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Analyzing the Adoption of BIM and Its Impact on Construction Industry in GCC Member States

Dec 16, 2015 -- The wheel of technological revolution was set rolling in the Middle East in 2013, when Dubai municipality Mandated BIM.

Earlier architects were sweating it out discussing the design and construction processes from dull drafting sheets, data tables and paper files. Today it is more common to see architects, consultants, engineers, designers and builders analyzing construction process through information rich building models on their laptops. This transformation is driven by BIM.

A lot is written about BIM, making different sense and usability for different people. However, there is an aura of ambiguity around BIM and its implications on the GCC project delivery.Most people have limited knowledge of BIM and can relate it only to modeling (mostly 3D). However 3D models populated with construction sequencing, costing, and facility management details - support collaboration. This is the biggest strength of virtual construction technology as BIM is all about collaboration. It helps address the foremost challenge of a construction project, that is to ensure that every stakeholder is on the same page, and has access to correct and updated information, quickly and conveniently.

BIM Popularity and its Implications on GCC Project Delivery

GCC colloquially known as the “Gulf Cooperation Council” includes member states like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.In all these member states of the GCC, there is a wave of reform, which is transforming several new mega projects for construction and infrastructure in the pipe line.

So now, as we see projects in Middle East getting larger, more complex, with shrinking durations and geographically diverse participants, BIM emerges to be your savior.BIM has proved its worth as one of the biggest assets for megaprojects across GCC regions as it allows collaboration and informed decision making despite the geographically dispersed participants.

Mr. Bhushan Avsatthi, BIM expert and consultant: Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services, opines that “BIM implications on projects across the GCC region will be profoundly etched due to the BIM Mandate issued by Dubai municipality. The mandate will apply to all buildings that are 40-storeys or more, span more than 300,000 sq feet, and all government projects including hospitals, schools and universities. Due to this BIM mandate – AEC firms and individual professionals like architects, contractors, engineers have to adopt BIM.”

He further added that – “A lot is said and written about BIM; however apprehension and reluctance is seen amongst people who have still not used it. This BIM mandate leaves them with no other option but to adopt BIM, and once a firm realizes the benefits of BIM, it easily accepts and implements virtual design and construction for all future projects – irrespective of a Mandate.”

Apparently as firms working on projects in UAE, also work for projects in neighboring regions from GCC such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, hence BIM adoption has reached these places as well.

According to Deloitte Middle East’s report - it is expected that BIM will be the major driving factor influencing the $172 billion worth of projects across GCC, some of which are already underway.

The virtual design and construction capabilities of BIM not only enable collaboration, but also allow easy and accurate discovery of constructability issues and clashes, eventually projects are executed as planned and completed within the proposed time and budget.

There happens to be a huge influence of BIM on construction project delivery across GCC regions due to high adoption rates. However; this influence proves to be positive and progressive, only when teams working on each project do not jeopardize the project’s success due to lack of BIM training and knowledge.

Overcoming the Setbacks Due to Skill Deficit

In order to overcome the setbacks due to skill deficit, firstly, local talent needs to be tapped and trained for BIM implementation and its use throughout the project lifecycles. Secondly, just like AEC firms and professionals like engineers, architects and contractors, have eased to the adoption of BIM, they also need to embrace the concept of outsourcing BIM to experienced service providers.

India, they say is the world’s model shop and the country has contributed to most of the mega projects in Middle East and across the world.

Hi-tech’s BIM department has worked as an extended arm for AEC firms working on several projects predominantly in the GCC region. Mr. Bhushan, elaborated more about how, involving an experienced service provider can transform project delivery and successfully get your facility operational.

Clash Free MEP Fit Out For an International Airport in Middle East

‘An international airport in Middle East, wanted to have a clash free fit out’.  For this project we brought together a team of 22 engineers and technicians who worked dedicatedly for 6 months and developed 3D BIM models in Revit from basic 2D drawings. Architecture, structure and MEP models were integrated in Navisworks and clash detection reports were generated. Client derived far reaching benefits from this in terms of time and money.

All the MEP systems were installed without any glitches and exactly as planned. There were zero change orders as there were no field conflicts. The client saved around 1% to 2% of the overall cost of MEP system. Moreover, as BIM solutions enabled a collaborative approach towards project execution and delivery it resulted in savings of $7M.

The partnership translated into the best outcomes; the MEP fit outs were done on time and with great efficiency and the terminal was operational. 

Now here partnering with us - that is a BIM service provider based in offshore locations was a prudent approach that led to successful project delivery. Additionally, engaging an expert and experienced third party provider, can free AEC firms for so many other responsibilities and allow them to concentrate on core business practices.


BIM is set to transform the way buildings and facilities in Middle East are designed, developed (constructed) and operated. As BIM adoption increases, the awareness about its benefits will also increase. BIM will soon be used not only for projects where its use is mandated, but will become the way construction industry functions.

About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi is an Associate Director at Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.