A number of international consultants are in negotiations with the developer, the Kuwait-based Al-Mal Investment Company, over the contract.
The developer has already identified the start-up area within the 156 square-kilometre site but has yet to decide on a consultant. Previously an award was expected by the end of November.
Tenders for the first construction packages at the economic city were expected in January 2009, but this is likely to be pushed back until the detailed engineering is complete.
The first packages are expected to cover ground preparation works, infrastructure and the construction of several sites within the city, including industrial, residential and commercial zones, as well as housing and other facilities for workers (MEED 24:10:08).
Hail Economic City, also known as Prince Abdulaziz bin Mosaed Economic City, is being developed as a transport and logistics hub, with the aim of attracting up to $8bn in investment over 10 years.