Local consultancies excluded from design stage criticse Aramco
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Saudi Arabia’s largest petroleum and natural gas firm, Saudi Aramco announced it will commence the construction of 11 sports stadiums across the country in January 2015. Tenders inviting local and international contractors will be released soon.
Project completion has been set for 2017. The stadiums project has been “ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” a report by Arab News stated.
While Aramco has “given a chance” to local contracting companies looking to compete with their international counterparts to work on this project, stadium designs were undertaken solely by international consulting firms. The Saudi Council of Engineers has protested Aramco’s decision. “Saudi architects should have a role in building their country’s stadiums,” Hamad Al-Shaqawi, president of the organisation said.
“At least 200 Saudi engineers should benefit from these projects,” he added, according to Arab News. He also commended the designing capability of Saudi architects.
Delays are expected on the stadium project since some governorates of the total 11 are yet to hand over plots to Aramco for construction. The 11 regions where these stadiums will be built are: Madinah; Eastern Province; Northern Border Province; Hail; Tabuk; Al-Jouf; Baha; Najran; Jazan; Asir; and, Qassim.
Each stadium is expected to accommodate 45,000 spectators.