News in brief

May 2015

Bosphorus link milestone

Bauer Spezialtiefbau, a German ground engineering specialist, recently completed the installation a key diaphragm wall on the Bosphorus to facilitate work on the Istanbul Strait Tunnel (Eurasia tunnel) linking the historic European peninsula with the motorway network on the Asian side.

The Eurasia Tunnel project.

The Eurasia Tunnel project.

A large part of this tunnel will cross the Bosphorus under the seabed and connect the Asian part of Istanbul with its European part. Yapi Merkezi from Turkey and its Korean partner SK Engineering are currently using a tunnel boring machine (TBM) to create the 5.4-km-long twin-deck Eurasia tunnel, which is expected to be used by 120,000 cars and light vehicles each day.

Construction work for the new motorway tunnel started at the beginning of 2013. Bauer has installed an 18,900-sq-m diaphragm wall with a depth of up to 39 m and a thickness of up to 1.5 m on the European side of the construction site, where the TBM will finally emerge. A Bauer BC 40 trench cutter was used for the installation.

Commenting on the project, a spokesman for Bauer: “The local soil conditions range from highly porous soil to highly weathered, unstable rock, which initially made the cutting work difficult. In addition, a 35-m-thick solid concrete secant pile wall had to be cut through, which had been constructed beforehand for the operation of the tunnel boring machine.”

The tunnel is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. It is expected to ease the severe traffic congestion in Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey.


SES wins Sundus Airport Heights project

Shaksy Engineering Services (SES) has been selected as the contractor for the first phase of the Sundus Airport Heights development in Muscat, Oman, which will be operated by Rotana Hotels when complete.

Sundus Airport Heights ... featuring the Sundus Rotana hotel.

Sundus Airport Heights ... featuring the Sundus Rotana hotel.

The project is being developed by Sundus Investments Projects, a specialist in mixed-use developments in the Middle East.

Phase One of the landmark project will include the construction of Sundus Rotana, a four-star business hotel that is set to open doors to the public in February 2017. The hotel will feature 215 guest rooms including suites, a ballroom, six meeting rooms, an executive lounge, a boardroom and a fully equipped business centre. Guests at Sundus Rotana will also have access to a state-of-the-art fitness centre and swimming pool, an all-day dining café, and ‘Teatro’ – Rotana’s signature fine dining concept.

Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi, chairman of Sundus Investments Projects, says: “Sundus Investments Projects is committed to leveraging Oman’s potential through developing high quality properties that add significant value to Muscat’s tourism sector.”

Sundus Airport Heights has been designed to cater to business travellers and conference visitors. Located centrally on Al Maaridh Street in the Al Seeb district, the site offers stunning panoramic views of the sea and the magnificent Hajjar Mountains.

The second phase of the project will include the development of Sundus Arjan featuring 85 luxury hotel apartments, including studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The property will also host all-day dining and fine dining restaurants.


DSE awards register swells

Drake and Scull, a UAE-based contractor, said its engineering unit has won a Dh334-million ($90.94 million) deal for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works on a mixed-use hotel and residences complex being built on the Palm Jumeirah in the emirate of Dubai.

Tabari ... growth focus.

Tabari ... growth focus.

As per the agreement, Drake and Scull Engineering (DSE) will complete the supply, installation, testing, commissioning and handover of detailed MEP works for the leading hotel.

The upscale project located on the man-made island consists of three separate seven-storey buildings constructed over a common basement and will include a 360-room five-star hotel and two residential buildings.

The scope of work extends to the pools and associated landscaping and will be completed by 2016.

On the contract win, Khaldoun Tabari, the CEO and vice-chairman, says: “We are pleased to start our second quarter with a significant project award for DSE. We achieved nearly Dh5.9 billion ($1.6 billion) in project awards last year across Mena (Middle East and North Africa), Europe and Asia and are happy to maintain our streak of winning major projects in our key markets.”

“The project award is a noteworthy addition to our projects’ backlog which grew by 20 per cent in 2014 and touched an all-time high figure of Dh14.4 billion ($3.9 billion),” he states.

Ahmad Al Naser, the managing director of DSE, said: “This is an important win for us as it is a very prestigious and iconic addition to the world-famous Palm Jumeirah landscape. The project win adds to our strong track record in the Mena hospitality business and especially in the UAE where we’ve delivered prestigious landmarks like the Rosewood Hotel, Centro Capital Centre, Park Rotana, Aloft hotel in Adnec, Shangri-La Between the Bridges and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel previously.”

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