The first-phase construction on the $1,300 million project, which aims to provide a centre for the kingdom’s blossoming financial services industry, covers an eight-storey financial mall, two 50-storey towers for residential and commercial use and a nine-storey harbour house. Completion is scheduled for early 2007, with the entire complex due to be ready in 2010. Al-Hamad beat off competition from France’s Bouygues and Saudi Arabia’s El-Seif Engineering & Contracting Company(MEED 13:2:04).

A tender is imminent for reclamation and marine works on the second phase of the development, calling for dredging of 1.8 million cubic metres of material and the construction of a four-kilometre block wall. Locally-based Gulf Finance House (GFH)is the client and the consultant is the local Ahmed Janahi Architects.

GFH is moving forward with arranging finance for the project. A memorandum of understanding was signed in late February with Credit Agricole Indosuezto raise Eur 250 million ($304 million) of Islamically-structured finance for the harbour and other GFH projects, including the recently announced Al-Areen spa resort to be built near Sakhir and planned ventures in Dubai. In November, Kuwait Investment Companysigned an agreement to invest $25 million in the BFH development (MEED 28:11:03).