The client is in the process of drawing up a shortlist for the tender. About 30 local and international companies have expressed interest in the project.

Limitless has also awarded a contract to a joint venture of Australia’s Gulf Leighton and Van Oord of the Netherlands. The excavation contract covers a trial section of the canal, at the northern end of the inland section of the 80-kilometre-long waterway.

The award is the second trial section to be awarded. Late last year South Korea’s Samsung Corporation was awarded a separate contract to test different excavation techniques. A smaller site preparation contract was also awarded to the local Bund Construction. Both contracts will serve as trial runs before tenders for the main excavation contracts are issued.

The excavation works are expected to take three years, and will involve moving about 1 billion cubic metres of material, at a rate of 1 million cubic metres a day. This will be used for landfill and landscaping on adjacent developments.

Contracts for associated works, such as marinas, will be awarded separately.

The canal will be constructed at sea level for its entire length to allow yachts to sail along it.
It will enter the Gulf at two points: one southwest of Palm Jebel Ali, as part of the Dubai Waterfront project; the other southwest of the Dubai Marina (MEED 16:3:08).