Behind the glass

Interviewed: Elena Olkhovskaya

THE EXPRESSION "FROM GLASS AND CONCRETE" RECENTLY BEEN APPLIED WHEN DESCRIBING ANYTHING FANTASTIC CONSTRUCTION OBJECT, RELATED TO AN ALIEN. A HIGHLY BUILDING OR A GIANT "GLASS" OF A NEW STADIUM OR A MODERN SHOPPING CENTER USUALLY BEEN VIEWED. TODAY, HUGE GLASS PANELS, SLIDING OR ROTATING DOORS ON PHOTO ELEMENTS AND OTHER SIMILAR DEVICES HAVE BEEN AN INTEGRAL PART OF AN EVERY DAY, ALIENLY FROM A LITTLE SEVERER ABOUT HOW MUCH IT IS INTERESTING AND DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH GLASS DESIGNS, NASSIM ABU YUSEF, HEAD OF THE REGIONAL DIVISION OF DORMA GULF GLASS PRODUCTS, TOLD US TO US.

Nassim, it is well known that the Middle East division of the German company DORMA, opened in Dubai in 1997, had only four employees. Today, DORMA Gulf is the largest provider of revolving, sliding and other door, window and wall solutions in the Middle East. Please tell us about the latest achievements of your company.

Indeed, we started in the UAE with four employees, today 253 people work in our state. I consider this an excellent and most important achievement. In addition, the volume of our profit during this time has grown more than seven hundred times. And if earlier we carried out our activities only in Dubai, today customers from different countries of the Middle East can use our services.

In addition to Dubai, we have our own factory in Saudi Arabia, we are negotiating the opening of another in the territory of neighboring Gulf states. In North Africa, DORMA intends to open several representative offices in the near future, with the aim of conducting marketing and sales, and then to provide service and production services. And all this in order to cover the widest possible range of Middle Eastern customers. Construction in all countries of the region is ongoing at a steady pace, which means that the demand for our door and window systems is high.

How are you going to implement all your plans?

We have developed a new strategic development plan until 2020. By this time, DORMA wants to achieve a profit of $ 2 billion. And since we are one of the DORMA divisions, we also strive to increase our profits and make a worthy contribution to the overall growth of the company.

How difficult was it at first for you to promote your glass door systems in the Middle East region, where the old traditions of construction and the love of carved wooden doors still exist?

In the late 1990s, when we first opened an office in Dubai, of course, it was not easy for us. Firstly, because DORMA are high-quality door systems that use leading ultra-modern technologies. At first, customers did not even understand why and why they needed to pay such a lot of money. I even remember how one client asked me about it in Saudi Arabia, reasonably arguing that instead of buying automatic glass doors from us, he would rather hire a person who will stand and open-close ordinary doors for ten years, and even in this case, his entire ten-year salary will not come close to the cost of DORMA doors. People thought so. But when we began to demonstrate the effectiveness and quality of such door solutions with automatic control, the inhabitants of the region gradually began to realize the practicality, usefulness and benefit of DORMA systems. The local mentality also played into our hands: if one citizen of the Middle East country has something new and fashionable, then his neighbor will definitely want to buy the same thing, but even more and better. So in the countries of the region began to buy our various door, wall and window systems. The second, no less service, we were rendered by competitors, as people began to feel the difference between our quality and service support, and the work and products of other companies.

What are the strengths of DORMA?

The first is German quality. There are no compromises. Second, the durability of the operation of our systems. Third, if you look at our products, you will understand that we have no direct competitors, because DORMA provides comprehensive solutions - revolving and sliding doors, sliding wall partitions and panels, panoramic window systems and elevators, and much more. We equip our products with monitoring and protective equipment, and our units offer for sale thousands of items.

Plus, we provide further service of everything that we produce. It is very important for buyers to know where to turn afterwards when the installation of door systems has already been completed. They trust us.

We know that DORMA was directly involved in the implementation of such landmark projects for the Emirates as the Dubai Metro, the skyscraper Burj Khalifa and many others. Which of the completed projects would you name the most difficult?

Speaking about door or window systems, one important circumstance must be taken into account - we start working with developers at the time of building design and preparation of drawings. This allows you to accurately calculate everything and avoid mistakes. At the design stage, we also make our proposals, which allows us to create, for example, entrance door systems, in accordance with all safety norms and standards, including fire and seismic ones. Which is also important, in the light of recent events in Japan.

One of the most difficult to implement, I would call two objects, in the glazing and equipment of which DORMA took part as a contractor. This is the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and the EFG Hermes building in Egypt. Both designs were very complex in their configuration, our engineers had to use frameless glazing technologies there for panels larger than 3.5 meters, some of which, among other things, were curved, and we had to be 100% sure that after mounting the entire surface, nothing will happen to it.

Another illustrative example, at first glance simple and easy, is the doors to showers in all rooms and residences of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. It took us almost a year to develop such doors that would not have visible support or frames. Such was the idea of ​​architects. We coped with this task, and are proud of it.

I believe that the DORMA quality control system is dominant?

Of course. For example, we check our doors up to 500 thousand times, because after installation and subject to proper operation, they must serve without major repairs for at least 30 years.

What project will DORMA experts not undertake under any circumstances?

We do not consider projects in which our engineers are not allowed to come close to architectural calculations and drawings. In the end, if something goes wrong and there are problems with glass windows or doors, no one will remember the mistakes of architects, they will point fingers at contractors from DORMA. We value our reputation too much, gained by many people in different countries of the world, including Russia.

What else do you offer your customers today?

Our latest addition to a wide range of services is integrated interior solutions, which we develop at DORMA and turnkey. The best specialists and designers work with us, and customers just need to call us, come for a consultation and conclude an agreement. For many people, with their current employment, this is the best solution.

Allow me to thank you for your time and wish you continued success.

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