The contract, worth more than $100 million, calls for the dredging and reclamation over an area of about 20 square kilometres, located at the southern end of the main island. A team of the Netherlands’ Royal Boskalis Westminsterwith Saudi Archirodonwas the original contractor, but the UK’s WS Atkinsdrew up a revised plan for the resort after Kuwait Finance Housebought a 50 per cent stake in the estimated $1,300 million project from Saudi Arabia’s Dallah al-Baraka Group. The remainder is owned by the Ministry of Finance & National Economy.

Applications for prequalification have also been submitted for contracts to build 18 bridges linking the various reclaimed islands and a smaller contract to build show villas on the resort, which will include a luxury hotel, residential properties, an 18-hole golf course and a marina (MEED 30:7:04).