Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) received proposals from four consultants for the double-decking of Sheikh Zayed Road on 8 April. The large-scale infrastructure project is one of the most ambitious in the emirate and could cost more than AED10bn ($2.7bn) to build.

The bidders are:

  • Aecom (US)
  • Halcrow (UK)
  • KEO International Consultants (local office)
  • Parsons International (US)

The RTA invited firms to take part in the design competition in January.

The scheme will aim to alleviate congestion on Sheikh Zayed Road, which, as the main highway through Dubai, frequently experiences heavy traffic for up to 10 hours a day.

The study comprises two main parts. The first is a feasibility study for the double-decking of Sheikh Zayed Road, that will run from the Dubai creek area and Sheikh Rashid Road all the way through to Jebel Ali Port – a distance of up to 35 kilometres. The second part of the competition involves submitting a fee for the design and construction supervision of the new elevated roadway.

It is understood the elevated roadway will be for long-distance traffic travelling across the emirate and the number of entry and exit ramps will be limited. It could be delivered using private finance if tolls are charged for using the road. Dubai already operates a toll system, known as Salik, on Sheikh Zayed Road and other key roads and bridges across the emirate. Part of the study involves exploring various financing options, including bank loans and traditional forms of equity, public-private partnerships (PPPs), build operate transfer (BOT), and the initial public offering (IPO) of a project/operating company.

The RTA received bids from contractors for another major road project on 25 March, which also included funding options. Contractors submitted two offers for the contract to build the second second phase of infrastructure for the Dubai Water Canal scheme. One offer is with seven years of financing; the other is for a construction-only contract.

The lowest bidder for the deal with seven years of financing was the local/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG), with a price of AED487m. The low bid was about 6 per cent lower than the second-lowest price of AED516m, submitted by Beijing-based China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

The low bidder for the construction-only contract was China State with a price of AED384m, which is about 5 per cent lower than the second-lowest bid submitted by India’s Afcons. Afcons did not submit an offer with financing.

The contract involves the construction of two separate bridges for the Al-Wasl and Jumeirah Beach roads. The Jumeirah Beach Road bridge will be 220 metres long and 26 metres wide, with three lanes of traffic in each direction. The bridge on Al-Wasl Road will be 530 metres long and 19 metres wide with two lanes of traffic in each direction. It will also have a 900-metre-long direction ramp connecting to the bridge.

The RTA has also invited contractors to bid by 30 April for a deal to complete the third phase of the Dubai Water Canal scheme.

The contract involves the excavation and other marine works for the project, which is also known as the creek extension. The new section of waterway will run from the already extended creek at Business Bay, under Sheikh Zayed Road, to Al-Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road in the Al-Safa area.

In October 2013, Gunal was awarded a contract to build a 16-lane bridge to take traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road across the proposed Dubai Water Canal project, that involves taking water from Dubai creek at the Business Bay area to the Gulf. The contractor is providing funding for the works.