Dubai set to build world's largest observation wheel

In this image supplied by GulfNews.com, leaders of Dubai and other decision makers appear on Feb. 13, 2013, as they discuss the Bluewaters project. GulfNews.com

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates 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 "Bluewaters" 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 688 feet, exceeding the London Eye's 443 feet. 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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