Dubai Municipality awarded on 4 October a 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract to the Dubai-registered International Projects Development Company (IPDC)to develop an entertainment centre within Dubai’s Zabeel Park.

The development – Stargate Family Edutainment Centre – calls for the construction of a spaceship-themed complex above and below ground over a built-up area of 260,000 square metres. The scheme includes leisure and educational facilities and retail outlets within five dome-shaped zones.

‘This is the first of several new projects that we will be announcing on a BOT basis,’ Salah Salem al-Qaiwani, head of investments and specialised contracts at Dubai Municipality, told MEED. ‘Whether it is over 15, 20 or 30 years, we feel this is the best route for Dubai Municipality and for the private sector.’

Germany’s Kling Consult, which is acting as consultant and architect for the project, is expected to complete designs within three months, before issuing tender documents for the main construction package in the first quarter of 2005. Construction is expected to take 14 months.

Stargate is the first of five projects planned on the Zabeel Park development. Located on three separate plots between the Trade Centre, Karama and Zabeel Road, the Zabeel Park project covers the construction of a 51-hectare park. Dubai Municipality is investing AED 300 million ($82 million) in the project, with a further AED 1,000 million ($272 million) expected from the private sector.

The local Engineering Contracting Company(ECC) is the main contractor for the park infrastructure, which is due for completion in early 2005. The local Al-Khatib Cracknellis the landscape architect.

IDPC is a newly created local real estate consultancy and project management firm. Affiliated to Saudi Arabia’s Alhindi Group, the firm also includes investors from Germany and the UAE (14:03:04).