Local contractors snubbed on Oman Blue City project

Turkish and Greek contractors walk away with the first phase of Oman’s largest construction project.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  January 14, 2006

The developer behind Oman’s US $15 billion Blue City has delivered a snub to local contractors by awarding the main construction package to a Turkish-Greek consortium. Enka Insaat, Turkey’s largest construction company, and Aktor Ate, the construction arm of Greek firm, Hellenic Technodomiki, have taken the $1.9 billion main contract for the first phase of the project — one of the largest leisure-based schemes ever to be developed in the Middle East. Neither firm has won a major contract in Oman before, although both have worked on projects within the region. The project will take an estimated 15 years to complete and will cost up to $20 billion. It will cover 34 km2 of coastline near Muscat and is expected to attract around two million tourists a year. Dr Fari Akhlaghi, chief executive of ReeMoon, the client representative on the project, denied that local firms had been excluded from the process and said that the winning consortium would be required to work with local firms as a condition of the contract. He said: “It was a restricted competition and a negotiated process. “On our side we insisted that the contractors bidding for the contract should have a good knowledge of local contractors and be able to work with them.” The first phase of Blue City will include four hotels, two golf courses and a shopping complex. Dr Akhlaghi added that several other packages would be let during the first phase of the project, which may also include some dredging work. The first phase of the project will provide around 5.5 km2 of mixed-use accommodation over the next five years. There will be four hotels built on the development, which will add around 1000 rooms to the locality.

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