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Locations open, campaign launches, and architect creates an Arabic design.

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Burj Alshaya in Kuwait City, designed by Gensler

Oman-Headquartered VT Manufacturer Opening New Branches

National Quality Art Co. for Elevators and Escalators, which in 2013 established the first elevator/escalator factory in Oman, is growing, with its third branch opening in Muscat in July and one to come soon in Dhofar, Oman, the Times of Oman reported. Numerous businessmen and government representatives attended the Muscat opening that took place under the patronage of Sheikh Saleh Bin Obaid Al Qaitaiti. The source shared that National Quality’s 6,000-m2 factory produces more than 45 kinds of vertical-transportation (VT) equipment using German, Italian and Spanish components; has more than 50 employees; and has installed more than 600 units in commercial and government facilities.

Kuwait Launches Elevator Inspection Campaign

The Kuwait Times reported in July that the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate’s (KFSD) prevention inspection teams launched an “intensive inspection campaign of various buildings to make sure all elevators work safely and properly.” Said to be part of its activities to boost public awareness about safety on elevators, KFSD is urging various facility owners to have elevators regularly maintained by accredited, licensed companies; install inner protection doors; and replace all manual doors with automatic ones.

Arabic Design by Gensler for Mixed-Use Kuwait Project

Burj Alshaya, a 42- and 22-tower office/hotel development in Kuwait City, is complete, featuring a design by Gensler with a traditional Arabic mashrabiya screen with a diamond pattern that weds form and function, dezeen reported. The 3D aluminum latticework façade guards against solar radiation and heat and “creates a new focal point for the city’s elite social scene,” Gensler principal Tom Lindblom said. Containing 284 guest rooms, two ballrooms, conference suites, five restaurants, a pool, a terrace and a spa, the 22-story structure is occupied by The Four Seasons Kuwait. The 42-story tower houses new headquarters for retailer Alshaya.

Developer Unveils Nairobi’s Prism Tower

The Prism Tower, a 34-story steel-and-glass office building in Nairobi, Kenya (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2016), has opened to praise as the capital city’s most beautiful skyscraper, Construction & Civil Engineering News reported in August. The tower incorporates a number of environmentally friendly systems and designs, including a rainwater retention system, said Vinayak Karambalkar, vice president for sales at Kings Developers, the company that led the project. Other features include large windows to make the most of natural light, column-free spaces and generous ceiling heights. Visitors will be subjected to security screenings, including metal detectors. The angular, irregular design suggests stacked prisms, an image that gave the tower its name. Karambalkar said the design was inspired by Nairobi’s natural beauty. It sits on 3rd Ngong Road Avenue in Upperhill, an area that has seen the rise of multimillion-dollar skyscrapers targeting large organizations. The area is set to host the tallest building in Africa, the Pinnacle, sometime in 2019.

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