Local bank Samba is inviting companies to prequalify for the contract to construct its new headquarters building at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) on the outskirts of Riyadh.

The main construction contract involves the building and basic fit-out of a 39-storey office block with three levels of basement parking. The total built-up area is about 110,000 square metres.

Samba will award a contract to complete the fit-out once work has started on the main contract. The bank expects construction will start in the second quarter of 2010.

The main consultants working on the project are all UK firms. The architect is Foster & Partners, the engineer is Buro Happold and the consultant is Davis Langdon.

The Saudi financial regulator, the Capital Market Authority (CMA), is also prequalifying contractors for a deal to build its headquarters at the financial centre.The CMA building will be a 400-metre-tall tower of 79 storeys and three basement levels, with a total built-up area of 185,000 sq m.

Other financial institutions including the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul), Alinma Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank and the Public Investment Fund are also planning high-rise office buildings in the financial district.

Al-Rayadah Investments, the investment arm of the Public Pension Agency, is the master developer of KAFD.

In October, Al-Rayadah awarded Saudi Binladin Group a SR14bn ($3.7bn) contract to design and build 30 office blocks, including the district’s 303-metre-tall World Trade Centre and the 240-metre-high GCC Central Bank Tower (MEED 15:10:09).