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Top 10 construction news stories from 2016

by Paromita Dey on Jan 7, 2017

1. World’s largest indoor theme park opens to the public in Dubai

The world’s largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure, opened its doors to the public in late August. Wholly owned by Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group, and managed by IMG Worlds, the project has been touted as the first international mega-theme park to open in Dubai – a development designed to redefine the modern entertainment experience with its unprecedented size and offering.

Spanning 139,354m2, equivalent to 28 football pitches, IMG Worlds of Adventure is the first theme park to feature international brands, Marvel and Cartoon Network, in addition to two proprietary brands, IMG Boulevard and Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure. The theme park boasts an array of roller coasters and attractions, complemented by 28 original food and beverage (F&B) offerings and 25 retail outlets.

In comments made following the project’s inauguration, Ilyas Galadari and Mustafa Galadari, executive co-chairmen and owners of Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, said: “The creation of IMG Worlds of Adventure is the realisation of a shared childhood dream. This landmark launch has turned our aspirations of creating the world’s largest indoor theme park into a reality.”

2. Government ends rescue talks with Saudi Oger

In September, the Saudi Arabian government called off rescue talks with Saudi Oger, an anonymous source told Reuters. The collapse of the talks left the troubled contractor facing a multibillion-dollar debt restructuring process. A second KSA-based source said that, in addition to $4bn (SAR15bn) of bank loans, Saudi Oger owed $670m (SAR2.5bn) to workers, and billions of riyals to contractors and suppliers.

3. Fast finishes Riyadh metro green line tunnelling

In June, FAST Consortium, which is working on six lines of Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Metro, completed excavation works for Line 5. Also known as the Green Line, this portion of the metro runs underground along the length of King Abdulaziz Road, a main artery through the kingdom’s capital city. It boasts 13km of bored tunnel, 11 underground stations, and transfer stations that connect with the project’s Red and Blue lines.

4. Oman sees early real estate boom

The total traded value of Oman’s real estate sector grew by 244.3% during the first four months of last year, compared to the corresponding period of 2015. The traded value of mortgage contracts increased by 324.1%, reaching $13.5bn (OMR5.2bn) by the end of April. Fees collected from real estate-related legal actions hit $65m during the same period.

5. Kuwait awards $4bn airport deal

In May, Turkey’s Limak Group and its local agent, Kharafi National, were awarded a contract to build a $4.34bn (KWD1.31bn) terminal at Kuwait International Airport. Once completed, the terminal will increase the airport’s annual capacity from its current five million to 25 million passengers.