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Dalma Mall is one of the largest malls in Abu Dhabi, featuring world-class hospitality, entertainment, retail and healthcare in its 255,000-square metre built up area. It boasts 425 regional and international retailers, a 14-screen cinema hub, a 6,300-car parking provision, and an on-site hospital. It is a development of significant regional importance, supporting Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision of strategic growth.


The mall’s original designs and plans included an advanced cooling system featuring a secondary chilled water loop connected to four energy thermal stations (ETS). This was reliant on an external district cooling supply to deliver cold water to the ETS at 5.5 C with a return of 14.5 C.

When the external district cooling suppliers were unable to provide the cold-water supply, the mall development team faced a complex and serious problem. The only identified solutions to the issue involved building an on-site district cooling plant on land which had already been allocated for a hotel development. The financial and business implications of this would have been immense.


Taqeef’s engineering and technical teams interrogated, re-engineered and re-designed the HVAC development plans and devised an efficient, simple and cost-effective solution.

Our proposal, to fit a cooling plant inside the mall premises, would free-up the on-site real estate for the planned hotel, and save over one hundred million dirhams in projected civil work, design and infrastructure costs. By specifying high efficiency Midea chillers, Taqeef were able to deliver the same cooling efficiency as a district cooling plant within a tight budget and short time frame.

Working with the developers LLC, and design company DC Pro, we configured the optimal plant room layout, including ETS and control connectivity. The ultimate solution consisted of 5 x 2000 tonne Midea super-high efficiency two-stage centrifugal chillers, equipped with full falling film heat exchangers. The compact design of the chillers made them ideal for the restricted space within the plant room. Plus, their low noise emission meant they could be installed within the Mall premises without the need for additional sound treatment for the plant rooms. Despite the technical complexities of the brief, Taqeef were able to deliver a quick and cost-effective solution.

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