Contractors have submitted bids for the contract to build Gulf Related’s $1bn Al-Maryah Central retail complex in Abu Dhabi.

The companies that have submitted bids are understood to include:

The project involves building a 170,000-square-metre retail centre and two towers. The first tower will be a residential tower with serviced apartments, the second will be a hotel with 200-330 rooms.

It will be built on Al-Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi next to Gulf Related’s 35,000 sq m The Galleria mall, which opened in late 2013. Maryah Central is planned to open on 1 March 2018.

Work on the main contract is expected to start by the middle of this year. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 10 November last year. Germany’s Bauer is working on the enabling works package.

The mall has two US-based department stores already leased. Bloomingdales will open its second store in the UAE, and Macy’s will open its first store outside the US. Al-Tayer Group, which sponsors the two department stores in the UAE, will also operate more than 20 other stores, representing about one-third of Al-Maryah Central’s total leasable space.

The mall will be one of the biggest in the UAE and the largest in central Abu Dhabi.

The project management consultant is US-based Aecom. The cost consultant is the UK’s Faithful + Gould.

The client is GR Sowwah Retail, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) created by Gulf Related, which is a joint venture of Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Capital and US-based Related.