In pictures: Ten GCC projects set to complete in 2014

With so many new contracts being awarded, it would be easy to forget about the huge projects in the GCC that are due to complete this year.

Below are some of the major developments, some which have suffered lengthy delays, that will complete throughout the remainder of 2014.

Yas Mall


Yas Mall was scheduled to open in March this year, but that has been delayed until November.

However, developer Aldar Properties insists the move is strategic rather than down to any construction delays as they plan to secure maximum exposure by opening the 235,000m2 mall during the weekend of the final Grand Prix of the 2014 F1 season at Yas Island on 23 November.

“It is the ideal time – when 500m viewers will have their eyes on Abu Dhabi,” Aldar Properties’ executive director of asset management, Talal Al Dhiyebi, told Construction Week.

Al Dhiyebi said the original opening date meant some tenants were scheduled to open throughout the summer period and the holy month of Ramadan, which “was not ideal”.

After discussing strategy with the main retail groups – some of whom have taken 20-30 units in the centre – the decision was taken to open at the later date when all 300-plus stores are scheduled to be complete and fitted out.

Yas Mall is Abu Dhabi’s first ‘super-regional’ mall and will be the second-biggest in the UAE on opening. It is being built by contractor Six Construct.

Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic project in Abu Dhabi was due to open in March last year.

With the doors still closed on the project, the value of which has increased from AED4.7bn ($1.3bn) to AED5.65bn ($1.54bn). In January this year, documents filed at the Korean stockmarket by joint venture partner Samsung C&T Corporation stated that its contract at the hospital had been extended once more to 9 April.

The joint venture Six Construct (which has a 60% share of the contract) and Samsung C&T (40%) was initially awarded a three-year deal to build the hospital in 2010, but in its last statement the company announced its third contract extension within the past 12 months.

The clinic, which will be housed on Al Maryah Island, will be the largest structural steel building in the UAE, weighing in at more than 30,000 tonnes.

It is being developed by Mubadala by Aldar Properties and was designed by Henningson, Durham and Richardson, with Aedas serving as construction architects.

It will house 360 beds, with room for expansion to 490 at a later date.

Hamad International Airport

Qatar’s new $15.5bn airport is expected to open on May 27.

The airport, which has since been renamed Halad International Airport, was initially due to open in 2012, and then again in April 2013. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, which will be the main user of the new terminal, had previously blamed fit-out contractor Lindner Depa for delays after terminating the company’s contract in 2012. It had a contract to fit-out 17 airport lounges.

Lindner Depa, meanwhile, said that it had been unable to gain access to the site for the first nine months of its 16-month project and filed a $245m (AED900m) claim against New Doha International Airport in September last year.

The steering committee also said the airport will be larger and have more capacity than first envisioned.

It will now have a capacity to handle 30m passengers, and that a future phase to develop an Airport City on the site that was initially due to start in 2015 was already underway. The enlarged site will cover an area of 29km2 – 60% of which is on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf. The passenger terminal has an internal area of 600,000m2, but the space has been reconfigured so that it now features five concourses (as opposed to three) and 65 contact gates (33). Eight of these will be able to handle Airbus A380 planes.

The main contractor responsible for delivering the $15.5bn airport project is Bechtel.

Marina 101

Dubai’s Dream-Marina 101 high rise hotel is set to open by the end of 2014, according to developer Sheffield Holdings.

The development will house 300 guest rooms and 420 branded hotel apartments, featuring one- and two-bedroom units.

The interior finishing touches have been chosen, with energy efficient light fixtures and Spanish ceramic tiles in every apartment. All internal doors are fire resistant, meeting international standards and ratings for the building.

Nearly AED60mn more has been spent on the interiors since the appointment of the hotel operator.

Dream-Marina 101 has confirmed partnerships with restaurants such as Bombay Palace. Another highlight of the building is its roof-top bar which will be occupied by Ph-D.

Lebanon’s National Library

Lebanon’s new National Library is penciled in to open this summer following several years of delays.

A $25m grant to convert the former Lebanese University Law School near Sanayeh Park was awarded to the project by Qatar’s Emir to gelp fund the scheme in 2009 and the project was supposed to complete in 2011.

However, during a tour of the building last year, Culture Minister Gaby Layyoun and chairman of architecture firm Erga, Elie Gebrayel, it was revealed that the project will be complete by July 28, 2014.

It is understood a huge hole which was dug at the site was for four new underground levels – three of which will be used for book stacks and one for parking. While works to restore the building had been delayed due to the fact that part of the building was still occupied by the country’s Interior Ministry, which had to be worked around by construction teams.

Contractors also experienced structural weaknesses and complications within the historic building.

Dubai Tram

The Dubai Tram is on track to open to the public in November.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2011, but has been plagued by cash concerns in the wake of the global financial crisis.

However, the first zone of the $800m project – with stations between Al Sufouh and Knowledge Village – underwent testing in January and a second stage of testing, in zone two, between the Palm Jumeirah and Marina Towers, was carried out last month.

Testing in zone three – connecting Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence – is due to begin on 14 June.

Eleven of the 14 air-conditioned trams already have been delivered by their French manufacturer and are expected to carry about 27,000 passengers a day when the network becomes operational.

Capacity is expected to reach 66,000 people a day, on 25 trams, by 2020.

British company Serco, which already runs the Dubai Metro, has signed a five-year, $28.5m deal to operate the tram system.

Jebel Ali Port Terminal 3

The expansion of Jebel Ali port through the construction of a third terminal is set to complete this year.

A joint venture betweenTOA and Soletanche Bachy was awarded the $850mn contract, which will increase capacity at the port by 4mn TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) a year.

DP World said T3 would be “one of the finest modern marine terminals in the world” with a quay length of 1,860m, a draft of 17m and and a 70-hectare storage yard. Once complete, it will give the port the ability to handle the next generation of super post-panamax container ships and boost total capacity to 19m TEU.

Terminal 3 will be equipped with 19 Ship To Shore (STS) quay cranes and 50 Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes – for which an $170m deal was signed with Trans Gulf Port Cranes for equipment supplied by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd.

The new terminal will see Jebel Ali become one of the top ten container ports in the world.

Palazzo Versace hotel

The opening of Dubai’s AED2.3bn ($626m) Palazzo Versace hotel and resort is set to take place this summer.

In March 2012, developer Enshaa Services Group said it would deliver the project by the end of 2013 and was even aiming for a soft opening in the summer of last year.

While some sources close to the project claimed the project had slowed due to funding issues, Enshaa said it was being partly hindered by a lack of water and electricity on site.

The Dubai Creek development has so far missed its original completion date by five years.

Palazzo Versace Dubai was launched in 2006 by Emirates Sunland Group, a 50:50 joint venture between Enshaa’s subsidiary firm Emirates International Holdings (EIH) and Australian developer The Sunland Group.

The design included two Versace-branded residential buildings comprised of 169 units, and a Versace-designed hotel with 217 suites.

The project was located in the master development Dubai Culture Village, being overseen by Dubai Properties Group.

UAE-based Enshaa at the time had a 50 percent stake in Palazzo Versace Gold Coast in Australia, a Sunland-developed property which had been open for around a decade.

In October 2011, Enshaa Services Group, another subsidiary of Enshaa, took control of the project as part of a swap deal.

Under the agreement, Enshaa agreed to relinquish its stake in the Australian property in exchange for full ownership of the Palazzo Versace in Dubai.

King Abdulaziz International Airport

The $7.2bn project to massively expand King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is to complete this year.

The airport, which has been designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating, will contain the world’s biggest air traffic control tower once complete, standing at a height of 135m.

It will increase the airport’s capacity to handle up to 32mn passengers a year through the building of a new 690,000m2 terminal, which will measure 1km x 1.3km.

The terminal has been designed by consultants Atkins and Arup, with Areen Design responsible for the interiors. The contract to build the terminal has been split into several different packages.

Saudi BinLadin is responsible for delivering the two main phase one contracts covering the new Passenger Terminal complex, the airport terminal and apron, and the construction management contract.

The terminal building will have a floor area of 766,000m2, including a huge 200,000m2 indoor garden. It will be made up of 3,100 tonnes of steelwork, contain 40km of liner lighting, 46 fixed air bridges linking to plans, 94 passenger boarding bridges and a 60km baggage handling network.

The airport will also have 150 escalators, 60 travelators totalling 3.6km in length and more than 200 elevators.

The new terminal will also include an airside hotel and will include a transport hub linking to the new Haramain high-speed railway linking Makkah and Madinah.

Although building work is expected to finish this year, the airport will not begin operations until 2015.

Doha Festival City

The second phase of the $1.65bn (QR: 6bn) Doha Festival City was originally scheduled to complete this year, but givent that a groundbreaking ceremony for the huge project on the 433,847m2 site only took place 12 months ago, this may be a stretch.

Alongside a huge mall, the site just north of Msheireb’s Downtown Doha project will contain a major entertainment component, a hotel and conference centre and a number of car showrooms.

The project is being developed by Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Company (BASREC), which is a four-way venture between Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Real Estate Services, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Aqar Real Estate Development & Investment and a private Qatari investor.

BASREC secured a $1bn (QR: 3.7bn), ten-year funding deal from a syndicate of Qatari banks in June last year, which included lead arrangers Barwa Bank and Commercial Bank of Qatar alongside Ahli Bank, Doha Bank, International Bank of Qatar, Al Khalij Commercial Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank and Qatar National Bank.

The first phase of the project started in 2011 and involved the construction of a new 32,000m2 IKEA store, which opened last year. It was built by a joint venture between QACC (Qatari Arabian Construction Co) and Amana Qatar Contracting Co, with Hamad and Mohammed Al-Futtaim Engineering looking after the MEP.

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