A total of 42 companies purchased the tender documents for the contract at the start of the year, and eight groups submitted technical bids by the 1 April deadline. Five were eliminated from the bidding process (MEED 11:4:03).

The three remaining groups, all of which included local engineering companies, submitted commercial bids with a range of hard currency components. EMA is expected to complete evaluation of the financial offers by mid-May.

The 30-month contract comprises the construction of a 4.1-kilometre tunnel between the existing stations of El-Hamma and Hai el-Badr and four new stations along the route. The capital’s long-delayed metro project – first started in 1982 – was given a new lease of life when the government set aside AD 13,000 million ($158 million) in the 2003 budget for the construction of the new section. Officials estimate that the total cost of bringing the entire metro system into operation will be around AD 77,000 million ($934 million).