained a significant impetus, when Dubai became the very first Middle East country to be awarded the five-yearly global EXPO show which will be held in the Emirate in 2020. This event will literally bring the world to Dubai’s door during the three month long show. Further evidence of the sheer scale of the Gulf’s economic growth is one of the UAE’s largest schemes, the Mohammed bin Rashid City, which will feature the world’s largest shopping mall, a Universal Studios theme park and over 100 new hotels to support the EXPO event.
Qatar also has the global events clock ticking towards the staging of the 2022 World Cup and is already busy with the construction of a plethora of new hotels and no fewer than 10 huge football stadiums. In addition, the US$ 45 billion Lusair City project to create a coastal suburb for 200,000 inhabitants to the north of Doha gives an idea of the huge scale of such developments in Qatar.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s projected schemes include the US$27 billion redevelopment of the Grand Mosque at Mecca and the creation of several new economic cities throughout the Kingdom. Similar schemes are ongoing in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Abu Dhabi and other UAE Emirates are all progressing new build projects including more very tall towers and shopping malls. Many of these projects involve groundbreaking and iconic design concepts that will hopefully embrace the latest fire engineering and fire safety technology.
As this third edition of Gulf Fire goes to print, it is appropriate to thank all of our advertisers who have been so supportive, together with our expert editorial contributors who bring their knowledge and wisdom on a wide range of fire-related subjects to the pages of Gulf Fire.
Fire is both man’s oldest friend and enemy, and is unforgiving in its immediate threat to life and property, especially during the very early stages of a tall tower fire as firefighters go into battle. As all the latest megaprojects get under way, the value of fire engineering that delivers effective and reliable fire protection is of absolute paramount importance to the safety of all those who will resort to the ever-bigger new showcase schemes across the Gulf region.