The Al-Qasr project includes the construction of: 3,800 low-rise apartments; a three-level shopping mall over an area of 210,000 square metres; four schools; and mosques and clinics on a 816,000-square-metre site. The scheme also involves the rehabilitation and upgrade of Suwaidi park, adjacent to the proposed development. The facilities are due to be completed in two years. Estimated to cost SR 1,500 million ($400 million), the project will be carried out in 22 bid packages. By mid-January, seven more construction packages covering the 3,800 low-rise apartments are due to be tendered, while the remaining works are due to be issued for bid by March.

A team of the local Al-Sakhra al-Arabiawith Manazel for Constructionhas completed the infrastructure and site levelling works. The masterplan has been prepared by the local Alnaim; Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners)has carried out the final designs. The client is local property developer Dar al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company, which plans two more major projects in the kingdom.

The more advanced is Al-Abrar tower in Mecca, for which bids are under evaluation for the structural and vertical transportation packages. An award on both packages is due by February; a tender is due to be issued imminently for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contract. The estimated SR 250 million ($66 million) mixed-use project involves the construction of a 28-storey tower with a total built-up area of 70,000 square metres. Saudi Diyar Consultants is the design consultant (MEED 24:6:05).

For the Al-Tilal residential development in Medina, the first major construction package is due to be tendered by mid-January following the completion of design work by Saudi Diyar. The estimated SR 250 million ($66 million) project will call for the construction of 500 villas over a 2.2 million- square-metre site.

More than 20 companies have been prequalified to bid for the contract. They include Saudi Oger, El-Seif Engineering Contracting Establishment, Al-Redwan Group of Companies, CCE Contracting Establishment, Saudi Constructioneers, Saudi-Lebanese Modern Construction Company, First Saudi Contracting Company, Jabria Company, Al-Latifa Trading Company, International Building System Company for Trading, Al-Najdan for Construction, Assad Said Corporation, Bawani Company, Fast Contracting Company, Gulf Elite General Contracting, International Centre forCommerce & Trading, Haif Companyand BPE.