Visit the Belgian Pavilion's construction site (2)
A conversation with Tamer & Tamer
On October 19th, we invited our F&B- partners, Creneau International, to visit the Belgian Pavilion site. It was their first time to actually see the pavilion in which they will be working for 6 months during Expo 2020 Dubai.
Quite a milestone for Chef Bart Thoelen to enter “his” kitchen.
Myriam Cops, the Director of the Belgian Pavilion, takes us along and tells us about her encounters on site at the Belgian Pavilion.
After the visit, I sat down with Tamer and Tamer, my go-to guys whenever I have questions about our building. They agreed to a short interview. Meet Tamer and Tamer!
Tamer Hassan Massoud, Technical Manager Expo pavilions Project
Tamer is an Egyptian Architect. He is 45 years old and married. He started his journey with Besix in 2015, after having worked for an architectural company in Alexandria, Egypt.
Tamer has been working on prestigious Besix projects, both in Qatar and UAE, such as The Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha International Airport (Qatar) and Oberoi Ajman Alzorah Resort One, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (UAE). He is now responsible for both the Belgian and the French Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Tamer Elsayed, MEP manager for the Belgian Pavilion
Tamer is 38 years old, also from Egypt and married with 3 kids (2 boys and a girl). He has been working in the UAE for 12 years and with Besix for over 10 years. His first project with Besix was Cleveland Clinic Hospital - Abu Dhabi in 2008 as a Mechanical Engineer. After completion of this massive project he was transferred to be working on various projects such as a resort project in Ajman, ADNOC tower in Abu Dhabi, LEGO land project in Dubai and Warner Bros Theme Park Project in Abu Dhabi.
In 2019, he was assigned to manage the MEP works on the Belgium Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
During our short interview both agreed that, in the current circumstances, they are happy to be working in a financially stable and pro-active company such as Besix.
"Off course, we were all panicking a bit, as everyone was, when Covid 19 broke. All of a sudden we were facing constantly changing regulations which complicated our supply chain management and actual labor on site."
"The situation improved very fast. Besix was pro-active with regards to the situation and immediately took all necessary precautions. Our management, both in Belgium and in UAE, really came through for us", says Tamer Hassan Massoud.
"The most difficult was the changed communication. All of a sudden we had to rely on virtual meetings with Expo, authorities and partners. We had to adapt. The first few days were hard on us", says Tamer Elsayed.
"Nobody in our team had to leave due to Covid. We constantly have nurses and medical teams on site and as such our workers are monitored closely. A few people tested positive, spent their time in quarantine and were able to come back to join the team quickly."
When asked about their move to Dubai, many years ago, both reminisce:
"I never wanted to leave Alexandria. It’s my home. But working with Besix offered me such wonderful opportunities combining various projects, that I knew I just had to jump at this chance. So, I left home. I know I made the right choice. In each of Besix' projects, I have worked with the main architects and construction people to deliver a result that has met the requirements of the clients' brief within the practical constraints of construction.
I am fortunate to have had strong architectural design experience and on-site work experience managing the building and assembling of various infrastructures", Tamer Hassan Massoud explains.
"Arriving in Dubai in 2008, I had never seen such multiculturalism, such diversification. It was quite a shock for me. At Besix we are taught it all starts with respect. Respect for each and every individual. It certainly has had a positive impact on my personality. Being with Besix and going through this journey of diversified projects between hospitals, hotels, high rise towers, and amusement & theme parks gives me the opportunity to learn and discover a wide range of systems & techniques and exploit these varieties to gain a solid experience in MEP technical & site works and managing different subcontractors in a firm but amicable way from tender stage to project close out", says Tamer Elsayed.
Off course I also wanted to know about their thoughts on our Belgian pavilion and our country.
"Belgium is the first European country I ever visited. I was lucky to have great colleagues that took me on a tour through the country. They made me feel like part of the family. So, I am very happy to be working on your pavilion. It reminds me of that great trip. I am especially excited to see the finished scenography. Off course, we have the plans, but to see it all come to life will be a very special moment", says Tamer Elsayed.
"Working with Belgians, has taught me one thing: I can’t wait to sit down in the restaurant, and the rooftop lounge!
This was my first time working on a Belgium related project, and I am very impressed with the architecture. I am really looking forward at meeting “live” with the architects and seeing their faces when they finally see their pavilion", says Tamer Hassan Massoud.
At the end of our visit, we run into two more colleagues. Julius, from the Philippines, who works as a storekeeper. He is in charge of all deliveries to the site. The other colleague is Varum, an Indian electrician who works on site at the Belgian Pavilion.
Varum tells us that the workers live in a compound with four story-buildings. He shares his room with colleagues. The compound has sport facilities, supermarkets and a mosque. Varum works 6 days per week and is happy with his working environment. So is Julius, but both agree that sometimes they get a bit home-sick nowadays. Due to Covid-19, they have not been able to visit their families for 1,5 years.
We hope they get the chance to visit their family very soon.