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Mon, Dec 08, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Leighton Holdings wins contract for Dubai concourse

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Leighton Holdings Ltd, Australia’s largest construction company, said it won a 4.9 billion dirham (US$1.3 billion) contract with its partners to build a new concourse at Dubai Airport.

Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation awarded the contract to the Al Habtoor Leighton Group, Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd and Takenaka Corp joint venture, Sydney-based Leighton said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The concourse development, to be completed by April 2011, will include a four-star hotel and a five-star hotel, with a total built-up area of 528,000m², it said.

Dubai, the second-largest of the seven sheikdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, has become one of the Middle East’s premier tourist, financial and commercial destinations as it benefited from an inflow of oil dollars and investments from international institutions eager to tap Gulf wealth after a six- year oil boom.

Oil prices have plunged 72 percent since reaching a record US$147.27 a barrel on July 11, as the US, Europe and Japan fell into recession.

The Middle East will need to make some adjustments to weather the credit crisis, Leighton said.

“I don’t believe the Emirates will collapse. You will see significant adjustments,” Leighton chief executive officer Wal King said on Sky News yesterday.

“You will see some projects put on hold, you will some projects being canceled as they adjust to the realities of this new world,” King said.

Leighton last week said that work on the 2.9 billion dirham Trump Tower project was delayed by its partner Nakheel PJSC.

Nahkeel is the Dubai-owned developer of three palm-shaped islands in the Persian Gulf.

The delay to the Trump Tower won’t affect earnings, Leighton said.

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