Contractors have submitted bids for the main construction contracts on the first phase of the $3.2bn Diyar al-Muharraq islands real estate development off the north eastern coast of Muharraq, Bahrain.

The reclamation work for the first phase of the development has been completed, and the developer is expected to award the construction contracts in July this year, according to a source close to Diyar al-Muharraq.

The offshore development, a joint venture between Bahrain-based Kuwait Finance House and private investors, is planned to contain 40 kilometres of waterfront, residences, hotels, schools and shopping malls.

US-based Aecom was recently appointed as master-planner for the second phase of the development.

US-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company carried out the dredging work for the first phase of the development. The work involved the dredging and reclamation of 12 square kilometres of land close to the Amwaj islands development and Bahrain International airport (MEED 27:6:09).

The development was relaunched in 2008 after the project had undergone a series of design changes. Previously known as the Two Seas project, it was originally planned to be in the shape of a seahorse. However, land-use opportunities were deemed too limited to make the development viable. The design now is for a main island with five smaller islands, forming a long rectangular shape (MEED 20:3:08).