Bahrain: IDC Invites Bids for Dilmunia Health Island’s First Infrastructure Phase
Bahrain’s pioneering $1.6bn Dilmunia Health Island took a step closer to becoming a reality today, with a call for tenders for the project’s initial infrastructure phase. The first of four infrastructure development phases, the tender encompasses work relating to the ambitious 125 hectare island’s highways, bridges, landscaping and its power, portable water, sewerage and drainage, and telecommunications networks.
Development manager Ithmaar Development Company (IDC) has invited a selection of pre-qualified local, regional and international contractors to tender for the contract from more than 30 contractors bidding to be pre-qualified for the job. The successful contractor will be appointed during Q1 2012, and will be expected to fully launch its operations during Q2. Phase 1 infrastructure works will take approximately 24 months to complete, but will enable the completion of various sub-developments within the same timeframe, meaning that end-users can be handed the keys to their units by mid-2014.
The contractor will be working closely with infrastructure designers Mott MacDonald Limited and cost consultants DG Jones & Partners to deliver this landmark project, which is expected to turn the Kingdom of Bahrain into a world class health tourism destination, attracting millions of dollars in investment and creating thousands of highly skilled jobs in the process.
“Dilmunia is more than just a high quality real estate development because it will also be adding value through the health and wellness infrastructure it will bring to the Kingdom. In many cases it will be introducing entirely new industries, which people in Bahrain previously had to travel abroad for. To ensure that the development meets its high standards, IDC has set up a rigorous selection process, inviting reputable contractors who meet certain pre-set requirements,” said Mohammed Khalil Alsayed, CEO and Board Member, IDC.
“Dilmunia, and the uniqueness of its concept, continues to generate interest from potential end-users, sub-developers and operators alike. As we have witnessed recently, high quality real estate developments, even without the benefit of thematic infrastructure such as Dilmunia’s, are more immune to adverse market conditions than traditional real estate, with many investors viewing such projects as a kind of ‘safe haven’,” he added.
Preliminary development, including dredging, reclamation and rock protection works, have already been completed. The artificial island, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, is located off the northeast coast of Muharraq. It will be comprised of a mix of residential, leisure and commercial sub-developments, surrounding core health and wellness facilities.
“This first phase will include most of the work related to the island’s highways, bridges, landscaping, as well as its power, portable water, sewerage and drainage, and telecommunications networks, which together add up to approximately 50% of the services of Dilmunia. It will be followed by a second package of works, expected to later in 2012, which will include the installation of the Grand Canal. Phases 2, 3 and 4 will see the completion of the Grand Canal and other infrastructure work for the remainder of the development,” said Mr. Alsayed.
“The 2.2km long Grand Canal is important to highlight because it will be one of Dilmunia’s key features, offering patients, residents and visitors a unique and atmospheric recreational amenity. It will be another first for Bahrain.”
Dilmunia aims to tap into the fast-growing health and wellness industry, which, as reported by Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions, is estimated to grow to $100bn globally by the end of this year. In addition to this, Dilmunia’s location in close proximity to the Bahrain International Airport, and its easy access to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahad Causeway, gives it further appeal to international investors.
The project is expected to provide housing for approximately 15,000 residents, as well as create thousands of highly skilled jobs in the medical, well-being, hospitality and retail sectors.
Dredging Today Staff, February 15, 2012