‘World’ contractors face huge logistics challenge

Contractors await lump sum design and build infrastructure package on US$ 3 b. project

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By  Colin Foreman Published  April 16, 2005

Contractors building the first ‘continent’ to be developed on Dubai’s US$ 3 billion World project will face the biggest logistical challenge so far encountered on any of the offshore islands under construction in the Gulf. A quoted Kuwaiti company called The Investment Dar has acquired Australasia from developer Nakheel, and has already appointed consultants to oversee development of the 14 islands which make up the Oqyana (‘Ocean’ in Arabic). The Kuwaiti company chose Australasia because of its location, according to Adnan Abdul Qader Al-Musallam, chairman of The Investment Dar. He said: “Oqyana will be the closest development to the mainland, it will have the best views of Dubai from The World and the entire destination can be isolated as it has no extensive public water corridors running through it.” The biggest single challenge facing the construction team will be the daily movement of thousands of construction workers to the island, together with thousands of tonnes of plant and machinery. Nic Alford, project director for Proman Mace, said: “The first construction work to begin will be infrastructure works awarded as a lump sum design and build package, along with support from internationally experienced engineers.” He added: “As it is an isolated group of islands, the infrastructure will have to be very creative and take advantage of leading edge technologies like reverse osmosis and grey water technologies, to ensure that the luxury nature of the islands is maintained and that they are self-sufficient.” Subsequent construction work for the various structures on the individual islands will be let in separate packages. “The project management team is currently in discussions with Nakheel to see whether some of the canals and waterways can be left as part of the land mass. This would allow construction traffic to reach all of the 14 islands from any one point. “It would also enable the contractors to utilise some of the islands for support services, whether it be storage, concrete batching plants, or to create a large temporary jetty capable of receiving materials directly and avoiding the logistical problems of transporting them to a jetty on the Dubai coastline, and then out to the islands,” said Alford. Nakheel executive chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said that several of the islands which make up the World development have already broken the surface, while others are sitting about 4 m below the surface waiting for the completion of the protective breakwaters. When finished, the development will cover approximately 40 ha and offer 1500 apartments, 90 villas, approximately 170 canal homes and more than 150 beachfront mansions. Between 10 000 and 15 000 people are expected to eventually take up residency on the islands when completed. The project team currently comprises Woods Bagot for the architectural masterplan; GHD as the marine and engineering consultants; Davis Langdon Seah as the cost consultants; and KPMG for the project feasibility study.

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