23 May 2016
AMMAN - After nearly eight years of halted construction on the $400 million Jordan Gate towers in Amman, work on the country's tallest buildings will resume within days, project stakeholders announced on Sunday. Under an agreement signed at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) between Al Bayan Holding Company of Kuwait -- owner of the project -- and Al Hamad Contracting Company -- the contractor -- the two stakeholders agreed to resume construction on the project, which was halted due to financial and technical difficulties.

"Financers have decided to cancel debts worth more than $100 million owed by developers. Work on the project will resume within days," Al Bayan Holding Company chairman of the Board of Directors, Abdul Mughni Abdul Mughni, said at the signing ceremony.

He added that disagreements between the two companies have ended, voicing "his 100 per cent confidence in the project".

A total of $115 million has been allocated to complete the Jordan Gate project, which 72 per cent of it is finished, he underscored.

He noted that the twin-tower project needs rehabilitation, highlighting that the commercial tower and the mall will be completed within 18 months, while construction on the whole project will end within two years.

GAM Mayor, Aqel Beltaji, said at the signing ceremony that the two towers, which are located near the capital's sixth circle, have been a topic for debate for facing delays.

"But it is worth highlighting that when those two towers started going up, construction on many tower projects across the Arab world stopped," Beltaji said.

He said that the two companies gathered their technical and institutional resources and restructured their partnership following the world economic crisis.

Implemented by the Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House, the project started in 2005 as a strategic partnership with the Kuwait Investment and Finance Company and the GAM, which initially contributed the 28,500 square metres land before it withdrew from the partnership.

Construction of the Jordan Gate, which will house executive offices, conference facilities, a five-star hotel and an array of retail outlets, hasn't progressed as smoothly as hoped.

In September 2006, work on the project was halted, when three stories of the north tower collapsed, killing four workers and injuring 15 others.

A month earlier, a fire broke out in the 8th storey of the north tower, causing no fatalities or injuries.

Later, the municipality withdrew from the partnership and sold its 10 per cent stake to Kuwaiti Bayan Holding Company, which paid JD10.5 million for the shares.

© Jordan Times 2016