Dubai: Hircon International, the real estate company which recently launched an imposing 90-storey residential tower in Dubai Marina, has awarded the project's Dh500 million construction contract to Dubai Civil Engineering.

Work on the main structure at 23 Marina is set to start next month and will last 33 months.

It will be one of the world's tallest residential buildings, although it is set to be bettered by Tameer's 100-storey Princess Tower, and will feature two- and three-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom duplexes with private plunge pool and Jacuzzi.

Officials at Hircon, a joint venture between Indian real estate giant Hiranandani Constructions and Dubai-based ETA Star properties, say 60 per cent of the 292 apartments have already been sold to international investors and end users.

Apartment prices range from Dh850 to Dh1,300 per square foot, but could increase by as much as 50 per cent once construction is underway, the company said. With piling work close to completion, the project will soon begin to emerge from the ground, introducing a new set of challenges for Dubai Civil Engineering (DCE), which was selected from five contract bidders.

Nashat Sahawneh, chairman, DCE, (part of the Al Hamad Contracting Company), said logistics remains the biggest single concern.

"The supply of construction materials and labour will hurt the most. We have to have solutions to problems which were unthinkable three to four years back. But this is the situation and we have to accept it and be as efficient as possible," said Sahawneh.

"Over the years we have invested in technology which has enabled us to complete projects with less than half the labour we used to use," he said.

He added: "The piling works are nearing completion, which marks the commencement of the main structure and we are confident that our technical expertise and long experience will ensure we will meet the schedule."