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DESERT FLOWER

The massive Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al Nayan mosque in Abu Dhabi is one of a number of high profile projects being managed by UK consultant Halcrow as it celebrates its 50th year of activity in the Gulf. Engineers from Halcrow's Abu Dhabi office are working alongside contractor Impregilo on the project that has seen up to 2,300 workers on site working in temperatures reaching 45degreesC.

The 413M Dirham (US$117M) reinforced concrete structural shell - constructed with insitu, precast and sprayed concrete - is expected to be complete by January next year and clad with marble and gold facings.

Halcrow celebrated its anniversary with a reception at the British Embassy, Dubai, with the Duke of York as guest of honour. Having started its Middle Eastern business in 1952 with a small marine project in Kuwait and a dam design in Iran, Halcrow now has more than 350 staff working in five offices across the region.

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