• Aramco chairman will present two options for stadiums to Higher Economic Council
  • Options are either build all 11 at once or complete in three stages
  • Contractors submitted offers for the construction work in late 2014

Saudi Aramco is preparing to present its plans to the Higher Economic Council for the stadiums it plans to build at 11 locations across the kingdom.

A source close to the project tells MEED that Aramco chairman Khalid al-Falih will present two options to the council. The first is to proceed with all 11 stadiums simultaneously; the second is to execute the programme in three stages.

Sources close to the project told MEED in early May that the stadiums planned for Dammam and Medina are the most likely to go ahead, and plans for the others will be reviewed and downsized or scrapped. A report in the Saudi Gazette in mid-April said the government was considering converting the proposed sports stadiums into sports villages.

According to designs seen by MEED, the masterplans for the stadium developments each include a stadium, mosque, roads, parking and associated utilities and landscaping. Other components may include multi-purpose arenas, youth hostels, and walking trails.

MEED reported in early March 2015 that the programme had slowed. Aramco is the world’s largest oil exporter and, in light of the decline in oil prices, and this year, like many clients in the region, has been reassessing where and how it will spend its money.

The stadiums were being developed on a fast-track basis last year. Firms first submitted offers for the construction contracts in November, and revised prices were submitted in mid-December 2014.

The construction contracts for the estimated $5bn programme were expected to be awarded by the end of 2014. Since then, falling oil prices and a change in the leadership in Saudi Arabia led to expectations that the programme that was launched by the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud could be delayed, downsized or cancelled.

In mid-January, contractors had been negotiating with Aramco, and several frontrunners had emerged for some of the stadiums. Nine groups were invited to bid for the contracts, with a select list for each stadium:

The stadiums were planned for Medina, Al-Qassim, the Eastern Province, Asir, Tabuk, Hail, the Northern Borders, Jizan, Najran, Baha and Al-Jouf.

Contractors that were invited to bid:

Medina

Al-Qassim

Dammam

  • Nasser al-Hajri (local) / Vinci (France)
  • Bouygues (France) / Almabani (local) / Al-Rushaid Construction Company (local)
  • Al-Muhaidib Trading & Contracting (local) / Six Construct (Belgium)

Asir

  • Vinci/ Nasser al-Hajri
  • Baytur (Turkey) / Clark Construction (US)
  • Besix (Belgium) / Al-Muhaidib Trading & Contracting

Tabuk

Hail

Arar

  • SBG / Eiffage
  • CCC / Strabag
  • Bouygues / Al-Rushaid Construction Company / Almabani (local)
  • Baytur / Clark Construction

Jizan

  • Vinci/ Nasser al-Hajri
  • Bouygues / Al-Rushaid Construction Company / Almabani
  • Nesma & Partners / Salini Impregilo
  • Besix / Al-Muhaidib Trading & Contracting

Najran

Baha

Al-Jouf

Aramco also appointed a team of firms to project manage the development and construction of the 11 stadiums.

Project management firms

The project managers will work with US-based CH2M and UK-based EC Harris, which have been appointed as programme managers.

The architects working on the designs include US-based Aecom, Germany’s GMP, and US-based HKS and Populous.

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