News in brief


Nakheel Mall ... contract signed.

Nakheel Mall ... contract signed.

Work on Nakheel Mall to start soon

CONSTRUCTION work on the new Nakheel Mall on The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE, is expected to start soon following the official signing of a Dh1.2-billion ($327 million) construction contract by UAE firms United Engineering Construction (Unec) and Actco General Contracting Company.

The two contracting firms were jointly awarded the contract in May this year to build the 418,000-sq-m mall by its developer Nakheel.

The mall will have five retail levels with more than 100,000 sq m of retail space, three basement parking levels with 4,000 spaces, 300 shops, two anchor department stores, a nine-screen cinema, medical centre and fitness complex.

There will also be a roof plaza with a host of fine dining restaurants, as well as a diverse selection of food and beverage outlets inside. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.

Alongside Nakheel Mall will be The Palm Tower – Nakheel’s new, five-star, 50-storey hotel and residential complex – for which a separate construction contract is expected to be awarded soon.


Hyundai consortium bags $988m UAE power plant deal

A CONSORTIUM made up of South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction (Hyundai E&C) and Italy’s Ansaldo has won a $987.9-million power generation and desalination plant order in the UAE.

The engineering, procurement, construction and turnkey order was placed by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) for the Mirfa plant, located 110 km southwest of Abu Dhabi.

The project includes a power generation plant that can produce 1,600 MW of electricity and produce roughly 200 million litres of fresh water per day. Construction will take more than 30 months.

Besides the consortium members, France’s GDF Suez Group is involved as the developer of the plant.

As of early July, Hyundai E&C has secured $6.71 billion worth of overseas orders, or 64 per cent of the $11 billion in contracts it set out to win in 2014.

(See also UAE Focus)


Gulfar to dualise Oman road for $105m

GALFAR Engineering and Contracting has been awarded a RO40.48-million ($105.14 million) contract for the dualisation of the key Taqah-Mirbat carriageway in Oman’s Dhofar Governorate.

The contract involves upgrading the existing single carriageway between Taqah and Mirbat into an all-weather, world-class dual road with two lanes in each direction. Galfar’s brief covers the dualisation of a 34-km stretch from Madinat Al Haq roundabout and ends at a new roundabout that will be constructed at Mirbat on the road to Sadah. A further 1.5-km stretch from Mirbat roundabout to a new roundabout at Al Qalai near Mirbat town will also be dualised.

The project for Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications also entails the construction of six bridges, comprising five grade-separated flyovers and one wadi bridge, which account for a sizeable chunk of the project’s cost. The bridges will be constructed at locations where the carriageway intersects with roads linking villages and developments along the coast, as well as blacktops and graded routes leading up to tourist attractions tucked away in the adjoining jebels.

A further 15 km of service roads linking the carriageway to nearby settlements will also be constructed as part of the project.

Salalah-based Al Manarah Engineering Consultancy is the design and construction supervision consultant for the dualisation project, which is due to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017.


Oman building law draws mixed reactions

OMAN’S latest legislation that building firms must be managed by a citizen and not an expatriate has generated mixed reactions from construction companies, according to the Times of Oman.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy said that the hired managers must be registered with the Public Authority for Social Insurance (Pasi).

“The companies must hire an Omani manager when the owners of the company are busy working somewhere else,” said the recent Ministry of Commerce and Industry directive.

However, when a company is run by a citizen, who is registered as such with the Pasi, then it is not mandatory to hire another Omani boss. Companies have been served a deadline of two years to implement this order. The regulations also bar companies from carrying out construction activity, if they don’t have the necessary permission.

Some in the industry have welcomed the move, saying that it gave an opportunity to the Omanis to run for high positions in private sector companies.

Others however, feared that this could threaten the future of companies as they would be forced to pay higher salaries.