In pictures: Top 10 GCC construction projects due to open in 2019
Riyadh Metro and Dubai Arena are among the anticipated developments set to open in the new year
10. Vox Cinemas in Riyadh: A 15-screen Vox Cinemas multiplex will open at Saudi Arabia developer Dar Al Arkan’s Al Qasr Mall in Q1 2019, following the kingdom’s decision to end its decades-old ban on cinemas in 2018. Dubai-headquartered retail operator Majid Al Futtaim, the region’s largest cinema operator, signed a deal with Dar Al Arkan to operate the complex. It is part of Dar Al Arkan’s wider vision to transform its mall into a major retail destination with easy dining and entertainment outlets, in addition to 15 movie theatres. Vox Cinemas' signature Kids and Max experiences will also feature at the new multiplex. 9. 1/JBR: Built on a prime real estate plot in Jumeirah Beach Residences, the 1/JBR Dubai Properties project may be wrapped up before the end of next year. The 46-storey luxury residential tower is worth close to $272.2m (AED1bn). 1/JBR stands out against its competition due to its attention to minimalist design, according to the project’s lead consultant and design architect, Edge. Close to five million people have watched the YouTube video Dubai Properties made to promote the property, which proudly claimed 1/JBR was ‘not for everyone’. Ground broke on the apartment building in March 2016, and the project remains on track to be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2019. Dubai Contracting Company is the development's main contractor, as was announced in February 2017. 8. DIFC Grand Mosque: With space for up to 500 worshippers, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Grand Mosque, located in the $1bn (AED3.6bn) Gate Avenue development, will open in 2019. It is designed to resemble a cube within a cube to ensure its aesthetic is similar to DIFC’s Gate Building. The mosque's interior will feature a central chandelier inspired by decorative Islamic vaulting, known as murqarnas. Shade and privacy will be provided by a hanging mashrabiya. 7. Dubai Creek Residences: The six-tower Dubai Creek Residences is nearing completion and the first units will be handed over to buyers in Q1 2019. It is located in Creek Island, part of the Dubai Creek Harbour megaproject that Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding are working on through a joint venture. Dubai Creek Residences has more than 800 waterfront apartments, as well as a marina, yacht club, and landscaped boulevards comprising numerous dining options. The developers estimate that Dubai Creek Residences will be home to more than 4,000 people. The project is the first residential real estate offering within Creek Island. 6. Bee’ah’s headquarters: Waste management specialist Bee’ah will open its tech-driven, clean energy-producing headquarters (HQ) in Sharjah next year. Designed by the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, the office will "push the boundaries of sustainability", Bee'ah said earlier this year. The HQ will become a net zero-carbon building using a solar farm to generate clean electricity for its 170 staff. Tesla’s Powerpack technology will be used to store energy harvested by the 3,000 solar panels, whilst a miniature water treatment plant will recycle toilet water on site. The HQ building sits on a total built-up area of 7,450m² and is surrounded by rolling desert dunes. 5. Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah hotel: The Dubai-based hotel operator behind the luxury series of Madinat-branded resorts, Jumeirah Group, will open its first hotel in Saudi Arabia in 2019. The five-star Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah hotel will be located in the kingdom’s Holy City of Makkah. The building comprises four towers with more than 1,000 guest rooms and 93 villas within walking distance of the Grand Mosque. Jabal Omar Development Co is developing the Jumeirah-branded hotel, which is scheduled to open early in 2019. 4. Bahrain International Airport's new terminal: Already 33-months into the project, Bahrain International Airport’s new passenger terminal building could be operational by the third quarter of 2019. Aviation operator, Bahrain Airport Company, has developed the project, and its chief executive officer, Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, said earlier this year that the “next nine months will be very intense and challenging” for the terminal, which covers a built-up area of 20.7ha. When it is completed, the new building will feature a 4,600m² departure hall, 104 check-in counters, 36 passport control booths, and 24 security checkpoints. 3. The Royal Atlantis: The eagerly awaited Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah is expected to be complete and open for business in 2019. Estimated to be worth up to $1.4bn (AED5.14bn), the 46-storey development will operate as a sister hotel to Atlantis, The Palm. It will comprise close to 800 guest rooms and more than 230 serviced apartments. Six Construct is the main contractor on site and is building the luxury Dubai hotel for Kerzner International Resort as part of a joint venture with Ssangyong Engineering & Construction from South Korea. 2. Dubai Arena: With the façade already complete on the region’s biggest air-condoned indoor stadium, Dubai Arena is on track and ready to open its doors to the public next year. Developed by Meraas, the venue is located in City Walk and is expected to be Dubai’s new location of choice for music concerts and sport, with a capacity of up to 17,000 people. The arena's roof weighs 4,000 tonnes, equivalent to the weight of seven Airbus A380 planes, and a tunnel is being developed under the neighbouring Sheikh Zayed Road to supply the indoor stadium with chilled water. ASGC is the main contractor for the project and Dar Al Handasah is its consultant. 1. Riyadh Metro: The massive $23bn (SAR86.3bn) Riyadh Metro rail project in Saudi Arabia is one of the most important projects being built by the kingdom, and is set to act as a stimulus for social and economic change in the country. Consisting of six colour-coded metro lines that run between 25-40km, Riyadh Metro is expected to be fully operational next year, according to High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh. Its stations are named after the kingdom’s biggest businesses. In October 2018, the last prefabricated concrete segments of the viaducts for the Riyadh Metro were completed, which brought an end to viaduct construction. At the time, Riyadh Metro was reported to be 75% complete.