King Mohamed VI launched on 7 January the first phase of the estimated MD 10,000 ($1,100 million) Bouregreg valley development. The project aims to transform the 4,000-hectare area, which separates the capital Rabat from its twin city Sale, into a new urban district (MEED 23:9:05).

The newly created Bouregreg Valley Development Agency will oversee the project. Construction will be carried out in five-six phases over 10 years. Phase 1, named Bab al-Bahr, will cover a 70-hectare area, of which half will be developed. Work will initially include rehabilitating the valley and protecting it from floods.

Considerable infrastructure work will also form part of phase 1, including an estimated MD 2,660 ($235 million) tramline linking Rabat and Sale, for which designs are due to be completed in March. Other infrastructure projects include construction of the Oudayas tunnel and the 330-metre Moulay al-Hassan bridge.

The overall project will comprise the construction of residential units, hotels, municipal buildings and retail and commercial outlets. The project aims to create about 74,000 jobs and generate tourism and trade in the area.

The Hassan II Fund for Economic & Social Development will fund the project, along with the Regie de distribution d’Eau & d’Electricite de Rabat-Sale (Redal) and the private sector.

As part of the first phase, Dubai International Properties (DIP), a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, is developing the Amwaj project.The $2,000 million real estate development calls for the construction of a residential, commercial and tourism development covering an area of about 1 million square metres on a 5,000-hectare site.

DIP is developing the project with the state-run pension fund Caisse de Depot et de Gestion (CDG) and its affiliate SABR Amenagement. Paris-based Ateliers Jean Nouvel is the interior design consultant; France’s Bernard Reichen is the architectural and engineering design consultant; the US’ Hill International is the project manager.