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29 February 2024

Three firms vie for main contract of Omniyat's Octavian project

The Octavian project is due to be completed by December 2010. (SUPPLIED)

By Sona Nambiar

Three companies are in the race for the main contract of the Octavian project, said the project developer.

Meanwhile, Omniyat Properties will also announce the enabling contract award for its waterfront project in the next few weeks, it was revealed.

"The main contractor will be on site in June this year," said Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omniyat Properties in an exclusive interview with Emirates Business. "We have awarded the contract to HSSG for the foundation and work has started on the project. We are tendering for the main contract and have three companies in the list."

The project is due to be completed by December 2010. "Or it could be January 2011," he added.

The project will benefit from the drop in the prices of construction materials. "Since we have not yet signed the main contractor for the project, we will benefit from the drop in the prices of building materials. Gemini is the other project that will also benefit from the drop. But we have finished the contracts for the other projects and hence cannot do anything," he said.

The developer is planning to go in for construction-based payment plans. "Rera says that all projects have to be construction linked and we are going to go by them," said Walichnowski.

The developer recently announced that it will deliver three projects a year from its portfolio for the next three years. "In the second quarter of 2009, we will deliver One Business Bay, Bayswater (also in Business Bay and the Square in Mamzar," he said.

The Square was supposed to finish both the phases in the first quarter of 2009.

"The Binary will be delivered next year with the Gemini and the Pad will be delivered in 2010," he said. "The Opus will be delivered in 2011."

Meanwhile, work is progressing on the waterfront project and Omniyat will finalise the contract for enabling works in the next few weeks, he said. "We plan to start the project this year on the Waterfront," he said. "We are looking at enabling works to start early this year and are on the verge of finalising the contractor in the next few weeks. We expect to break ground in first quarter of this year.

"We have been assured by Nakheel that the infrastructure that is required to be provided by the master developer, will be completed when we need it and have not asked us to delay the project."

However, the Lagoons project will start only next year.

"The land has not yet been handed over by the master developer," said Walichnowski. "But this is not part of the nine projects that we have announced to finish."

The Lagoons project is still in the early stages of design he said. "We have not yet launched the Lagoons as a project and are still in the early stages of the design concept. The project has been put on hold based on the current market climate since the site has not been handed over," he said. "We have three architects doing the design concepts but their names are confidential right now."

The coming year will be a year of consolidation, he said.

"Developers will look at what they have launched and look to complete them and not to launch any new supply this year," said Walichnowski. "Hence we too will focus on delivering the nine projects. We look forward to handing over the first three buildings from our portfolio in Q2 this year. It will be a milestone for Omniyat since it will be the first buildings we will actually deliver to the market in 2009. There are very few buildings as advanced as the One Business Bay and it will be one of the first projects in the area."