AUK alum may remember a patch of desert that was rarely ever frequented, merely crossed as a pathway to get to classes, or to the parking lot. A few years pass to Summer 2017, where the area is abuzz with life, light and a lot of happy students.
The space has been transformed to a congregation hub, complete with a seating area, pops of lush greenery, a coffee stand and even a ping-pong table! What changed in the atmosphere to withdraw AUK’s community from their famous hallway hangout to the outside world? Simply put, a fan.
Yes, dear reader, you read that correctly. And perhaps it didn’t take you by surprise! Living in such a hot country, we know how a little bit of air can uplift a sour or fatigued mood in even just a matter of minutes. But the issue is, not everything is made equally to cater to that need. Air conditioners and standard fans, be they house friendly or outdoor industrial, are often flakey and can give up on you without notice. Helifan, however, the market’s most advanced technology when it comes to temperature cooling, is constructed to never fail your needs.
Ahmad Altammar and Amro Alkhadra can verify this, as their initial interaction with the fan happened by chance, and immediately prompted them to bring this revolutionary gadget to Kuwait.
“I discovered it in Malaysia at a waterpark, of all places,” Ahmad begins as we gather round the meeting table in the intimate office space of United ATAK – a General Trading company founded by partners Altammar and Alkhadra, whom have a slew of successful projects under their belt. The space, though small, houses mighty ideas, and the two men, along with Helifan installing expert Kevin Montague and brainy, involved secretary Nibal gather communally to work out every detail of the company’s venture of the moment.
Their workspace exudes scientific rationing and technological thought, as the team, limited in numbers, share the wide table without rank of position. Papers are strewn with ideas, and there are even sketched equations on the glass windows! All in all, it’s a great indication that something spectacular is brewing, courtesy of these gentlemen.
“Two summers ago, I was in Malaysia with my family and we were in an upscale waterpark for the day.” He continues. “Amidst the palm trees, I spotted this fan, designed to blend in with the trees, but its acceleration generated such a pleasant breeze. The Kingdom of Malaysia is a hot country, and this fan was doing such a great job at keeping everyone cool. I automatically knew, that it was just what Kuwait needed.”
Ahmad’s gut feeling was onto something, because Helifan is one of the best inventions to make an appearance in Kuwait. First of all, we must praise its complex construction that provides an impressive wattage of cooling.
“The helifan’s blade is constructed of aero-grade aluminum, making it the same type of fan used for helicopters (hence its name; Heli-fan.) and is lightweight, yet strong, causing uplift. “This isn’t your average fan, like the type you grew up with,” Kevin jumps in.
Kevin, jolly and approachable in his own right, is in charge of overseeing all technical logistics of the fan, and ensures that the installation process occurs under his wing. In fact, it was he who installed the first and to date, only, helifan located in all of Kuwait, and outside the Kingdom of Malaysia – the famous AUK fan!
“It was commissioned in August 2016, and was installed this past July – so we were working on it in the hot months.” He says fondly. “I remember that while I was at the site, these professors and doctors – I call them the “smart guys” – stopped to ask what I was doing. When I told them that I was installing an outdoor fan, they looked at me like I was crazy. ‘An outdoor fan? How’s that going to work?’ and so I’d reply, ‘when I’m done, come back out and we’ll find out together!’” chuckling at the memory, he goes on to clarify, “when it was up, they stepped out of the indoors where the AC was and stepped out into the heat, and they were so surprised by how great the fan felt. Sweat evaporates into moisture, and causes a cooling effect beneath this fan. It just made being outdoors, even in August, more pleasant for everybody.”
What Kuwait currently has going for it is that it’s the only other country in the world, besides Malaysia, that has helifans for distribution. In Malaysia, helifans are used everywhere for the public to enjoy. Outdoor spaces, shopping malls, even mosques, which is an ingenious idea that partner Amro Alkhadra is vehemently working towards in order to cancel out the outdoor and AC systems of the stone-age.
“Air conditioners are generally bad for our health, and these fans are environmentally friendly – so there’s no risk. It’s a great asset for any hot country to have.” And what’s even better about them? They’re huge, and can accommodate the cooling of even 1,500 square meters, if erected at 24 feet tall.
The helifan models are also fully customizable, according to client preference. When bringing it into Kuwait, United ATAK ensured this upgraded feature to the product, because they understand what our local market needs in their everyday lives and businesses. “We have given clients the option to personalize their helifans however they see fit. We can have them decorated according to whichever color schemes they like, and we can even put wood plaster on it to make it look wooden,” Ahmad describes.
Meaning, helifans can become, just as AUK had done, a central hub for outdoor relaxation. Imagine a helifan in the middle of a garden, surrounded by lawn chairs, tables, and a nice gentle breeze generating around you? Top that off with these amazing attributes: helifan customization also allows for WiFi generation, and power outlets to be installed, so that it becomes a hotspot for you to recharge, stay connected, and even provides jacks for you to charge your phone.
But the best thing about helifan besides the fact that it’s useful and environmentally friendly is that despite its power (which amounts to the equivalent of about 60 regular fans at warp speed), the fan itself is virtually silent – which we found surprising, given its size. That’s just one more factor that makes it a must-have for any large outdoor space.
While having an indoor helifan is not impossible, if the propeller itself is ceiling-mounted, the product is recommended for industrial-sized outdoor areas. United ATAK’s distribution includes sizes that start at 18ft tall and go up to 24ft, targeting businesses with outdoor seating, schools, parks, and public areas like mosques and large outdoor markets like Mubarakiya.
“Although if someone has the capacity for it in their property garden, that would be cool!” Ahmad laughs. Currently, the only helifan is at AUK, but United ATAK is in the process of designing personalized fans for companies like McDonald’s and Ooredoo, and are excited to launch their products in other communal areas as well.
“We also think it would be a great idea for a place like the pedestrian-only part of Salem Mubarak Street to have a fan – imagine how much more pleasant it would be to walk outside in the summertime.” If the change of heart AUK students has for spending time outside is any indication, we know that it’ll be more pleasant.