Trio chase the Great Dubai Wheel project

Local and international contractors are bidding for the US $68 million package

Three contractors are bidding to build the US $68 million (AED250 million) Great Dubai Wheel in Dubailand.

The project is being promoted by the Great Wheel Corporation  a company backed by Hollandia, the Dutch contractor that built the London Eye.

Standing 208m tall and weighing in at 2,800 tonnes, it will be even bigger than the London Eye.

Spokesman Leon Heijkoop, said: We are in the middle of the tendering process and we have spoken to several contractors.

The difficulty is that this contract will involve very different disciplines.

Dubai Municipality approved the project this week, allowing construction work to start in November, subject to the appointment of a contractor.

Two local firms and one international company are currently in the running for the job.

Salem Bin Dasmal, CEO, Dubailand, said: The Great Wheel Corporation has a proven track record in developing these remarkable attractions around the world and I am glad Dubailand is the destination for their masterpiece in Dubai.

The observation wheel is set to attract its first visitors in early 2009 and is expected to attract up to two million visitors each year.

Last year Construction Week revealed how another company had hoped to build a similar observation wheel project in Dubai.

US firm Voyager Entertainment International came to the emirate in April 2005 to promote its $150 million project, billed as the biggest observation wheel in the world.

It claimed that it had signed an agreement with an international investment bank called Allied Investment House (AIH) with global operations.

But CW eventually traced AIH to a serviced office suite in Dubai's Fairmont Hotel rented by the day.

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