The first tender covers levelling of the site and preparatory earthworks for an area of about 20 million square metres. Consultants have also been invited to submit bids for an infrastructure and utilities design contract that includes a complete water distribution system, large power and desalination plants and a complete road network. Located in the desert off Emirates road, the project will be divided into three phases. Each phase is set to see investment of about $2,700 million. The scheme calls for construction of high-rise buildings, community facilities and retail and entertainment centres. Phase 1, scheduled for completion by 2008, comprises the entire city’s infrastructure, a downtown area with one of the federation’s largest shopping malls, 20 residential and commercial towers each of about 20 storeys, a residential district with 1,000 villas and 200 buildings ranging from five-10 storeys. It will also include a 50-storey luxury hotel.

The new city will create housing for 500,000 people. Foreign nationals will be able to buy property in the project on a 99-year leasehold basis. The government will hold a 23 per cent stake in the first phase. Dubai-based Artech Projects Consultants & Management is the concept designer. Tameer is 50 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Group.