The hotel will have 300 rooms and 20 suites, three restaurants, retail facilities and lounges. The phase 1 contract will be fast tracked with a contractor due to be selected by late December and completion set for 16 months after the date of award.

The phase 2 contract is due to be tendered in January and will involve the construction of a 300-room property, to be known as the Palace hotel, villas, a convention centre, a health spa and a traditional souk.

Madinat Jumeirah is to be built to the south of the Burj al-Arab and Jumeirah beach complexes, on two adjoining sites known locally as Russian beach and Chicago beach villas. The various components of the development will be linked by a navigable waterway.

The client is Jumeirah International; the project manager is MirageLeisure & Developmentof South Africa.