The committee managing the King Abdullah International Gardens (KAIG) development near Riyadh has still not appointed a contractor for the main construction package on the project. Discussions are continuing over selecting companies to build the estimated $504m scheme.

MEED reported in November last year that that the local Saudi Binladin Group had submitted the low bid of SR1.89bn ($504m) for the main construction package on the development. The committee received bids from eight local and international contractors and was originally expected to make the award by December 2010.

Since then the client has delayed awarding the main construction package, and is still deciding whether to procure the project in one phase or a number of separate phases. It is unclear whether the project will be retendered, according to sources close to the project.

The main construction package was previously expected to include all external construction services on the 1.6 million-square-metre site, as well as a 100,000 sq m building.

The garden’s centrepiece will be a 40-metre-high crescent-shaped plant laboratory and indoor botanical garden. The building’s roof will have a span of up to 90 metres and will be one of the world’s largest tensile fabric-covered structures.

The UAE-based Al-Arif Trading & Contracting was awarded a contract in late-2008 to prepare the site and establish perimeter fencing around the project. The local Omrania & Associates is providing site management and construction supervision.

Detailed design, construction documentation and other building services were carried out by a joint venture of UK consultants Barton Willmore and Buro Happold (MEED 5:11:10).