Dubai Municipality has the vision of ‘creating an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort of living’, and another major step towards this goal is the up and coming Mohammed bin Rashid library, an amazing structure that is being built in the shape of a giant open book. We speak to Eng. Marwan Abdullah, Director of the General Project Department, to find out more.
Can you please explain your working philosophy and how it ties in with the vision of Dubai Municipality?
My work philosophy concentrates on teamwork. ‘Teamwork makes a dream work’ as they say, giving the benefit of accessing more ideas, working in harmony, and helping each other in achieving mutual goals.
Can you describe your role at Dubai Municipality?
My role as Director of the General Project Department is to execute the policies of Dubai Municipality, regarding planning, design and construction of buildings and public parks to the very highest standards, serving the people of Dubai and staying true to the vision of the municipality. Achieving targets and results is my passion, in addition to dealing with iconic and unique projects in the design and construction stages. Many tasks and skills are part of my work, such as communication, delegation, risk management, teamwork resource management, budget control creative planning, critical thinking, motivation and leadership.
What do you see as your biggest challenge as Director of General Projects?
The main challenge has always been managing what I consider the major values of my work – cost, time, and impeccable quality workmanship – through directing a massive number of specialists, both locally and internationally, for the execution of unique architectural monuments and landmarks that adhere to His Highness’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision, whilst also playing an active role in adding another achievement to our beloved city of Dubai.
Can you tell us a little about Mohammed bin Rashid Library? What will it incorporate and what innovations can we expect?
Mohammed Bin Rashid Library will be the first in the world to host various specialised libraries, each catering to the requirements and interests of the public; libraries such as the Children’s Library, Popular Library, Public Library, Young Adult Library, Business Library, and the Special Collections Library. What makes our project unique is that the library aims to be a cultural hub and aims to be at the heart of creativity and knowledge, as well as a meeting place for all of those who are interested in culture and science; a destination for researchers, writing, translation and the arts. Taking this into consideration, we have designed the library based on the main pillars of its vision and aim, in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision of the role of the library in the Emirate of Dubai, the UAE, and worldwide. Furthermore, keeping this in mind, we have used the latest innovations in design, in addition to creating methods of communication with visitors and the public through the design of the spaces. What’s more, the latest technologies are being used to provide the best means of communicating information and knowledge so that it can easily be shared and accessed through several different integrated layers so that visitors, locally and internationally, can spread out and enjoy all the knowledge and information the library will offer.
How far advanced is the Mohammed bin Rashid Library project now, and when will it open to the public?
The library is currently under construction, with the skeleton, including the basic structure of its unique design, completed, and the finishes of the interiors and the skin of the project currently under construction. The opening date is still not yet determined and will be announced later on.
Are you happy with how this project has progressed, and have you learned any lessons along the way that will be useful for future projects?
I am actually very excited with how the project is progressing, and with the great expertise and specialists working with us on the project. The amount of detailed and specialist works that are part of the project are providing us with shared experiences. In terms of lessons, I would probably say I have learned most about managing the three main pillars of strategic management in the project, which is designing the strategic management of cost, time, and quality. Controlling those three main values, which I very closely adhere to while working with my team, made me realise how successful this style of management in general, and specifically on this unique landmark, is.
How do you see the work of Dubai Municipality evolving in the years ahead?
I personally see the work of Dubai Municipality rapidly evolving over the years, as it one of the governmental institutions that very much values evolving through massive and monumental landmarks in the city, while adding value to Dubai’s development in various different disciplines. I personally see the General Projects Department working hard towards the expectations the city has for the years ahead, the vision of His Highness for 2020, and towards a smart and intelligently designed future.