The local/South African joint venture of Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprises and Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East) is the frontrunner for the estimated AED 2,000 million ($545 million) contract to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

The joint venture has been selected as the preferred bidder by the client, local real estate developer Nakheel. A formal award of the contract is expected within weeks. The local/Australian Nasa Multiplex is the other bidder.

The tower will be a 48-floor mixed-use development, with a 300-room hotel and 360 apartments. It is being developed through a joint venture of Nakheel and the Trump Organisation of the US.

The tower will have a viewing gallery and five-star restaurants at its highest point, and will form an archway straddling the Palm monorail. The current angular design for the hotel replaced a tulip-shaped scheme. The tower was also originally expected to be built across a canal that was going to run along the trunk of the island. However, the plans were changed when Nakheel replaced the canal with a park (MEED 12:10:07).

Australia’s Bovis Lend Lease is the project manager for the development. The UK’s Atkins is the consultant.

It will be the first property for the Trump Organisation in the region. Its portfolio is dominated by US properties, although it also operates in the Caribbean, South Korea and Canada.