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Case Studies

GAA, Drydocks Dubai

Heavy loadout problem solved.

GAA, Drydocks Dubai

The Grand Assembly Area (GAA) of Drydocks World-Dubai (DWD) faced a challenge as it operated near its maximum working load capacity. However, DWD aimed to explore the potential of advanced analysis to enhance the permissible load on the current slab. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) emerged as a vital tool in this endeavour.

FEA, a powerful computational technique, played a pivotal role in assessing the structural integrity of the existing slab. By utilizing FEA, engineers conducted a comprehensive back-analysis of the 3D model, simulating real-world conditions and stress distributions during the launch of an 8000 tonne rig. This precise analysis allowed for accurate assessment of potential structural vulnerabilities and the behaviour of the slab under varying loads.

As depicted in Discovery Channel’s Mega Builders “Big Rig” episode, settlement monitoring combined with the insight derived from the 3D FEA back-analysis enabled engineers to make informed recommendations. These recommendations included the identification of specific areas where allowable loads could be increased without compromising safety. As a result, the permissible load limits were adjusted, providing a significant boost to the productivity of the existing structure.


  • Review of site investigation data for the underlying calcareous sand fill.  

  • Settlement monitoring during launch of a new 8000 tonne rig. 

  • 3D FEA of the Grand Assembly Area slab and supporting soil. 

  • Recommendation to increase allowable load and permanently improve productivity of this asset for Drydocks World. 

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