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Arabtec wins Dh1.1bn deal to build twin Dubai towers

The contractor Arabtec has won a contract to build a pair of 50-storey towers in central Dubai.

The company said that the contract was for a residential development worth Dh1.1 billion, and that the towers would have a built-up area of 227,000 square metres.

Arabtec did not name its client, but said construction would begin straight away, with work concluding in two and-a-half years.

The contract is the third that Arabtec has won in as many months, bringing the amount of new awards received to almost Dh7bn. The other major wins have been a Dh2bn deal from Aldar Properties to build 1,017 villas at West Yas, and a US$1bn award to build a new terminal at Bahrain International Airport alongside joint venture partner TAV Construction of Turkey.

The acting chief executive of Arabtec Holding, Mohamed Al Mehairbi, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to execute this important project, adding further to the strong momentum in which we have begun 2016."

After losing more than 85 per cent of their value between May 2014 and December 2015, when Arabtec shares bottomed out at Dh0.98, they have increased in value by 77 per cent over the past two months – sparked into life partly by a buying spree by former chief executive Hasan Ismaik at the end of last month.

The stock traded flat yesterday.

Nishit Lakhotia, the head of research at Bahrain-based Securities & Investment Company, said the new contract win was “definitely a good sign", but that Arabtec also needed to deal with an overhang of legacy projects for which there were payment delays, as well as completing its restructuring process so that the company could properly fix its own costs.

Mr Lakhotia said: “One thing that I understand with my interactions with Arabtec and Drake & Scull is that their focus is going to be mainly on the UAE, and that they are only going to move out cautiously, depending on the client. So this is in line with that strategy."

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