The final shortlist of bidders for the Makkah Metro project is complete, with ten national and international companies in the running for the contracts, local newspapers report.
Makkah's Prince Mashaal bin Abdullah has approved the list, according to the city's mayor Osama Al Bar.
“The 10 shortlisted national and international consortiums are invited to submit their bids for the first phase of the project,” he was quoted as saying by UK-based Arabic language daily Al Hayat.
"We have decided to start receiving bids from the shortlisted consortiums in early July," he added without giving a specific date.
In previous comments, Al Bar said the prequalified consortiums include companies from China, South Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Italy and Austria.
The media reports also quoted Saad Al Qadi, CEO and director general of the Makkah Metro, as saying that the first phase of the project involves the construction of two 45km rail lines and 22 train stations, adding that it includes two separate contracts.
He said phase one had been split into two contracts with the aim of speeding up work and completing the project on time.
Previously, officials had revealed that the Makkah Metro project involves three main parts – civil works, train transport systems, and manufacturing of the train cars and maintenance equipment. The project includes four lines with a total length of 114 km and 62 stations and is part of a transport system that also comprises various types of buses.
The Saudi cabinet had approved the transport project at a total cost of $16.5bn (SAR 62bn), involving three phases, the first of which will cost $6.8bn (SAR 25.5bn) and will be completed within three years. The second five-year stage has a cost of $5.06bn (SAR19bn) while the third phase will cost $4.6bn (SAR 17.5bn) and will be finished within two years.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.