The UAE-based Dubai Contracting Company (DCC) has won the main contract to build a SR3bn ($800m) tower in Riyadh.

DCC was one of four bidders competing for the contract to build the 62-storey Burj Rafal. The local Rafal Real Estate Development Company is the client. UAE-based firms Al-Shafar General Contracting and Gulf Technical Construction Company (GTCC), and Singapore’s Jurong International were the other bidders.

Site preparation began in April as the developer is fully committed to finishing the tower by the second quarter of 2012, as per the original construction schedule.

Burj Rafal is planned for a 22,000-square-metre site in the northern Assahafa district of Riyadh and will include:  

  • 260 luxury apartments (23 floors)
  • 2,000-person grand ballroom and 24 meeting rooms (1 floor)
  • 297-room Kempinski Hotel and 54 serviced apartments (17 floors)
  • Office space (13 floors)
  • 2 wellness spas (1 floor)       
  • 4,000 sq m of retail space (podium)

The 305-metre Burj Rafal will be Riyadh’s first development to offer mixed-gender public space in its hotel, recreation and commercial areas.

Combining guest space represents a break from tradition in Riyadh where government regulations often still segregate men and women while eating and socialising.

The Dubai office of Hong Kong’s P&T Architects & Engineers designed the project and is serving as its mechanical, electrical and plumbing consultant and structural engineer.

Australia’s Windtech is the wind engineer on the tower and the UK’s Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) is its construction consultant. Dubai’s International Project Management is overseeing the project.

Property analysts in the kingdom are expecting commercial rents to plummet in Riyadh as more than 1.3 million square-metres of office space will be available by 2015 (MEED 27:6:10).

Rafal Real Estate expects the tower to command a competitive advantage in the capital city because of its variety of mixed-use facilities.