The deal also includes the construction of a five-star, 500-room Intercontinental hotel, a second four-star hotel and a high-rise office complex. The project is due to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2005 with a view to opening the centre by early 2006. Substructure work for the package is nearing completion by Swissboring, part of Italy’s Trevi Group.

DFC, located by Garhoud bridge, will be developed in 15 zones and require investment of $4,000 million over 10 years. The project calls for the construction of a global village, an amphitheatre, a 55-storey tower and entertainment facilities. The client is Al-Futtaim Investments, part of the local Abdullah al-Futtaim Group.