Published on 9th June, 2013
Having commenced his career as a safety engineer in “ADCO”, the ambition of Abdullah Al Shammari was oriented to a private project. However, the fear of debt accumulation and the lack of self-confidence precluded it. His fear of failure made him back down until he heard of Khalifa Fund to Support & Develop Small & Medium Enterprises. He became the first one in the list with which the Khalifa Fund commenced project financing.
Abdullah Al Shammari introduced to Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development his first project for “manufacturing pneumatic tubes”. Later on, the idea was crystallized and turned into Cirta Corporation for manufacturing the electricity boxes that hydraulically open underground, which boxes would be an alternative to the electricity boxes currently exiting above the ground. It is a project that within the system of the infrastructure technology. He commenced the achievement of such project in Abu Dhabi. He intends to export its product to all Arab countries.
Concerning the project’s steps, first beginnings and transformation from a project for laying pneumatic tubes into a project for the infrastructure development by creating alternative electricity boxes to the existing old ones above ground, Al Shammari says: “I visited Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Someone told me that there was a new fund opening its doors for funding the small and medium sized enterprises. It would morally support the project, i.e following it up until it would be achieved on the ground, by doing all of the administrative and finance facilities. I asked about its location and visited it. I found that it was finalizing its arrangements in terms of the decoration, furniture and painting. I repeated my visits until the Fund opened its door for receiving the projects. I presented my project which was discussed and approved. I started in achieving my project which was at the top of the projects funded by Khalifa Fund. At the beginning, the idea of the project was about the “manufacture of pneumatic tubes”.
Al Shammari adds that: “a year after working in the manufacture of pneumatic tubes, an idea about another project appeared more important to me, yet, it would be subject to the same specifications and require the same materials. Since Khalifa Fund follows up my first project, I consulted it with respect to the second one. It was willing to the idea. Having supported the first project with AED 1.800.000 , it did not support us in the second time by money, but, it provided support that was related to procedure facilitation”. Concerning the nature of the second project, he says: “the project is for creating an alternative for the exiting electricity boxes throughout Abu Dhabi. A study was made on such boxes, their damages and the expenses required thereby. I knew that they caused traffic accidents and electric shocks, let alone that they distorted the aesthetic view of the city. So, I became convinced of the importance of such idea”.
Al Shammari, the General Manager of Cirta, points out that: “the project of the ground electricity boxed, that would be opened hydraulically, targets for protecting the population from the damages that may arise out of their existence over the ground and preserving the environment”. Out of his belief in the importance of the project, Al Shammari delivered a lecture to Abu Dhabi Distribution Company to know their opinion about the product. The idea was approved and admired by them. Then, ADWEA approved the experimental operation of the project which was the first of its kind in the Middle East.
Al Shammari asserts that the project proceeds according to Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 in terms of providing an infrastructure in accordance with the best international standards. He indicates that the boxes, which hinder movement and exist in Abu Dhabi, are more than 2000 boxes over the ground. They hinder the traffic, result in accidents, distort the aesthetic view of the city and have very high cost; as they require periodic maintenance, being subject to sun and erosions over the days.
As for the costs of the new boxes, Al Shammari says: “the cost of the ground electricity boxes is doubled; since they are buried underground. Yet, if we look at them over the years, their period of use, their maintenance expenses and expiry, the cost would not constitute even 10 % of the value of such ground electricity boxes which are currently existing; because the new boxes would be buried underground and opened hydraulically.” He adds: “we made a trial. We placed the first box underground, then, we exposed it after 15 months. It seemed as if it had been recently installed. It maintained its first nature. Let alone, the high safety of the project; as the spare parts were protected from the sun, crashes and the abusers’ hands.”
Al Shammari indicates that Cirta employs 80 engineers along the geographical areas of Abu Dhabi. He mentions that he had a certificate of appreciation from Abu Dhabi Municipality in an acknowledgement of his efforts and leading project. He states that Cirta has 800 boxes with different sized ready for usage.
He says that he intends to export his project from Abu Dhabi to the Gulf countries. Negotiations were made with the German Company so that the manufacture of such boxes would be based in Abu Dhabi and the product would be sealed by made in UAE. He points out that he received proposals from Qatar and Egypt.
Al Shammari says: “these ground electric boxes are a type of an underground technology with very developed techniques that fit for the crowded places, parks and public locations. They would reduce traffic accidents and electric shocks that they sometimes cause. They do not transmit electromagnetic radiations and have a natural ventilation system. They contain a wide area for maintenance and are hydraulically lifted over the ground.”
Al Shammari praises the efforts of Khalifa Fund to Support & Develop Small & Medium Enterprises. He says: “I was very afraid of creating a project. However, the Fund assisted me so much to progress in large steps towards the achievement of the project. The commercial banks often refuse to finance the youth projects due to their modernity and lack of available guarantees which are required by the banks for financing. Furthermore, the Fund provides consultancies on studying the projects and identifying the ideas, financial and feasibility studies and legal advices. It provides training courses. There is a permanent following up for each stage of the project to develop solutions for the obstacles it faces.”