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COWI wins major contract in Mecca

Photo: COWI

​Global engineering consultancy COWI is awarded a multi-million Euro contract for a signature urban development project in holy city of Mecca. Over the coming years, COWI will deliver detailed design of the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) Infrastructure Project close to the Al Haram mosque.

The KAAR project stretches over 1.2 million square meters and when completed will provide new and more efficient multimodal transportation to a central pedestrian boulevard accommodating people travelling to and from the Al-Haram Mosque and enable improved infrastructure and housing to cater to pilgrims visiting the holy city.

COWI will prepare the detailed design for the development containing significant underground works such as two giant metro stations, metro tunnels and four carparks totaling 10,000 spaces.

One of the largest contracts

The KAAR project is a large multidisciplinary project in line with the strategy. A significant factor in winning the contract was the great per-formance by the COWI team during the earlier design review for the client Nesma. The global team work will continue as the contract will involve deliveries from mainly BTM, but also from India, Qatar and UK, as well as other departments in COWI DK.

"Ongoing urbanization drives a need for more underground utilization to facilitate smooth and seamless transportation and to accommodate fa-cilities for an increasing dense population. Undertaking the KAAR infra-structure project is in line with our strategy to participate in the world's largest transportation infrastructure projects," says Lars-Peter Søbye.
Last year's acquisition of Donaldson's 143 tunnel and underground engi-neers allowed COWI to become one of the largest engineering consul-tancies in the field.

"With the Donaldson acquisition last year, we are now one of the world's largest within tunnel and underground engineering. Combined with services from BTM and other BUs, we are among the few who can deliver all services to such a significant and complex project. I am very, very happy with this contract and would like to express a big congratu-lations to all involved. It is an impressive achievement," says Lars-Peter Søbye.

Above ground, the project also includes a large ring road and bus rapid transit station. The new city development will have 100,000 residential units, hotels and apartments and 28,000 hotel rooms, alongside com-mercial and recreational areas as well as a new mosque, expected to be among the world's largest mosques. COWI is designing the utility networks necessary to support these future buildings.

Fast Track Design for Design & Build Contracts

Appointed by the Contractor Nesma & Partners, COWI is programmed to complete the design in just 18 months, at its peak, requiring a team of 200 staff from across the COWI Group.

"COWI has a strong track record of planning multidisciplinary transpor-tation projects such as Copenhagen Metro and delivering design and build contracts such our ongoing design of Doha Metro Red Line North Underground in Qatar. The KAAR project is among the world's most ex-citing infrastructure projects and we look forward to working together with the Nesma & Partners to deliver innovative solutions" says Jotham Vizard, Senior Vice President, COWI.

Published: 22.12.2015
By: Lisbeth Nedergaard

Facts about COWI services to King Abdul Aziz Road Project

​The KAAR Project (excluding 200+ buildings by downstream developers) is a 1.7 billion USD urban renewal project.
COWI will deliver engineering for all infrastructure including:

  • Earthworks, temporary works
  • Roads and highways
  • Bridges and underpasses
  • Two metro stations and tunnels
  • Four underground car parks
  • Utilities
  • Architectural works

LAST UPDATED: 09.11.2017