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Middle East Construction News to April 2009

Abu Dhabi reveals transport plans
UK based transport and engineering consultancies have been involved in the preparation of Abu Dhabi’s Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP) which has now been published. Part of the ‘Plan Abu Dhabi 2030’, it includes a metro system, regional rail, a train network and three zones of personal rapid transport. The next stage is for interested firms to tender for feasibility and design work. A clear intention of such staged planning within a master planning framework is to give Abu Dhabi a clear direction for both infrastructure and urban building development.

Fit out in Morocco
Depa, based in Dubai has been awarded a US$50 million fit out contract in Morocco. The work comprises fit out on resort villas. This follows a previous award of hotel & golf club works.

Deyaar to complete seven projects in 2009
Deyaar Development has confirmed it will be completing 7 projects in 2009, which include towers at Tecom and at Business Bay. Payment support plans & assistance with access to bank financing have been made available to customers.

‘People mover’ for Jebel Ali, Dubai gets moving
Bids are now invited for the Downtown Jebel Ali ‘people mover’ contract in Dubai. The developer envisages the area housing 200,000 people, and that this automated local tram system, coupled with 4 Dubai Metro stations being situated in the Jebel Ali area will allow residency without the need to own a car.

Qatar construction to become more environmentally friendly
Qatar is to join the World Green Building Council (WGBC), a non profit organisation set up by the Qatar Foundation (QF). This will create a Qatar hub for innovation & transmission of green building construction solutions.

Marina West in Bahrain progressing well
The Marina West development in Bahrain is continuing apace towards its target completion date of April 2010. While total project value is c$700million, estimates are that 55% of the units have already been sold. Aware of balancing cash flow for payments to the contractor, while not wanting to discount too extensively to attract customers, the developer so far feels confident of seeing through the slump in sales by having an attractive product, and a less overheated property market compared to Dubai.

Saudi Arabia construction material prices drop
Saudi steel firms have dropped steel prices to the construction industry by two thirds over the last 4-6 months. The export of cement was put on hold recently for a time as a surge in demand led to shortages across the country.

Nakheel & its ongoing major projects
Well publicised for its recent problems & projects put on hold, Nakheel has confirmed that Al Furjan, Jumeirah Village & Jumeirah Park will be completed.

Construction of nuclear power stations in the UAE
The UAE became the first Gulf country to progress an interest in civil nuclear power generation when it signed a civil nuclear deal with the USA in early 2009. The UK and its special civil/nuclear construction companies have expressed an interest in investing in and winning work relating to a civilian nuclear programme.

Schon Business Park progresses towards 2010 completion
Schon Propoerties have confirmed that the $204m Schon Business Park is progressing on schedule. They describe their business as debt free & and able to handle the downturn in property demand.

Sudair City, Saudi Arabia creates contractor shortlist
Modon, Saudi’s larges industrial development agency has shortlisted 10 companies on their shortlist for work on the $40 billion Sudair City. The winning bidder will be responsible for hiring subcontractors on the project north of Riyadh.

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