Al Naboodah Laing to build Old Town Dubai

Contractor sees off competition from Al Basti & Muktha to win new project

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By  Colin Foreman Published  April 30, 2005

Al Naboodah Laing O’Rourke has won the US $217 million (AED800 million) contract to build Dubai’s Old Town, after emerging victorious from a fierce battle to land the high profile project. CW has learned that the contractor won the latest project to be launched by Emaar after seeing off competition from rival contractor Al Basti & Muktha. The ‘Old Town’ is part of the Down Town Dubai development that will include the world’s tallest tower, and which Emaar claims will be the most prestigious square kilometre on Earth. Sources close to the project say it has been let as a lump sum fixed price contract and work is expected to start next month, with a construction period of two years. The award comes at a crucial time for the contractor as it begins to wind down on the expansion of Dubai International Airport and hands over to Al Habtoor Murray & Roberts for the fit-out phase of the work. The timing of the ‘Old Town’ contract award means that Al Naboodah Laing will be able to switch resources between the two projects seamlessly. Like the airport project, the contractor will be engaged mainly with structural work, which means that many of the site personnel currently engaged at the airport will be able to move to the new job. A source close to the contractor said: “The timing and the nature of the project is ideal. I am not sure of percentages, but a significant element of the resources currently at the airport will be moved to this new project once it begins to scale down in a couple of months.” Al Naboodah Laing O’Rourke is also understood to be tendering for the main construction package on the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel planned for the Dubai International Finance Centre. And the firm is aiming to win some of the hotel construction packages to be released as part of the Burj Dubai project. The ‘Old Town’ project was launched by Emaar last September and it will include a 245-bed five star hotel, a two-storey 18 000m2 shopping mall, two 12-storey office blocks and 390 luxury apartments. There will be parking spaces for up to 2000 cars. According to Emaar, ‘The Old Town’ will have courtyard apartments and souk-styled retail facilities, walkways, rooftop terraces, landscaped gardens and water features. Middle East Foundations has been awarded a piling and groundworks contract to make way for the main construction work. That contract is now nearing completion. Old Town is part of the 400 acre Burj Dubai development.

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