Flying start

February 2015

Al Jaber Group will build a new airport in Abha for $490 million

ABU Dhabi-based construction firm Al Jaber Group has been awarded a contract to develop a new airport in Abha, Saudi Arabia, under a SR1.8-billion ($490 million) contract.

The project includes a new passenger terminal with an area of 86,000 sq m to accommodate five million passengers annually. It will also include 20 passenger boarding bridges, an apron and parallel corridors to accommodate 26 planes simultaneously.

Also to be built are a mosque for up to 1,000 worshippers, maintenance facilities, a car-park building to accommodate 2,800 cars and a series of other buildings for the police, administration, the meteorology and environment ministry and for technical support. The entire project will take 36 months to complete.

The project is among the three new airports that Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) intends to build this year as part of efforts to meet the demand of growing passenger traffic.

Al Jaber Group’s Saudi branch has witnessed substantial growth since it started operations in Riyadh last year.

“We were able to compete and win sizable projects mainly the Abha Airport development project,” says Obaid Khaleefa Al Jaber Al Marri, chairman of Al Jaber Group.

The group is also eyeing new projects in the country.

“We are looking to winning more projects in the Saudi market in the near future. Al Jaber Group is well positioned to benefit from the increased momentum in the launch of new projects in this strategic market,” says Al Marri.

Meanwhile, back in its home country, Al Jaber Group has secured several projects worth billions of dollars. It recently won a deal worth Dh2.57 billion ($700 million) to construct 40 residential buildings in the UAE capital. The contract includes the construction of 1,920 residential units for the staff of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in Ruwais.

The group has recently been awarded two other contracts worth more than Dh2 billion ($544 million) by Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) for the improvement of the Mafraq to Al Ghwaifat border post highway, Section 3A and improvement of Mafraq to Al Ghwaifat border post highway, Section 3B.

The two sections of the project include the construction of highways and interchanges from Baynounah Forest to Al Mirfa and Al Mirfa to Abu Al Abyad. The highway will be upgraded to dual four lanes and will include dumbbell interchanges along the route.

The scope of work also includes relocation and protection of existing services, extension of existing contingency ducts and construction of new ones, installation of a lighting system, storm water drainage system, and of road furniture.

Another major project is a Dh460-million ($125 million) order from Petrofac Emirates.

Al Jaber Group’s main business is construction but it also has interests in areas ranging from retail to aviation. Established in 1970, the group is today the largest private sector employer in the UAE with over 40,000 employees and boasts the largest fleet of vessels, cranes, equipment and machinery in the UAE.

The UAE and Qatar have historically been the principal markets for Al Jaber’s business activities with well-established and long-standing relationships with government, semi-government and private sector clients.

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