The largest contract award reported on in June was the $3.5bn construction deal secured by Saudi Binladin Group for the Abraj Kudai development in Mecca, as private developers continue to build large-scale projects in the holy city in Saudi Arabia.

The mixed-use development includes 12 towers ranging in height from 30 to 45 storeys. The development will be built in the Manafia area in central Mecca, 1.7 kilometres away from the Grand Mosque. The 64,000-square-metre plot is next to Ajyad road in the east and the Kudai and Birka tunnels to the west.

The magnitude of the Abraj Kudai award meant that building work dominated the awards in June with $4.79bn of contracts of the $9.88bn awarded across all sectors. Another notable building contract awarded in June was the $629m contract won by the joint venture of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), the UAE’s Arabtec Construction and Drake & Scull, also from the UAE for work at the Saraya Aqaba development in Jordan.

Like Mecca, Aqaba is an attractive destination for regional developers, including Saraya Aqaba Real Estate Development Company, which awarded the 28-month contract for phase one of its $1bn scheme that covers 634,000 square metres around a man-made lagoon; adding approximately 1.5 kilometres of beachfront to the Gulf of Aqaba.

The phase one works involve building four international hotels managed by Jumeirah International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, as well a shopping centre, a beach club, offices, convention centre and water park, in addition to a part of the residential units, infrastructure, utility buildings and staff accommodation.

Another area with a resurgence in interest from private developers is Dubai. In June, Dubai-based Skai Holdings awarded Beijing-based China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) the estimated $272m contract to build the Viceroy resort on the Palm Jumeirah.

The Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah will have 481 hotel rooms and 221 residences. The resort will also include 10 restaurants, an 800-square-metre spa, a 350-sq m gym, a 106-metre swimming pool, and a beach club. Foundations work has already started and completion is expected in late 2016.

CSCEC is also investing in the project, through a special purpose vehicle formed by other investors ASSAS and Skai.

Away from building work the largest contract award was the $766m deal secured by Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company for package one on Abu Dhabi’s Umm al-Lulu offshore field for Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco). The contract for package one of the Umm al-Lulu full-field development, which was first reported by MEED in May, was signed on 18 June by senior executives of both companies.

The EPC work for package one comprises the construction and installation of six new wellhead towers, along with a riser platform topside and 90km of infield pipelines.

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Middle East contracts awarded June 2013