Contractors will be invited to prequalify for the contract to build King Abdullah Medical City in mid-October.

The three year construction contract involves building a major new healthcare facility serving the cities of Jeddah and Mecca in the Western Region of the kingdom. Once contractors have prequalified, the project client will issue tender documents in mid-November with a planned closing date of mid-January next year. An award is expected in March and mobilisation on site is scheduled to start by the beginning of April.

Located 28 kilometres off Mecca and 56km from Jeddah, the development will include hospital buildings, research centres, administration buildings, and a housing community with a total built-up area of nearly 1 million square metres. The medical buildings will have a total built-up area of 605,869 square metres, the medical service buildings will be 43,098 sq m, the non-medical buildings will be 214,456 sq m, and the utilities serving the development will be 53,840 sq m.

The medical buildings will be a tertiary care hospital and research centre with 1,000 beds, a main hospital with 850 beds, and a rehabilitation centre with 150 beds. The main hospital will have oncology, neurology, cardiology, and specialised surgery departments.

A team of US-based RTKL and the local Saudi Diyar is the project engineer. The client representative is King Abdullah Medical City.

The project is one of a number of Medical Cities that the government is planning to expand its healthcare infrastructure to cope with rapid population growth.

The Health Ministry recently awarded a SR1.18bn ($315m) construction contract to a joint venture of the UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton and the local Al-Latifia Trading & Contracting to expand the King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh.

The project will involve constructing a cancer centre, neurosciences institute, cardiac centre, laboratories and underground car park. The expansion will add an additional 510 beds to the capacity of the medical complex.

The King Fahad Medical City complex is one of the largest healthcare facilities in the kingdom, with a current capacity of 1,400 beds. The city was constructed between 1984 and 1995, and is located in the Sulaimaniyah area of Riyadh. The medical complex currently treats more than 50,000 inpatients and more than 600,000 outpatients annually.