Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has awarded Turkey’s Gunal the estimated AED680m ($185m) contract to build a road bridge and canal as part of the first phase of the AED1.5bn-2.5bn extension of Dubai Creek, which is now known as Dubai Water Canal.

Prices for the deal were submitted in mid-September. The other bidders were the local/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) and a joint venture of the local Wade Adams and the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty.

The contract has been split into two parts. Section 1a involves building a 16-lane bridge that will take traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road across the proposed creek extension. Section 1b covers excavation and marine work for a stretch of the waterway running from Business Bay, past Safa Park and on towards Al-Wasl Road.

The consultant is US-based Parsons International.

Later packages on the scheme involve bridges crossing Al-Wasl Road and Beach Road, and excavation and other marine works leading out to the Gulf.

Once complete, the extension will connect Business Bay to the Gulf. In addition to crossing Sheikh Zayed Road, the waterway will cross Al-Wasl Road and Beach Road before entering the sea.

New real estate ventures are planned for the land alongside the canal. The plans include building shopping malls, four hotels and 450 restaurants. It is expected to attract 20 million visitors annually.