Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has awarded a SR1.18bn ($315m) construction contract to a joint venture of the UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton and the local Al-Latifia Trading & Contracting to expand the King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh.

The project will involve constructing a cancer centre, neurosciences institute, cardiac centre, laboratories and underground car park. The expansion will add an additional 510 beds to the capacity of the medical complex.

The King Fahad Medical City complex is one of the largest healthcare facilities in the kingdom, with a current capacity of 1,400 beds. The city was constructed between 1984 and 1995, and is located in the Sulaimaniyah area of Riyadh. The medical complex currently treats more than 50,000 inpatients and more than 600,000 outpatients annually.

The King Fahad Medical City is one of five medical cities planned to be built or expanded by the kingdom’s Health Ministry.

The US Hill International was recently awarded a contract to provide project management services for the construction of two other medical cities. Hill was selected by the Health Ministry as the preferred bidder for the deal in July, and according to sources was awarded the contract towards the end of August.

One of the medical cities is planned for the northern region of the kingdom with the other planned for the southern region. The southern project, the estimated SR4bn ($1.1bn)King Faisal Medical City, will have a 1,350-bed capacity, while northern scheme, the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Medical City, will have 1,000 beds. In addition to the hospitals, the medical cities will incorporate housing and other facilities for medical staff.