About 30 international companies expressed interest by 15 November for the main contract on the tower project. The next stage in the project’s implementation will be the launch of prequalification.

The tower will be carried out in several specialist packages and is expected to be completed in 2008. A contract award is due by early December for the first major package on the development, covering piling. The contract will call for the excavation of up to 50 metres and driving of about 170 piles.

Besides the tower structure, which is set to be the tallest in the world, the development will include a podium, mixed-use facilities over a 14-million-square-feet area, aquatic features, pedestrian boulevards and car parks.

The US’ Skidmore Owings & Merrill is the architectural design consultant; the project manager is Turner International, also of the US.

The new shopping centre, to be called the Dubai Mall, will include the construction of a three-level shopping mall and residential facility to be built over 5 million square feet. At a later stage, 1.5 million square feet of retail and 2.5 million square feet of residential space is also planned to be built. The facility will be served by a car park with capacity for 16,000 vehicles. A 4.3-million-square-feet artificial lake is also planned .