The companies that have been approached are the local/UK Al-Naboodah Laing O’Rourke, Arabtec Construction, and Khansaheb Civil Engineering, both local.

The project will have a built-up area of about 300,000 square metres and the work will be divided into three packages.

“We expect to split the project into three packages. One for the 800-room hotel, one for the theatre and entertainment complex, and one for the condominiums,” says Robert Norton, chief executive officer of Zabeel Properties.

Construction is expected to start within the next three months. “We have finished the concept and we are now moving into detailed design. The site investigation is finished and we expect to move into construction in eight to 12 weeks,” says Norton.

Zabeel has appointed Los Angeles-based Graft as the design consultant for the resort and is bringing in the actor Brad Pitt to be one of the design consultants.

Zabeel would not confirm the location of the resort as it is still pending approval from the relevant authorities. However it could be in the Dubailand development.

In 2006 Zabeel Properties parent, Zabeel Investments, signed an agreement to build the America Hotels & Resorts development at Bawadi in Dubailand.

Zabeel is also moving ahead with another of its resort projects, after selecting Laing O’Rourke for the main construction contract on the Dubawi development next to the Palm Jumeirah. Formerly known as Logo island, the AED2bn project involves the construction of a 60-room luxury hotel and about 20 villas on one of the two small islands on either side of the Palm island’s trunk (MEED 3:8:07).