Leighton JV wins $2.4 bln UAE construction deal

DUBAI, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Dubai-based developer Pearl Dubai said on Wednesday it has awarded a $2.4 billion construction contract to a United Arab Emirates joint venture of Australia's Leighton Holdings LEI.AX.

“Pearl Dubai ... has awarded an 8.85 billion dirhams ($2.41 billion) main contract for the construction of its Dubai Pearl project, to the Al Habtoor-Leighton Group,” Pearl Dubai said.

The statement did not say who the other competitors for the project were.

“While these are challenging times, Dubai Pearl’s confidence in the robustness of Dubai’s real estate sector remains high,” said Abdul-Majeed al-Fahim, Pearl Dubai chairman, in the statement.

Mohamed Alabbar, a Dubai government official and chairman of Emaar Properties EMAR.DU said on Monday the emirate will pull back on its building spree because of the financial crisis.

Pearl Dubai said the deal was the largest single contract of its kind in the Gulf Arab region. Construction is due to begin in January 2009.

The Pearl Dubai development will cover more than 15 million square feet (1.39 million square metres), including four 73-storey towers and a hotel. (Dubai newsroom)