The hotel will have 300 rooms and 20 suites, three restaurants, retail facilities and lounges. The phase 1 contract will be fast-tracked with completion set for 16 months after the date of award.

The phase 2 contract, due to be tendered early next year, will be considerably larger. It involves the construction of a 300-room property, to be known as the Palace hotel, villas, a convention centre, a health spa and a traditional souk.

Madinat Jumeirah is to be built to the south of the Burj al-Arab and Jumeirah beach complex, on two adjoining sites known locally as Russian beach and Chicago beach villas. Water will feature large in the development, with the various components to be linked by a navigable waterway.

The client is Jumeirah International; the project manager is Mirage Leisure & Developmentof South Africa.