EXCLUSIVE: Emaar returns to market for contract to build world's tallest structure

23 July 2017

Dubai developer signed pre-construction agreements with contractors earlier this year

Emaar Properties has gone back to the market to find contractors to work on the world’s tallest man-made structure that it plans to build in Dubai.

According to sources close to the project, the local developer has asked construction companies to express interest in building The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour.

The move comes despite Emaar appointing two contracting groups to provide pre-construction services over a period of six months for the tower earlier this year. At the time it was expected that the main construction contract would be awarded to one of the two groups.

MEED reported in April that the two groups selected for pre-construction services are a joint venture of South Korea’s Samsung C+T and the local/Belgian Belhasa Six Construct, and a team of the local Dutco Group and Tishman – which is part of the US’ Aecom. It is understood that both groups have not been able to agree on terms and conditions with Emaar.

In March, Belhasa Six Construct was appointed to complete the raft foundations for the tower.

Like the main construction contract the award of the raft was not a straightforward process. It was close to being awarded in January this year when Emaar issued the Dutco Group 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 pre-construction services.

The change in the procurement strategy gave 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 main 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.

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.

In October 2016, Dubai officially confirmed the tower will be the world’s tallest man-made structure 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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