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Construction of a new BD25.7-million twin tower office building and car park was officially launched at the Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Residence and Spa yesterday.

The National Hotels Company (NHC) Diplomat Commercial Office Tower is a 75,000sqm project that consists of two 30-stoery office towers, joined together by a lift shaft and two basements.

NHC, which also owns the Diplomat, employed Malayisa-based Chase Perdana Berhad to carry out the design and construction of the tower project, which is dubbed an icon in Bahrain.

Construction on the towers, located in a section of the hotel’s existing car park, will start this month and the completion is targeted for mid-2010.

A total of BD 800,000 will be spent on upgrading the façade of the Diplomat to match the design style of the new developments.

“The project comes as a part of the board’s diversification plan aimed at maximising utilisation of company assets and the strategic and unique location of this land,” NHC vice-chairman and managing director Yousef Al Dakhil said at a ground breaking ceremony yesterday.

“It also reflects without doubt the board’s confidence in the fundamentals of the kingdom’s economy and those how are running it.”

He said the project followed the completion of two major projects, namely the Diplomat Furnished Apartments and the Diplomat ladies and Gents Spa and Health club facilities.

The official said the board of directors was fully convinced that such projects played an important roll in enhancing returns on investment and assets.

The board, he said, would continue to look for investments that enrich the company’s activities and create additional job opportunities, thus supporting the national economy and enhancing shareholders’ returns.

“The section of Chase Perdana Berhad as the design-and-build contractor for this project came through an international design competition, which was launched two years ago, and included international spectrum of contractors and consultants” Said Mr Al Dakhil.

“The idea was to create an icon for the sky line of Manama in this important location.”

The gross lettable area of the office space is just over 31,000sqm, with approximately 1,020sqm of lettable area on each floor of the tower.

Each floor comprises two wings, connected by a central core, which houses eight high speed elevators, staircase, washrooms for ladies and gents and plant / utility rooms.

The tower facade is a combination of high-tech composite insulated aluminium panels and high performance double glazing, all designed to ensure an energy-efficient construction.

Between the six levels of podium and the two basements, more than 685 parking spaces will be provided.

“There will be a car parking facility of two floors in the basement and five above the ground which will have a car park capacity for 700 vehicles,” explained NHC general manager Abdulrahaman Morshed.

“It will cater for the office tower in the day and the hotel in the evening, when there are big banqueting occasions and other events.”

“While the project is being built, the hotel will be renting some surrounding car park spaces for cars using valet parking facilities. It will also be using the car park spaces along the road behind the hotel.”

Chase Perdana Berhad has engaged Mohamed Salahuddin Engineering Consultant Bureau (MSCEB) as the design-and-build team’s architectural and engineering consultant and Davis Langdon a its quantity surveyor.

NHC has employed Ismail Khonji Associates as the employer’s agent and Baker Wilkins Smith as the employer’s quantity surveyor and client representatives.

The Diplomat Commercial Office Tower project is Chase Perdana Berhad flagship venture in Bahrain, said Chase Perdana Berhad executive chairman Dr Mohan Swami.

He said several other Bahrain-based projects were in the pipeline in which the company would take on the roll of main contractor or the developer.

Meanwhile a signing ceremony between Chase Perdana Berhad director Dato Halim Muhamat was also held at the ground breaking ceremony.