Client-Driven Level 2 BIM Implementation: A Case Study from the UAE

Muhammad T. Shafiq1, *
1 Department of Architectural Engineering, UAE University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Muhammad Tariq Shafiq.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Architectural Engineering, UAE University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; E-mail:



Implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has proven to deliver major performance improvements in Program efficiency, design quality, constructability, waste reduction, environmental performance, and capital & operational cost management of built environment projects. Yet BIM implementation in low BIM maturity markets, such as the UAE, is limited to technology applications which fail to deliver the full potential of BIM benefits to client originations.


The purpose of this paper is to investigate BIM implementation from a client’s perspective and to present a case study that exhibits a level 2 BIM implementation process in a traditional procurement environment.


The study has used a case study approach combined with a literature review. A critical appraisal of relevant literature is presented to highlight key issues hindering BIM implementation for client organizations, especially in developing BIM markets, such as the UAE. The research is collected using an action research approach within a case study, including project document audit, participation in project collaboration meetings and extensive communication with the project stakeholders. The case study is presented in a practice-oriented research format describing the project details, procurement approach, BIM development & management process and benefits achieved for the project client.


The paper presents a structured approach to strategically introduce BIM within a low BIM maturity market, creating partnering relationships, empower the supply chain partners and achieving significant BIM benefits with minimum disruption to existing work practices. The paper highlights that although BIM requires a step-change in the work practices of the construction industry, yet it is possible to successfully implement BIM with traditional procurement settings, which may be a critical feature in a certain market or a client requirement.


There is a need for case study based, practice-oriented research work within the domain of BIM implementation. Construction clients in low maturity BIM markets are concerned about the perceived benefits of BIM and its practical implementation within existing business practices, which is addressed in this paper. Overall, the findings of this study are useful for construction industry clients and academia in redefining the existing work practices to incorporate BIM-enabled processes and applications.

Keywords: BIM, UAE, Construction, Case study, Project management, Integrated.