The US’ Vanir Construction Management has been selected to provide project management services for the estimated $1.2bn King Khaled Medical City project in Dammam.

The project management firm was selected on 1 January, according to sources in Riyadh. The King Khaled Medical City will cover a total area of 700,000 square metres and will include a 1,500-bed hospital, residential complex, research centre and an international academy.

The client for the project is the local King Fahad Specialist Hospital group. The US-based team Aecom/Ellerbe Becket is the architect and lead designer for the medical scheme. The main construction package is expected to be tendered by the end of the second quarter of 2012.

Vanir Construction Management is also providing project management services for the estimated $354m project to expand the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah (MEED 24:7:11).

The medical projects are part of the kingdom’s efforts to improve its provision of healthcare services.

In the current budget, the government has set aside $23bn to be spent on health and social affairs for 2012, a 20 per cent increase over the 2011 allocation. According to the government’s budget report, there are currently 137 hospitals under construction in the kingdom.