Local developer Emaar Properties has held a briefing with selected contractors to discuss tendering for the 928-metre-plus tall tower it plans to build at its Dubai Creek Harbour development.

It is understood the firms that attended the briefing included:

  • Al-Futtaim Carillion (local/UK)
  • Al-Naboodah Contracting (local)
  • Arabian Construction Company (ACC) (Lebanon)
  • Dutco Balfour Beatty (local/UK)
  • Habtoor Leighton Group (local/Australia)
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Six Construct (Belgium)
  • TAV (Turkey)
  • Tishman (US)

The consultants working on the tower scheme are Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava Valls and the local office of consultancy Aurecon, which is being supported by the UK’s RMJM.

The Calatrava-designed tower is the most high-profile building scheme that Dubai has launched ahead of the 2020 Expo, and could be the world’s tallest if its height exceeds the under-construction Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with US news agency CNN in early June, Emaar’s chairman Mohammed Alabbar said the tower would be 100 metres taller than the world’s tallest building as of now, Burj Khalifa, which has a total height of 828 metres. Alabbar also said he plans to break ground on the fast-track scheme in July.

Work on the foundations package will start first and the substructure will take about a year to complete.

Tendering for the superstructure will start once work on the foundations has begun. Sources close to the scheme say the core, the steel frame and the cables are likely to be let as one main construction package.

Speaking in April, Alabbar said the building will cost about $1bn to construct and will be completed in time for the 2020 Expo. US news agency Bloomberg has reported that Emaar is considering an international bond issue. Any funds raised could help fund the construction of the tower, which, unlike many other Emaar tower schemes, cannot be financed with offplan sales as the tower only has 18-20 usable floors.

Dubai versus Jeddah in the race for the tallest building in the world

Mohamed Alabbar

Mohamed Alabbar

Emaar chairman’s comments open up a tantalising game of cat and mouse between two rival towers

For the past few years it has been generally accepted that Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower will replace Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building.

The tower, which is expected to be 1,008 metres tall when completed, has had no real rival scheme, and as the Chinese demand-fuelled global commodity super cycle comes to an end, it appeared unlikely the tower would have any challengers for the foreseeable future. Read more