In 1967 the land we now call the UAE was not an independent country. Indeed, it wasn’t a country at all – merely a collection of seven small Sheikhdoms about to lose the British protection they had enjoyed since the end of the previous century. In Dubai, the Pearling Industry was all but dead; economic hardship was rife; oil had yet to begin flowing – and the whole Arab world was still reeling from the fallout of the Six Day War.
In 1967 there was no room for faint hearts. Only the brave. Visionaries like the late ‘Father of the Nation’ Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was already planning the birth of a United Arab Emirates. And Dubai’s late ruler Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum who would pave the way for the emirate’s emergence into the modern world.
In 1967 the commercial world was as bleak as the desert landscape – buildings, communications and transport almost non-existent and domestic dwellings rudimentary at best. In this world too, only the brave would contemplate setting up a specialized construction business to clad tall gleaming buildings that existed only in the imagination.
In 1967, with limited funding and unlimited imagination, a pioneering business did just that. Today it is known as Al Ghurair Construction – Aluminium (AGCA), part of Al Ghurair Construction Industries and its proud parent, the Dubai based industrial conglomerate, Al Ghurair Investment LLC. The rest, as they say, is history…but what a history!
AGCA was born on the cusp of change. Two years after it was founded, Dubai’s first oil exports began. And two years after that, in 1971, the UAE itself was born. New country, new revenues, a new independent nation with a fierce will to succeed. A nation in need of building infrastructure. Not just any buildings – but towering, iconic citadels like none seen before. Buildings that would shout out to the world: “Look out. The future is here”.
Almost five decades later, the future is indeed here. And its name is Dubai. A city with a skyline reaching for the stars – just like the founders of AGCA when they set up shop in a barren desert township on a clogged-up creek all these years ago. Since then, the history and fortunes of Dubai and Al Ghurair Construction have been inseparable – the impetus of each one fuelling the growth and success of the other.
But it is not only its early beginnings that put AGCA at the pinnacle of its craft. It was the first company in the UAE to design, manufacture and install aluminium and glass elements for architectural façades, making it a true pioneer in the field. Today our design office in Dubai uses the latest engineering and software technologies to create customized façade systems of stunning originality.
AGCA’s unmatched experience in designing for complex geometries and shapes has seen us develop solutions for a series of intricate designs including long span structures, 3D free form canopies, triangular shaped frontages, twisted structures and many other non- standard façades. Our capabilities include a vast range of systems such as unitized and stick curtain wall, aluminium and stainless steel cladding, point fixing glazing, structural steel frames and much more.
Our design maximizes workshop fabrication in order to achieve faster installation on site while our CNC machines minimize the need for multiple drawings, allowing speedy production of complex façade elements with minimum fabrication errors. We also offer consultation and design solutions for architects and façade consultants at very early stages of the design process.
Being part of Al Ghurair Investment, AGCA’s financial strength enables the company to take up any challenging project of substantial scale – a factor which has helped us contribute not only to the development of Dubai and the UAE but to projects throughout the GCC and beyond. Currently we are undertaking a number of prestige projects in Riyadh – including several of the most innovative developments ever seen in the Saudi Capital.
From the very beginning, innovation has been at the heart of Al Ghurair Construction – Aluminium, witnessed most dramatically on the skyline of Dubai with such signature projects as Burlington Towers, Churchill Towers, Concord Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, the Fairmont Hotel, Dubai International Financial Centre and, of course, the one and only Burj Khalifa.
Our aluminium and glazed curtain walling had already literally changed the face of Dubai long before ‘the Burj’ made Dubai home to the world’s tallest building. But, in every way, the Burj Khalifa marked the pinnacle of achievement – for both Dubai and AGCA. The unprecedented logistical and technological demands of the project made it a classic case study in the annuls of construction history.
But more than that. The Burj Khalifa is not only a towering testimony to man’s ingenuity. It is the shimmering symbol of a young nation’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. A symbol of our dreams and aspirations. We have a clear view of our pride and joy – Dubai’s pride and joy – from the offices of Al Ghurair Construction - Aluminium. And whenever we are faced with another project of unprecedented scale or complexity, we steal a quick glance at ‘the Burj’ and whisper to ourselves: ‘Nothing is impossible’.