The Private Engineering Office, a government body closely linked to Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, is preparing to issue tender documents in March for the main construction contract on the Al-Quds Endowment tower in Doha.

The contract for the 500-metre-high building is expected to be worth about QR2.4bn ($660m).

The mixed-use tower, which will be one of the tallest in the world, will have five underground levels for parking and 100 floors above ground.

The project has been planned for at least three years. In December 2006, the foundation stone was laid during a ceremony attended by the emir.

Progress on the project has accelerated over the last year. The piling and foundation works contract was awarded in the second quarter of 2009 to the local Ammico Contracting Company.

The consultants working on the project include UK-based Hyder Consulting and the local Arab Engineering Bureau.

It is the second 500 metre-plus tower planned in Doha. Qatar National Bank (QNB) is in discussions with groups competing to build its 120-floor, 510-metre-high headquarters.

QNB received bids from at least five groups in early November to build the tower. They include a joint venture of Beijing-based China State Construction Engineering Corporation and Lebanon’s Societe d’Enterprise & de Gestion; a joint venture of Australia’s Grocon and the local Contraco; Australia’s Multiplex; Lebanon’s Qatari Arabian Construction Company (ACC); and a joint venture of South Korea’s Samsung Corporation, the local Midmac Contracting Company and Belgium’s Six Construct (MEED 11:12:09).

The IQ Tower, an 83-floor building, is also being planned by state-run downstream energy company Industries Qatar.