Qatar National Bank (QNB) has closed the bidding on the contract to build its planned 510-metre-tall headquarters, which will be the tallest building in Qatar and one of the largest skyscrapers in the world.

The bidders are a joint venture of China State Construction Engineering Corporation and Lebanon’s Societe d’Enterprise & de Gestion; a joint venture of Australia’s Grocon and Qatar’s Contraco; Australia’s Multiplex; Lebanon’s Qatari Arabian Construction Company; and a joint venture of South Korea’s Samsung Corporation, the local Midmac Contracting Company and Belgium’s Six Construct.

Contractors are anticipating a contract award in the first quarter of 2010 and expect work to start in the second quarter. Once completed, the tower will have a total built-up area of 235,000 square metres, with five basement levels, 88,000 sq m of parking, 9,000 sq m for the entrance and banking halls, and 138,000 sq m of office space.

The tower will replace the 509-metre Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan as the world’s second-tallest building. The Burj Dubai is currently the world’s tallest tower, at 818 metres.

The consultancy for the project team includes Kuwait’s KEO International Consultants as the project manager and Australia’s Peddle Thorp Architects.

The tower is one of three planned for Doha’s corniche area. The others are Qatar General Insurance & Reinsurance Com-pany’s 50-storey, 200-metre Doha World Trade Centre tower and the IQ Tower planned by Industries Qatar, a holding vehicle for the downstream activities of state-run oil company Qatar Petroleum (QP).

Qatar General Insurance is preparing to invite contractors to bid for the main construction contract on its $200m tower.

Industries Qatar is still preparing designs for its 460-metre-tall tower, which will be the second-tallest building in Qatar.

The 83-storey, 71,000-square-metre IQ Tower will be built in the West Bay area of the corniche opposite the Sheraton hotel.