The UAE/Australian contractor Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) has formed a joint venture with Australia’s John Holland to form a regional water and environment contracting firm.

Advance Water and Environment, which will be based in Dubai, will target desalination, wastewater treatment and recycling, water storage and transmission, and specialist environmental projects throughout the Middle East.

Advance Water and Environment is seeking to take advantage of the estimated $50bn worth of water-related projects expected in the GCC in the next five years.

HLG was formed in 2007 following the merger of the UAE’s Al-Habtoor Engineering with Gulf Leighton, the Gulf arm of Australia’s Leighton.