Contractors competing for the estimated AED1bn contract to build the airside areas for the midfield terminal building at Abu Dhabi International airport have been asked to local incorporate their joint ventures (JV).

Firms say that the move is an unusual one and could derail bids from international companies that are not already incorporated locally that are competing for the work.

Firms that are incorporated in Abu Dhabi do not expect there to be any major problems. “We do not normally incorporate our joint ventures because they are standalone agreements for single projects,” says one contractor bidding for the work. “For our JV both partners are locally incorporated so I understand the process is fairly straight forward.”

Bids were submitted on 3 June for the estimated AED1bn ($272m) contract that will support the 65 contact gates and up to 19 remote stands that the proposed terminal building will have. The construction work involves infrastructure and civil works around the midfield complex, including 300,000 square metres of pavement concrete, 600,000 sq m of flexible pavement with taxiway connections to the existing and future taxiway systems, and the installation of utilities such as power, stormwater drainage and a jet fuel system.

The formal award of the much larger contract to build the midfield terminal building has been delayed following the appointment of a new board for the project client Abu Dhabi Airport Company (Adac) earlier in June.

Adac confirmed in May that it has selected the consortium of Turkey’s TAV, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and the local Arabtec Construction as the preferred bidder for the contract to build the estimated AED10.55bn terminal building.