The Museum with no Frontiers – Discover Islamic Art virtual museum project was launched. The web site, www.discoverislamicart.org ,is available in Arabic, English, French, and a number of other languages. The virtual museum aims at presenting the artistic and architectural heritage of the Islamic Mediterranean from the seventh until the early twentieth centuries, and features historical objects and architectural monuments from sites and museums in Algeria, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 3, 2005)
Initiation of Projects:
Construction work started on the President Arafat Mausoleum in Ramallah. The project was designed by the Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect for the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works. The 6,500 square-meter complex will consist of a mausoleum, a mosque, and landscaped gardens.
Construction work started on the Safeway supermarket building in the Muqabilayn area in east Amman. The project, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2006, will feature 12,000 square meters of built-up area located on a 1.76-hectare plot, and will include a 300-car parking lot. The contractors for the project are Ahmad Badawiyya Contracting Company and Hisham Wadi Contracting Company, and the design consultants are Design Associates and Research Bureau (DARB). (Source: al-Ghad, December 14, 2005)
The Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) initiated a project aimed at constructing 6,121 low-income housing units. The project is estimated to cost 14.03 million JD (19.76 million $US) and will include units in Amman, al-Mafraq, Zarqa, Irbid, Jarash, Madaba, and Tafila. HUDC completed 1,360 housing units in 2005, and is currently constructing 62 units in al-Azraq, and 10 apartment buildings in Aqaba to be completed in 2007. The apartments will include 60 units for a cost of 1.25 million JD (1.75 million $US). The Jordanian government allocated 5 million JD (7 million $US) in 2005 and 10 million JD (14 million $US) in 2006 for such low-income housing projects. (Source: al-Ghad, December 31, 2005)
Bilal Hammad Architects completed designs for phase III of Princess Salma Project in Madinat al-Sharq in Zarqa. The project will be 18,000 square meters in area. Previously known as the Zarqa New Garden City, Madinat al-Sharq is intended to provide housing for 500,000 inhabitants by the year 2025. The project replaces the military camps in Zarqa with a new residential city served by a network of commercial, cultural, entertainment, and various public facilities. The commercial facilities will include offices, restaurants, shops, open commercial plazas, and recreational areas.
Omrania-Jordan completed preliminary designs for Al Rashid Tower and Complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for investor Abdulaziz Al Rashid. The project is 64,350 square meters in area. The tower component of the project consists of 20 office floors set above show rooms and three levels of underground parking. The complex component encompasses three floors of residential apartments located on top of four levels of parking. A bridge and a tunnel connect the tower to the complex.
Omrania-Jordan completed designs for a recreational swimming pool in Doha, Qatar for the Qatar National Olympic Committee. The 3,600 square-meter project consists of an indoor swimming pool building that includes a half Olympic-sized pool, a children’s pool, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, changing rooms, as well as administration facilities.
The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for phase II of al-Hussein bin Talal University in Ma'an in the south of Jordan. The 12.3 million JD (around 17.3 million $US) project includes the buildings for the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Educational Sciences, and the Faculty of Science, in addition to administration and registration buildings, and the main gate of the University. The total built-up area of these buildings is 32,500 square meters.
The Consolidated Consultants – Jafar Tukan Architect completed designs for the Orthodox School Arena in the Shmeisani area of Amman. The project consists of a theatre, swimming pools, and a multipurpose hall. The 7,500 square-meter project is expected to cost 4.2 million JD (around 6 million $US).
TURATH (Heritage Conservation Management and Environmental Design Consultants), in a joint venture with Tibah Consultants, the Jordan River Foundation, and G&G Consulting from Turkey, completed a master plan study for the 'Ajlun Tourism Development Area. The project, which is being funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, will include reintroducing and regenerating 'Ajlun's historic urban core, sustaining and developing the area's nature reserves, and protecting and representing the area's archaeological and natural sites in an attempt to provide economic opportunities and rural development for the communities of the area.
The Ministry of Health completed designs for the expansion of the Mu'adh bin Jabal Hospital in the northern Jordan Valley. The extension consists of clinics and an emergency section. The project, which is being funded by the Japanese government, is expected to cost 1.25 million JD (around 1.75 million $US). (Source: al-Ghad, December 17, 2005)
The Greater Amman Municipality completed designs for the Cairo Street Tunnel ('Abdun Roundabout). The four-lane, 700-meter-long tunnel will extend from the end of the 'Abdun Bridge till the intersection of Damascus Street and Prince Hashim Street. The tunnel will pass beneath the 'Abdun Roundabout thus causing minimal disruption to the layout of the roundabout and the commercial outlets surrounding it. (Source: al-Ghad, December 23, 2005)
The National Resources and Investment Development Corporation (MAWARED) invited tenders for the Madinat al-Sharq landscaping project. The project includes the construction of pedestrian paths and sidewalks (hard landscaping), lighting, irrigation networks, water features, benches, kiosks, canopies, and soft landscaping. Previously known as the Zarqa New Garden City, Madinat al-Sharq is intended to provide housing for 500,000 inhabitants by the year 2025. The project replaces the military camps in Zarqa with a new residential city served by a network of commercial, cultural, entertainment, and various public facilities. The commercial facilities will include offices, restaurants, shops, open commercial plazas, and recreational areas. (Source: al-Ra'i, December 28, 2005).
The Arab Engineers Union held a series of seminars organized by the Executive Committee of the Arab Architects Association. The Jordan Engineers Association, in collaboration with the Jordanian Architects Society organized a seminar entitled Architectural Education in Jordan as part of the event. (Source: al-Ghad, December 18, 2005)
Reports from the Department of Lands and Survey show that real estate transactions increased by 60% during the past 11 months. Transactions in 2005 amounted to 3 billion JD (4.22 billion $US) in comparison to 2 billion JD (2.8 billion $US) in 2004. The reports indicate that amongst non-Jordanians, the highest number of real estate purchases was carried out by Iraqis, followed by citizens of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. (Source: al-Ghad, December 2, 2005)