Abu Dhabi has delayed construction of three major new hospitals as it is now reviewing its procurement strategy for the multi-billion-dirham projects.

The schemes are planned by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) and Mubadala Development Company, an investment fund owned by Abu Dhabi government.

Mubadala had been developing Tawam Hospital, in the emirate’s second city Al-Ain, as a public-private partnership (PPP), with US bank Citigroup acting as the financial adviser on the development.

Seha is the client for a second hospital in Al-Ain and a hospital in Mafraq, which is on the Abu Dhabi mainland close to Abu Dhabi Island. Seha had been planning to fund the construction of the hospitals itself.

The most advanced scheme is the Tawam Hospital. Mubadala had received bids from five contracting groups on 4 January but, according to sources working on the project, it has now told bidders that it has cancelled the tender while it reviews its procurement strategy.

The bidders for the scheme included the local/UK Al-Futtaim Carillion with the local Al-Faraa General Contracting Company; the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group with South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); a joint venture of the local/Lebanese Arabian Construction Company (ACC) with France’s Bouygues; a joint venture of the local Drake & Scull International with Spain’s OHL; and Australia’s Multiplex (MEED 15:1:10).

The design and build contract involved an five-floor hospital adjacent to the existing hospital in Al-Ain. The plans include a series of clinics, in-patient units, operating theatres, an accident and emergency unit, diagnostic centres, and teaching and research facilities.

The two hospitals planned by Seha are at a much earlier stage in their planning. In October 2009, Seha invited companies to prequalify for the contracts and the prequalification process is continuing (MEED 22:10:09).

However, sources involved with the projects say they expect the award of the main construction contracts on both developments to also be delayed.

A fourth multi-billion-dirham hospital project in Abu Dhabi is still going ahead.

Three groups have been shortlisted by local developer Aldar Properties for the contract to build the estimated AED5bn ($1.36bn) Cleveland Clinic on Sowwah Island. The shortlisted groups are the joint venture of Greece’s Aktor and the local Arabtec Construction, the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group, and the joint venture of Six Construct Abu Dhabi and South Korea’s Samsung Corporation. Aldar is managing the project on behalf of Mubadala.