Construction of the Taj Arabia, the $1 billion replica of the Taj Mahal, is set to begin by June 2013 in Falconcity, the sprawling mega-project on the outskirts of Dubai, the developer behind the project has announced.


In a report by Gulf News, Arun Mehra, director of Link Global, said that the 400 room, five star hotel, would be managed by Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, an Indian based hotel operator with 15 palace hotels.



He added that Link Global looked to have the project completed by mid-2015.


Taj Arabia is being marketed as a wedding destination, Mehra said, adding that it would overlook a retail area that would specialise in gold and wedding outfits. He added that the developer had seen a strong response from retailers looking to set up shop in development.


“The response has been very good, from local jewellers who own large chains and others outside Dubai,” he told Gulf News.


He said Taj Arabia will be designed, like Taj Mahal, on the theme of love.


“The Taj Mahal is a monument of love. Taj Arabia is designed on the theme of a monument of love,” Mehra said.


Part of the project will be dedicated to the ‘Moghul Gardens’, a retail area that will specialise in wedding requirements, including a wedding hall with the capacity for 3,000 guests and two serviced apartment buildings for wedding guests, he added.


The Taj Arabia is part of a wider development that will see replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World built on the massive development.


Arab Engineering Consultants have been appointed to design and supervise the Small Pyramid, which is one of three pyramids that make up one of the Wonders of the World, the newspaper said.


FWC officials declined to comment on the project.


491 ongoing hotel projects in the Middle East

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) hotel development pipeline comprises 491 hotel buildings, which gives a total of 120,795 rooms, according to the June 2013 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report. The total active hotel pipeline data includes projects in the "in construction", "final planning" and "planning" stages, but does not include projects in the 'pre-planning' stage.

$494 billion worth projects planned in the UAE

The UAE is planning to carry out projects in construction and other sectors worth around $494 billion, accounting for nearly a third of the total projects planned in the region, according to a Gulf business chief.

GCC food import bill to touch $53.1 billion by 2020

The restrictions imposed by agriculture producing countries on the export of food grains have caused an estimated over $50bn over the last four to five years.


Due to the controls on food exports, the wheat importing countries must have caused an extra payment of $21.5bn and rice importing countries must have paid at least an additional $19bn after the producing countries imposed restrictions on the exports.


Food sales to exceed $70 billion in Saudi Arabia

Food sales in Saudi Arabia are expected to be worth almost $70 billion by 2016, with food consumption growing at a CAGR of 2.6 per cent from 2012 to 2017.

Saudi Arabia is the region’s biggest food consumer and, according to Alpen Capital, will account for 60 per cent of total consumption by 2017.

While Saudi Arabia is also the region’s largest food producer, representing 74.1 per cent of total production in the GCC, it imports more than $14.2 billion worth of food and beverage products each year to meet its consumption demands. According to BMI’s recent Q1 2013 report this will rise to $35.2 billion by 2020.

Construction in Qatar to grow by 19%

The Middle East's construction sector, including Qatar, has been forecast to grow by 19 percent in 2013, with the combined value of completed projects set to reach $81.6bn. And projects worth $64.5bn are set to be awarded before the end of the second half of the year, according to Aldes Middle East, a leading provider of firefighting and ventilation solutions. Given Qatar's immense growth potential of the construction and real estate sector, the company has stepped up its expansion initiative with the planned opening of a new office in Doha.


5 September




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