TDIC awards $550m Saadiyat Island infrastructure contract to Leighton (UAE/AU)

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the asset development arm of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), has awarded a US $550 million (AED 2.1bn) infrastructure construction contract for the 27-km² Saadiyat Island offshore the UAE capital to Leighton International, part of Australia's largest project development and contracting group – Leighton Group.

Artist impression of Saadiyat Island.

The award includes the construction of the 6.5-km Saadiyat Link road which will connect the Shahama district to Saadiyat Island, transverse the island and connect to the 10-lane Saadiyat Bridge which is already under construction from Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed area.

Construction of the Saadiyat Link, which includes five lanes in each direction, is to commence later this month with completion due in September 2009.

"Leighton International was selected in a competitive bid after demonstrating long-term commitment to Abu Dhabi and the wider region in terms of investment," said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General ADTA and Managing Director TDIC.

"The contract represents one of the largest-scale civil infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the UAE capital and Leighton International clearly established its credentials as one of Asia and Arabian Gulf leading construction contractors with the financial resources and industry expertise to undertake a project of this scale."

The contract award covers construction of Saadiyat Link and associated side roads; the main feeder road to the upmarket Saadiyat Beach district providing easy access to the planned five-star resorts and golf course; seven bridges with a total deck length of 1.6 kilometers; three tunnels; 10.7 kilometers of storm water drainage; 22.3 kilometers of sewerage systems; a 30-kilometer potable water network with a ground storage tank and pump station various mechanical and electrical works and installation of all utilities required to service Saadiyat Link and the Saadiyat Beach district including all hotels, residential developments and road systems.

Infrastructure works on Saadiyat Island are moving along apace with 10% of the main Saadiyat Bridge complete under a US $183.8 million (AED 670m) contract award to a joint venture between German project construction powerhouse ED Zublin AG and the UAE's Saif Bin Darwish. It too is due for completion in summer 2009.

"When complete, these two major infrastructure developments will result in a 15-minute fast-track access from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Saadiyat Island and will link through to the Mina Zayed area," said Lee Tabler, CEO, TDIC. "The construction work which will shortly commence will be a visible demonstration of our commitment to ensure the timely delivery of this unique destination."

Enabling works on Saadiyat Island began earlier this year, following a US$35 million (AED 128 million) contract award to Abu Dhabi's Al Jaber Group, which runs one of the UAE's largest contracting companies, and are due for completion by the year end. While Belgium's Jan De Nul has completed 20% of the US $222 million (AED 815m) bulk earth filling contract it was awarded to fill 35 cubic meters of earth to sculpt landform for enhanced vistas from the island's Marina, Beach an

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