United Arab Emirates Unveils Huge New Medical Facility

By Eric Althoff

ABU DHABI, U.A.E.—Design firm Stantec has completed its work for client Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) on the new 3.2-million-square-foot Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. This concludes a 10-year construction and design process, and the SSMC replaces the former Al Mafraq Hospital, first opened in 1983, but which had reached operational capacity.

The SSMC is one of the 10 largest hospitals in the country, and its opening improves healthcare access for residents of Abu Dhabi. Stantec’s representatives say that it will also be one of the most advanced healthcare facilities in the United Arab Emirates.

Among the medical capabilities being offered at SSMC are an advanced burn treatment facility as well as specialty care such as thoracic and orthopedic surgery. The new hospital will have 732 beds across three wards. Collectively the three wards will be set up to handle post-surgical inpatient beds, maternal and child health beds, medical intensive care unit beds, cardiac ICU beds, surgical ICU beds, burn unit beds and neonatal ICU beds.

“SSMC was developed as part of SEHA’s vision to provide the best healthcare services in line with the directives of the Government of Abu Dhabi,” Mohammed Al Zaabi, chief of facilities at SEHA, said in a statement. “SEHA is a leading healthcare provider and SSMC is a significant addition to the services provided—adopting cutting-edge technologies and providing a high-class environment to both patients and users.”

The architectural layout of the SSMC features four towers on the campus. Additionally, certain areas have been specifically set up to offer patients and their families maximum privacy. The facility also offers 36 VIP suites and two presidential suites. A helipad and parking spaces for close to 2,000 vehicles are also part of the overall design.

Stantec’s design work on the SSMC entailed master planning, landscape and interior design and architectural services. Stantec also provided for the facility mechanical, electrical, structural and infrastructure engineering services, as well as acted as the construction administration oversight manager.

“The completion of Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City is an important milestone for the UAE, helping the government meet important performance outcomes and open new avenues of care to residents near and far,” Kevin Christon, principal with Stantec, said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to continue our relationship with the governments of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and we are excited to see this dynamic, forward-thinking project come to life.”

Al Zaabi added that SSMC will serve as the flagship facility for SEHA with its world-class healthcare services for patients who are both local and international. The initial staff will comprise 3,000 medical professionals. The SSMC sits just 12 miles from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Stantec’s other work in the Middle East region includes the King Faisal Specialist Hospital—Tertiary Care Pediatric Hospital in Saudi Arabia and the PET & Proton Therapy Center of Oman. Other work inside the UAE itself includes the Mafraq Dialysis Center and the Al Silaa Community Hospital.