Contractors are still waiting to find out if they have prequalified for the contract to build the King Abdullah Medical City in Jeddah.

Contractors were invited to submit prequalification entries for the medical city project in 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. The client was expected to have issued tender documents in November, but contractors are still waiting for the prequalification list to be finalised.

Located 28 kilometres from 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 sq m, 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 several medical cities the government is planning, in order 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 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.