Dubai unveiled plans for a $27 billion resort complex including the world's biggest hotel on Monday, the latest in a series of huge projects intended to establish the booming Gulf Emirate as a regional tourism hub.

Dubai, one of seven semi-autonomous states in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, is hoping to draw 10 million tourists a year over the next decade.

It said the Bawadi project outside Dubai city will have more than 29,000 hotel rooms, including the 6,500-room Asia Asia hotel which it said would be the largest in the world, and was expected to accommodate more than 3 million tourists by 2016.

The (reason) for this is the fact that tourism plays a very large role in Dubai's economy, said Saeed al-Muntafiq, chief executive of Tatweer, the Dubai government-owned developer of the project. We need to expand our capacity to accommodate tourists.

He said that Dubai would need an additional 70,000 to 80,000 hotel rooms to achieve its target of 10 million visitors a year over.

The first phase of the project, which includes the Asia Asia hotel, will be operational by 2010.

Tatweer will put up 40 percent of the project's total cost and the rest will come from investors.