Abu Dhabi General Services (Musanada) has awarded two contracts totalling AED2.138bn ($582m) for the construction of the new highway connecting Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Establishment has won the estimated AED1.297bn contract for the first 34 kilometre-long section of the highway that will start in Saih Shuaib area on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai border. It will have three interchanges.

The contract to build the second section of highway was awarded to a joint venture of Tristar Engineering & Construction and Italy’s Salini Costruttori. Valued at AED840m it involves the construction of 28km of highway with three interchanges.

Both contracts are expected to take two and a half years to complete.

Both contracts were originally tendered by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport. Musanada took over the management of the project early this year as the agency took control of all capital projects outside the oil and gas and utility sectors in the emirate. The decision, which was taken by Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council, means large-scale schemes that were being delivered by other government agencies will now be transferred to Musanada.