Nicolas EL KHAL Managing Director UAE, Oman, and Bahrain, KONE
CEO, thyssenkrupp Elevator Middle East
NICOLAS EL KHAL Established in 1910, KONE has been enabling the smooth flow of millions of people in urban centers across the world for over 100 years now. However, our operations in the UAE started in 1978 through our local partner, Gibca, and in 1993, we established our first regional office in Dubai. We started direct operations under the management of KONE Corporation and began expanding to other countries in the region. Through the years, KONE has progressed alongside the UAE and the rest of the Middle East. Currently, we employ more than 2,000 staff and have 11 offices in the Middle East region. The UAE is a significant hub for two main reasons. First, our regional office is, in fact, based in Dubai, and from this office, we cater to more than 60 countries in the Middle East and Africa. This covers a range of countries where we are directly present, as well as a large network of distributors and joint ventures across the region. Second, the UAE itself is an important market for KONE, both on a regional and a global level, considering the growth we have witnessed over the years.
ALAIN CHEMALY Operating for more than 20 years in the UAE, thyssenkrupp installs, maintains, and modernizes elevators and escalators. We have a strong presence in various segments, such as residential, offices, retail, and infrastructure. Dubai is not only the headquarters of our UAE operations, but also the headquarters for our Middle East regional center. We employ around 600 professionals in the UAE, mainly in Dubai. In the UAE, the main driver is commercial projects such as office buildings, hotels, and shopping malls. The market is active, driven by Expo 2020 and Dubai Plan 2021. It is expected to remain a dynamic city attracting investors and talent.
NA Today, technology is indispensable to the advancement of the industry. For example, we introduced the Ultra Rope Technology in the market in 2013, which is currently changing the way elevators operate. Traditionally, elevators operate with steel ropes, which are heavy, and this makes it difficult to drive the motion of elevators beyond 500m. This is where KONE’s innovation of the Ultra Rope is a game changer with its carbon fiber technology. The Ultra Rope is almost 10 times lighter than a steel rope, and can reduce a great deal of the moving masses in elevators, as well as reduce energy consumption in buildings. This Ultra Rope helps to extend elevator heights over 600m and can even reach 1,000m and above. The Jeddah Tower, which is set to be the tallest tower in the world once completed, uses Ultra Rope Technology and will be our first reference in the Middle East for such technology. In Dubai, we have partnered with some of our customers to support them in building a few tall structures planned in the future. Another important innovation of KONE is the Jump Lift, which is an innovative way of using the elevator while constructing the building. Instead of waiting for the building to be completed before using the elevator, we allow contractors and developers to start using the elevator while the building goes up. KONE started using this technology in Dubai almost 10 years ago in certain high-rise buildings in Dubai Marina. We are confident that we can help Dubai to build even taller structures with these two technologies in the near future.
AC Our recent innovations aim at providing architects, designers, and developers with more space and freedom to design, by reducing the elevator’s fooprint in buildings. For example, our TWIN elevator concept is extremely cost-efficient: labor and material expenses are drastically reduced because the elevators share a single hoist-way, landing doors, and guide rails. Using TWIN means your building handles higher capacities with less space. By reducing the number of shafts necessary, less construction is needed and additional floor space can be reserved for maximizing leasable space. Also MULTI, the world’s first rope-free elevator, is set to revolutionize tall building construction. It is the holy grail of the elevator industry and signifies the end of the 160-year reign of the rope-dependent elevator. MULTI harnesses the power of linear motor technology to move multiple cars in a single shaft both vertically and horizontally. MAX is another noteworthy technology and is the elevator industry’s first real-time, cloud-based predictive maintenance solution, taking elevator availability, reliability, and efficiency to new heights. MAX predicts maintenance issues before they occur and empowers elevator engineers by flagging the need to replace components and systems before the end of their lifecycle.
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