By Andy Sharman, Financial Times  www.gulfnews.com

London: Balfour Beatty has won the contract to create a fashion avenue in Dubai, linking the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.

The UK construction group is to extend the Dubai Mall — at 5.9 million square feet the biggest by floor space — and connect it to the 830-metre Burj Khalifa in a development that will add 100 stores and increase capacity to 100 million shoppers a year.

The contract — worth £214 million (Dh1.3 billion) — is small in the context of Balfour’s £13.5 billion order book but highlights the recovery of Dubai.

A rapid surge in the emirate’s economic fortunes has been driven by tourism and retail, and Dubai is at the centre of another property boom.

State and private developers are planning dozens of schemes, with the region drawing in investment from Arabs seeking a safe haven from Syria and Egypt, along with south Asian and Russian buyers hoping to minimise their tax bills. More info

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