The planned East Hidd City housing project in Bahrain has been given a major boost with the Housing Ministry signing a multi-million-dollar agreement to construct the first phase of the scheme, which includes 483 units.
The Kuwaiti government will finance the BD18-million ($47.7 million) project under the GCC Development Programme.
A consortium including Kuwaiti Khalid Ali Al Kharafi and Brothers Company and Bahraini Nass Group will undertake the project, scheduled to be completed within 18 months under a deal signed with the Bahrain’s Housing Ministry.
The two allied companies are expected to start work on the project within a month of signing the contract.
Another tender is expected to be announced in the near future for the second phase of the project, which features 400 housing units.
“The signing of the agreement marks the launch of the multi-phased East Hidd Town which includes 4,523 units,” Bahrain’s Housing Minister Bassem Al Hamer said, adding that tendering for the other phases would be made successively.
He thanked the government of Kuwait for supporting the 227-hectare project, which will be fully financed by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
The East Hidd Town project will be part of an initiative by Bahrain to build 40,000 government within the next eight years.
The East Hidd Town project is among seven new towns to be built across the country – some of which are under construction or in the planning stages.
Other towns include the North Town which will have 15,161 homes, the East Sitra Town which will have 5,000 houses, the South Town which comprises 5,500 homes and the New Salmabad Town with 3,500 units.
The housing ministry has already signed a contract with the Abu-Dhabi-based National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) to undertake the reclamation work for East Sitra Town, a project financed by the UAE government.
“We are currently looking for plots for the new Future Dannat Town in Muharraq, which will see 7,000 homes built,” Al Hamer said.
“Those projects will take up to eight years to complete and the North, Hidd and South towns will be partially covered by the $10 billion GCC Aid, while East Sitra and New Salmabad will be constructed in co-operation with the private sector.
“No budget has yet been assigned to the newest project, which is the Future Dannat Al Muharraq,” the minister said.
There are around 60,000 families on the ministry’s waiting lists, but Al Hamer said the 40,687 homes will clear the backlog until 2010.