The bidders include UK-based Wimberley Allison Tong & Goo, Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners), WS Atkinsand KKA Architects, both of the UK, RNL Internationalof the US, with the UK’s Hyder Consulting, and Australia’s Woods Bagot. The Housing & Agriculture Ministry is the client.

Each town will consist of 4,000 dwellings in phase 1. The selected design team will be called upon to provide detailed studies on the density of housing; pedestrian and traffic mapping; the supply of essential basic services; and opportunities for commercial development in each township.

Three of the four sites identified at East Muharraq, East Sitra and North Bahrain lie offshore and will require extensive dredging and reclamation before construction work can begin. The projects have an estimated total budget of BD 390 million ($1,000 million). The government is expected to move ahead with each township as funds become available over a 10-year period (Bahrain, MEED Special Report, 13:9:02, page 26).