Dubai backs plans for world's biggest Ferris wheel

Dubai

In this image released by the New York Mayor's Office, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 is an artist's rendering of a proposed 625-foot Ferris wheel, billed as the world's largest, planned as part of a retail and hotel complex along the Staten Island waterfront in New York. (AP Photo/Office of the Mayor of New York)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Dubai's ruler has approval a $1.6 billion island development project that would be home to what's billed as the world's biggest Ferris wheel.

The project reflects a renewed appetite in Dubai for extravagance as the economy rebounds from a debt-driven slump during the past three years.

The official WAM news agency said Wednesday that the Ferris wheel -- dubbed the Dubai Eye -- will stand 210 meters (688 feet), exceeding the London Eye's 135 meters (443 meters). Construction is set to begin this year.

Dubai has proposed a series of mega projects reminiscent of its boom years before the downturn hit in 2009. The projects include theme parks and a satellite city named for Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum.


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