Heriot-Watt University Dubai has awarded Emrill a three-year facilities management contract for its new campus in Dubai Knowledge Park. The contract scope includes the delivery of hard and soft facilities management services, including mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP), heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), housekeeping and specialist services for the university campus and common areas.

Emrill has mobilised a team of dedicated technicians and housekeeping attendants, which will increase in the coming months. In addition to being responsible for the cleaning and sanitation of common areas, including classrooms, dining areas and student facilities, Emrill is responsible for delivering a comprehensive range of MEP and HVAC services, including the maintenance of air conditioning systems and chillers.

Stuart Harrison, Emrill's CEO, said: "Heriot-Watt University is known for its high-quality academic standards and world-class educational facilities. We are delighted to be entrusted to help the university maintain its high standards with the delivery of facilities management services at its new 218,000 square-foot campus in Dubai Knowledge Park."

The new campus features a range of social learning spaces, including a dedicated maths gym, a library, a high-tech facility for robotics and artificial intelligence, a student hub, clubs and societies and spaces to enable staff and researchers to create and operate businesses as well as interact and work with business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Harrison continued: "Many educational institutes in the region closed their doors temporarily in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than attending classes, students engaged with their teachers and each other via virtual learning. Thanks to the UAE's government and health authorities' decisive and timely action, students in the UAE now have the opportunity to return to the classroom. Emrill is tasked with ensuring health and safety remain top priority in this transition back to in-person learning at Heriot-Watt University."

Harrison explained that while the methodologies used in the delivery of hard and soft facilities management services have remained very similar to those offered pre-pandemic, the applications for which they are delivered has changed dramatically. Cleaning regimes typically used in healthcare environments, where the mitigation of cross-contamination and infection risks is a priority, are now being used in other types of buildings, including malls, residential buildings and educational facilities.

Karthikeyan Ragothaman, general manager at Emrill, said: "A primary concern for Heriot-Watt University was welcoming students to its new campus as safely as possible. Students and their parents want to be sure everything possible is being done to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. Therefore, Emrill has carried out a thorough analysis of the campus and common areas, paying special attention to high touchpoints, such as door handles, bannisters, tables and chairs, and has created cleaning and service regimes that reduce the risk of infections and viruses spreading among the student body and faculty."

Cameron Mehrabanpour, Head of Estates and Facility Management at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, commented on the decision to award Emrill Services the three-year contract: “Our new digitally-enabled campus in Knowledge Park  aims to transform the student experience, equips our graduates with future-ready skills and encourages research while putting the wellbeing of staff and students at the heart of all we do. Therefore, when selecting a facilities management service provider, we wanted a partner who had relevant experience in delivering world-class services that would match our vision. Emrill Services, with its innovative solutions tailored to support and meet the needs of clients and real-time performance management systems, was a natural choice for us.”

Emrill has been expanding its operations into new locations and sectors since the beginning of 2020. Following the establishment of new offices in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, Emrill has also been awarded a three-year facilities management contract by UAE-based developer Arada, marking its most significant contract win in Sharjah to date. The FM giant also won a five-year contract with logistics leader Aramex. The company holds long-term contracts with major developers in the UAE and Dubai Airports.

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