Contractors in Dubai expect local real estate developer Emaar Properties to split its proposed AED6bn ($1.63bn) Westside development in the Downtown Dubai district into a series of construction contracts rather than procuring the work as a much larger partnering agreement.

The work is now likely to be procured as single traditional construction contracts, although it will still include some major packages, such as the Dubai Modern Art Museum and Opera House.

The Westside development also involves building about 14 residential blocks with a built-up area of about 1.2 million square metres across the artificial lake from the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. It will also have a promenade with shops and food and beverage outlets looking out to the 828 metre-tall tower.

In June, Emaar received prices from contractors that could be have been used to form the basis of a partnering agreement. The contracts that submitted rates were: The local Alec, the local/UK Al-Futtaim Carillion, Canada’s Brookfield Multiplex, and the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty.

Partnering agreements are an alternative form of contract that means a client and a contractor share risk and work together on a project, replacing the typically adversarial nature of traditional contracts. These agreements were gaining popularity in the region before the real estate crash of 2008. Since then the practice has been largely abandoned.

UK-based Atkins and South Africa’s Mirage Mille are the consultants working on the scheme.

In mid-October, Emaar received bids from companies for the contract to build The Address The Boulevard hotel and residential development in the Downtown Dubai area.

The bidders are:

Located next to the Burj Khalifa, the 63-storey tower will contain 200 five-star hotel rooms and 542 serviced apartments. The 340-metre tower will house studios, and one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. The project will be funded by offplan sales. The tower was designed by Atkins.