Trakhees, the regulatory body of the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) in Dubai, has announced the issuance of the first 3D printing technology licence for construction.

The licence was granted to real estate company for the Al Furjan Hills project in December 2023, marking a milestone in the city’s construction sector.

The first “no objection” authorisation for 3D printing technology was given by the Civil Engineering Department, represented by Trakhees, in October 2023.

The printing process for the first project was completed in only 20 days from the commencement of construction operations.

PCFC chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem noted that the department collaborated with key entities to achieve this breakthrough, which is in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33’s objectives to foster innovation and a knowledge-based economy.

Sulayem added: “At the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, we are committed to implementing Decree No. (24) of 2021, issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which regulates the use of 3D printing in the construction sector in Dubai.

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“Through the implementation of this decree, our objective is to drive economic growth, promote environmental sustainability and enhance urban development in Dubai by embracing innovative solutions.

“We also aim to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global centre for construction, building and urban development through our collaborations with real estate developers, such as Nakheel.”

PCFC, Trakhees Department Planning and Development CEO Abdullah Belhoul said the 3D printing technology could significantly reduce labour costs in the field by 80%, and reduce construction projects’ duration by 60%, resulting in fewer working days for workers.

Trakhees is working with stakeholders to integrate 3D printing technology into the ‘Dubai Building Code’.

In 2023, Nakheel selected iBuild Construction and United Engineering Construction (UNEC) for the construction of Jebel Ali Village in Dubai.