x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Three more bridges for Abu Dhabi’s financial free zone

Abu Dhabi's financial free zone is set to get three new bridges, including one that will carry a new light railway.

Visitors look at a model of the Al Maryah Island project during the Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2013. Ravindranath K / The National
Visitors look at a model of the Al Maryah Island project during the Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2013. Ravindranath K / The National

Abu Dhabi’s financial free zone is set to get three new bridges, one of which will carry a light railway.

The state investment fund Mubadala has asked for expressions of interest from contractors to build the bridges connecting its new financial district, Al Maryah Island, with the rest of Abu Dhabi.

In a tender document published yesterday, Mubadala invited companies to express their interest in tendering to build bridges 4, 10 and 11 on the Broadway Malyan-designed Al Maryah masterplan.

Mubadala said that while one of the bridges would be used for the capital’s new light railway, the others would be conventional road bridges.

Currently Al Maryah, which earlier this year was announced as the site for Abu Dhabi’s first financial free zone, is connected by three bridges. One lies next to Abu Dhabi Mall,  a second links with Reem Island, and the third is a service bridge that is currently closed to ordinary traffic.

Eventually Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Municipality plan to link the island to the rest of the capital via 13 bridges connecting the island with Abu Dhabi island and Reem island via a series of striking thoroughfares. Applicants hoping to build the three new bridges are asked to register their interest before 4pm on Tuesday.

Successful respondents with a track record of developing bridge schemes with a value in excess of Dh500 million will be asked to collect a pre-qualification invitation pack on July 9.

The news will come as yet another boost for the UAE’s construction industry, which was hit hard by the global financial crisis and has been reaping the rewards of the capital’s Dh330bn government spending package.

Earlier this week the mechanical electrical and plumbing specialist Drake & Scull International said it had become the latest contractor to move staff from Dubai to cope with the increasing backlog of work it had in the capital.

In February, Arabtec, which is partly owned by Aabar Investments, said it had moved a significant amount of staff to the capital.

Key projects already awarded include the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal and the Louvre construction project. Contractors are vying to be awarded contracts on  costly new developments that include the Abu Dhabi Metro and the second phase of Etihad Rail.


lbarnard@thenational.ae