Saudi Aramco has invited contractors to express interest and prequalify for the contract to build a 60,000 seat stadium and four other construction packages at its $10bn King Abdullah Sports City development near Jeddah.

Once contractors have expressed interest and prequalified the state oil company will tender the five construction packages as lump sum turnkey contracts in September.

The contracts cover:

  • The 60,000-seat main stadium
  • Indoor arena, grand mosque and outdoor athletics stadium
  • Sports academy, sports medical centre, residential complex for athletes, outdoor football pitches
  • Aquatic centre, women’s sports complex
  • Railway station

Contractors have also been invited to bid for a road building and infrastructure contract.

The enabling works involves earthworks such as general site levelling and preparation and the 10-month road contract involves the construction of two interchanges and a perimeter road, says a source close to the project.

UK-based Arup is the consultant on the scheme.

The project client, Saudi Aramco, declined to comment on the construction packages.

King Abdullah Sports City was approved by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in February 2009. It will cover an area of 9 square-kilometres some 60 km north of Jeddah alongside the Mecca-Medina highway (MEED 22:5:10).

The project is one of several major sports related projects planned in the Gulf. In June Abu Dhabi government-owned investment firm Mubadala Development Company received bids for the contract to build an estimated $1bn football stadium in the UAE capital. At least five groups have submitted bids for the 65,000-seater stadium project.

The bidders are:

  • China’s Sinohydro Corporation
  • France’s Bouygues with the local/Lebanese Arabian Construction Company (ACC)
  • South Korea’s Samsung Corporation/Germany’s Ed Zueblin
  • Japan’s Taisei Corporation/Beijing-based China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC)
  • France’s Vinci Grands Projets/Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC)

Dubai has already completed the first phase of its Dubai Sports City development and will build more sporting venues if it wins the rights for the 2020 Olympic Games. Doha plans to build new stadiums as part of its bid for football’s Fifa World Cup 2022.