Nakheel invites contractors to submit plans for Tall Tower in Dubai

31 October 2008
Contractors have until 20 November to bid for 1-kilometre-high skyscraper.

Selected companies have been invited to submit proposals by 20 November for a tower at least 1 kilometre high at the AED140bn ($38bn) Nakheel Harbour & Tower development in Dubai.

The companies are the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton, the local/UK Al-Naboodah Laing O’Rourke, South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Construction (Middle East), South Korea’s Samsung Corporation, Japan’s Taisei Corporation, and France’s Vinci Construction Grand Projets.

The AED30bn tower will be developed over a period of 10 years. The client plans to shortlist two groups by the end of the year and select one group to provide pre-construction services by early 2009. The pre-construction period is expected to last for at least one year.

Enabling works on the development are being executed by France’s Soletanche Bachy. The package is scheduled for completion in October 2010, and work on the tower’s superstructure is expected to follow shortly after.

In June, sources close to the project said the tower had been designed to be 1.4km tall. However, Nakheel has only confirmed that it will be more than 1km high. Once finished, it will be taller than the Burj Dubai, which is expected to be about 820 metres high when completed in 2009.

The Tall Tower was originally called the Pinnacle and was to be located on the Palm Jumeirah, before becoming part of the Dubai Waterfront scheme, when it was renamed Al-Burj. The consultancy team for the tower includes UK-based WSP, US-based Leslie E Robertson Associates and Australia’s Woods Bagot.

The development will be built alongside the proposed Arabian Canal and next to Ibn Battuta Mall and Jumeirah islands. It will cover an area of 2.7km and will be home to more than 55,000 people (MEED 8:10:08).

“The cost of construction of the tower, canal and other buildings will be AED140bn,” Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World and Nakheel told those attending the formal launch of the project on 5 October.

The development will include 250,000 square metres of hotels and hospitality space, and 100,000 sq m of retail space.

Other Nakheel projects have been affected by the global credit crisis. Work on its multi-billion dollar Palm Deira project has been scaled back, and it is now unclear what its development strategy across its $100bn-plus portfolio will be in the coming months.

It is likely that Nakheel, along with other developers in Dubai, will prioritise certain projects. The move to select a contractor for the Tall Tower suggests the scheme is a priority for Nakheel and the Dubai government.

In addition, the costs incurred during the preconstruction period will not be such a large financial burden as actual construction work such as dredging.

By 2011, when work on the tower’s superstructure is due to start, the economic crisis may have passed, allowing Nakheel to proceed with work in a more benign financial climate.

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