BKL Advises Korea Land & Housing Corporation on South Saad Al Abdullah New Town Development Project in Kuwait
On April 3, 2017, Korea Land & Housing Corporation ("LH") entered into a contract for Consultancy Services for the Preparation of Master Plan, Detailed Design and Tender Documents for South Saad Al Abdullah New Town in Kuwait ("Consultancy Services Contract") in the State of Kuwait ("Kuwait"), with the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, an institution under the Ministry of State for Housing Affairs of Kuwait.
The South Saad Al Abdullah New Town Development Project in Kuwait ("SSAC") is a major national project in Kuwait, to develop a new global-class smart city utilizing information and communication technology ("ICT"), comprising some 25,000 to 40,000 residential units on a 64.4 km2 piece of land located 30 km west of Kuwait City.
The governments of Korea and Kuwait has entered into memoranda of understanding on two separate occasions following the summit meeting between the two countries in March 2015, and has reached an agreement on the principle that SSAC will be jointly developed through the cooperation between the two countries, utilizing Korea’s experience in new town development and ICT. LH was to be the participating entity from Korea, and PAHW was to be the Kuwaiti counterpart. Under the expected timeline, construction and financial investors are to be invited around 2018 (tentatively), after which a special purpose vehicle is to be established in Kuwait, and the construction is set to begin as early as in 2019.
As the first phase of SSAC, LH established a branch in Kuwait, selected Korea Consortium comprising professional institutions specializing in Korean urban planning, smart city and feasibility study (Sunjin Engineering & Architecture Co., Ltd., Dongmyeong Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd., Dong Il Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd., Perkins Eastman Architect DPC, POSCO A&C Co., Ltd., Hyundai Architects & Engineers Associates Co., Ltd., POSCO ICT Co., Ltd., and Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers) through a bidding process and entered into the Consultancy Services Contract for the master plan, detailed design and various feasibility studies for SSAC.
As such, SSAC is an inaugural case for exporting Korean-style smart city, and is expected to draw in more Korean businesses to the region in the future since both Korean and Kuwaiti governments are striving for the success of SSAC, as a model case for urban development, a global-class smart city and the first environment-friendly city in the Middle East. It is already receiving a high level of attention from other countries in the region.
BKL’s team from both its Seoul and Dubai offices were involved in this matter as the leading counsel for LH, and provided comprehensive, timely and accurate legal advice to LH in connection with SSAC based on the team’s understanding and extensive experience in overseas construction and development projects, including in relation to the establishment of LH’s Kuwait branch, obtaining investment license and approvals, bidding process for consultancy services for the master plan and detailed design of SSAC, drafting, review and negotiation of the Consultancy Services Contract and the consultancy services contract with Korea Consortium, while also coordinating the joint effort among Kuwait and Dubai local counsels, and thereby contributed to the successful execution of the Consultancy Services Contract despite the very limited time available.