Dubai: The USD 1 billion replica of the Taj Mahal that the developers are planning to build in Dubai will be four times bigger than the original monument.
The replica -- Taj Arabia -- will include one million sq ft of retail space besides a 300-room hotel.
According to Link Global, the company behind the project, there are plans to build a replica of the Taj Mahal in Dubai's USD 36.5 billion Falcon City of Wonders a multi-purpose project being developed in Dubai.
When complete, Taj Arabia will be four times the size of India's architectural marvel in Agra, according to reports.
Link Global is also in talks with international hotel operators to manage the 300-room hotel.
"We are already negotiating with three or four (hotel) operators; we want to bring the best in. They are all international... One of them is not yet here (in the UAE) but is quite big," the company's Director Arun Mehra told Arabian Business.
The Dubai-based firm said it has been inundated with requests from jewellers and retailers wanting to rent retail space in the development.
"Around the Taj, we have wedding and romance as a theme ... The gold and jewellery business in Dubai is multiplying every year so it will be jewellery retailers. We've had a huge response from the big players in jewellery wanting the prime spots," he said.
The project is slated for completion in 2014. The infrastructure work for the project is almost complete with construction work on ground expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014.
Mehra said the project is unlikely to affect livelihoods of those living in Agra.
"The criticism is coming from a very small population around the Taj. It's not going to affect their livelihoods with people coming to see the Dubai one instead of the original," he said.
First Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012, 12:09