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O P E C Taxes- Dubai270 M M Resort Island*

$270 Mln Contract Awarded for Man-Made Island

June 05, 2001 07:49 AM ET

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai on Monday awarded a Chinese company a contract worth $270 million to create a resort island shaped like a palm off the coast of the Gulf emirate.

The Dubai Palm Developers, in charge of the two-island mega project aimed at attracting tourists and foreign investment, said in a statement that state-owned China Railway and Engineering Corporation (CREC) won the initial contract.

CREC would perform the dredging, rock and sand fills and the actual creation of the island.

Last week, Dubai Palm Developers awarded Malaysia's Perkapalan Mesra SDN BHD a similar $270 million contract for the first island, which will also resemble a palm tree.

"CREC clearly had the right experience and put forward a very competitive bid," Palm Developers Chairman Sultan bin Sulayem said during the contract signing. "Planning and mobilization of dredging equipment has now started."

Dubai, vying to become the tourism hub of the Gulf, unveiled its plans for the resort islands last month. The emirate is one of seven that make up the United Arab Emirates and it has been trying to offset dwindling crude reserves by attracting more investment and trade.

The islands, which will be surrounded by a protective barrier reef, each have an area of 7.6 million square meters.

They are expected to house a total of 4,000 residential units, resorts, hotels and add 120 kms (75 miles) of golden beaches to Dubai's coastline.

Palm Developers said the islands were being build in three phases and would take about two years to complete.

It did not give a final figure for the project but said the first two phases for both islands -- land reclamation and infrastructure -- would cost about $3 billion.

(Original Len: 1968 Condensed Len: 2350)

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