x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Arabtec in Dh22bn contract to build 37 new towers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Arabtec Holding is set to undertake its largest ever contract after signing an initial agreement with Abu Dhabi's Aabar to build mixed-use residential and hotel towers in the capital and in Dubai.

Arabtec, the Burj Khalifa builder, has signed an initial agreement with Abu Dhabi's Aabar for the mammoth undertaking that will see 37 new towers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Silvia Razgova / The National
Arabtec, the Burj Khalifa builder, has signed an initial agreement with Abu Dhabi's Aabar for the mammoth undertaking that will see 37 new towers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi has delivered a massive vote of confidence in its economic future with plans to build 37 new towers in the capital and Dubai at a cost of more than Dh22 billion.

Most of the towers will be on Reem Island, transforming the skyline in an area where stalled construction projects became a symbol of the global financial crisis five years ago.

The deal also cements the link between Aabar Investments, owned by the Abu Dhabi government and backed by one of the emirate’s sovereign wealth funds, and Arabtec, the rapidly expanding construction company that built the Burj Khalifa.

Aabar, which is Arabtec’s biggest shareholder with a 21.6 per cent stake, will develop the 28 towers in Abu Dhabi and nine in Dubai. Arabtec will build them, and is now looking to recruit more than 10,000 workers throughout the region. Construction will begin in the next two months and is expected to be completed by 2020.

The deal includes nine towers in the ambitious City of Lights project on Reem Island, which Aabar is developing after taking over ownership of the stalled scheme from Tamouh. Work will also press ahead on nine other towers on Reem Island – two in the Shams area, three at the Maysan development and four elsewhere on the island.

“We will assign all construction work in Aabar’s US$20 billion real estate portfolio in the UAE, USA, Morocco, Jordan, Serbia and other countries to Arabtec,” said Khadem Al Qubaisi, chairman of Aabar Properties.

These include seven towers of flats at Raha Beach, two more towers at Rawdhat close to Zayed Sports City, and a 378-room five-star Hard Rock Hotel on the Corniche, the first in the region.

In Dubai, Arabtec will build three mixed-use towers in Business Bay, and three hotels and three serviced apartment towers in Aljaddaf, next to the Culture Village development. The hotels will be managed by Swissotel, Hilton and Park Inn, and the apartments by Fraser Suites.

“This shows Arabtec is now the contractor of choice for the Abu Dhabi government,” said Sebastien Henin, frontier markets portfolio manager for The National Investor.

lbarnard@thenational.ae