Work on the contract, which entails the dredging of 28 million cubic metres, is expected to begin in January and last about 15 months. State-owned Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) has been awarded a major dredging subcontract worth an undisclosed sum. ‘DCI will help us with the technical aspects of the contract, which is our biggest ever,’ says an Al-Ghanah official. ‘That such a major contract should be awarded to a local firm up against international competition is very positive.’ UAE-based Wade Adams Contractingis the project manager.

The developments at Busaiteen and Hidd are part of a wider project to build four new townships, creating some 250,000 new homes to cope with the rapidly-rising population. Bahrain-based French Town Planningis working on the designs.