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Sat 18 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Hollandia scoops contract for Dubai’s wheel of steel

Latest wheel project is set to be the world’s biggest, and has the backing of Dubailand chief executive.

Dutch steelwork contractor Hollandia has taken the US $145 million (AED533 million) contract to build what is claimed will be the world’s biggest observation wheel in Dubai.

The announcement comes less than two months after Construction Week revealed that a rival Big Wheel project was being promoted by a US-based developer that owed millions of dollars to creditors.

But this latest Big Wheel project has won the backing of Dubailand chief executive Salem bin Dasmal.

He said: “We are creating unique wonders in partnership with the private sector from across the world. The Great Dubai Wheel is an example of this model co-operation, and yet another addition of a world-class attraction to the ever increasing skyline of Dubai.”

Bin Dasmal added: “The Great Dubai Wheel will be significantly larger than the London Eye, which was recently voted the best tourist attraction in the world.

“Located in a prime area of Dubailand, the Great Dubai Wheel will further enhance Dubai’s reputation as a leading world city featuring iconic, unparalleled architectural structures. It will sharply raise the visibility of Dubailand.”

It is claimed that the Great Dubai Wheel will be significantly larger than the London Eye and visitors will be able to view distances of up to 50 km.

Hollandia was also the main steelwork contractor on the London Eye project.

In April, CW revealed that US firm Voyager Entertainment Holdings was touting a similar Big Wheel scheme in Dubai.It it said would cost US $150 million to build and would stand 182 m-tall.

However, it later emerged that the Las Vegas-based company had proposed similar schemes in cities as far apart as Dallas and Shanghai, but none have yet made it off the drawing board.

Voyager Entertainment Hold-ings has made no further announcements on its Dubai Big Wheel project since CW’s revelations.

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