Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

The suite life for Antrim firm

Mivan wins £7m contract to fit out royal box at new Saudi stadium

It will be the very last word in luxury, a suite fit for a king – and it's going to be kitted out by workers from Northern Ireland.

Co Antrim fit-out company Mivan is celebrating after scooping a £7m contract for the royal suite of the new King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.

Described as a 'jewel in the desert', the £384m development is seen as one of the most important projects in the history of modern construction in Saudi Arabia and is being overseen by King Abdullah himself.

The stadium – which will host club, national and international football – has a capacity of 60,000, parking spaces for 45,000 cars and even includes a 500-person mosque. It is expected to be completed later this year.

There will also be tennis courts and athletic tracks.

Members of Mivan's management, design and commercial teams will be running the project with all design and joinery manufacture taking place at the firm's head office in Antrim town.

The company has completed similar projects at Ascot Racecourse, the new Wembley Stadium, the Echo Arena Liverpool and the O2 in Greenwich, London.

Mivan's business development director Stephen Mills said that the company has also been seeking new business in Sri Lanka and Moscow.

"This is the first time we have worked for King Abdullah and the oil company, Saudi Aramco, which has a big portfolio of work and we see great potential," he said.

"When people see the quality we can achieve within the time frame, we accrue more work.

"High net worth individuals own yachts, they own houses in London, they have other big projects and we have found that once you get established, you get repeat business with larger values and we have a good reputation for delivering high quality work within a tight timeframe, which helped us win these contracts."

Mr Mills said it is gratifying to see fixtures and fittings made in Co Antrim – whether made from European Oak from Germany or the finest Italian marble – being seen all over the world.

FACTFILE

Mivan was founded by its chief executive Ivan McCabrey in 1975, and now has offices in Northern Ireland, London, Romania, Russia, North Africa and USA. In recent years the Antrim company has scooped millions of pounds worth of fit-out jobs for cruiseliners, as well as work on top London hotels, office and apartment developments. The company employs just under 400 people.