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Dubai-based Al-Habtoor Group is preparing to award the main construction contract for its Habtoor Tower project in Dubai.
Speaking at a ground-breaking event for the project on 11 May, Khalaf al-Habtoor, founding chairman of Al-Habtoor Group, said: “Soon we will announce who will be the contractor.”
Al-Habtoor Group confirmed to MEED on the sidelines of the event that a decision on the winning contractor will be made in the next two days.
It also confirmed that it received offers from five construction companies. They are the local Alec, Beijing-based companies China Railway 18th Bureau and China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the local iBuild and India’s Shapoorji Pallonji.
The tower will be one of Dubai’s largest building projects.
“This unique project will be one of the biggest buildings in the world,” said Al-Habtoor. “When I was a contractor, I built a lot of projects in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, everywhere, but I have never done a project like this, even though we built the Burj al-Arab, [Dubai International] airport and Abu Dhabi’s Officers’ Club.”
Built on a plot area of 7,500 square metres, the tower will have three basement levels, a seven-storey podium and 73 floors of residences. The built-up area will be 350,000 sq m.
Al-Habtoor also highlighted the technical complexity of the project and the importance of selecting a technically competent contractor.
“This is not a simple project. We cannot nominate any contractor. You have to be very careful to see the background of the contractor and what they have done. This building is not easy. You need a contractor with the right experience with highly qualified engineers,” he said.
The tower will be built above an existing parking basement that serves the already completed buildings at Al-Habtoor City.
Al-Habtoor had the option of demolishing the basement, but decided to employ a top-down approach to the construction that involves piling down through the basement, while at the same time starting construction above ground.
“When I normally launch a project, I talk about the architecture. This project is different. It is about the structure and the engineering,” Al-Habtoor said.
The top-down approach is expected to reduce the construction time by about one year, meaning the tower will be completed in 1,000 days or about three years.
Germany’s Bauer is working on the foundations for the tower. The consultant is the local MAK Engineering Consultancy.
Image (right): Inside the existing basement
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