Dubai Expo 2020 committee to award Dh11bn of construction work this year

Expo 2020 Dubai has said that it plans to award this year 47 construction contracts with a total value of Dh11 billion.

The organising committee said that a further 98 non-construction contracts for services ranging from event management to merchandising and legal advice will also be distributed. They will have a combined value of Dh360 million.

The construction contracts include the third and final infrastructure package for support areas, including car parking, as well as a deal for the construction of Expo’s three Thematic Districts which will house most of the pavilions.

It is also set to award contracts for the design and build of all temporary architecture and infrastructure needed to host the event.

It said that details of upcoming tenders will be held on its eSourcing portal.

The organising committee said in a statement that the award of Dh11bn worth of construction work this year shows that it is on track to build the majority of packages at least one year ahead of Expo’s official opening in October 2020.

A meeting led by Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, reviewed Expo procurement to date and discussed tenders to be awarded in the months ahead.

“We are committed to working with leading businesses from across the world in order to deliver an exceptional event of this scale, on time and on budget,” said Ms Al Hashimy.

“This is particularly true when it comes to the development of the physical site, which will live on long beyond 2021 to become an anchor for the UAE’s developing knowledge economy in Dubai South.

“But just as importantly, the non-construction contracts to be procured this year will allow us to spread the investment made in the Expo as far as possible and enable local, regional and international businesses of all sizes to be part of what will be the most inclusive and international event in Expo history.”

In 2016, Expo 2020 Dubai awarded more than 1,200 contracts, with a combined value of over Dh2bn, it said.

These included a deep infrastructure package awarded to a joint between Orascom and Besix for all of the irrigation, pipes, cabling, electrical, water and sewerage connections for the core, gated 4.38 square kilometres Expo site, which is expected to house up to 300,000 visitors per day once the event starts. An earlier infrastructure package covering the non-gated area of about 2 square kilometres was awarded to Tristar Engineering and Construction in July 2016.

An early works package covering earthmoving on the site is now complete. It saw 4.7 million cubic metres of earth moved and other enabling works, which were carried out by Al Naboodah Construction.

Ahmed Al Khatib, Vice President of Real Estate & Delivery, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “While 2016 was an important year for design, 2017 is when the momentum of construction will really build, ahead of international participants beginning work on their pavilions in 2018.”

More than 12,000 suppliers and vendors from 121 countries have already signed up to Expo 2020’s eSourcing portal, of which 66 per cent are classified as SMEs.

In August 2016, it was announced that 20 per cent of the Expo’s total direct and indirect spend would be allocated to SMEs. To date, SMEs have secured 43 per cent of all contracts awarded.

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