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Home / ANALYSIS / Site Visit: The Galleria, Jeddah

Site Visit: The Galleria, Jeddah

by Ben Roberts on May 7, 2011


The Galleria project aims to exploit opportunities in the retail sector as a new shopping venue on the Jeddah Corniche.
The Galleria project aims to exploit opportunities in the retail sector as a new shopping venue on the Jeddah Corniche.

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A drive through the extensive Corniche area of Jeddah quickly reveals an area filling up with construction activity. Where Lamar Tower and Jawharah Tower, two upcoming structures, reflect the demand for further hotel accommodation, the Galleria project aims to exploit the opportunities in the retail sector as a new shopping venue.

In truth, the shopping part will be contained only within the ground floor and mezzanine of the eventual 9,000m2 area, which sits alongside the bustling Tahlia Street. The seven floors above will be occupied by an Elaf Jeddah hotel, part of the extensive Elaf Group, which is the client for the Galleria.

The Galleria will eventually boast a classical façade and a contemporary core. The development will also contain more than 400 hotel rooms, numerous retail units and several restaurants and assembly rooms. The individual rooms offer views across the Jeddah skyline, as well as views into the mall.

Main contractor United Constructors Contracting Company (UCCL) has been working on the project since November, having subcontracted Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Company (SAFCO) to undertake the excavation and dewatering.

The resulting area, which will make up three basement levels, has been split up into three zones, which are then divided up, according to the preference of Kling Consult, the main consultant.

Both consultant and contractor have a good history with retail projects. Kling Consult has worked on shopping malls in Dubai, home of its regional office. UCCL, a local company, can boast a portfolio of Jeddah retail projects that includes Roshan Mall, Sheikh Abdurahman Nania Commercial Centre and Sultan Mall on Prince Sultan Street.

The zones of the rectangular basement have reached different stages of progress, meaning that the whole area resembles a kind of cross-section of the construction.

Where excavation work at one end is just coming to an end, the other side facing Tahlia Street has completed the three basement floors and has reached ground level.

In-between the area is full of workers, steel and makeshift climbing structures to gain access to the different levels, as well as Doka formwork. Along one side of the project runs a large pipe where SAFCO is still dewatering the base of the project.

Fouad Lodhi, assistant project manager at Kling Consult, says that the ramp for the end completing excavation has just been removed, with the contractors completing the raft foundation.

“We had recently finished working on the King’s Road Tower, and now the staff is coming over to the Galleria,” he says. The whole area is split up into six zones, partly for speed and partly due to the fact that there have been design modifications to certain areas of the basement.



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