The ministry reopened the prequalification procedure about two months after the original deadline.

Egypt’s Orascom Construction informed the ministry that it had decided against bidding earlier this year, even though it had already been prequalified for the competition.

The other seven prequalified companies will all bid for the project to build 2,200 schools over the next five years.

Abu Dhabi Investment Company, the UK’s Babcock and Brown, Bouygues Batiment International from France, Kuwait’s Kharafi Group, Samcrete, an Egyptian company, Saudi Binladen Group, and Saudi Oger all prequalified.

The ministry has not yet issued a deadline for companies wishing to prequalify in the latest round.