UAE-based Dewan Architects & Engineers has been commissioned to provide architectural design, engineering and construction supervision services on two hotel projects in Karbala, central Iraq. 

The first, known as the Karbala Hotel, is a $40m project being developed by UAE-based Ali Moosa & Sons. It overlooks Masjid al-Husayn, one of the holiest sites for Shiite Muslims in Iraq.

The hotel is made up of five interconnected buildings, the tallest of which will be 18 floors, with a total of 300 rooms.

Dewan will work with UAE-based Al-Sebtain to complete the architectural, structural and infrastructure design work. The project is expected to be finished by 2012.

In a separate deal, Dewan will also work on The Range Karbala, a 12-floor, 650-room furnished apartment building.

It is being developed by UK-based Range Hospitality and is being financed by Abu Dhabi-based Noor Capital. The tentative budget for the project is between $80-90m and it is due to be completed in 2013.

The Range Karbala, also located near the city’s holy sites, includes 72,000 square metres of built-up area. Once finished, it will be Iraq’s only luxury serviced apartment building.

The projects will cater to the 6 million religious pilgrims who visit Karbala each year. This figure is expected to increase as improved infrastructure and accommodation becomes available.

Earlier in February, Dewan won the contract to design a 12-square-kilometre masterplan for the restoration of the Al-Kadhimiya district of Baghdad.