Balfour Beatty bags $408m mixed-use project in Dubai Creek

Dutco Balfour Beatty (DBB) has been awarded a $408m contract to manage the construction of a large-scale mixed use development alongside Dubai Creek, the salt water inlet in the north of the emirate. 

The client for the scheme is Meraas, a development company owned by the government of Dubai, and the scheme is part of the Khor Dubai Creek development. The scope of the work will include collection of parks, hotels, cafes, cinemas, markets and shops, as well as marina facilities.  

Altogether, the development will stretch for 670m along the waterfront. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017. 

Earlier this year, DBB was awarded a $24m contract by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority to build a 700m long, three-lane bridge as part of the Wafi Interchange Improvement Project. 

Balfour Beatty’s well publicised problems in its UK market has been replicated in its Middle East division, where problems with two schemes has led to a£15m loss. 

The builder, which operates in the UAE through DBB and BK Gulf, reported that its regional arm made the underlying losses because of writedowns in M&E contracts caused by disputes with main contractors. 

Last month, Balfour issued a statement that said:"The mechanical and electrical engineering market remains very difficult, with some of the same issues faced by the UK M&E business existing in the Middle East, such as disputes and delays with main contractors who have taken on complex and difficult jobs. 

"In particular two significant projects have caused writedowns, even though we believe a significant proportion of these will be ultimately recoverable," it added. 

A Balfour Beatty spokesman declined to name the projects which had caused the writedowns, calling the information "commercially sensitive". 

DBB is a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest contractor, and Dubai based Dutco, which was formed in the 1970s.  

Photograph: Dubai Creek is an inlet that brings the Gulf into the northern suburbs of the city, and greatly extends its waterfront (Wikimedia Commons)

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