The UAE’s Presidential Affairs Ministry has set a 21 February closing date for bids on the main construction package on the estimated AED6bn ($1.6bn) presidential palace project in the Ras al-Akhdar area of Abu Dhabi Island.

The new palace complex will be built between the existing presidential palace and the Emirates Palace Hotel. It will have a total built-up area of about 220,000 square metres. The existing palace is used by the federal government and hosts cabinet meetings and other federal government functions.

At least ten bidders have been prequalified for the contract, including the local Alec; the local/UK Al-Futtaim Carillion; Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company; Turkey’s Nurol Group; South Korea’s Samsung Corporation; Oger Abu Dhabi, the local affiliate of Saudi Oger; and Saudi Binladin Group.

A number of joint venture bidders have also been invited to collect documents. They include the local/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group with South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East); a joint venture of Brazil’s Odebrecht with the local/Lebanese Arabian Construction Company (ACC); and a joint venture of the local/Belgian Six Construct Abu Dhabi and the local Arabtec Construction.

The local Dutch Foundation has already started work on the enabling works package for the new palace.

US-based RW Armstrong is the project manager. The architect is the local Ewan Architectural & Engineering Consultancy. The engineer is UK-based WSP and the cost consultant is Bahrain-based Haj Gulf.