Work is moving ahead on two major resort projects at the Dead Sea worth an estimated $300 million.

The larger of the two schemes, estimated at $200 million and known as the Crystal City project, involves the construction of three hotels, a water park, a business centre, restaurants, retail outlets and related facilities over a total built-up area of about 1 million square metres. The project is due to be completed in 2008.

Two international hotel operators from the Far East and the US are negotiating the contract to manage the hotels, with an award expected to be made within six months. Two contractors have also been shortlisted for the main contract to develop the site. The UK’s Chapman Taylorprepared the masterplan. The client is Dubai-based Omnix Group.

The second resort, estimated at $100 million and known as the Intercontinental Grand Plaza, will cover an area of about 64,000 square metres and will see the construction of private chalets with 425 rooms, restaurants, swimming pools, spas and a sports complex. Egypt’s Sabbour Associatesis the design consultant. The local Sigma Consulting Engineersis the construction supervisor. The project is due to be completed by 2007. The client is the Social Security Corporation.