Known as Diyar al-Muharraq, the project involves the dredging and reclamation of 12 square kilometres of land close to the Amwaj islands development and Bahrain International Airport.

The project is made up of 13 islands and will have 40 kilometres of waterfront, with residential areas, commercial centres, shopping malls and hotels.

Once complete, Diyar al-Muharraq will have 30,000 properties and will be home to about 100,000 people. The long-term strategy of the project is to support the Housing Ministry’s programme to provide affordable accommodation for Bahrainis. The first buildings are scheduled for completion in 2010.

The project has gone through a series of incarnations over the past four years. It was previously known as the Two Seas project, when the development was in the shape of a seahorse. However, land-use opportunities were deemed too limited to be viable.

The latest design allows for one main island with five smaller islands surrounding it, forming a long rectangular shape.

The US’ Great Lakes Dredge & Dock is working on the first phase of dredging in a joint venture with the local Nass Group. The contract involves the dredging of about 80 million cubic metres of material, of which 50 per cent is complete.

UK-based Hyder is working on the detailed infrastructure consultancy contract (MEED 20:3:08).