UAE's Arabtec wins $193 million Dubai tower contract

on January 31 2010 5:40 AM

Dubai contractor Arabtec said on Sunday it has won a 710 million dirhams ($193.3 million) contract to build an 80-storey tower in Dubai from Abu Dhabi-based developer Tasameem Real Estate.

Arabtec, the UAE's biggest contractor by market value, said the contract value is for the first stage of the project, which will take 38 months to complete.

The contract for the new tower, which came from Tasameem Real Estate and includes a five star hotel, is a rare award in the Gulf Arab emirate where the global economic crisis has led to a steep property slump.

As a result, Dubai-based contractors have sought deals elsewhere in the Gulf region and North Africa to diversify their portfolios.

Tasameem's managing director, Khadem al-Qubaisi, is also chairman of Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments which earlier in January offered to buy a 70-percent stake in Arabtec.

Arabtec has won a number of contracts recently in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and the West Bank, helping it weather the storm in its home market where property prices have fallen some 50 percent from their peaks and billions of dollars of projects have been canceled or put on hold.

The firm's shares were off 1.3 percent at 2.2 dirhams at 0737 GMT (2:37 a.m. EST).

($1=3.673 dirhams)

(Reporting by Jason Benham; Editing by David Fox)

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