Leading fit-out specialist Khansaheb Interiors delivered Vox Cinemas at City Centre Al Zahia Mall in Sharjah. Know more about the fit-out journey to this project from start to finish. In conversation with Ross Trivet, general manager and Fergal Reilly, project manager at Khansaheb Interiors, as they discussed the VOX Cinemas project at length:

Could you tell us more about the VOX Cinemas project from fit-out point of view?
The project is the fit-out of a shell and core cinema complex totalling approx. 5400sqm split across 3 levels within the new City Centre Al Zahia Mall in Sharjah (largest mall in the Northern Emirates). It compromises 16 auditoriums including two MAX screens and three GOLD screens. It also includes foyer and concourse areas, public toilets, back of house areas, three kitchens and two F&B outlets.

Ross Trivett

Explain the scope of work?
Scope of work compromises all screeding and waterproofing, acoustic gypsum partitions and fire-lids, all floor, wall and ceiling finishes, fixed joinery counters, cabinets, servery counters and balustrades, marble and tiling works and decorative metals and mirrors. Works also considered all electromechanical fit-out works with approx. 14000sqm of AC ducting and HVAC services to be installed.

What are the design principles you follow for a cinema/multiplex? Proportion, scale, and harmony are key principles to achieve. The project was self-delivered by all of Khansaheb’s specialist divisions (MEP, Joinery, Metals and Interiors) allowing greater collaboration and maintenance of these principles.

What about safety considerations?
By their nature, auditoriums are usually quite large with ‘working at height’ a key safety consideration for the team. Appropriate management of material procurement and men working safely during summer working hours in mass acoustic boxes was a highly important safety consideration for the project team. As the mall was also a live construction site, the delivery of our materials to site through a constantly evolving environment was an element of work which required careful appreciation and forward planning identifying all possible risks to materials, existing works and our people.

What was the most challenging part of this project?
The key challenge was maintaining concurrent progress for both ID and MEP works considering the vast amount of birdcage scaffolding on site, also ensuring as much works were completed to negate the need to re-erect scaffold at a later date. Building the team mindset that individual trades should not be looking to revisit works and areas post-handover ensured continuity of work fronts and ensured progress was maintained and aligned with client and programme expectations.

Fergal Reilly

How important is the client’s feedback for you?
The VOX Cinemas team and Majid Al Futtaim have a very clear vision of what their guests require from the end-product. Their involvement throughout the design and delivery stage was essential to ensure the project completion was achieved. Khansaheb believe that the satisfaction of the end user is a gauge for how successfully a project has been delivered– and VOX Cinemas City Centre Al Zahia exceeded expectations with regard to quality of finish and ease of mobilisation for the Client’s Operations team.

How different was this project compared to previous projects that you led?
Extremely challenging given the immense amount of technical coordination to be undertaken and the quantity of material to be installed. It requires strong site management and progressive scheduling of different trades to allow continuity of works in all areas.

What would you say are the defining philosophies of Khansaheb?
We are a family business with family values. Our guiding principles are: First and foremost, delivering an excellent service for our customers, looking after our people which means keeping them safe, investing in training and development and enabling and encouraging our employees to have a long and happy career with Khansaheb. Looking after our suppliers and subcontractors is also very important to us. We try and ensure that they are treated fairly. We provide a professional service and aim to be fair and reasonable and easy to do business with. And at all times, in everything we do, we aim to live our values.

Have you got any upcoming projects in the pipeline that you’re able to share with us?
Some of the significant projects we are working on are Dubai Mall lower ground floor enhancement and atria upgrade and fit out works at One Zaabeel Link bridge – the largest cantilever link bridge in the world.