Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has confirmed that it has awarded the contract for the construction of the first phase of the road and bridge network for the Dubai Water Canal project to Gunal.

MEED reported in early October that the estimated AED680m ($185m) contract to build a road bridge and canal had been awarded to the Turkish contractor. The contract is part of the first phase of the AED1.5bn-2.5bn extension of Dubai creek.

Prices for the deal were submitted in mid-September. The other bidders were the local/Australian Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) and a joint venture of the local Wade Adams and the local/UK Dutco Balfour Beatty.

The consultant is US-based Parsons International.

Later packages on the scheme involve bridges on Al-Wasl Road and Jumeira Beach Road, and excavation and other marine works leading out to the Gulf.

Once complete, the extension will connect Business Bay to the Gulf. In addition to crossing Sheikh Zayed Road, the waterway will cross Al-Wasl Road and Jumeira Beach Road before entering the sea.

New real estate ventures are planned for the land alongside the canal. The plans include building shopping malls, four hotels and 450 restaurants. It is expected to attract 20 million visitors annually.