BESIX-Albawani picked to build Dammam venue


Contractor awarded for Dammam stadium Image: Ministry of Sport

The Saudi Aramco has selected a joint venture of the Belgian contractor BESIX and local Albawani for an estimated SR3.7bn ($1bn) contract to build a new football stadium in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

‘MEED’ stated that the stadium and the surrounding master plan will be built over an area of about 800,000 square meters (sq m) and will accommodate 45,000 spectators.

The Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Group or simply Aramco, is a State-owned petroleum and natural gas company that is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia. As of 2022, it is the second-largest company in the world by revenue and is headquartered in Dhahran.

Brussels (Belgium)-based BESIX Contracting specializes in construction, infrastructure and marine works, often in contracts with a high level of complexity. In Benelux and France, the group’s regional affiliates BESIX Infra, Vanhout, Wust, Cobelba, Jacques Delens, and Lux TP ensure a strong presence and a local approach. BESIX offers specialist niche solutions for the building market like deep foundations, geo-engineering, road construction, water treatment, and cable and pipeline construction.

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)-based Albawani is a diversified group of Saudi companies. Established in 1991, the past three decades have seen the business grow from a modest civil-works firm into a full-fledged general contracting corporation with a sizable portfolio, strong financial position and a significant presence in a broad range of industries. Indeed, the construction division is now among the five largest operators in Saudi Arabia. What’s more, the unwavering focus on excellence has earned the firm a Class-1 business ranking in Saudi Arabia.

‘MEED’ further stated that the facility will be used to host international tournaments such as the 2027 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup and the 2034 FIFA World Cup™.

Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)-based the Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal in most countries/territories in Asia. The AFC was formed in 1954. It has 47 members.

The 2027 AFC Asian Cup will be the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The tournament involves 24 national teams after the expansion in 2019. It will be held in January 2027 in Saudi Arabia.

The 2034 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 25th FIFA World Cup™, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. It is set to be hosted in Saudi Arabia, as it was the only nation to submit a bid in time for FIFA’s deadline of October 31st, 2023.

The new stadium will be built in the Dammam Sports City area, where the facilities of the Saudi Pro League (the highest division of association football in the Saudi league system) team Al-Ettifaq FC and the Al-Nahda Club – which plays in the Oman Professional League, the top division of the Oman Football Association – teams are located.

The project is being fast-tracked and is expected to be completed by the first half of 2026.

The United Kingdom-based architectural firm Foster + Partners is the project consultant.

Foster + Partners is a British international architecture firm based in London, England (UK), founded in 1967 by Sir Norman Foster.

In January, it was reported that Saudi Arabia’s Sports Ministry had received bids on December 28th for the contract to build the new stadium.

The contractors also submitted bids on December 25th last year for a separate contract to build the temporary facilities that are required for the construction of the stadium.

The scope of the contract covers the construction of six buildings, each built over an area of 548 sq m.

The buildings will include temporary offices and other associated facilities.

The Lebanese Consultant Dar Al-Handasah is the Project Consultant.

Beirut (Lebanon)-based the Dar Al-Handasah Consultants is a privately-owned international consulting company active in engineering, architecture, planning, environmental consulting, project and construction management, facilities management, and economics, founded in 1956.

In October last year, it was reported that the client had awarded a contract to the local Al Osais Contracting for the early works for the new football stadium in Dammam. The scope included site preparation, enabling works and the basic infrastructure works.

Dammam (Saudi Arabia)-based the Al Osais Contracting Company is a General Contractor involved in building construction: Commercial buildings, residential complexes and industrial buildings, which include site development, infrastructure and utilities, all types of construction, structural steel works, marine works, plant infrastructural civil works, and surveying and drafting services.

In May 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Sports Ministry said it is undertaking a SR10.1bn ($2.7bn) program to build new sporting facilities and upgrade the existing ones over the next five years.

Speaking at the Future Projects Forum in Riyadh in May 2023, the Ministry said its capital projects program is split into four principal elements.

The largest of these, and the most immediate, is the scheme to upgrade and increase the capacity of the five existing football stadiums ahead of the AFC Cup, which the Kingdom will host in 2027.

In June 2023, the Ministry invited the construction companies to submit prequalification documents by July 13th for contracts to build the sports stadiums.

The next main element of the Ministry’s projects program is constructing 30 new training grounds and facilities near the stadiums that will be used for the 2027 competition.

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