Jubail Island appoints contractor for Dh5bn Abu Dhabi project

Gulf Contractors Company will complete earthworks and grading of the undeveloped site by 2020

The Dh5 billion mega project aims to transform the currently undeveloped Jubail Island into new mixed-use communities. Courtesy Jubail Island
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Jubail Island Investment Company, the firm set up this year to build a Dh5 billion mixed-use mega-project on an undeveloped island in Abu Dhabi, has appointed Gulf Contractors Company to prepare the island for construction.

Gulf Contractors Company will carry out earthworks and grading – required before major infrastructure such as roads, utilities and other facilities are installed at the site. The works are scheduled for completion in January 2020, JIIC said in a statement to media on Sunday.

Under the contract, more than 2.5 million cubic metres of earth will be excavated and placed to create the foundation for 40 kilometres of roads and more than 800 residential properties at the planned Jubail Island development.

“Offering housing, commercial, leisure and freehold investment opportunities, particularly for Emiratis and expatriates, is a central planning element for Jubail Island,” said Mounir Haidar, managing director of JIIC. "Today’s announcement confirms the timely delivery of the newly launched project in conformity with leading construction and environmental standards."

Jubail Island is located between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island and is a 15 minutes’ drive from downtown Abu Dhabi. The project masterplan spans 400 hectares and comprises a mix of high-end and mid-range residential, as well as retail units, offices and restaurants. Its developer wants it to become Abu Dhabi’s “sanctuary” for wellness and nature enthusiasts.

The scheme will feature six investment zone villages – Marafaa Al Jubail, Nad Al Dhabi, Seef Al Jubail, Ain Al Maha, Souk Al Jubail and Bed’a Al Jubail – with freehold property available for sale to both UAE nationals and foreign investors, under the emirate’s new freehold ownership rules enacted in April.

Previously, foreigners were only allowed to buy property leaseholds, for a maximum of 99 years. However, the government last month amended the rule through a royal decree, in a move aimed at supporting the capital’s real estate market, boosting foreign direct investment and strengthening its economy.

Residential units in special designated investments zones will now be registered under Abu Dhabi's freehold law, with property ownership deeds issued to buyers of property in the emirate.

Jubail Island is planned to be home to 5,000 to 6,000 residents, who will live across the six newly built "villages". The island will see the heights of buildings strictly controlled, with no villas higher than 15 metres. A series of other features, such as landscaped walkways and cycle paths, have been designed to lure in nature and fitness enthusiasts.

"It's everything that [the UAE skyscraper image] isn't," Richard Russell, chief operations officer at JIIC, told The National in April.