Kuwait aims to decide winner of airport tender in Q1

Kuwait plans to choose a winning bid in the first quarter of this year from among 18 companies

Kuwait plans to choose a winning bid in the first quarter of this year from among 18 companies competing to build a new airport, a key project in the country's economic development plan, a government official said.

The airport, which is expected to cost around KWD900m (US$3.2bn) and open in 2020, would aim to serve as a regional air travel hub. Kuwait currently has only one international commercial airport.

The target is to get 25m passengers passing through the new airport each year, Faisal al-Ustaith, a director at the Ministry of Public Works, told Reuters on Wednesday. Kuwait's current capacity is around 7m annually.

"We expect an announcement during the first quarter of this year," Ustaith said.

Several of the bidding companies may join together to form a consortium that gets the winning bid, he said, adding that the bidders were all foreign companies.

Large development projects in Kuwait have been stalled for years by political wrangling and bureaucracy, leaving the oil-rich state with underdeveloped infrastructure and low levels of foreign investment.

In the last few months, however, authorities have begun issuing contracts for some major projects, raising hopes that one of the Gulf's most under-performing economies may catch up with its neighbours.

Officials say the number of passengers has risen significantly in recent years because of population growth and more frequent travel.

This has strained the current airport, which overflows with travellers during public and religious holidays in the country of 3.7m people, two thirds of whom are foreigners.

The new airport will have 51 aircraft gates, with 21 slated for use by large aircraft such as the Airbus 380, Ustaith said.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: steve

I still wonder where the 25 million people will come from.
Most travelers will be expats for sure.
A new airport is a good idea but Kuwait needs to make other changes to join the regions development.

Posted by: GCC National

Most travelers of every International Airport around the world are expats, what's wrong with you people here on AB, do you have any other topic to talk about. Move on, the GCC is not an open membership club.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Railways are huge priority for the GCC

Railways are huge priority for the GCC

Rail has the potential to dramatically affect Gulf economies...

Cash crunch at Saudi firm casts shadow over Lebanon's Hariris

Cash crunch at Saudi firm casts shadow over Lebanon's Hariris

The troubles at Saudi Oger have led to a cash crunch and layoffs...

Abandoned in Saudi desert camps, migrant workers won't leave without pay

Abandoned in Saudi desert camps, migrant workers won't leave without pay

Plight of workers has alarmed their home countries and drawn...

5
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking