Plans to build a second maritime city in the federation are moving forward with construction expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006. The project will be located in Hamriyah Free Zone.

The development will focus primarily on developing facilities in areas ranging from marine services and dry docking to shipbuilding, designing and maintenance of vessels. It will also cater specifically to marine infrastructure related to the oil and gas sector, including rig maintenance and building.

Covering an area of about 5 million square metres, work is expected to take about 18 months to complete. The first construction packages are expected to include new quays and berths, a new road network, basic infrastructure and extensive dredging work. The UK’s Halcrow, which is working on the masterplan, is the consultant.

The project will be the second maritime city in the federation. Local real estate developer Nakheelis investing about $175 million in the construction of a major mixed-use offshore facility in Dubai to serve the region’s maritime industry. The project calls for the construction of facilities for the design, manufacture and repair of vessels, research centres and related maritime services and administrative buildings (MEED 19:8:05).