Work on the ‘Taj Mahal of Dubai’ to get underway in June

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Leela Palaces to manage 400 room 5-star hotel in Taj Arabia project

Work is expected to commence on the $1-billion Taj Arabia, a grandiose project resembling India’s Taj Mahal in Dubai’s FalconCity of Wonders, from June.

“There was a delay in getting few clearance certificates, but all that should be solved soon. Enabling works are most likely to start from June,” said an informed source who requested anonymity.

Taj Arabia is being billed as a “one-stop wedding destination” by its promoter, Dubai-based Link Global Group.

The source said the 5-star hotel in the project would have 400 rooms, instead of the 300 planned earlier, with India’s The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts managing the luxury hotel.

Earlier this month, Rajiv Kaul, President, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts was quoted in Indian media as saying they would be announcing the management contract within a month for an upscale property with over 400 rooms in Dubai.

Currently, The Leela manages eight properties in Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Udaipur (Rajasthan) and Kovalam (Kerala).

This will be one-stop wedding destination and  will have wedding boutiques, a gold jewellery souk and a banquet hall to accommodate 3,000 people, while the promenade will have eateries, bars and lifestyle outlets.

Taj Arabia will be three times bigger than the original Taj.

With over 2.3 million square feet of built-up area, the project will have acres of greenery including Mughal gardens and a “falling garden” with a water cascade.

Originally, Taj Arabia was to have one million square feet of residential area with freehold apartments and penthouses, but the size of residential components has been reduced to accommodate more retail and hospitality venues, the source said.

The developer had set an ambitious target of completing the project by 2014, but that seems unlikely to happen now, considering enabling works will begin only in June 2013. In its new approach, the project will be completed and opened in phases.

FalconCity is a multipurpose mega project located in Dubailand and will feature structures based on famous sites and architectural marvels of the world such as the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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