Dubai: Nakheel has signed a Dh4.2 billion contract for its mall project on Deira Islands — the biggest single project tender awarded in Dubai’s construction sector this year and, quite possibly, in recent times. The project’s scope involves the construction of Deira Mall, which will be the largest of its kind in the region.

Construction will begin this quarter itself, with completion scheduled for 2021. Deira Mall will have more than 1,000 shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment outlets stretching across 4.5 million square feet of leasable space, and a 3.8 million square feet multi-storey car park with 8,400 parking bays.

United Engineering Construction (UNEC) is the main contractor.

The mall will be the centrepiece of Deira Central, a 9 million square foot mixed-use community located at the centre of Deira Islands, which will feature 50 residential and hotel towers set within an extensive parkland.

“The mall will provide endless attractions for residents of Deira Islands, the wider UAE community and the millions of tourists who visit Dubai each year,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, chairman.

Deira Mall is one of two large-scale retail clusters being built on Deira Islands. The other, Deira Islands Night Souk, is to be the “world’s largest night market”, with 5,300 shops and almost 100 quayside cafes and restaurants. This is project due for completion later this year.