The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is one of the largest higher learning institutions in United Arad Emirates. The United Arab Emirates University will be an internationally distinguished comprehensive research university. While adhering to UAE values, it will become a world-class center for applied research, national and international outreach, innovation and outcome-based learning. It will ensure the quality of all programs and services through international accreditation and external quality assurance reviews.
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The United Arab Emirates University was established upon the kind initiative of the then President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan (May his soul rest in peace), by virtue of the Federal Law 4 of the year 1976. His Highness envisioned the University becoming a federal institution with an Arab-Islamic identity and a focus on intellect, culture, and science. The University’s founding mission was to realize the aspirations of the society, deepen social ambitions, and consolidate the structural foundations. The University was intended to act as a vital and effective organ in the structure of the Union, contributing significantly to the development of the modern country and utilizing the national resources – the people, the heritage, the values, and economic resources of the United Arab Emirates.
Within its first twenty years, the UAEU became one of the leading and pioneering educational institutions in the region, with significant research and community services. These achievements reflected, and provided evidence of, the great wisdom of the educational policies and the far reaching vision of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan. Since its establishment, the University has consistently prioritized academic program development and curricula, in order to respond to the needs of the society and to keep pace with international academic developments and trends.
The number of students enrolled in the University increased from 502 students in the academic year 1977/1978 to more than 15,000 students in the first semester of the academic year 1996/1997 in the eight Faculties at that time. Table 1.1 shows the number of students enrolled every year in United Arab Emirates University during the last five years. The table shows that the student population is increasing every year at a high rate. The increase is expected to continue for some time in the future as the government has given due attention to the expansion of higher education from which United Arab Emirates University will take its own share. 
The university community in general and students in particular require the arrangement of various services in university campuses. Library services, Dormitory service, Laundry/washing machine service and Cafeteria service are some of the most important group of services that students would like to get from their universities, among others.
In the case of United Arab Emirates University, on-campus students have access to most of the abovementioned services except the laundry/washing machine service. Despite its old age and the increasing number of students enrolled in the university every year, the arrangement of laundry/ washing machine services which is common in most other universities abroad is not yet available to the university community, particularly to the students of United Arab Emirates University.
Statement of the Problem
Students must devote a considerable proportion of their time to attend classes and other extra-curricular activities. However, there are also some activities which must be performed by students and hence which compete for their study time directly or indirectly. Cleaning dormitories, washing clothes, Leisure times etc are among the other major items that take a share from the total active time of the students. The time allotted by students to wash their clothes is assumed to be significant. The students were asked if washing of clothes takes some of their time. Out of the 250 students surveyed 213 i.e. 85.2% replied that washing of clothes takes some of their time. Currently the on-campus students of United Arab Emirates University wash their clothes manually in the separate washing compartments. The facility however is time taking, tiresome and ineffective in removing dirt from the clothes. The introduction of a washing machine may help to tackle these challenges. The laundry/washing machine system that is being proposed is a modern system which saves among other things the energy and time of students. Modern day laundry have an automatic washer and automatic dryer and are suitable for clothes made from easy care fabrics which are dressed by most students these days.
Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to assess/determine the economic feasibility of installing laundry/washing machine service facility in the main campus of United Arab Emirates University. The New Campus is selected for the study since it has the highest number of student population. The study has performed both the technical and financial feasibility aspects of the project.
This study will help to:
Determining the market potential for a laundry/washing machine service business in the main Campus of United Arab Emirates University.
Determining the Resource (Material), Technological, and Manpower requirements of the project.
Determining the project capacity required to meet demand satisfactorily.
Knowing the initial investment required for the project and how does the business perform financially.
Significance of the Study
This project has several benefits that are expected to accrue:
The mission of United Arab Emirates University like all other universities is to promote education and research activities in the nation. Students are active players in this effort and have to spend a considerable part of their time to their curricular activities. The project is believed to minimize the time and energy that students devote to wash their clothes. This in turn might increase the time and energy that they allocate for their academic causes.
The waste produced through the current facility around the dormitories of students will be minimized and the environment around the residence buildings will be clean
Wastage of resources specially wastage of water will be significantly reduced
The project, if successful, can also generate additional revenue to the University through the fees that the users pay for the service.
Finally, the students will have clean clothes and better looks, which indirectly helps to create a healthy and confident academic society.
CHAPTER 2. MARKET ANALYSIS
2.1. The Market Area.
The proposed business mainly targets the on-campus students of the main campus of United Arab Emirates University. The business should therefore be located with in the premises of the main campus or in some other convenient place with in the vicinity of the main campus.
The main campus of United Arab Emirates University is the biggest of all the campuses of the university in terms of student population. There are about 3000 students who get dormitory services in the main campus and who are expected to be potential customers of the business. In addition to the student customers, some of the administrative and academic staff of the university might be the users of the services of the facility.
2.2 Major Themes Arising from the Market Survey
A vast amount of detailed information was collected through questionnaires to facilitate the study. While all the data collected through the survey are essential, the following are some of the most important themes that emerge from the study.
1. Importance of installing a washing machine service
2. Willingness to pay
3. Satisfaction on current facility and continuity of service of the new facility.
2.2.1. Importance of opening a laundry service
The students surveyed through the questionnaire expressed broad views concerning the installation of a laundry service in the main campus of United Arab Emirates University. Out of a total number of 270 students, 210 i.e. 78% polled for the installation of this service in the University. Their reasons include:
Students would have more time for academic activities
Students would be able to wear their clothes for longer time with-out changing shape & color
The students’ clothes will be clean & hence will give them better looks.
On the other hand only four students i.e. 1% who polled on the importance of the service expressed that the service is not necessary to the students. The reasons that these respondents emphasized include:
The service may create Status difference between those students who use the facility and others who use the current manual system due to economic reasons.
Other services such as additional residence blocks are much more important to them than a washing machine service which is not basic currently.
About 56 students i.e. 21% were not able to say something on the importance of the service for various reasons such as unfamiliarity to the nature of the service itself.
The following diagram shows the proportion of students who polled for and against the installation of a laundry service in their campus.
In general, there was a majority agreement that the laundry service is important for their academic causes & personal reasons as well.
2.3 Demand Analysis
The demand for the services of the project comes from the student population of the main campus, the administrative/support staff of the university, and the academic staff of the University. The student population residing in the main campus of the University number about 5300. The survey result obtained from a random sample of 270 students indicates that about 78% are willing to be users of the service if there is one in the University. Out of this total number who polled to be users about 189 students i.e. 70% of the total student population are ready to expend some money for the service.
The total demand can therefore be expressed by the total weight of the clothes in kilograms that these students will deliver to the laundry/washing service facility for washing during any given time such as day, month or year. This total demand of the laundry/washing service facility is affected by a number of factors including the following
The number of times that a student washes his/her clothes
The weight of the clothes that a student washes at a time
The quality of the service and the efficiency of the service
The price charged
The weight of clothes that the customers deliver for washing may greatly vary depending on the type of fabrics and texture. There are no as such standard weights universally accepted for clothes. However, industry experts and people who worked in the business for many years have tried to determine the average weight of clothes by type. The following is the average weight of selected clothes by type determined by these experts.
Source: – Special Price List for Royal House From Sama Al Dairah Laundry in Sharja
CHAPTER 10- CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The arrangement of laundry/washing machine services by universities is believed to contribute highly to the achievement of their mission. United Arab Emirates University has not so far arranged this facility to the students and staff in any of its campuses. The absence of such facility has affected the students in particular since they have to allocate part of their active time to wash their clothes in the current manual facility which is time taking, tiresome, and inefficient. The majority of the students of the main campus have asserted the importance of the installation of laundry/washing machine facility by stating that the issue is now becoming a health concern in addition to the usual problems outlined previously. The student population of the university is growing every year increasing the pressure on the current system and aggravating the problems.
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Laundry/washing machine service is one of the services that students and other university community members would like to get nearby their campuses. This situation is particularly recognized by many universities abroad and it is rare to find universities without these facilities. In the case of our country, the management of the various universities considers these facilities as secondary and they give priorities to other areas such as expansion of additional residence blocks, class rooms, library facilities and the like. The importance of the above services cannot be doubted. Nevertheless, with the growing number of the university community, the need for laundry/washing machine service should also not be undermined. Addis Ababa University is not an exception for this. The problem in connection with washing of clothes is becoming more severe in Addis Ababa University with the increase in the number of students, and is now the time to start the facility on a business context. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of installing a laundry/washing machine service in the main campus of United Arab Emirates University in business context and has been found that it is feasible to start such business.
The following points are recommended to the university management in connection with this project
1. The university management should consider the service as basic and must render all the required assistance for the implementation of the project
2. The university is specifically recommended to invest in the project since the revenue generated from the business helps the university to cover part of its expenses from its own sources
3. After implementation of the project, proper care and maintenance shall be given to the machines to ensure the continued availability of the service
4. The university management may discuss with the Credit Association of the University on ways of financing the initial investment.
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