Over the past decade, Dubai has become known for its breathtaking skyscrapers and rapid economic development. Yet behind the glitter and glamour of the city is innovative technology, powered by large scale manufacturing processes. Students on the Global Maritime Abroad Collaboration faculty-led program with CIEE got up close with some of this technology while touring factories and processing plants.
Pre-caste cement, an innovative material developed by Arabtec, is concrete cast in reusable molds that can then be transported to construction sites, as opposed to being poured and cast on site. This greatly speeds up the construction process and has allowed many of Dubai’s major architectural features, like Burj Khalifa, to be constructed quickly. During the students’ tour, they saw beautiful, intricate molds designed for a new mosque being constructed in the area.
After touring Arabtec, students explored another industry on a visit to Total, a lubricant factory that packages oil for cars and trucks. The Middle East is famous for its oil production, yet few people know how the raw oil gets filtered and packaged for commercial sale. Students learned the chemistry of these processes as well as the technical skills needed to package and ship flammable products like oil.
A highlight for many students was their visit to the Cummins facility. Famous for its motors, Cummins also produces giant generators and refurbishes engines. The staff at the factory was very thorough in explaining the various processes of refurbishing engines and building motors. The senior team sat down for lunch with the students and answered all their questions. It was an incredibly informative experience and gave the students a firsthand view of how industry works in the Middle East. Program participant Samuel Howard said, “The visit to Cummins was an incredible experience that gave us the opportunity to see how diesel engines were rebuilt. The staff members were amazing and very informative. It was interesting seeing the precise, step-by-step process in rebuilding the massive engines.”
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Find out more about CIEE Study Abroad in United Arab Emirates.