Local developer Emaar Properties has awarded the contract to complete the raft foundations for the world’s tallest building, known as The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, to the local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct.

The award of the raft package is a significant step after the procurement strategy for the project changed earlier this year. The raft was close to being awarded in January this year when Emaar issued the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty with a letter of intent for the works. This was then promptly cancelled as Emaar decided to reconsider how to deliver the project and began engaging with contractors for a pre-construction agreement for the tower.

Emaar is now understood to be in the final stages of talks with contractors about providing pre-construction services. With the award of the raft to Six Construct, the pre-construction agreement is expected to be signed with the joint venture of Six Construct with South Korea’s Samsung C+T.

The pre-construction period will last about six months before leading to a contract award for the construction of the tower.

The change in the procurement strategy has given the project team more time to develop the design of the tower with the assistance of a contractor. Emaar had been planning last year to award a construction contract in early 2017 so that the tower could be completed in time for the start of the Dubai Expo on 20 October 2020.

It is now understood that an award will be delayed, and the tower will not be completed in time for the start of the Expo.

Two groups submitted bids for a construction contract in November. They were a joint venture of Lebanon’s Arabian Construction Company (ACC) and Lebanon’s Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), and the Samsung/Six Construct joint venture.

The superstructure comprises three key elements. They are: a concrete core, a steel frame structure on top of the concrete core, and cables descending down from the tower to the ground.

France’s Soletanche Bachy is the piling contractor for the project. The tower is designed by Spanish/Swiss architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava Valls. Calatrava is working with the local office of Aurecon as the consultant, supported by the UK’s RMJM. The project manager for the tower is US-based Parsons.

On 10 October last year, Dubai officially confirmed the tower will be the world’s tallest tower when it is completed. The final height has not been disclosed. To become the world’s tallest tower, it will have to be more than 1,008 metres in height, which is the expected height of the under-construction Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia.

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