Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Cladding, Fire safety, UAE fire code

ADIB strips external cladding from new HQ to cut fire risk

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has removed the external cladding from its new headquarters in Abu Dhabi amid ongoing concern over building fire safety, Arabian Business reports.

ADIB said in a statement it was replacing the recently installed cladding panels from the outside walls of its new HQ on Airport Road, Abu Dhabi.

The building is still under construction and ADIB is expected to move in by early 2018.

ADIB’s chief operations officer Sagheer Mufti said in the statement: “ADIB is continuing work on its new HQ located on Airport Road in Abu Dhabi.

“As part of the process of finalising the building, new cladding is being mounted that  meets the highest local and international standards and requirements.”

UAE civil defence teams have revised the national fire safety code over the past year following a spate of building fires. Many of the fires were said to have spread rapidly and caused significant damage in part due to flammable cladding panels on exterior walls.

Under the new code, building owners are required to review the materials used in the construction of their properties and replace any flammable products.

However, in its statement, ADIB did not disclose the reason for changing the cladding on its HQ.

Mufti said: “The new building will house ADIB’s flagship retail branch, our digital studio and training facilities, and will also serve as the bank’s head office.

“ADIB has already completed construction of a mosque in the area, which is now in operation.”

In an interview with Construction Week, Saeed Al Abbar, director of UAE-based specialist consultancy AESG said UAE’s upcoming Fire and Life Safety Code 2017 will be well received. He added that building codes need to be updated periodically and fire codes are no different.

Related story: UAE safety experts warn over cladding after London tower fire