The scope of works under the AED 105 million ($28.6 million) contract covers the plot excavation and dewatering at the market redevelopment, which covers two plots situated between Hamdan street and Khalifa street, as well as the construction of diaphragm walling.

Prequalification applications for the main construction package were submitted in early July and an official shortlist is expected soon.

Due to be completed by 2008, the estimated $325 million project calls for the construction of an air-conditioned central souk in the same style as the traditional bazaars of Cairo or Damascus, a town square and one tower at each of the four corners of the market. It will also entail mosques, restaurants, banks and underground car parking facilities.

ALDAR was awarded a 50-year concession to develop and manage the new central souk by the government in 2004. The UK office of RTKLis the design consultant (MEED 1:7:05).