Dubai’s Downtown gets the big thumbs-up in this hotly contested category.

Sponsored by BIW

BIW Technologies

BIW Technologies, one of the world’s leading providers of online construction project control software, is proud to sponsor the “Mixed use Project of the Year” category in the inaugural Gulf States Building Awards.

BIW is committed to supporting achievements in sustainability, innovation and overall project excellence in the GCC region. We opened our Dubai office in 2006, established a hosting facility there in 2007 and in 2008 announced a five-year corporate adoption deal with Dubai’s largest property developer Nakheel.

Sponsoring the mixed use category is particularly appropriate, given the widespread use of our sophisticated process management platform on such projects

Winner: Downtown Burj, Dubai

It takes vision of a truly global scale to deliver a project of Downtown Burj Dubai’s scale and breadth. Not only is Emaar building the world’s tallest tower at Burj Dubai, it is also throwing in the world’s largest shopping centre, too. So large is the project that it has its own tram system, a 6km line with 10 stations ferrying visitors to and from its various attractions. The project’s quality and high profile has already made it the most prime real estate in town – how many other schemes can boast a structure that is recognised around the world before it is even complete?

Runners up

Aspire Tower, Doha, Qatar

Arup's Aspire Tower isn't your average mixed-use project. What other signature tower has a revolving restaurant, a cantilevered swimming pool 80m above the ground, and a live flame cauldron at its summit? The 300m structure, built for the 2006 Asian Games, is the tallest in Qatar and presented a range of environmental, seismic and structural problems to Arup's team. The tower's unique structure meant that it had to cantilever from a central concrete core with no ground level columns. Arup marshalled its 100-strong team to work around the clock to help ensure the signature tower was the glowing centerpiece of the Games.

Dubai Festival City, Dubai

Al Futtaim's Dubai Festival City has brought creekside leisure, living and working to the city. Using the existing water features and creating a network of manmade canals, Al Futtaim has created a must-see destination for the residents and tourists of Dubai - quite an achievement in a city already bursting with attractions. When complete, this iconic development will boast as much as 10 million ft2 of commercial space. Al-Futtaim Carillion has brought together an impressive project team including the Hyder Partnership and architect HOK to ensure this landmark project has become one of the distinctive quarters of Dubai.

Dubai Marina, Dubai

Emaar's enormous Dubai Marina development is a city within a city - indeed, it is often referred to as New Dubai. The ambition behind this project is truly breathtaking: 5 million m2 of development, surrounding the largest manmade marina in the world. More than 200 soaring towers will eventually be completed in the area, with an 11km boardwalk linking it to the sea. The developers are acutely aware of the paucity of open-air developments in the city, and have dedicated an impressive 12% of the overall masterplan to public space. Not many mixed-use developments can claim to have changed the face of Dubai, but Dubai Marina is one of them.

Durrat al Bahrain, Bahrain

Tameer's ambitious $6bn development is proof, if proof were needed, that it's not just in Dubai that luxurious seaside resorts can be imagined. This unique scheme will feature no fewer than 15 man-made islands shaped like fish and coral atolls, interconnected by bridges in a circular area. This constellation of islands was imagined by Atkins Middle East's Tom Wright, the architect behind the world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel. Wright isn't the only big name on the project - golfer Ernie Els has designed a golf course for the scheme. As a result, Bahrain will soon be able to boast a signature leisure scheme of its very own.

The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

The Palm Jumeirah is quite often the first thing visitors to Dubai see of the city, from the windows of their aeroplane. Already an iconic symbol of the city, the Palm is a masterpiece of civil engineering and architectural ambition, crowned with the Atlantis Hotel, a long-awaited attraction that is already attracting visitors to Dubai from all over the world. And it's not even finished yet - the Trump Tower will be among 30 new beachfront hotels to be completed before 2010, making the Palm the most exclusive address in town to live or stay.