Partnering the Way Forward in Dubai

Gråkjær’s partnering agreement paves the way for collaboration based on dialogue, trust, transparency and early involvement of both the developer and the turnkey contractor. Gråkjær now embarks upon the design of a large, land-based fish farm for Vikings Label in Dubai, in which the cooperation will be based on partnering.

Vikings Label’s choice to construct a land-based fish farm for salmon in Dubai reflects the fact that aquaculture is a growing industry in the Middle East. The region has an ambitious plan to be self-sufficient in terms of fish within 10-15 years. Right now they are experiencing a growing demand for fish and shellfish, which the region’s own production cannot accommodate. Accordingly, the demand is currently being met by imports from countries such as Norway.

Vikings Label currently makes its money by importing salmon into Dubai, but now wishes to enter the aquaculture market with the construction of a land-based fish farm in Dubai. Vikings Label is owned by Tore Havn and Terje Lukas Havn, who have years of experience in the fields of fish farming, production, trading and export in the aquaculture sector. “We see a huge growth potential for salmon in Dubai, and that growth will result from a combination of marine farming in Norway and land-based fish farming near the Dubai market,” says Tore Havn, CEO of Vikings Label. Terje Lukas Havn, CCO of Vikings Label, adds: “The region has an innovative way of thinking and is increasingly seeking sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. In many ways, building a land-based fish farm in the middle of the hot, dry desert is untraditional and exciting. In this context we want to take advantage of the sun’s resources by using solar energy, thereby incorporating eco-friendly solutions into our fish farm. With Gråkjær anything is possible, and we have great faith in them and our new fish farming project.


Partnering Agreement as Form of Cooperation

Vikings Label did not hesitate to enter into the fish-farming project as a partnering agreement. They see great benefits in this form of cooperation. “It gives us a chance to gain full insight into the project from the very start, which means we can also put our stamp on the final result in terms of economy, quality, schedules and the building process,” says Tore Havn.  

In concluding a partnering agreement for a project of this size, both the developer and Gråkjær have a common interest in keeping construction within the framework of the budget and together will make the right choices for the benefit of the project.

Gråkjær’s experience from other major partnering projects tells us that there is a positive impact across the board: everything from planning and the project design and procurement phase to project execution. Particularly when it comes to the cooperation element, we find that developers are very satisfied with this cooperation model,” says Bjarte Landro, Sales and Development Manager at Gråkjær.   


Solid Bond of Trust Established

It took little time for Gråkjær to establish a solid bond of trust with the client and to conclude the agreement. Gråkjær Aqua’s CEO, Morten Malle says: “Gråkjær is an interesting partner and has expanded impressively and achieved a healthy economy (AAA rating). This makes it easier for a client to raise funding from banks and investors, as they have security for meeting warranty claims. It is also important to the client that Gråkjær has 45 years of experience in project management and can draw on its extensive experience from the construction of several fish farms. Today, as a turnkey contractor, Gråkjær is already constructing fish farms in several places in Europe. Soon we will embark on a project in South Africa and now, with this project, in Dubai too. It is also hugely significant that several members of Gråkjær’s staff have experience of constructing fish farms in Dubai, so they are acquainted with the conditions in the country.”   

Gråkjær will supply the design, plan the project and take charge of the construction of Vikings Label’s future land-based fish farms. The plant will contain a hatchery, first feeding, fry, a pre-smolt unit, a smolt and post-smolt unit, and a delivery tank and will have the capacity to produce 2,500 tons of salmon a year.

The establishment of land-based fish farming in the Middle East is just the beginning for Vikings Label. In the long term, the company plans to double production.

On the site, which is located in North Ras Al Khaimah, surveys of land conditions are currently under way. The project design phase has already started. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.


Benefits of a Partnering Agreement

A partnering agreement means that the client and the turnkey contractor jointly optimise budget, quality, schedules and the construction process of the building project.

  • Together the partners do their bit to ensure the best possible execution of the project in professional and financial terms.
  • Cooperation, based on discussion, trust and openness.
  • A common interest in keeping construction within the framework of the budget.
  • Transparency in both the project design and procurement phases.
  • Mutual respect.
  • The work is carried out positively and constructively and on the basis of a solution-oriented approach.
  • Early involvement results in an optimal synergy effect in all decisions.




For more than 40 years Gråkjær has been working on turnkey contracts in the field of construction for agriculture and business – and now in the field of land-based fish farms too. They have been responsible for something like 4,000 construction projects. Gråkjær Aqua constructs land-based, recirculating plants for the production of both smolt and slaughter fish. The company employs 125 members of staff who tackle everything from brainstorming with, and advice to the developer, environmental and regulatory contacts, the design and drafting process, project design and the construction of large-scale building projects.

Read more on www.graakjaer.com/aqua

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Gråkjær A/S, Fabersvej 15, DK-7500 Holstebro  ·  Tlf. +45 96 13 55 55  ·  graakjaer@graaakjaer.dk