International headquarters

Sweid & Sweid successfully completes the transfer of Visa’s head office to Dubai

Sweid & Sweid has successfully completed the transfer of the prestigious development of Visa Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) head office, located in Dubai Internet City.

The custom-built project was delivered on schedule during an accelerated two-year program – a task made more difficult with the outbreak of Covid-19, which occurred midway through the construction of the project.

The G + 5 building, which has received numerous awards including Best Office Architecture and Office Layout in Dubai at the International Property Awards, and Best Office Architecture and Office Layout at the Arabia Property Awards 2020, is designed to be an “office of the future”.

The project provides the level of flexibility required to meet the future needs of the global leader in digital payments, with shared desks, discussion spaces and collaboration areas to encourage innovation. The project also includes four basement levels, as well as an activated urban facade that integrates into the public domain and gives prominence to the entrance.

From the regional headquarters, Visa will serve nearly 90 countries. Maher Sweid, Managing Partner of Sweid & Sweid, further explained the importance of the project.

“Visa has entrusted Sweid & Sweid with providing a head office tailored to their needs from which they can continue to grow throughout the region. The project was an exceptional success and the client is very satisfied with the result, which testifies to the efforts of the team involved in its delivery, ”he said.

Development Director Vicki Aronis managed the project from the start and, along with Construction Director David Fell guided the project to completion. Vicki explained that Visa’s global business requirements presented Sweid & Sweid with a unique set of goals, all of which were built into the base build from the start.
“The building is designed and built specifically with Visa’s operational needs in mind,” she said.

“We have responded directly to Visa’s demand for flexibility and versatility. We delivered a final product that facilitates the fundamentals of their business – a dynamic and diverse offering that encourages collaboration and innovation, while facilitating the need for agile working, socially distant desktops, and interconnected spaces and fluids.

Covid-19 and its attendant regulatory obligations in Dubai came at a critical point in the construction program, just as the basement excavation was complete and construction was due to begin. David Fell explained that the requirements of the program called for a seamless transition between habilitation work and building construction.

“We have been fortunate to work with top notch entrepreneurs,” he said.

“They did a remarkable job in managing the impact of Covid-19 and in delivering the project under very difficult circumstances. The whole team were great in bringing the project to fruition in the midst of the pandemic, ensuring that security and Covid measures were of paramount importance, while simultaneously delivering a first-class result for the client. “

Maher Sweid concluded: “I think the quality we have produced for Visa is evident. We are seeing more and more multinational organizations approach Sweid & Sweid as they understand the value we deliver and recognize our ability to meet their customized business requirements as well as a flawless track record of on-time delivery. We always deliver a build quality that even the most demanding customers expect from a head office. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished.

Visa CEMEA’s head office is now open to employees and will serve as a destination from which staff, customers and partners can collaborate and develop solutions for the digital commerce and payments industries.

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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.