Saudi to begin the works of 11 stadium projects in the New Year

Aramco that oversaw the building of the 60,000-seater King Abdullah Football Stadium and Sports City announced back in August that a programme to build eleven 45,000-capacity stadiums across Saudi Arabia will begin in January 2015.

The Saudi King ordered the Oil Company in June to carry out the projects after it had successfully delivered the 60,000-seater King Abdullah Stadium and Sports City.

Aramco sources said the 11 stadiums, which are to be built in a similar fashion to King Abdullah Stadium, would be completed within two years and no later than 2017.  It released bidding details for international companies because Saudi consulting firms will not be involved in the design of these stadiums as Aramco has decided to employ only international consultants.

The decision of course attracted at the time criticism from the Saudi Council of Engineers which said that local consultants were more than capable of delivering the required designs and specifications.

“Saudi architects should have a role in building their country’s stadiums,” Hamad Al-Shaqawi, president of the organisation, told Al-Eqtisadiah Business Daily adding “at least 200 Saudi engineers should benefit from these projects.”

Eleven of Saudi Arabia’s 13 regions will benefit from the projects and their governorates were requested to hand over plots to Aramco for building the stadiums, one source said, adding that it could delay implementation of the projects.

It is to be noted that Dammam Mayor Fahd Al-Jubeir had said his organisation already allocated two million m² of land south of Dhahran Airbase to build the Eastern Province stadium.