Top 10 Middle East construction projects due to open in 2018

Construction Week counts down the biggest projects set for completion in 2018

Top project completions in 2018.
Top project completions in 2018.

10. $350m Silicon Park project in Dubai Silicon Oasis

Silicon Park, the UAE’s first integrated free zone technology park in Dubai Silicon Oasis, will span 15ha and is being constructed at a cost of $350m (AED1.3bn).

Set for completion in Q4 2018, Silicon Park will comprise 7.1ha of office space, 2.5ha of commercial space, 4.6ha of residential area, and a 115-key hotel, Radisson Red Dubai Silicon Oasis.

It will also feature restaurants, cafés, prayer rooms, a shopping centre, and an underground parking space that will accommodate more than 2,500 cars.

As a smart community, Silicon Park will feature intelligent solutions from charging docks for smart devices on the streets to smart pop-up furniture, and digital play tables, as well as optimally designed bus shelters, piazza shading, and other public amenities.

9. The Viceroy Dubai in Jumeirah Village Circle

The Viceroy Dubai in Jumeirah Village Circle, which was hit by a fire last year, is said to be scheduled for a 2018 opening, China State Construction Engineering Corporation's Middle East (CSCECME) chairman said this year.

Work on the 60-storey tower, which will house 247 hotel rooms and 254 apartments, was initially scheduled to complete at the end of the year before being pushed back due to a fire that broke out in August 2016.

Yu Tao, chairman of CSCECME, said: “It's probably the later part of the year, but we will target by the summertime. This would be extremely challenging, but still we are trying our best."

8. Bahrain builds largest Ikea store in the GCC

Bahrain is set to be home to the largest Ikea store in the GCC with a total investment of $124.68m (BD47m).

Ikea Bahrain, located in Salmabad, will have a total retail area of 37,000m2 and is scheduled to open by mid-2018.

The Swedish furniture retailer’s store in Bahrain is being opened in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman Furniture Trading Company, Ikea Saudi Arabia

Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, deputy prime minister of Bahrain was present at Ikea Bahrain’s ground breaking ceremony on Sunday, 30 October.

“We have been striving hard to seek expansion and grow this innovative brand into high potential markets since the start of partnership between Ikea and Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman Furniture Trading Company dating back to 1983," Saud Ghassan Al Sulaiman, the CEO of Ikea Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, was quoted as saying by the Bahrain News Agency.

7. Gate Avenue, Gate 11 building in Dubai’s DIFC

Construction on the $1bn Gate Avenue project in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is now 85% complete and is scheduled for an H1 2018 completion.

The $49m (AED180m) Gate 11, the final building in DIFC’s Gate Village office district, will also be completed by Q1 2018.

Work on the mixed-use Gate Avenue project has reached the final stages with the completion of the first phase on track for H1 2018, Nabil AlKindi, chief real estate officer of DIFC Authority said in December.

The concrete structure is now 95% complete with 40,000 cubic metres of concrete poured to date, and blockwork installation at 80% completion with more than 45,000 cubic metres of concrete blocks installed.

Stone paving and planting of the soft cape is also well underway, while 140,000 linear metres of cables, wires, and trays have been installed.

AlKind told Construction Week during a tour of the site: “Comfortably I can say that we are now 85% completed. There are components that are missing, which is mainly on the car parking side.”

6. Seven Tides to build and open resort on The World Islands

Seven Tides revealed plans to construct and open a 100-villa resort on The World Islands in Dubai by Q4 2018.

The UAE-based real estate developer, which focusses on luxury property and hospitality projects, told Construction Week that it had appointed a main contractor for the resort, and that construction is expected to commence in Q4 2017.

Seven Tides has purchased the 10 plots that comprise the southernmost portion of The World Islands’ ‘South America’.

The firm plans to develop the 100-villa resort on its smallest island, which faces Dubai’s Jumeirah area.

Abdulla Bin Sulayem, chief executive officer of Seven Tides, told Construction Week: “We haven’t yet started [the main construction works]. We’re in the process of building mock-up units to calculate the exact costs.”

5.  Azizi Developments Aura Residence in Dubai

Azizi Developments revealed in October that its Azizi Aura Residence is on course to complete by Q4 2018.

The 479-unit residential building is located in Downtown Jebel Ali area, in the vicinity of Dubai Metro’s UAE Exchange station and the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

The project’s site preparation works are now complete, and mobilisation activities are underway.

The 17-storey Azizi Aura Residence building will feature 347 studio apartments, 87 one-bedroom apartments, and 43 two-bedroom apartments.

Farhad Azizi, chief executive officer of Azizi Developments, commented: “We continue to maintain a keen focus on ensuring superior quality of our projects and their timely delivery, giving our buyers and investors the best value for their money.”

4. Kuwait's Sheikh Jaber causeway

Kuwait's Sheikh Jaber Causeway is on track to open in 2018.

The cable-stayed bridge is a crucial component of Kuwait's 2035 Vision, and is "one of the longest cross-sea bridges worldwide", Kuwaiti state agency KUNA reported.

Worth $2.4bn (KWD738m), the development will link Al-Sabiya City with Madinat Al-Hareer (Silk City), reducing travel time from 60 minutes to 15.

Spanning 36km in length, the project will be launched by the end of 2018.

The development is being implemented based on instructions issued by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah "to turn Kuwait into a financial and commercial" centre, the report continued.

3. Zaha Hadid-designed ME by Meliá to debut in Dubai

Spanish hotel brand ME by Meliá will make its Middle East debut by the end of 2018 as the newest lifestyle hotel in Dubai’s Business Bay district.

Designed by Dame Zaha Hadid in partnership with Dubai-based luxury developer Omniyat, the hotel will be located within The Opus mixed-use building, also designed by the late architect.

ME by Meliá is the only hotel project where Hadid personally designed all of the interiors and exteriors, specifically conceived to display the architect’s vision of ‘interconnectedness’ throughout the project.

ME Dubai will consist of 93 rooms and suites across 19 floors, including 98 serviced apartments and an exclusive room dubbed the ‘Suite ME’.

The property will feature dramatic, signature furniture in the lobby, vertical café, lounges and reception area, which were either designed or personally selected by Hadid.

The luxury, five-star hotel is expected to become a leading destination for entertainment in Dubai’s Business Bay district, spanning across 6,000 square feet of leasable area.

2. Miral’s Warner Bros Abu Dhabi theme park

Abu Dhabi-based developer Miral is set to complete the Warner Bros Abu Dhabi theme park on Yas Island by 2018, Mohamed Abdullah Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral said earlier this year.

Spanning about 153,290m2, approximately 5,500 specialist engineers have worked on the project with construction underway and on track for a 2018 completion.

Developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, the fully indoor theme park will have 29 rides, shows, and attractions once complete.

The six themed areas will include Metropolis and Gotham City, inspired by the universe of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains; Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, and Dynamite Gulch, themed after iconic animated brands such as Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera; and Warner Bros. Plaza, reminiscent of old Hollywood.

1. The Haramain High Speed train

Under construction since 2009, the Haramain High Speed train will link the cities of Medina and Makkak to Jeddah to support the transport of pilgrims.

Using 449.2 kilometres (279.1 mi) of main line and a 3.75-kilometre (2.33 mi) branch connection to King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA), the 21-minute train ride will begin operation in 2018 and plans to link with the Makkah metro railway.

The railway will be completed by the beginning of next year, Minister of Transport Al-Amoudi said in November.  

In the future, the train will be linked to other railway lines and to the Jeddah Islamic Port.

The 450-kilometer railway has five stops in its network starting from Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdulaziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, and Madinah.

It aims to transport 60 million commuters annually and will travel at 300 kmph.

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