Dubai developer Nakheel has appointed the local United Engineering Construction (UNEC) as the main contractor for the AED6.1bn ($1.7bn) Deira Mall on its Deira Islands development in Dubai.

In February this year, MEED reported that UNEC submitted the lowest bid at AED4.2bn.

Construction on the scheme is expected to start by the third quarter of this year, with completion set for 2020, according to a statement from the developer.

The three-level mall will have four million square feet of leasable space, with over 1,000 shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment outlets.

Deira Mall will be the centrepiece of Nakheel’s AED5bn Deira Boulevard development that includes 16 residential towers, almost 2,900 apartments and extensive retail, restaurant and recreation space. Together, the mall and boulevard will have around 4.5 million square feet of shop space. Nakheel issued tender documents for the construction in January.

Nakheel is also developing the Deira Islands Night Souk, which when completed, will be the world’s largest night market with 5,300 shops and almost 100 quayside cafes and restaurants. The contractor is UNEC and completion is expected in 2018. Nakheel says all units at the Night Souk are fully leased.

Launched in October 2013, Deira Islands is a 15.3 square kilometre development that will add 40km, including 21km of beachfront to Dubai’s coastline. Plans for projects on the development include hundreds of tourism, leisure and residential developments including hotels, resorts, serviced apartments, mixed-use buildings and waterside homes.