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Sat 25 Apr 2009 04:00 AM

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UAE authorities pave way for lucrative construction contracts

A raft of major new government-led projects was launched in Abu Dhabi and Dubai last week, bringing some relief to contractors struggling against the construction slowdown.

UAE authorities pave way for lucrative construction contracts
The governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai will soon begin the tendering process for billions of dollars worth of development projects. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

A raft of major new government-led projects was launched in Abu Dhabi and Dubai last week, bringing some relief to contractors struggling against the construction slowdown.

Capital City District, a 49km² low-rise development was unveiled by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) at Cityscape Abu Dhabi.

Construction work is scheduled to begin on the site in 2012. Once complete, it will serve as the government and economic centre of the UAE.

The district, close to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Mohammed bin Zayed City, will accommodate 370,000 residents along with federal government buildings, universities, hospitals and embassies. UPC general manager Falah Al Ahbabi said the project presented "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a truly authentic and sustainable modern Arab capital."

Also at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties launched the US $2.6 billion (AED9.4 billion) Al Falah project, to be located east of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Al Falah, which is fully government-funded, will include 5000 new homes for middle-income UAE families, to be allocated free of charge, across a 12.5km² site.

The project will be divided into five villages, each with its own centre, schools and mosques. The development will also include a 65,000m² mall, a hospital, office space, a hotel, and a sports complex.

Work is set to begin on Al Falah later this year. "All homes will be handed over in stages from 2011 to 2014," Aldar Properties chairman Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh said.

"The government wants to ensure that UAE nationals have more than one type of house to choose from."

Meanwhile, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has announced a raft of major infrastructure works, including 95 new interchanges, nine ring roads, 70 pedestrian crossings, and 580km of cycle tracks.

Works are due for completion by 2020, according to RTA Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector CEO Abdul Younus.

The RTA also revealed that construction work has begun on the $1.09 billion Al Sofouh Tram, which will serve the Al Sufouh, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence areas.

A consortium of France-based Alstom and Belgium-based Besix is building the tram system, with US-based Parsons and France-based Sistra involved as consultants.

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