UAE-based Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO) has awarded a combined US $354 million (AED1.3 billion) contract for the construction of the second phase of its Axis Residences development in Dubai Silicon Oasis to Gulf Springs Contracting Company, Al Wafra Contracting Company and Benaa Al Emarat Contracting Company.

Gulf Springs will build Tower 2 of the seven towers, Al Wafra will build Towers 3, 4, 5 and 7, while Benaa will build Tower 6. The contract for Tower 8 is yet to be awarded. The consultant on the project is Horizon Consultants while Eng Ahmed Abudaher is the project manager.

Groundworks on the towers have already started and construction of all towers is expected to be completed in the second half of 2009.

"In such a competitive market, it is imperative we form alliances with partners that can ensure our developments are the focal point in the market place," said Mohamed Abdallah Juma Al Sari, managing director, GGICO.

GGICO's other projects include Horizon Towers and Emirates Crown in Dubai Marina, Olympic Park in Dubai Sports City and the initial phase of Axis Residences, which is due for completion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Earlier this month, the company posted net profit of US $151 million (AED555 million) for 2007.

The company also announced a 100% bonus share issue that has increased its capital to $294 million. Among the company's subsidiaries are Gulf General Steel and Gulf Prefab Houses Factory.