Balfour Beatty has won a £400m contract to build the world’s biggest shopping centre in Dubai.

Balfour Beatty’s United Arab Emirates business, owned jointly with local contractor Al Ghandi/CCC, is set to start construction of the 1.3 million m2 Burj Mall this month. The centre is being developed by Dubai’s biggest developer, EMAAR.

Mike Welton, Balfour Beatty’s chief executive, said: “Balfour Beatty has been working in Dubai for the past 25 years and we are strongly committed to the Dubai market as part of our growth strategy.”

The four-storey shopping centre will be part of a complex that will include the 700 m Burj Tower, set to be the world’s tallest building.

The Burj Mall is expected to attract about 50,000 shoppers at peak time.

The scheme is due to be completed by the end of 2006.

Balfour Beatty’s other projects in Dubai include the £2.2bn Jebel Ali Port contract for the Dubai government, and civil works at Dubai international airport.