With more than 47 years of professional experience in the local, regional, and international market, Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants (ZFP) excels in the construction industry. As a more sustainable future beckons, we find out the company’s plans from Dr. Al Assaf as he is recognised in the CEO of the Year Awards 2022.
Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants has been serving the regional architecture and engineering (A&E) industry since 1974. Today, it is one of the leading companies, as well as the most established in architectural, engineering, project management, construction management, engineering information system, manpower supply, municipality services and studies, and information technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
As well as being among the oldest firms in the region, ZFP possesses an unparalleled experience and knowledge base of the Middle Eastern construction industry with its skillset combining a blend of innovation and local aspirations.
The company’s current organisational structure comprises of the following main divisions: design, municipal projects and construction management, and site supervision services, and it has been working for government and major private sector clients, in addition to being a one-stop shop for A&E services, ranging from need assessment to final handover.
“During this journey, there has been a myriad of contributions that have attributed distinct value to the industry,” says Dr. Abdulaziz M. Al Assaf, the firm’s CEO. “During these 47 years of multidisciplinary presence, ZFP has given value to the A&E industry by always promoting newer yet authentic methods and approaches of project development and delivery, starting from highest standards of health and safety, through enhanced environmental and sustainability compliances, implementation, and promotion of ESG principles to digital transformation initiatives.”
Dr. Al Assaf received his degree in civil engineering followed by a master’s in engineering management from Saint Martin’s University, Washington, USA. He joined ZFP in 1991 as manager of the Riyadh Office and since then, he has been involved in overall supervision, project management, and construction management, as well as design-built projects.
In December 2022, owing to his extensive 30-plus years of services and contribution to the regional construction industry, Dr. Al Assaf was recognised and conferred with an Honorary Professional Doctorate in Projects Management. He was the first Arab engineer to become a chartered engineer in the UK.
Prior to joining ZFP, Dr. Al Assaf was working for the Ministry of Interior’s projects department and the USA Corps of Engineers. During his professional journey, he has delivered state-of-the-art solutions to local and regional construction clients. His professional leadership approach is based on standards and norms that deliver value, innovation, and sustainability with affordability to clients, while promoting local and regional content.
Working with almost all major government sector entities including ministries, municipalities, government departments, and authorities in realising mega projects of diversified nature, Dr. Al Assaf has an in depth understanding of the local and regional architectural and construction industry needs. Under his leadership, ZFP has now engaged in the giga projects under the KSA Vision 2030; these include NEOM, Qiddiyah Red Sea projects, Amaala, and Dariyah Gate.
Employing high caliber professionals and support staff with Dr. Al Assaf at the helm means that the consultancy services provided by ZFP are delivered with the highest degree of professionalism, having completed more than 1,000 projects to date.
“The benefits of the ZFP solutions to clients are multifaceted,” he explains, speaking of what sets the firm aside. “There are qualitative and quantitative benefits in terms of optimum value of money, numerous state-of-the-art designs and sustainability-oriented developments and operations. All these are demonstrated at their best in long-term development programmes, most of which are owned by governmental clients.”
Some of the above programmes include those for the Ministry of Housing, interior affairs, health, and defense and aviation; a couple of these ongoing/completed programmes are briefly described below:
A huge undertaking with 115 sites (covering a total site area of 110 million square meters and a total built-up area of almost 22 million square meter) aiming at providing communities with healthy social lifestyle and a unique sense of place while promoting sustainable environmental principals.
The project aims to design and plan for multiple housing complexes covering inclusively: housing, education and health services, religious and social amenities, security, and public realm.
ZFP was awarded by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) the consultancy services for the planning and design of several regional (domestic) as well as international airports, to meet the growing passenger and aircraft movement demand together with the provision of modern facilities. Thus, facilitating a better level of service (LoS) for airlines and consequently for passengers.
ZFP envisaged the strategic masterplan development of the airport facilities for the next 12 years onwards; it also described the basic concept of the design development of the airport facilities and related infrastructure.
A pioneer in the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology throughout the design process, sustainability study, construction managements (through 4D and 5D simulation), and facilities management as well, ZFP has already, successfully, finished several MEGA projects with a seamless coordination between architects, engineers, and contractors, enabling quick design decision making, production of accurate construction documents, and automated BOQ extraction from the models.
In fact, when onboarding new clients, ZFP’s implementation of BIM technology into the course of a project has huge advantages, such as design visualisation, rapid design modifications, optimised multi-disciplinary coordination, and clash detection to ensure smooth construction without obstacles, as well as better collaboration between all project stakeholders.
To achieve the above advantages, ZFP provides internal customised developed tools to automate most of the repetitive tasks and increase accuracy and productivity, including cloud services which were developed by Autodesk, and creating a tool that has made it easy for the client to be involved during the process and enables them to interact and communicate from the early stages of the project.
“By using tools such as this, clients’ reviewers are in direct connection with the product while it’s being developed and can give feedback to the ZFP team for any modifications or corrections, if needed or observed,” Dr. Al Assaf explains further. “Working with cloud-based services, like Autodesk BIM360, has made it easier for the client and all project stakeholders to find what we call “Single Source of Truth” product that is available all the time.”
This is just one area where ZFP differentiates itself from competitors; other factors that set it a notch above include the successful delivery of its innovative solutions to multi-disciplinary and multi-geographic platforms, which have gained the firm recognition in publications such as Engineering News Record (ENR), CEO Global and CEO Middle East Magazines, Construction Technology Festival (GCC), and Fast Company Middle East for Innovative Solutions.
Engineering News Record, which is the most reputable US-based international platform for assessing and ranking consultants and contractors from around the world, has placed ZFP in the top 225 global ranking of international design consultants, four times in a row, with this year’s rank of 84th in the world. Plus, CEO Today Middle East and CEO Today Global magazines have both acknowledged the performance of the company under its current leadership.
A keen focus on the sustainability-oriented design and construction methodologies that are in-built in ZFP’s developed solution have been recognised by the regional industry at the Construction Technology Festival 2022 in Dubai, where ZFP was nominated among the top five most sustainable organisations in the Middle East. And it was crowned Most Innovative Company in the region by the Fast Company Middle East.
It will come as no surprise to learn, then, that Dr. Al Assaf has yet a further accolade to add to the trophy cabinet as he recently gained recognition in the CEO of the Year Awards and was named CEO of the Year, 2022 – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Understandably delighted, Dr. Al Assaf does not have long to celebrate his latest success as business must resume in order to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-evolving environment of the construction industry, for almost $1 trillion worth of development projects have commenced, or been announced, since the launch of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 agenda. This programme intends to wean the country off its oil-based economy and to align it towards service domains, with smart cities and economic zones that will have infrastructure for digital transformation of the incoming service and corporate sectors.
The Vision 2030 Saudi Arabia has initiated a boom in the country’s construction industry, in terms of new fully sustainable cities being planned and designed to provide state-of-the-art giga projects in entertainment, recreation, and hospitality sectors. This boom is evidenced by the presence of a whole host of top-ranking international consultant and construction firms deployed in KSA with framework agreements. In this context, it is rational to believe that Saudi Arabia has enormous potential for the international construction market.
Currently in the process of shifting from project-based digitalisation to complete digital transformation, ZFP is planning a test phase for the end of the first quarter of 2023.
“ZFP is a firm believer in the ECG based functioning of the business,” finalises Dr. Al Assaf. “We were among the top five sustainable organisations of the Middle East, ranked by the Construction Technology Award 2022 in Dubai. This is due to our active participation in the sustainability-oriented projects of the Vision 2030.”
For business enquiries, contact Dr. Abdulaziz M. Al Assaf from Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants on their website – www.zfp.com