The local Emco Building & Contracting has been awarded a AED650m ($177m) construction contract to build a hotel at Al-Khan beach in Sharjah.

The project is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete and will contain 343 rooms, restaurants, two ballrooms and other leisure facilities.

Local QHC Architect & Engineers is the design consultant for the project. The client is Sheikh Abdullah bin Salim al-Qassimi, deputy ruler of Sharjah.

An operator for the hotel has not yet been appointed. “Negotiations are under way with a number of leading international hotel operators to manage the facilities once the construction is completed in August 2012,” says Ara Christo Andereas, design manager, QHC Architect & Engineers.