Qatar National Bank Tenders its Tower at Westbay
Qatar National Bank tenders Doha corniche skyscraper
Firms have until 10 September to bid for contract to build high-rise headquarters.
Qatar National Bank (QNB) is inviting bids from prequalified contractors to build what will be the tallest building in Qatar, and one of the largest skyscrapers in the world.
Firms have until 10 September to submit bids to build the bank's 101-storey, 510-metre tall headquarters building on the Doha corniche.
Firms prequalifying to bid include Lebanon's Qatari Arabian Construction Company (ACC); the Australian/UAE Al-Habtoor Leighton Group; a joint venture of the local Midmac Contracting Company and Belgium's Six Construct; Australia's Multiplex; and South Korea's Samsung Corporation (MEED 8:8:08).
The consultancy team includes Doha-based KEO International Consultants as the project manager and Australia's Peddle Thorp Architects.
Contractors originally expected the tender to be issued in September last year, but say it was delayed because of the global financial crisis. The subsequent fall in construction costs across the Gulf will lower the cost of the project.
"It was due out towards the end of last year, but I think QNB and all the other banks were more concerned about what was going on with the financial system then," one contractor considering bidding for the project tells MEED. "From the client's point of view, there are probably some cost benefits too. Prices have come down."
Developers in Abu Dhabi say that tender prices are now about 30 per cent lower than they were in the third quarter of last year, as material prices have fallen and contractors have cut their margins to secure work.
The project is the only major tower scheme to be tendered in Doha this year, as developers have put plans for a series of other high-rise buildings on hold.
However, unlike in nearby Dubai, where many projects have been cancelled because developers can no longer afford to build them, the schemes in Qatar are likely to go ahead.
Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company has delayed the 400-metre-tall tower it planned to build as part of its Doha Convention Centre development, partly so that it can benefit from further falls in prices.
The project's prequalifiers included Multiplex, Samsung and Japan's Taisei Corporation. The US' Murphy Jahn prepared the concept designs and US-based Turner Construction International is the project manager.
Abu Dhabi-based Al-Jaber Group has also delayed plans for a skyscraper on the corniche. It had planned to build a 100-floor tower, but has delayed the scheme while the design is reviewed to make sure it caters to the new market conditions. US-based SOM is the architect.
If the QNB project goes ahead, the 101-storey tower will be higher than the 509-metre Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan, which is currently the world's tallest completed building. The 818-metre tall Burj Dubai in the UAE will become the world's tallest building when it is opened in September 2009.
The development of towers in Qatar has been restricted in the past by limits on the height of developments close to Doha International airport's flight path.
However, these will be lifted when New Doha International airport opens in 2011.
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