Arabtec stretched to the limit

UAE firm says Meydan racecourse deal taken up last remaining resources, no new jobs for next six months.

An artist's impression of the Meydan racecourse being build in Dubai.
An artist's impression of the Meydan racecourse being build in Dubai.

UAE construction giant, Arabtec Construction, has said that it will not bid for any more projects for the next six months.

The decision comes just a week after the company was awarded the US $1.3 billion (AED4.6 billion) contract to build a racecourse and hotel as part of the massive Meydan project with Malaysian partner, WCT Engineering.

"This is going to be the biggest racecourse in the world and our hands are full at the moment," the company's chairman, Riad Kamal, told Construction Week.

"We're not going to be taking on any more jobs for at least the next six months."

Arabtec is currently working on some of the biggest projects in the region, which have commanded most of its resources.

Among these projects are the world's tallest skyscraper - Burj Dubai - in a joint venture with Besix and Samsung, and several other jobs on what is to be the world's largest airport and logistics hub, Dubai World Central.

The company is also the main contractor on the Burj Dubai Lake Hotel. Outside the UAE, it is involved in the $1.6 billion Waab City in Qatar.

Thomas Barry, general manager, Arabtec, said: "This recent contract win [Meydan] has taken up the last of our remaining resources, leaving us with no more to take on new jobs for now. But we do have sufficient resources to complete this project on time and to the highest standards."

Completion of the racecourse and hotel package has been earmarked for the end of 2009, just a few months before the planned hosting of the Dubai World Cup in 2010.

Arabtec was established in the UAE in 1975. Among its past projects are the Maha Desert Resort, the Sharjah Art Gallery, the Convention Centre fit-out for the IMF conference in Dubai in 2003, the racing grandstand for Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club and the shipbuilding yard for Abu Dhabi Ship Building.

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