Samsung to build $354mn Dubai exhibition hall

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South Korea's Samsung is to build the Middle East's largest exhibition centre in Dubai, adding to its projects in the Gulf emirate that include the world's tallest tower, the company said on Saturday.

Dubai World Trade Centre said in a statement issued by Samsung that it had awarded the firm and Turkish partner Baytur a 1.3 billion-dirham ($354.3 million) contract to construct Dubai Exhibition World by 2010, and to maintain the facility for one year. Work will begin immediately, the statement said.

"Dubai Exhibition World will offer 120,000 square metres of column-free exhibition space in its first phase, cementing its position as the largest event facility in the Middle East," it said, adding “The largest single hall will offer 85,000 square metres of uninterrupted exhibition space and will be the longest single column-free exhibition hall in the world.”

The centre will be surrounded by a boardwalk, green spaces and three interconnected lakes. It will form the anchor for Dubai Exhibition City, which will span seven square kilometres and include over 7,500 hotel rooms, an office park and retail and entertainment space.

Samsung is also part of a consortium building the world's tallest tower in Dubai.

Burj Dubai is still under construction but it overtook Taiwan's Taipei 101 tower as the world's tallest building when it reached 512 metres (1,533 feet) in June. Its eventual height remains a closely guarded secret.

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