Sweid & Sweid completes successful handover of Visa CEMEA Headquarters in Dubai
Sweid & Sweid has completed the successful handover of the prestigious Visa Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) Headquarters development, located in Dubai Internet City. The build-to-suit project was delivered on schedule over a fast-track programme of two years – a task made more challenging with the onset of Covid-19, which occurred midway through the project build.
The G+5 building, which has been the recipient of numerous awards including Best Office Architecture and Office Development in Dubai at the International Property Awards, and Best Office Architecture and Office Development at the Arabia Property Awards 2020, is designed to be an “office of the future”. The project offers the level of flexibility required to accommodate the future needs of the world’s leader in digital payments, with hot desks, breakout spaces and collaboration zones to encourage innovation. The project also features four basement levels, as well as an activated urban frontage that integrates with the public realm and gives prominence to the entrance.
From the regional headquarters, Visa will serve almost 90 countries. Maher Sweid, Managing Partner of Sweid & Sweid, explained more about the significance of the project; “Visa entrusted Sweid & Sweid to deliver a fit-for-purpose headquarters from which they can continue their growth across the region,” Sweid continued. “The project has been an outstanding success, and the client is very happy with the outcome, which is testament to the efforts of the team involved in its delivery.”
Director of Development Vicki Aronis managed the project from the outset alongside concept architect BSBG and interior designers Gensler. Together with Director of Construction David Fell she guided the project through to completion. Vicki explained that Visa’s global corporate requirements presented Sweid & Sweid with a unique set of targets, all of which were integrated into the base build from the outset. “The building is designed and built specifically with Visa’s operational needs in mind,” she said. “We responded directly to Visa’s brief of flexibility and versatility. We have delivered an end-product that facilitates the core fundamentals of their business – a dynamic and diverse offering which encourages collaboration and innovation, whilst facilitating the need for agile working, socially distanced workstations, and interconnected, flowing spaces.”
Covid-19, and the ensuing regulatory obligations in Dubai came at a critical point in the construction programme, just as the basement dig was completed and the build was set to commence. David Fell explained that the demands of the programme required a seamless transition between enabling works and building construction. “We have been fortunate to work with tier-one contractors including NSCC and Dutco,” he said. “They did an outstanding job in managing the impact of Covid-19, and in delivering the project under very difficult circumstances. BW Interiors were also superb in completing the fit out in the midst of the pandemic, ensuring that safety and Covid measures were of paramount importance, while simultaneously delivering a first-class result for the client.”
Maher Sweid concluded: “I believe that the quality we have produced for Visa is self-evident. We are increasingly seeing multinational organisations approach Sweid & Sweid as they understand the value we provide and recognise our ability to meet their customised corporate requirements along with a flawless track record for timely delivery. We always deliver a quality of building which the most discerning of clients would expect for a corporate headquarters. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved.”
The Visa CEMEA Headquarters is now open to employees, and will serve as a destination from where staff, clients and partners can collaborate and develop solutions for the digital commerce and payment sectors.