Zublin and Darwish to build Abu Dhabi-Saadiyat Bridge

Joint venture beats off competition from Samsung, Al Jaber, Taisei and Nurol for US $184mn job

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By  Angela Giuffrida Published  December 16, 2006

A joint venture between Germany’s ED Zublin AG and UAE contractor Saif Bin Darwish has picked up the US $184 million (AED671 million) contract to build the 10-lane Saadiyat Bridge highway in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture fended off competition from a Korean/UAE joint venture of Samsung and Al Jaber and the Japanese/Turkish partnership between Taisei and Nurol. Construction of the bridge, which will link Abu Dhabi with Saadiyat Island – the 27 million m2 island lying 500m off the UAE capital – is due to begin by the end of the month. “The Zublin/Bin Darwish bid was selected for its competitiveness in both commercial and technical terms,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, managing director, Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the project’s client. The bridge is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever to be undertaken in Abu Dhabi. It has been designed as a concrete box girder with five lanes in each direction as well as the planned two passenger rail tracks. The contract covers civil, electrical and mechanical work for a 2km, 10-lane highway linking the Mina Zayed area to Saadiyat Island. Work also involves the main 1.5km-long bridge and two, 200m off-ramps on the island. A second 10-lane highway linking Saadiyat Island to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway is also in the pipeline. The transformation of Saadiyat Island into a tourism hub is TDIC’s flagship development. The masterplan includes six districts, 29 hotels, three marinas, museums and cultural centres, two golf courses, civic and leisure facilities, apartments and villas. It will also be home to the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – the world’s largest Guggenheim contemporary art museum. The project will be built in three phases, with completion earmarked for 2018. TDIC was established in 2005 to manage the tourism development business of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. It plans to sell land on the island to private investors, who will develop their sites in accordance with the masterplan and design guidelines.

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