Kier picks up Dh131m Bluewaters Island contract

The UK builder Kier has won its second contract at the Bluewaters Island project under construction off the coast of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residences for Meraas Holding.

The £25 million (Dh130.7m) contract covers infrastructure and public realm works on the island, and follows on from an earlier deal secured last year to build more than 700 apartments at Bluewaters under a joint venture with Al Shafar General Contracting.

Kier has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sharjah government’s investment and development authority, Shurooq, to investigate the possibility of setting up a joint venture construction company that could deliver some of its projects and work on other schemes across the emirate.

Kier is currently in the final phases of handing over a new £26m campus at Dubai International Academic City for the University of Dubai, and it is delivering three contracts worth £47m at Dubai Parks & Resorts.

In Abu Dhabi, it is building the Rotana resort at Saadiyat Island in a £105m joint venture with Ali & Sons’ contracting arm, which is due to be completed early in 2017, and it is responsible for building and civil works for a new data centre for National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

The company, which employs about 2,400 people in the Middle East, said in a trading update on Thursday that the performance of its construction business remained “robust”, with more than £350m of new contracts secured since November.

The company, which acquired the engineering consultancy Mouchel for £265m in June, said that it “continues to experience good underlying organic growth and an improving pipeline of opportunities”. It has a current order book of £9 billion, which could increase by a further £3bn if existing deals are renewed or extended.

Shurooq is responsible for the delivery of a number of master planned projects across Sharjah. It is developing an eco-resort at Sir Bu Nair island containing a five-star hotel resort, villas, apartments and retail, as well as an activity centre, museum and a mosque. It is also creating another five-star resort, Al Jabal on the east coast at Khorfakkan.

Other major projects under development in Sharjah include the Dh9.3bn Sharjah Waterfront City scheme aimed at GCC nationals, and Tilal Properties’ Tilal City, where land plots for 1,800 homes are available to UAE residents of any nationality.

In December, Shurooq showcased several of these projects at the China Trade Week forum in Abu Dhabi. Its head of investment promotion, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, said: “Like China, Sharjah is a dynamic, forward-facing economy.”

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