IFA kicks off Palm resort with tenders up for grabs

Bids for the US $1 billion Kingdom of Sheba development will be invited in the next two months

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  December 9, 2006

Developer, IFA Hotels & Resorts, has launched the US $1 billion (AED3.6 billion) Kingdom of Sheba project on the Palm Jumeirah and is planning to invite bids for several construction packages within the next two months. Construction on the project is expected to start within the next eight to 10 months and will be completed by mid 2010. Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo is the project’s designer. Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, chairman and managing director, IFA, said: “This is by far our most ambitious resort development to date. Following in the footsteps of our successful projects in Dubai, with over 1,800 units sold in the past three years, the Kingdom of Sheba is certain to become a significant landmark in our portfolio.” The resort covers 141,500m2 and will consist of five elements, each influenced by classic Arab architecture – residences, a hotel, private residence club, vacation club and a souq. The residential component, Balqis Residence, will consist of 300 residences, including villas, town houses, penthouses and apartments. The hotel, which will be run under the Fairmont brand, will feature extensive conference facilities, outdoor leisure amenities including a private beach and pool complex, a sports club, children’s activity centre and a Willow Stream Spa. Werner Burger, president & COO, IFA, said: “The destination is unlike any other that we have been involved in. The ‘crescent’ is one of the most unique and desirable areas of the Palm Jumeirah, with full sea views. Our resort will reflect the history and grandeur of Arab architecture, complementing the natural beauty of the environment. The Kingdom of Sheba will be designed for people who expect the highest standards in resort life luxury.”

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