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Dubai Mens College

Many years ago, Euro Group UK were contracted to install chairs for other seating companies. This contract was with Seating Concepts and their Abu Dhabi based contractor – Squaretech.

Grahame picks up the story…

Our mission on this job was to provide the setting-out from the CAD drawings and to train and equip the Abu Dhabi based team.

This was also an opportunity for me to train my son John to do setting out – something that has benefited him many years later on lots of Odeon installations.

This was always going to be a bit of an adventure, or challenge and so it proved to be from day 1. It took 3 hours to get the contractor to buy the equipment they needed at a specialist tool shop in Abu Dhabi, the reason being “haggling” – we really were in for a culture shock! It was also a dangerous 4 hour round trip in the car to get from Abu Dhabi to Dubai every day.

Other notable memories from this contract were the Palestinian contractors refusal to wear any kind of PPE, you can see from the pictures they were drilling barefoot (I wonder what some of the UK facilities managers I deal with would say to that!). The contractor also picked up a dozen or so Pakistani labourers from the side of the main road to do the unloading, these guys were paid poorly and treated really bad and were really nervous of us trying to give them drink and cigarettes at the end of the job to say thanks – it was 40 degrees out there!

The final twist was that the contractor took quite a “know-all” approach and once we had shown them how to fix a few chairs, they insisted on working without us. So, we finished 4 days early and their boss paid for us to stay in Le Meridien luxury hotel right on the beach and he joined us for breakfast and swimming in the Gulf every morning with his wife… you know what, his guys got the work done, on time and to a great standard…

My thanks go out to James Walsh of Seating Concepts for putting me in touch with Squaretech.

Euro Group UK still welcome enquiries from other seating manufacturers for their UK installations and we provide the same level of professionalism for other manufacturers as we do for our own seating products.