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Festival Plaza – A New Retail & Commercial Development Project in UAE

By: Aaron McDaid, Design Confidence, Dubai

The Festival Plaza project is a mall (retail and commercial development) located within a planned mixed-use master community in the southern part of Dubai, Jebel Ali along the main Abu Dhabi – Dubai, highway. The plot area of the proposed development is approximately 85,000 sq.m The IKEA Dubai store having an approximate area of 28,000 sq.m is also constructed as an anchor store of the Festival Plaza Mall.

The Design Confidence was initially engaged to carry out the fire & life safety consultancy services to ensure that the compliance to the local UAE Fire and Life safety Code of Practice and international fire code and standards such as NFPA 101, NFPA 5000, etc. is achieved during the design phases of the project from architectural fire and life safety perspective. The FLS documentations were prepared by Design Confidence and Dubai Civil Defence has given the approval on it.

During the construction stage, as it is noted in the prescriptive requirements of the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice – 2018, the exterior building envelope systems must be submitted and approved by the Dubai Civil Defence. In this regard, the Design Confidence is engaged to carry out the fire & life safety consultancy services to ensure that the compliance to the local UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice – 2018 is achieved.

The Following Façade Systems are Proposed with the Proposed Project:

  • Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS)
  • Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) Cladding System
  • Curtain Wall System
  • Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) System
Festival Plaza Mall a Project of Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG)
The New Festival Plaza Development in Jebel Ali, render with Permission from Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG)

Design Confidence’s scope of work in the project design is to develop the projects rational fire design and façade fire strategy, review the façade design and provide technical evaluation, recommendations on the exterior façade systems which will comprise the following:

Review all of the project-related façade information such as schematics, material submittal including, listed system, test certificate of the product and assembly etc.

Lead the preparation of the formal submission documentation to Dubai Civil Defence

Provide inspections of the installation and asbuilt façades to determine acceptability and accuracy against design information provided, in line with Dubai Civil Defence requirements for frequency and thoroughness.

Fact File:-

  • Project: Festival Plaza – Ikea Dubai
  • Location: Jebel Ali, UAE
  • Client: Al Futtaim Group Real Estate
  • Delivery Architect: Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG)
  • Design Architect: Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG)
  • Other Consultants: Design Confidence Consultancy – Façade Fire Consultant
  • Materials used: Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS), Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP), cladding, curtain wall system, Glass Reinforced Concrete System (GRS)
  • Commencement Date: Under construction
  • Completion Date: Delivery by 2019

Aaron McDaid, Design Confidence, Dubai


Aaron McDaid forms part of the senior leadership team based in Design Confidence’s Dubai office. He is directly involved with Technical Direction and Delivery of Fire Engineering and Performance-Based Design for large-scale projects. With extensive experience in fire strategy all scales of project. Aaron specializes in the Fire Safety Engineering of large complex buildings. Aarons experience spans throughout the GCC region, Russia, India, Africa, Pakistan, and Europe. Most notably, Aaron has developed fire strategies for Football Stadiums, Malls, Super High-rise towers, Theme Parks, Power Stations, and Transportation Infrastructure. Aaron McDaid has also numerous scientific publications in the field of fire science and has guest lectured in Fire Safety Engineering and at universities internationally. Aaron is passionate about fire safety design and improving understanding and application of fire safety science in engineering.

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