The bidders are understood to include Germany’s Bauer, Swissboring– part of the Italy’s Trevi Group– France’s Bachy Soletancheand the local Middle East Foundations.

The contract will call for the excavation of up to 50 metres and the driving of about 170 1.5-metre-diameter piles. An award is due in early 2004.

The 500-600-metre-high tower will be built over a 14 million-square-feet area near the second interchange on Sheikh Zayed highway. The tower will house a shopping mall at the basement, a five-star hotel, retail outlets and residential and commercial units.

The project will also call for the construction of aquatic features, pedestrian boulevards, car parks and related facilities. The construction period will be 36-42 months.

The project will be carried out in several specialist packages. Australia’s Denton Corker Marshallhas prepared a design for the proposed tower; the US’ Skidmore Owings & Merrillis the architectural design consultant. The client is the local property developer Emaar Properties.

Burj Dubai is one of two massive high-rises planned in Dubai. The other, being developed by the local Nakheel, envisages the construction of a 750-metre-high tower.

To be called Pinnacle, the project will also be located on Sheikh Zayed road. Six international design firms have submitted bids for the proposed tower (MEED 28:2:03).