Al Reem bridge halts Royal Complex work

Elite Holding is forced to stop construction on the Royal Complex to make way for a bridge planned by Abu Dhabi Municipality.

Depending on the location of a new site
Depending on the location of a new site

Abu Dhabi-based developer, Elite Holding, has been forced to stop construction on its US $408.4 million (AED1.5 billion) Royal Complex to make way for a new bridge planned by Abu Dhabi Municipality.

The bridge - connecting Abu Dhabi Island with Al Reem Island - forms part of the government's recently introduced urban development plan, which involves plans for coordinated transport networks, public amenities and other infrastructure development.

Piling was already underway on the Royal Complex, a mixed-use project consisting of a 26-storey office tower, a 23-storey residential tower and two 21-storey towers for serviced apartments. The piling contractor was Germany's Bauer.


Located next to the Beach Rotana Resort Hotel, the development was scheduled for completion in December 2009.

But it now faces major delays as the developer agrees on a new location, which could lead to design changes.

"We are still waiting for the green light to go ahead with the new location wherever it may be," said a spokesperson from Elite Holding, who asked to remain unnamed.

"We would certainly be looking for the best choice which fits with our original conceptual design. It depends on the plot of land and the substitute location. If the design fits in with the place it would be great, otherwise we will have to redesign [the project]."

Hanna Botros from the project's local consultant, Al Meedan, said that construction was unlikely to resume on the development for another six months to one year.

"If the land size changes, the project may have to change completely. It is up to the authorities," said Botros.

"It will take months, because it takes time to decide where the new land will be. And it could take six months or a year to get another approval for the new project, because we have to review it again with the municipality."

Al Meedan could not confirm if it would be involved in the new project.

The main consultant on the development was Singapore-based Surbana.

The spokesperson from Elite Holdings added that despite the delays, all parties involved will be fairly compensated by Abu Dhabi government, and a number of alternative sites have been offered.

"The Abu Dhabi government is very fair. Everything was taken into consideration. The government has also been generous in proposing other alternatives - it didn't just give one choice and say ‘take or leave it'. Everyone involved has presented their claim, which is under review."

Although no new location has been confirmed, Elite Holding has said that a site on Al Reem Island has been suggested.

Abu Dhabi Municipality was unavailable for comment.

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