Building its legacy

With a presence in the UAE for over 40 years, Unique Industries specialises in design, engineering, manufacture, and are pioneers in drywall construction

Published: Tue 24 Aug 2021, 10:05 AM

Adel M.Daud, General Manager Unique Industries LLC

Unique Industries is a family business that was established in the Emirate of Sharjah in 1982. Under the Unique brand, the company has several entities like Unique Industries, which specialises in designing, engineering, manufacturing, and installing external glass-reinforced concrete (GRC) and ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) ceilings and cladding. Its gypsum division is involved with the design, manufacture, and installation of special projects’ decorative cast ceilings and wall cladding. It also carries out work for gypsum drywalls and partitions for special projects.

Apart from these, Unique Industries is involved in real estate in Sharjah, Ajman, and Dubai under the DHP brand. It also has a charitable trust under the same name. The DHP Foundation, Rajasthan (India), is a family trust focusing mainly on education and healthcare in rural Rajasthan.

Competitive advantage

The firm’s experience and expertise, investments in the latest technologies and superior materials translate to lower costs to clients.

Although Unique Industries have been in the UAE for 40 years, it has a 100-year-old history. Being the fourth generation in this line of business means it comes with a whole wealth of experience and know-how. It has a resourceful staff consisting of designers, architects, and engineers having a good understanding of different architecture styles from around the world. Unique Industries is currently designing a mosque with elements from Fatimid and Mamluk architecture as the original design was indicative and not detailed. The application of the latest technology allows the company to understand and undertake complex works. Besides raw materials, all aspects of the group’s work are carried out in-house, allowing it to be commercially flexible with clients.

Prominent projects in the UAE

Unique Industries has carried out several projects for the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA), Abu Dhabi. These include Al Rawdah Palace, Al Hili Palace, Bateen Palace, Dhiyafah Palace, Al Jasyoorah Complex, etc. in Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain region.

In Sharjah, it has worked on most government projects and landmark buildings in the last 20 to 25 years, such as carrying out decorative works for the entire Al Qasimia University complex including the administration building, library, masjid, theatre, its colleges, cafeteria buildings, manuscripts house, etc. The company has been awarded by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for its work in the Al Qasimia University complex. It was also recently awarded by His Excellency Engr. Ali Shaheen Al Suweidi, Chairman of the Directorate of Public Works Sharjah, for its work in the Holy Quran Academy, which is the largest Quran museum in the world. It also recently worked on the flagship Cartier showroom and the Cartier Café in the Dubai Mall.

While there are several projects in the pipeline for the group, a noteworthy one the firm is working on right now are the HPGRC sculptures for the UAE Pavilion (Expo 2020 Dubai) designed by Emirati artist Asma Belhamar.

Sustainable drywall

Buildings and their construction contribute up to 40 per cent of global energy use and carbon emissions, Unique Industries reveals. Hence, a new trend is reducing the use of cement-based products in construction. One way to avoid or to reduce the dependence is by using drywall.

These days, drywall manufacturers, too, are more environmentally conscious about their products and hence we now see a more eco-friendly solution. For example, gypsum fibreboards from one manufacturer which is made from recycled gypsum and paper waste. These boards are all-in-one, i.e., non-flammable, moisture-resistant, impact-resistant, and provides sound insulation. Some manufacturers provide ceiling and drywall boards made from construction waste like wood, etc. Using new, eco-friendly products for ceilings and partitions promote the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)/Green building initiative.

Unique Industries’ vision

The company wants to continue innovating its technology and practices, and help build the UAE’s architectural history and legacy.

Drywall construction and its growing popularity

As per Unique Industries, from the contractors’ and developers’ point of view, the biggest advantage of using drywall would be:

Time saving: Drywall can be built and finished quicker than conventional blockwork. Whether it is new construction or a renovation project, installing drywalls is a much quicker process than installing a conventional block wall partition. This is also because drywall is much lighter than concrete blocks.

Man-power saving: Installing drywall requires less manpower than conventional block walls and the added benefit is that it doesn’t require skilled people to install regular drywall, which is the case for blockwork. These days there is a shortage of skilled masons in the region.

Clean construction: As the name suggests, the installation of drywall is a dry/clean process compared to conventional block walls. There is no water involved hence there is no mess. That’s why drywall partitions are preferred in malls and offices etc.

Cost-saving: Because drywall is lightweight, the reinforced concrete structure of the building could be lean thereby making huge cost savings on the construction of the project.

From the end user’s point of view too, drywalls provide various benefits such as:

Space-saving: Drywall sections are thinner than regular block walls; hence, the use of drywall as internal partitions provides more floor space and increases t¬he workability of the same space.

Refurbishment: Modifications are much simpler when using drywall due to it being lightweight and easy to install. Rectification and last-minute changes to the layout are very easy when compared to regular blockwork.

Versatile and purpose-built: Drywall can be thin section and yet provide moisture resistance, fire resistance (up to 240 minutes), sound insulation, impact resistance, intrusion proof, etc. depending on the specific requirement of the end-user.

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