Redevelopment of Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport costed at $200 million

23 January 2018

The design and engineering consulting firm Dar Al-Handasah has pitched the recently embattled Prime Minister of Lebanon with a $200 million redevelopment proposal for Beirut’s Rafik Hariri Airport.

Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners), the Lebanese design and engineering arm of global professional services consortium Dar Group, has met with the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, to discuss an estimated $200 million proposed revamp of the capital’s Rafik Hariri Airport, with upgrades to various land-side infrastructure designed to cater to an increased ultimate volume of 10 million passengers per year.

Originally built to service 4-5 million annual passengers, the two-phase project would initially see renovations to the existing airport increase capacity to 8 million visitors, while an additional wing and the reequipped customs and cargo areas proposed for the second stage would push the number up to 10 million. In conjunction with the expansion, and in an effort to enhance efficiency, upgrades to the airport’s baggage handling and security-check systems have also been proposed, along with a terminal redesign to accommodate additional travel retail outlets. 

Redevelopment proposal for Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport costed at $200 million

Founded in 1956, with its headquarters in Beirut, the Dar Group has grown into an international consulting network with 18,000 employees assisting clients in over 100 countries on planning, design, engineering and project management across numerous sectors, including transportation, telecommunications, oil & gas, environment, and civic and commercial constructions such as stadiums, universities and health centres. Along with Beirut, the firm has further principal MENA offices in Cairo and Amman.

The consulting firm’s prior airport projects in the Middle East and North African region include the construction of a new passenger terminal building at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and upgrades and expansions of multiple concourses for Dubai International Airport – the world’s third busiest by passenger numbers and sixth for total cargo.

In addition to the aviation sector, the firm has also, among other notable achievements; provided support for the extensive Suez Canal Area development project in Egypt, which is projected to  create one million new jobs over the next 15 years; helped build the world’s largest all-women university in Saudi Arabia (the Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University of Riyadh) with 60,000 undergraduates in attendance, and; was awarded the design tender for the 70,000-capacity Al Bayt stadium being built in Qatar in time for the nation’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

With respect to the proposed upgrade for Rafik Hariri Airport, Lebanon’s recently returned Prime Minister Hariri has said that the floated redevelopment plans are not as yet final, but the current discussions will contribute to future preparedness. "These projects may not be available today, they are plans for future implementations,” the Prime Minister said.

Elsewhere in the MENA region, readiness testing is underway for the new Muscat Airport of Oman, developed in conjunction with German design and management airport consultancy Munich Airport International.

Saudi pharmacy chain Nahdi transforms with aid of two consultancies

11 April 2019

Saudi Arabia’s leading pharmacy retail chain Nahdi has undergone a recent transformation with the help of two consulting firms; Resilience& for a business process re-engineering project and Redbox Digital for an omnichannel commerce implementation.

With a vast network of outlets in 140-plus cities and villages across Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah-headquartered Nahdi Medical Company oversees the biggest retail pharmacy chain in the Kingdom – serving millions of customers every year. Stating a goal to remain at the forefront of innovation, Nahdi has recently undergone two transformation projects with the aid of consultancies Resilience& and Redbox Digital.

The former project, which commenced last year, has seen the team from management firm Resilience& partner with Nahdi’s Business Process Re-engineering leadership team to institute a more efficient and agile manner for serving its customers. For the strategic transformation, Resilience& among other activities assessed processes against best-practices and benchmarking tools and applied a performance review mechanism to aid with any future fine-tuning.

Founded in the UK in 2015 and with further branches in Egypt, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Morocco and Greece, Resilience& describes itself as a network of consulting firms and independent experts – among them; UAE-based principal partner Ahmed Ragab, who has 15 years of cross-sector consulting experience across the Middle East – including a brief stint as a deputy director with Baker Tilly in Kuwait; and senior manager for digital transformations Tamer Montase, a former manager at Ernst & Young.Saudi pharmacy chain Nahdi transforms with aid of two consultanciesMeanwhile, Nahdi has also seen an UX overhaul with the implementation of a complete omnichannel commerce experience across its retail stores and digital channels delivered by global digital commerce and creative design consultancy Redbox Digital – a leading global elite Magento partner in the Middle East. According to the firm, Nahdi experienced its highest ever site traffic and best basket size and conversion rates in the week following the launch.

Built on Magento Commerce Cloud and Magento Order Management (while integrating Nahdi’s existing back-office Oracle systems), Nahdi’s head of omnichannel and former Accenture management consultant Pawel Dabrowski described the implementation as an amazing achievement given its size and complexity. “There were so many elements to consider from mobile application and single sign-on to loyalty programmes and single customer view,” Dabrowski said.

“Being able to bring all these together required knowledge, skill, understanding of the wider eco-system and more importantly team-work. There were challenges along the way, as with any large-scale implementation, but Redbox’s technical understanding, flexibility and ability to swiftly solve complex issues was behind the project’s huge success. They have a long history in the region and an excellent reputation for delivering high-performing omnichannel solutions.”

Founded in 2004, Redbox has a regional hub in Dubai (established in 2013 and serving clients in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar) with further operations in the UK, US, Italy Australasia, South Africa and Mauritius – the digital consultancy having since its inception built up an impressive roster of clients including Universal Music, Sephora, AXA, Nespresso, The Body Shop and Abul Latif Jameel, the parent of lean management specialists Four Principles.

Elsewhere in the regional healthcare sector, Four Principles itself recently celebrated a total supply chain and procurement processes lean transformation project for the Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group – naming the company its inaugural Kaizen Awards’ winner – while specialist consultancy GE Healthcare Partners has just picked up its own award, being highly commended at the prestigious MCA awards in London for a transformation project in conjunction with the Dubai Health Authority.