Dubai’s construction sector has already started to benefit from the emirate’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2020. As confidence in the market rises, major contracts for iconic projects have been awarded, and more deals are set to be signed as contractors submit bids for other major schemes.

Local developer Emaar Properties is leading the charge with new projects at its Downtown Dubai district. It has awarded Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) the estimated AED700m ($191m) deal to build the Dubai Modern Art Museum and Opera House District.

Emaar projects

The 2,000-seat venue will be built in Emaar’s Downtown Dubai development. In addition to the opera house, the developer plans to build hotels, studios and leisure facilities in the area. The consultant is the UK-based Atkins.

Emaar has also awarded Canada’s Brookfield Multiplex the contract to complete the raft foundations for its Address Residence Fountain Views development at the Downtown Dubai project. Firms are preparing to submit bids for the main construction package, which involves building three towers, including a 220-metre-tall, 60-storey, 280-unit luxury residential tower looking out to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and The Dubai Fountain.

The prospective bidders for the construction deal are the local/UK Al-Futtaim Carillion, Lebanon’s Arabian Construction Company (ACC) , Brookfield Multiplex, CCC, and the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty (DBB).

Another major Emaar deal companies are competing for involves the construction of an extension to the Dubai Mall. The work involves building a fashion avenue next to the existing mall, the lake, Burj Khalifa and the existing Address hotel, offering 75,000 square metres of retail space and about 25,000 sq m of parking. The bidders include Al-Futtaim Carillion, CCC, and DBB.

A major Emaar district where construction work is starting is the Lagoons, which the firm is developing with state-owned Dubai Holding. The local Al-Basti & Muktha recently started work on six residential towers on the development, and other awards are expected in the future.

Nakheel activity

Nakheel is another Dubai developer that has awarded contracts since the Expo win. On 4 December, the firm announced it had awarded deals worth AED174m for the construction of two beachfront schemes on the Palm Jumeirah.

The local United National Engineering Company secured a AED135.5m deal to construct 170 apartments and a swimming pool at Nakheel’s Azure Residences, while the local Al-Ghurair Contracting and Engineering won a AED38.7m deal to build Club Vista Mare.

Nakheel is also tendering a much larger contract, expected to be worth about AED2.5bn, to build its Nakheel Mall project on the Palm Jumeirah. The 418,000-sq-m retail, dining and entertainment centre will have more than five levels with 200 shops, including a 4,200-sq-m supermarket, two anchor department stores, and a nine-screen cinema.

Other clients are also tendering major contracts in the emirate. Firms submitted bids in late November for the deal to build the first phase of the stalled World Trade Centre development on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The contract involves the construction of a 90,000-sq-m office building and a 555-room hotel.

As confidence grows in the emirate, other major projects should move ahead. One of the largest is the world’s tallest commercial tower that Dubai Multi Commodities Centre plans to build at its Jumeirah Lake Towers development. Following the Expo win, it has decided to name the tower ‘Burj 2020’. Architects are to be appointed in 2014, with ground breaking planned for 2015.