Dubai Municipality has invited contractors to prequalify for construction contracts that will expand two football stadiums in Dubai.

The two stadiums that are planned to be expanded are the 12,000 seater Al-Maktoum Stadium used by Al-Nasr Sports Club and the 12,000 seater Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium used by Al-Shabab al-Arabi Sports Club.

The main consultant is the local OBE Architects.

The stadium expansion projects come as the UAE’s football clubs are consolidating. On 16 May UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum ordered the merging of Al Shabab, Al-Ahli and Dubai Club into one entity called Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club. Rather than using Al-Shabab’s ground, the new club’s headquarters will be at Dubai Club in Al Awir, which may affect the Al-Maktoum Stadium expansion plans.

In Sharjah, Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad al Qasimi, issued a decree merging Al-Shaab Club and Al-Sharjah Club into one club that will will be called Sharjah Cultural Club.

Dubai stadium expected to be a PPP

A planned fully air-conditioned stadium in Dubai

A planned fully air-conditioned stadium in Dubai

A planned fully air-conditioned stadium in Dubai

RTA has yet to make final decision on developing scheme in partnership with private sector

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is likely to build the AED3bn ($817m) Mohammed bin Rashid Stadium as a public-private partnership (PPP) project.

The probable involvement of the of private sector in scheme follows reluctance from the Department of Finance’s (DoF) to fund the project. It has asked the RTA to arrange financing on the its own, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The RTA has already received “two unsolicited bids” from international stadium developers, although a final decision has yet to be taken. The project could face delay or even cancellation if a deal to push the scheme with the help of private sector is not reached, sources said, adding that DoF is prioritising funding for soft infrastructure including projects in health and education sectors and other schemes are being assessed on case-to-case basis.

MEED in December reported that RTA had appointed the UK’s Deloitte to carry out feasibility studies on the project. The other advisors are understood to be the UK law firm Trowers & Hamlin and Turner & Townsend. The study is now finished but the RTA has yet to tender the project.